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** Update ** Check out our recently added 2014 Backyard wedding on a budget post!

We love weddings in general, but we get especially excited about weddings that are both beautiful and do-able on a tight budget. We decided to share some of our favorite ideas with you, starting with backyard weddings! Backyard weddings have so many advantages: you’re not paying for the venue itself, which is a big cost savings, you’ll have time to set things up and practice whenever you like, and the location is a place that has a lot of meaning for you.

Backyard wedding on a budget - photo collage

A Backyard Wedding on a Budget

The Decor: A tree is the perfect focal point for a backyard ceremony (and it doesn’t cost a thing). You can hang colorful monograms, lanterns, or chandeliers to make it more special. Drape twinkle lights or lanterns across the entire yard to really set the mood. For centerpieces, we picture vintage books with teacups or cafe au lait bowls stacked on top, filled with fresh flowers. You can find inexpensive dishes and old books at thrift stores.  We also love the idea of incorporating a different pie in each centerpiece. Pies have such a homey look, plus they would do double duty by eliminating the need for a wedding cake! You could make a cakestand for each pie out of mismatched plates and candlesticks by following this tutorial.

The Food: For the down-home backyard wedding, we picture comfort food! Barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, and potato salad. We also picture a lemonade stand with different flavors of lemonade in glass drink dispensers and big bucket filled with soda.

The Dessert: Since you already have pies on each table, you don’t need to buy an expensive wedding cake. You could supplement the pies with homemade cookies and other desserts, which could double as favors.

The Fashion: In keeping with the family feel that a backyard wedding has, it would be sweet if the bride wore her mother’s or grandmother’s dress. If that’s not possible, you could incorporate a piece of it into your bouquet, your hairpiece, etc. We envision the bridesmaids in neutral colored dresses with different colored cardigans of their choosing, and everyone carrying simple wildflower bouquets.

The Details: We love the idea of program fans, to keep your guests comfortable during the ceremony. For the guestbook, hang a piece of patterned fabric for a photobooth backdrop and provide chalkboards for guests to write messages on. Then, during the reception, have lawn games like croquet, horseshoes, and badminton! Leave on a tandem bike (if you don’t own one, you could rent one for much less than renting a limo or a classic car).

The Invitations: We think a tandem bike invitation suite would be perfect, tying in your transportation and evoking the playful feel of the backyard wedding. We have one available for free here.

Image Credits: House by Jonathan Canlas, programs via Style Me Pretty, tree ceremony via Snippet and Ink, monograms via Style Me Pretty, bridesmaids via Love and Lavender, pie centerpiece by Jodi Miller, photobooth via Get Married, sodas via Green Wedding Shoes, invitation via Love and Lavender, bouquet via Keg Design, tandem bike by Jose Villa, lanterns via Green Wedding Shoes, sparklers via The Perfect Palette.

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Comments

  1. Ashley — Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
    Very cute!
  2. Susie — Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
    Very cute ideas! I love the idea of having croquet at a wedding!!!
  3. forget.me.knot.weddings — Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
    This is such a great post! Love all the inspiration and the backyard wedding is one of my favs!
  4. Dognbird — Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
    What a fantastic wedding! I LOVE that bouquet.
  5. Emily Heizer Photography — Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
    So awesome! Thank you so much for posing this. I love the tutorial. I think it'll give me a great jumping off point when I make my own cake stands. I'm going to do a backyard style wedding, but off in a random field somewhere... :)
  6. Shawn — Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
    Gorgeous setting around the tree. Nothing could be more lovely! Congratulations.
  7. Anthony L — Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
    I have frequented your port before. The more I read, the more I keep coming back!
  8. san diego weddings on a budget — Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
    How to Have a Big Wedding on a Small Budget by Diane Warner Free Worldwide Delivery : Paperback : F&W Publications Inc : 26 Jun 2035 : 9781558706460 : 1558706461 : This newly revised guide shows how to plan a wedding with all the trimmings but without all the expenses. It features pricing information on ....
  9. Alfie Davies — Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
    wedding day is always the most special day of any man and woman.`-
  10. Stella Beebe — Friday, August 13th, 2010
    loved this blog!
  11. us flower shops — Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
    Very cute!
  12. Shower Radio  — Thursday, October 14th, 2010
    i like to attend weddings because it is a very happy event"*,
  13. Catnip : — Thursday, October 28th, 2010
    i think most flower shops these days use plant food to extend the life of cut flowers:"'
  14. Hi — Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
    Great!
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