Backyard Wedding Tips

Your dreams are big, but your budget is not. Make yourself comfortable at this idyllic, do-it-yourself affair. Find party tips and ideas for throwing a backyard wedding.
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Your dreams are big, but your budget is not. Make yourself comfortable at this idyllic, do-it-yourself affair. Find party tips and ideas for throwing a backyard wedding.

PLANNING

When you're doing everything yourself, salvation lies in planning. To begin, make an appointment with your caterer. Then, give your DJ a month to get your song choices together. Choose flowers immediately, and call wholesale florists to see how long it'll take to get them. Order them a month in advance.

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Browse our wedding recipes, reception decorations, cake ideas + more

INVITATIONS

Design your own invitations so they'll look exactly how you want them and save you money.

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BRIDESMAID DRESSES

Save your bridesmaids some dough, too! Let each choose her own dress, whether it’s something she already has or a new purchase for the big day. Just give out a few loose guidelines: a length you prefer and a color family to stay within (for example, tell them that all black looks glamorous, or broaden it to "anything pastel'). Have them incorporate one matching element, like a necklace or pair of shoes, to unify the look.

bridesmaids

See more of Gretta Monahan's wedding beauty tips

WEDDING SIGN

Direct your guests to the ceremony with a handmade sign you can distress yourself, then paint with a stencil.

Wedding Sign

THE CAKE

Easy decorations: Cut sprigs of lavender and leftover blooms from the bouquets to decorate the cake and cake table.

cake

See Rachael + John's wedding cake

BOUTONNIERE

Keep to a theme with all flowers, including bouquets and boutonnieres. Succulents are a good choice for a backyard wedding.

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CENTERPIECES

Don't overthink centerpieces. Match the flowers to the bouquets and boutonnieres, like these homegrown succulents in shallow, wide bowls filled with soil.

succulents

See more DIY wedding centerpiece ideas

RECEPTION DECORATION

Hang paper lanterns, which you can order online, the week of the wedding: Attach each one to grosgrain ribbons, then use clear pushpins to secure them to a wood pergola or beams.

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MAKE A PHOTO CARD KEEPSAKE

Ask your photographer if he or she will provide a photo card of several of the day's shots at the end of the night for a instant keepsake.

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WISHING TREE

Create a sweet wishing tree for your guests to leave "a wish for the lovebirds."

wishing tree