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A few weeks ago I ran across this wonderful post from Michigan Wedding Planner Jessica of Stella Event Design.. I thought this was the perfect read to repost. She hits it right on the head. We get a lot of calls wanting us to assist the couples in making their backyard dreams come true. I believe we do a lot of weddings in backyards because they are hard. Simply Put.. you really need to hire a professional planner when you are doing a backyard wedding. Not only to help you see all of the unforeseen issues (Parking, Bathrooms, Bugs, Lighting, etc) But also to be there on the day of the wedding to run to the store to get more ice if needed, pick up a generator, move tables and chairs around.. all of the little things that you take for granted when you are in a banquet facility.
I could go on and on about all of the issues we have encountered… wind, humidity, a swarm of bees, blown fuses, seven trips to the liquor store (yes, Seven….They liked to party!)
Here is what Jessica Wrote: The key to creating a tented wedding on your own property (or even a rented space), is keeping in mind all of the rental costs you are going to incur. While a tented wedding may seem like the budget-friendly option, let’s take a look at how the numbers break down in comparison to a local venue that has a flat $2800 rental fee:
I am not by any means saying you shouldn’t get married in a backyard or on a beautiful piece of family property—that can be a very meaningful and beautiful option for your wedding location—the thing you have to consider is if you are choosing that option only because it seems like the cheaper way to go.  Because in most cases, bringing in all of those rental items will cost you much more than renting a venue (not to mention all of the extra work for you and your family), and that’s something you should realistically consider when choosing between a tented wedding on private property, versus a reception venue.

Candles are one of the most inexpensive ways to decorate and give the room such a glow…. I always suggest incorporating candles on the table or doing a 1/3 of the tables in just a candle arrangement. And of course votives.. you can never have too many votives in my opinion. Candles dont have to look minimal – Grouped into larger arrangements they look very lush, put a ribbon or some decor around them to change there look all together. Here are some of the ways we have found to use candles over the years….

Happy Decorating!

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of helping Jim and Katie with their amazing wedding! We have been working together for over the last year planning their wedding at Katie’ Parents Home in Chisago City. The whole time Katie and Jim lived in Chicago. So it was fun to see them when they came into town and I had the pleasure of working with their families and really help create this amazing backyard wedding! I cant wait for the images to come in… and mostly the photos of their “First Dance”. I see a lot of cool things… but this one I think tops the charts. Katie loves the water and loves skiing….. So when she told me that she and Jim would do a “secret” water ski dance for their first suprise dance I was sooooo excited!! It was a secret and it was so hard to keep!! I will post the whole video when I get it, but Katie emailed me this today before she left on her honeymoon! I cant wait to show more details… but look at my wonderful bride who is not afraid of a little water or sand on her (even before dinner… she is a trooper!)

One of the reasons that couples are finding the need for a wedding planner is that we do this for a career and we are good at thinking of ideas! One of the services I offer my couples is a “List” that I have compiled over the years that points out some fun ideas to really customize your day!

Here are a few:
o Predinner Predictions- Guests found a card asking them to make 10-year predictions for the couple. It is a great way to get your guests to laugh and mingle!

o Table Numbers- Do something more creative than just using a number. Some great ideas are using photos of places where you have traveled, names of your favorite restaurants, favorite movies, places you have went on dates, etc.

o Place Trivia cards or questions about the couple at each place setting that way when the guests are waiting to get their meal they can learn some fun facts.

o Consider using your favors as escort cards; use your favors as centerpieces also. Consider doing potted plants and tie a little note to the plan explaining that guests are welcome to take it home when they leave.

o Send off snacks are a fun way to leave your guests with reminder of your special day. If you are not doing favors this a great alternative. Treat your guests to popcorn, cones of French fries, ice cream, donuts, warm chocolate chip cookies, etc.

o If your venue offers valet considering asking your valets to place favors in your guests dashboards when they retrieve their cars.