A backyard wedding is perfect for couples who love to be outdoors and want a uniquely sentimental feel for their big day. This particular couple wanted a super casual wedding. They were not into the wedding formalities at all. Normally it’s just the groom hates the fluffy elements of a wedding, but in this case, it was both of them. So I pretty much had to squeeze any of the formal photos out of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love documentary style weddings and my shooting style is already pretty candid. But there are some staple photos of a wedding that include certain family combinations and bridal party shots. Without them, I feel my final delivery is missing something.
Now there are other benefits to a backyard wedding as well. This includes cost and convenience. But with those benefits come a few extra details you need to keep in mind and situations you need to plan for. For example, your home’s bathroom can’t handle 100 guests in one night. And with an open backyard being a fun option, what’s your backup plan for the weather. Having a reception tent is a big help. It also makes photography a lot easier as a contained space is easier to light up.
Whether your backyard is small or sprawling, you’ll want to pay particular attention to where you set up your ceremony. Large trees, like the ones used here, make for the perfect backdrop and provide shade from harsh sunlight. Keep in mind that, if you’re getting married in the warm summer months, you’ll want to keep your guests’ chairs out of direct sunlight before the ceremony or, ideally, choose a shaded spot to set up chairs. This wedding was actually so warm that keeping the guests hydrated was the problem. They had to hire a freezing truck to keep their drinks and wedding cake from melting.
The civil ceremony was the only scheduled event at this wedding. Everything else had no timed itinerary. Since my wedding photography packages are full-day options, there isn’t really a cutoff time to worry about which this couple thoroughly appreciated. After their formal photos, they had a few hours of casual cocktails and lawn games. And once speeches were sorted, guests slowly headed out.
We did have some issues with harsh wind during the afternoon. But thanks to the groom’s grandmother, there was nothing to worry about. She embodied all the #grandmagoals I have for myself. While most of the mini tent shelters around the backyard took 3-4 guys to breakdown, grandma was going solo. If there was a secret behind how this wedding went by so smoothly, it was her.