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.