Archives for July 2014

Backyard Wedding Basics Finale: Amazing Aesthetics!

Good morning friends!

This week marks the final section of our Backyard Wedding Blog Series! And get excited, because today’s post is all about making your celebration look pretty!

Last week we talked about getting all of your major rental logistics worked out. Once all your bare-bones items are secured, it is time to focus on making your backyard an enchanting wedding wonderland! You may remember our discussion on how rentals can serve as both functional and aesthetic purposes (for more on this, and the items you’ll need to get your party going, swing over to last week’s post for some spicy rental inspiration!). One of our favorite functional-aesthetic combo areas to splurge in is utilizing mismatched vintage china on your guest dinning tables– I dare you not to swoon!

View More:

At typical, non-backyard venues, event spaces tend to have somewhat of a blank canvas quality about them. With this, you can maneuver and design aspects of the space to be however you wish. But, in a space that serves as someone’s home, things can be bit more complicated. Unlike professional wedding venues, backyards often have personal and functional things all over the place! While items such as lawnmowers, gardening tools, and family belongings (let’s be honest, maybe even a little junk), might be okay to ‘live’ in someone’s backyard in everyday life, a wedding is not the place for such things. You will want to be sure your yard is as clear and clean as possible for guests (in other words, clean up your crap).

View More:

Once you have decluttered your space, you will want to make sure your lawn and garden areas are nicely landscaped. This can be as simple as mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, planting a few flowers, or cutting back overgrown branches. Oh, and don’t forget that you will want to make sure your water sprinklers are completely turned off at least one day prior to the arrival of any rented items, and stay off until they are taken off the property (because damage fees are not fun!).

resized for blog-4

Lastly, add some personal touches back into your backyard by designing and incorporating DIY projects. From signage to hanging lanterns and from building your own chuppah to creating a handmade, funky ceremony backdrop, one of the advantages to hosting a backyard wedding is that you can set these projects in place at any point prior to your day. With this kind of flexibility, you have the ability to make your soiree incredibly well-styled!

resized for blog

Undertaking a backyard wedding is no joke! But as hard as it can be (and as much money as it can take) to organize and design a ‘build-from scratch’, hand-spun event, backyard fêtes are often the most memorable, magical and gorgeous kinds of affairs. We hope this series has aided you in pulling off the perfect backyard wedding!

Maid-of-Honor Tasks and Tips!

Hello Lovely People!

View More:

moh blog maybeWe are taking a short break from our Backyard Wedding Series this week and bringing you some tips on how to be an ideal maid-of-honor! Along with choosing the dress and venue, one of the bride’s biggest decisions is selecting her go-to pal! And she will want to choose wisely, as this person will become her right-hand gal (or fella) in all things regarding her big day!

Leading up to the wedding, there are many preparations that the maid-of-honor should be involved with (time and location permitting), so take note (and don’t worry – most of these tasks are fun)! One of the maid’s initial duties is jaunting with the bride-to-be from one bridal shop to the next, ensuring she (the bride) finds not just any wedding dress, but one she truly loves and feels like a rock star in (despite what other opinions may be floating around) and also helping the bride in choosing dresses for the bridesmaids. Next, it’s time to put on the party hat! Though there is an exception to every rule, maids of honor are typically responsible for planning and hosting the bridal shower and bachelorette party, spreading the word about where the couple is registered and also taking note of all presents received for thank you notes later on. Some of the maid’s smaller (but still important) tasks include holding the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s ring during the ceremony, helping her into, out of, and fluffing/bustling the dress, and of course, delivering a personal and endearing toast about the bride!

All that to say, being a maid of honor is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility! Keep all of these tips in mind and you will be the bride’s maid in shining armor!

View More:

Backyard Wedding Basics Part 2: Rad Rentals!

Happy Friday, Party People!

Amidst the summer barbecues and picnics, today we are continuing in our backyard wedding series from the last few weeks by giving you an overview of how to set yourself up for success in terms of your rented items! Once again, the principle we have been repeating over and over (regarding locations that are not designed as a functional event space) is true when it comes to cultivating your rental list: if you don’t bring it with you, it will not be there when you need it. With that being said, there are two categories in which all rentals fall under for your backyard soiree (and some items are a part of both categories, such as lighting). The first category is what we refer to as ‘functional rentals,’ which includes all the essential items that you will need to bring your wedding to life (i.e. everything from power to creating a dance space). The second type of rented items are ‘aesthetic rentals,’ which includes items that are brought in specifically to dazzle your guests and tell the visual story of your day.

Functional Rentals


Lighting is needed to illuminate your space and make the venue glisten once the sun sets! Everyone knows that lighting is needed over the guest dining and dance areas, but some spaces are often forgotten.  For example, vital to the seamless flow and safety of your party is lighting by any path your guests or service team will need to travel, in front of the restrooms, and over the satellite kitchen and food preparation areas.

eric and annie resized-16


Any wedding that takes place at a home or historic estate must have a generator. You are going to have to trust me on this one, you simply cannot rely on power from a home as the source for all your lighting, music, catering needs and more. You do not want your power and music to shut down smack in the middle of your wedding! We strongly suggest renting a power generator to keep your celebration going all night long!

Guest Dinning Needs

Guest dining tables, cocktail tables, chairs, linens, glassware, and china… if your guests are going to need to sit on it, eat on it, drink from it or put something down on it, it has to be included on your rental list!

