Inexpensive Backyard Wedding Ideas

pending thousands of dollars to get married is simply not an option for many engaged couples. Last fall, my best friend was the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding, backyard wedding and the photos I saw of this inexpensive ceremony and reception gave me some great backyard wedding ideas.

The couple is on a tight budget, so they needed to tie the knot as inexpensively as possible. Two sections of folding chairs with an aisle left in between were set up in a friend’s backyard, and another friend who is a notary public conducted the ceremony. To avoid the cost of expensive dresses and tuxedos, the bride wore a skirt and top that she already owned; the groom wore khakis and a button-down shirt. The attendants also wore simple outfits from their own closets.

The couple instructed all guests with cameras and camera-phones to snap as many photos as possible throughout the evening. A laptop was set up on the back patio so the guests could e-mail the pictures to the bride and groom. This is probably one of my favorite inexpensive backyard wedding ideas – e-mailing photos right then and there (iPhones) is a great way to save money on a professional photographer! The casual look of “regular” pictures goes along perfectly with the casual theme of the wedding.

After the ceremony, it was time to party! The inexpensive decorations consisted of a few strands of white Christmas lights hung along the back patio with some colored ball lanterns thrown in for variety.

Two long tables covered with plastic tablecloths and vases of wildflowers held the food, which was all brought pot-luck style by the wedding guests and eaten on paper plates with plastic silverware. A few coolers held ice and cans of beer, cans of soda, and bottles of water. This was definitely a no-frills reception, but it certainly looked like fun!

The homemade wedding invitations were printed on standard 8 ½ by 11 inch pieces of paper with a red and white checkered border to resemble a picnic tablecloth – another way to save money while getting married at home. The wedding favors were small plastic bags of red and white M&M’s tied with curled red and white ribbon, to match the red and white borders on the invitations.

The cake was probably this wedding’s biggest splurge: a three-tier chocolate cake with butter cream icing from a local bakery, decorated with green grass made of icing, “dirt” made of cookie crumbles, and a bride and groom holding a picnic basket.

Outdoor Wedding Ideas – What to Consider

Outdoor weddings or garden weddings are beautiful types of weddings that uses nature as a backdrop for a romantic ceremony. Although it is a great wedding idea, it is hard to pull off. Why? Because you have to think of the weather, the view, the surroundings, and other elements that could be the cause of distractions for your ceremony.

To have a great outdoor wedding, you first have to take into consideration the date of your wedding. Will it be in the summer, spring, or fall? Of course if you are going to have your wedding outside, you wouldn’t want your guests to suffer from heat stroke or be soaked in the rain right? The best season for an outdoor wedding would be spring. There will be less chances of rain and the weather wouldn’t be too hot. Now, even though you scheduled your wedding during the spring, it doesn’t mean that the weather will be very consistent. That means the weather may also have changes. The day may be sunny and fine on the day before the wedding but could be disastrous on the day of the wedding itself so you should have a back up area where there is shelter in case it would rain during the wedding ceremony.

If it is too sunny you may opt to have an open tent, one that has roofing but no sides. That way the beauty of the garden may still be enjoyed. Or it may be a great idea to provide fans for your guests. Also make sure that water is accessible for your guests on a sunny day. Wind is another foe during weddings. Better skip lighting the unity candle if you are going to have your wedding outside cause it would definitely be out in just a minute.

Aside from the weather, another concern for outdoor weddings is bugs and flying insects. If you are going to hold your wedding in a garden, better have the surrounding sprayed with insecticide the night before the wedding. You may also have bug zappers or electric insect repellants around the area to eliminate those unwanted insects.

Outdoor weddings would also make you think about floor plan of the wedding. To set up your outdoor wedding first you have to make an altar where the officiating minister would stand and wed the couple. It could be just a simple table with white cloth that could be adorned with flowers at the foot or on the corners. Then the chairs for the guests could be lined up facing the front in a horizontal row by row manner. You can line the chairs up in groups of tens. Then have a carpet for aisle where the entourage will be walking. At the end of the aisle you can place your wedding arch. The back of the chairs could be decorated with ribbons or flowers as well.

Another thing to consider in planning an outdoor wedding would be the sound system. Amplifiers are needed because the guests might not hear the officiating minister talk of the couple’s responses or the music.

Last but not least, make sure that there are comfort rooms and dressing rooms nearby in case the bride needs a touch up or the guests needs to go. If you are able to take all of these into consideration then you can be having yourself a great outdoor wedding.