Published by DLC Marketing Team
The Backyard Wedding.
A lot of women spend their whole lives dreaming about their wedding day; the perfect venue, delicious food, the best flowers… and of course, the ideal husband! This, of course, results in a lot of pressure for the wedding day. Where will you host it? Will it be local or destination? Will you have it in a church or a backyard? Who will you invite?
For Kate Brady, an events manager by trade, the decision came easy when it was time for her to tie the knot in June 2015. Kate and her groom, John Muddiman, transformed his parents’ Oakville, Ontario backyard into their dream wedding! While it wasn’t particularly traditional, it was ideal for the couple who wanted something more personal. The reception (which included 100 close friends and family) involved a plexiglass dance floor over a pool and a few other unique touches along the way.
We caught up with her to see what she thought of the backyard environment – and if she had any advice for other women out there considering a more intimate celebration:
Why Choose a Backyard Wedding?
Growing up, I always loved the “Father of the Bride” movie. I always thought it looked fun! For me, I’ve always wanted something different. During this process, I was at the age where we were the last of our friends to get married; I had been to several other weddings. What I learned from attending all these celebrations was that, it doesn’t matter what you do with it. At the end of the day, all weddings feel similar to what someone else has done… but that didn’t stop me from trying to create something unique! Since we decided to host in our backyard, it really limited our space and attendance, encouraging us to create a more intimate experience.
What Were Some of the Challenges?
When you’re in a backyard, one of the biggest challenges is the flow. The goal is to make sure the environment functions as if it were at any other venue. A few things we had to consider were bathrooms, to keep guests out of the house, and enough space for catering.
To tackle these challenges, we brought in nice Porta Potties to meet guests’ needs in the designated wedding area. When it came to housing the caterers, we were fortunate as my in-laws own a fairly large property and home. The size and open concept of the kitchen, allowed the caterers to utilize space in both the dining and living room. Another consideration for catering was to ensure the ovens were up to code from a cooking perspective, to ensure the chefs could produce the level of food we wanted.
Another challenge with backyard weddings, of course, is the weather. We were lucky the way the backyard was structured – and that we had no rain that day. If it had rained, the entire vibe and flow would have changed as everybody would have been forced into the tent. Then of course, you’re trucking out into the rain to go to the bathroom.
Lastly, with all these guests coming, parking is another consideration that can easily turn into a challenge. Of course, you can bus people in from the ceremony, but a lot of people chose to carpool on their own. However, this is also a concern to ensure people aren’t being ticketed. For us, it was also a concern how we make sure people aren’t drinking and driving and being responsible.
Was it More Work to Host at Home?
A lot of venues will provide an event planner that can coordinate with the bride and groom, but when you plan a backyard wedding, you don’t get that benefit. However, if you have the budget, having an event planner to coordinate can bring peace of mind, especially on the day! As someone who has been an event manager for a large chunk of my career, even I hired an outside party so that I could just enjoy the day, and they were able to manage the vendors and ensure set-up went smoothly and that everything was taken care of.
What Advice Would You Give Others About Backyard Weddings?
When it comes to any wedding, whether backyard, traditional or destination, the most important part is to trust your gut. Regardless of where you host your wedding, you want the event to truly reflect the people getting married. Also, I would say don’t sweat the small stuff; if it rains or something goes wrong, you need to just have fun with it. Don’t get caught up in the details.
The last piece of advice is to make sure you do your research and only engage with vendors that are trustworthy and reputable. These will be the pillars for your wedding! If they are reputable, they will give you the right advice and help guide you through the day.
Would You Suggest This?
Of course, it depends on the couple, but for me this was the perfect wedding. I was able to personalize every little touch and it really gave me room to be creative. I was fortunate to be able to envision the space and make it happen! In the end, it was everything we had expected – and so much more. After the ceremony, the first thing I did was step into the backyard and just take it all in. It’s amazing to be in an environment, where you might be every day! To be able to see that space come to life with your vision is such an experience.