Having a Pocatello or SE Idaho back yard wedding? Great! Hosting your wedding in a beautiful yard is one of the most effective ways to save money and build equity as you begin your lives together. Before you get started, here are some suggestions to make your backyard wedding a breeze.
Let’s talk logistics: Consider these questions about the yard itself: How big is the yard? How many guests can you reasonably accommodate? How many tables and chairs can you comfortably fit? Do you have room for a tent? Is there enough level ground? Is the area easily accessible to your vendors? Will it be accessible for vendors making deliveries, and wedding guests who may have mobility issues? In case of inclement weather is there enough drainage so the yard doesn’t turn to mud after a potential storm?
Time of Year: Of course you want to have your wedding in the warm months when it's less likely to rain or snow. Or sleet. Or hail. Or thunder-hail- which we have actually seen a few times on the day of a back yard wedding. My advice? Skip the month of June and opt for July, August, September and perhaps even October, depending on the way the weather behaves that year.
About the house and neighborhood: Is this where guests will be using the bathroom, or will there be portable facilities? Will there be sufficient parking space for guests’ or will you need a shuttle or valet? Is there a way to get electricity out to the yard for lighting? Is there room in the house for everyone if you encounter rain, or will you need to rent a large tent? Also be sure you are friends with your neighbors. Nothing could ruin a wedding faster than a disgruntled neighbor with ill intentions.
Outdoor lighting: I recommend spending the best of your decorating budget on lights. Why? Because there are a lot of tripping hazards outdoors, lights are for safety. AND lots of outdoor patio lights make for really beautiful wedding pictures. Save money and skip all the signs that say cheesy things and put those funds towards lights. Even if you have to buy the extra patio lights, you can easily resell them on local classifieds and get most of your money back.
Classified ads: Craigslist and FB Classifieds are a great place to find décor that fits in your budget. Sometimes it’s less expensive to buy table linens and centerpieces than it is to rent them. The one thing that I advise avoiding on classified ads is people who are advertising a professional wedding service. A reputable licensed and insured wedding professional will usually not be advertising in the classified ads, you’ll find them in the business directories.
Vendors: You’re going to most likely need to rent your tables, tents, chairs, etc. I recommend going with a service who can offer as much as possible in one visit. It may be a few dollars cheaper to break up your rentals into specifics, but you have to account for the time and stress of having 15 vendors coming to deliver on your wedding day. Especially if the tables arrive at 8am but the tent that they’re supposed to be under won’t be there until 10am. Save yourself the migraine, pay the little bit extra for the delivery, and enjoy your big day. Caterer, hair + makeup, florist, DJ, officiant, photographer + videographer? Hire insured professionals and relax. The last thing you want is an unexperienced newbie ruining your big day, or not delivering their goods at all.
Your Apparel: If you are having a wedding outdoors in August, I recommend skipping the heavy taffeta ball gown and going with something lighter and more breathable. Why? Because I got married in a taffeta gown in August, and I nearly fainted from heat stroke. It’s miserable. Suit wearers will appreciate lighter fabrics too. Skip the 5-piece tuxedo and pick a lightweight shirt and trouser option. As for shoes, ditch the patent leather and consider more breathable options. When it comes to heels- choose wedges instead if you need a little height.
Décor: KISS- keep it simple silly. Those elegant towering wedding centerpieces shown in hotel ballrooms just won’t fare well in a windy outdoor venue in Idaho. Keep centerpieces short on height, and keep them simple so you aren't devastated if they are ruined by uncontrollable events. For between walls and trees, I love vertical décor that moves with the weather like big swaths of white fabric and simple paper lanterns. If you choose to have a decorative wall or backdrop, consider color. White is nice because it won’t cast colors on you and make your white dress or suit or skin look green or orange. Always have a backup for weather by making sure your chuppah or arch can be moved if the weather surprises you.
Most importantly: Spend more time planning your marriage than you do planning your wedding. A wedding is for one quick day, and marriage is for the rest of your life. Invest in your spouse, and you won’t have to worry about whether the photo booth arrives on time- you’ll be just as happy and just as married even if it’s late ;)
If you need more help with your wedding, feel free to email us. We are happy to help! Hopestudiosphoto@gmail.com