5 Ways to Transform Your Huge Yard into a Gorgeous Wedding Space
This article is a guest post courtesy of Ariel Chiu, Principal Planner and Owner at Wonderstruck Weddings & Events.
With the rising costs of weddings these days, it is increasingly common for people to try and hold their wedding in their own yard if they have the space. Maybe you simply love your huge, open yard, or you’ve always dreamed of having a beautiful outdoor wedding with complete control of the venue. It certainly can be convenient knowing you can choose any date without worrying about other people booking your ideal time!
Here are 5 ways to help turn your big yard into a beautiful space for an outdoor wedding.
First, you should know that if you are planning to do any sort of landscaping for the wedding, you will need to start planning and putting it into action months in advance. Nature doesn't bend to your whim when you snap your fingers; instead, it takes a long time of careful cultivation to have everything look the way you want at the right time. Here's what you will need to do:
Lawn — plant any new patches of sod or grass seed, set a proper watering schedule, and mow it the day before, so the grass is short
Garden — if you need any plants or flowers to be in full bloom and looking healthy, you will need to plant them a certain length of time ahead of the wedding, depending on the specific plant
Trees — if you have trees or shrubs that have any dead limbs, make sure they are trimmed, but leave enough time for them to grow back in so they look even and healthy
Keep in mind that some trees and plants will look their best at certain times of the year regardless of what you do, so you should set your wedding date accordingly. If you have very ambitious plans for landscaping, it might be worth consulting with a professional landscaper or gardener to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Get Creative with Walkways
Next, you can start getting creative with how you design the various parts of your outdoor venue. Take your walkways, for example. There are multiple sections where people will be walking constantly: from parking to the venue, from the venue to the reception area, from everywhere and the bathrooms, and so on. It's a good idea to plan out great-looking walkways that will not only add to the look of the venue, but also help guide people.
For a walkway, you can do it a few ways. You can place paths using natural stone in the ground to provide solid footing, or you can use decorative gravel. If you don't want to install new walkways just for the wedding, you can have special outdoor rugs placed to give more clean and firm footing, especially for women in heels.
Next, you can line the pathways with some plants. If you’re planning to make a stone or gravel path, you can plant a border to line it with greenery and bright flowers that match your wedding theme. If you’re opting for an outdoor rug, you can set potted plants and flowers along the edges instead to add some temporary decor. Remember to start all the preparation work for planting any gardens well ahead of time.
Next, consider the ceremony space, as that's where you'll want to spend the most time, effort and resources to make sure you have beautiful moments and photography. There are a few ways to do this, such as creating an aisle similar to the walkways mentioned above: a natural stone pathway lined with beautiful plants and flowers.
You can also have the ceremony area under a natural canopy created by any trees in your yard, with whatever decorations and lighting hanging from the limbs you want. For the wedding altar area, you can have a raised platform so that all your guests can see everything easier, and make a special arch with the same kind of ivy, vines, or other plants and flowers that suit your color scheme.
If your wedding day stretches into the night, and it most likely will, you will need a plan for lighting. The good news is that since it is outdoors, you will likely have all the natural light you need for most of the day. If you hold your ceremony during the daytime you should be fine, but if your reception and after-party go into the evening you'll need lighting for the tables and dancing areas.
You can have each centerpiece for the tables include candles for a warm, romantic glow. You can also create a network of string lighting overhead, either using the trees outside or with special poles set up for the occasion. It's also a good idea to set up a network of lamps and lighting for your walkways, so people can see where they're going throughout the evening — you can even work them into your gardens or potted plants.
The last thing you want is to have your outdoor backyard wedding ruined by bad weather, so you should do everything you can to have a plan in place for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Here are some ideas for different weather conditions:
Rain — have stations set up with umbrellas and towels, and have an outdoor tent ready as a backup if it's really pouring rain
Wind — make sure every structure you have set up is securely fastened down to avoid being blown away, and try setting up wind breaks in important areas such as the altar
Heat — if your wedding day gets hit by a major heat wave, make sure you have stations set up with buckets of ice and bottled water, and cooling areas in the shade with fans
Cold — if there is rain, clouds, wind, unseasonably cold temperatures, or a mix of everything, try having stations with blankets for every table, and maybe areas with fire pits or heaters set up
For every outdoor wedding, we advise booking a good quality outdoor tent at least as a backup in case the weather turns foul. They are the most effective backup solution to block out rain, wind, too much sun, and cold temperatures — as long as you can afford it. The best outdoor tents can be partially taken down so you can still see all the outdoor beauty of your yard.
About the Author:
Ariel Chiu is the Principal Planner and Owner of Wonderstruck Weddings & Events, a corporate event and wedding planning company located in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ariel Understands how special life events can be. She believes that these important memories should be cherished. Ariel feels honored to have been involved with successfully organizing and coordinating weddings in any season, and bringing dreams to life through her confessions.