Intimate backyard Weddings
Intimate Backyard Weddings. Some couples come to me stating that they are having a wedding “BUT its only about 50 people in my backyard so it can’t be that hard.” This is true, but remember that someone has to coordinate the caterers, the friends or family and direct everyone throughout the evening. Even if its your mom, , sister or best friend, they will be overwhelmed and you will be too watching to make sure everything is getting done.
The solution is to have someone create and coordinate the timeline with you. No matter how small and intimate, you still need to be Presented, a blessing for your meal and someone to inform your guest that dinner is ready. Even after dinner you will probably have a champagne toast and cake cutting as well as you special dances. And then you will need someone to assist with the bouquet and garter toss. It’s always best to have someone to do these things for you, simply because, it’s your wedding night and you should be the gracious host/hostess and celebrate. You should not have to worry about a timeline.
Probably the most fun part of intimate backyard weddings is the diversity of music. I have had wonderful weddings with pure country and even weddings that were completely 70’s thru 90’s. Others might create a completely family oriented event that has little ones running around the yard and a mixture of music just for them to keep them preoccupied.
Now for the technical part.
- Electricity probably causes more issues than anything else. Make sure that you have a designated circuit for your dj. It doesn’t take much to “pop” a circuit breaker with an amplifier, lights or powered speakers. If you have an outdoor refrigerator, Margarita machine, popcorn popper, hot chocolate or coffee dispensers, or any type of refrigeration, the moment your dj powers on, it will “pop” the breaker.
- DJ Location is crucial for two major reasons. The most important reason is the distance from the event. Many times Brides and Grooms want to place dj’s to the far corners. The rationality is normally the seating. However, the farther a dj is away, the louder they has to set his volume to project the sound to the dancing/cocktail/dinner area. Likewise, if he has a cordless microphone, he will also have issues with the signal, and this is crucial for toast. Another factor to take into consideration is the distance to his power source, because if you’re too far away, just like the sound, any dance lighting will be near the dj and not on the floor. And lastly, your dj coordinator needs to be able to see everything happening in order to run your timeline. This is hard to accomplish running from the far corner of the yard to where the next minievent is happening.
- Grounds are hard to control. The dancing area must be flat and free of holes. Why? Because most of the women will be wearing heels. The same applies to the grass area to avoid twisted ankles. Make sure that you have a few safety cones if an area becomes muddy after a rain or if it’s a place children can’t enter such as a tool shed or drop offs.
- Weather Outdoor events are beautiful, but in Houston, we have an extremely high humidity. Remember to have water readily available for your guest. ESPECIALLY any guest from out of state! I have had brides, and grooms with minor heat exhaustion, just from driving from the church to the reception! Wedding dresses and Tuxedos are HOT. Have bottles of chilled water in a small thermos for any carriage rides, trolleys or any type of transportation (including walking) that exposes you to the outdoors for extended periods of time. Lastly, be mindful of the elderly guest, I unfortunately had a bride’s grandfather have a heat stroke prior to the ceremony. The good news was that he recuperated in the hospital. The bad part is that it upset his granddaughter, and set back the wedding 1 hour. If the is a possibility of rain on your wedding date, buy some inexpensive tarps and some towels for a quick clean up.
- Foodis so good at small weddings due to the fact that you can go crazy with a customized menu. From food trucks and mobile vendors such as Cajun, Asian, BBQ, Tacos and drink trucks, both nonalcoholic and mobile bars too. Also, the list of caterers is humongous is Houston. Add to this list the very good possibility that your favorite restaurant also caters, and the sky is the limit. The best advice I have to offer in this area is that if they are staying after the dinner and during the cake cutting, ask them if they would be willing to assist you in cutting your wedding cake and plating it for your guest. Many will say yes for a small fee and others free of charge but a small tip always makes the staff happy.