View More:

Miscellaneous Big Ticket Items

Last week we talked about everything you need to set up the perfect at-home bar; you will want to make sure all the tables, linens, tools and buckets mentioned there are on your rental list! To get the party going post-dinner, you will need to rent a dance floor! Also, be sure to check with your caterer to make sure everything they may need for the day is either coming with them, or included in your rental list. This could be anything from portable ovens and grills to trays and chafing dishes. Some caterers supply all of this on their own, but others will need you to rent it for them, so just be sure to communicate! One of the more important things on an at home wedding’s rental list is often a portable restroom. Residential plumbing is not set up to handle the needs of 75+ guests (or if it is, you may not want guests parading through your home to find the potty). Remember to be kind to your guests and spend a bit more on a nice portable restroom rather than a junky one! Keep in mind that these will usually need to be connected to a source for both water and power! The last item on the functional rentals list (but certainly not the least), is a fire extinguisher (be prepared!).


Aesthetic Rentals


Enhanced lighting design can add dimension and sparkle to your space! There are so many different options that can help you accomplish the perfect ‘look’ for your day. Bistro lights, twinkle lights, hanging icicles, lanterns and up-lights, each of these work both together and independently to transform your backyard into an enchanting, magical backdrop for your wedding.


Functional, Yet Fabulous

As noted above, china, linens, tables and chairs are all functional, but they can also be super fun! Upgrading from the least expensive options to vintage or glam pieces can do wonders to bring your precise aesthetic vision to life! Hem-stitch napkins, gold flatware, depression glassware, vintage mismatched china, vineyard chairs, Tuscan tables, the list of fabulous items you can choose to spruce up your party goes on and on!

table for blog (1)

Statement Pieces

Maybe you can’t afford to upgrade every functional area to create your look. A great way to add some spice to your party without going too crazy is to choose a few statement pieces or one specific area to spend money in. For example, bringing in a luxe lounge set-up or a few vintage items (such as an antique typewriter, desk, or bicycle) will cause your guests to ‘ooo’ and ‘aah’ over your sense of style and attention to detail!


Lawn Games

From big Jenga to corn hole and croquet to bocci ball, add these items to your rental list to keep your wedding light and playful!

View More:

Backyard Wedding Basics Part 1: Bring On The Bar!

Happy almost 4th of July, patriots!

Last week we shared that, over the next month, we will be giving you the tools for successfully planning and executing the perfect backyard wedding. Today we are kicking off this series by going straight to the ‘hard stuff.’ Yes, in case my poorly placed pun didn’t give it away, today we’re guiding you through setting up your bar! Let’s not beat around the bush, making sure your bar is ready-for-business is vital to keeping your guests celebrating all night long! This is true with any wedding, but with a home-based event, there is a little more to it. It is likely that although your catering team will be manning the bar, the hosts are usually responsible for supplying everything needed to keep the bar running. Because the bar is a staple to almost any event, there are some important items to remember when tackling this task. You have to get the details right the first time, as your home isn’t a restaurant or professional venue with ample liquor, glassware, ice and mixers in the back. If you don’t bring it to the party, it won’t be there when the bartenders need it.



Setting Up Your Bar

Let’s start at the beginning, with what goes behind the bar. You’ll need two tables with linens: one for the back bar (where the bartenders keep everything from liquor to glassware) and one table on risers to create the front of the bar (you don’t want your bartenders breaking their backs as they serve your guests, so the risers are important). You will want to make sure the linens go all the way to the ground so that they can hide all the business going on within the confines of the bar. Now let’s talk buckets: you will need between 5-8 of these (lined with trash bags) to store and chill all your champagne, white wine, beer and soda. You will also need trash bins and bags to dispose of all your used containers and bottles (don’t forget to recycle)! You’ll need to make sure the bar is stocked with obvious things like glassware, mixers, and liquor, but be sure not to forget the wine keys, bottle openers, cocktail shakers, strainers and garnishes. Let’s take a moment and think through what you will need at the bar if you choose to have mojitos available at your wedding (did somebody say ‘designer cocktail?’)! On top of the rum and club soda you will already have on hand for a full bar, you also need to make sure you have limes, sugar, and mint leaves. These are the ingredients needed for creating the perfect mojito, but it doesn’t stop there! Your bartenders will still need a muddler to release the mint and lime flavors into the drink (YUM!). As you can see there are a lot of details that go into crafting a single drink, so you want to make sure you have all the ingredients and tools—especially for your signature drink!




Now that you have all the ingredients and tools, we want to make sure you have enough to keep the party going! The cold hard truth of hosting a backyard wedding is that if you don’t bring it, it will not be there! Since all weddings have their own menu and guest list particularities, we aren’t able to tell you in this series exactly how much wine, beer, spirits, mixers and garnishes to have on hand. Therefore, you will want to check with your wedding planner and caterer to make sure you have enough! However, what we can give you is a heads-up on is that vodka and tequila are always the first liquors to go, so be prepared! Another factor to consider when buying wine for your event is the weather. When it’s warmer outside, people tend to drink more white varieties, whereas in cooler weather guests tend to go through more red. Although not as exciting as ‘the fun stuff’, it is also important to make sure you have enough water for your guests! Be sure to check with your caterer to see who is providing what and where it will be staged (at the bar, on tables, at a self-serve station, etc). Regardless of the setup, you do not want to run out of water! Overall, it’s better to have too much of everything than too little!



Ice Logistics

Last, but absolutely not least, another important bar component to consider is all things relating to ice! You need to know who is bringing it, when it is arriving, and how much you will need. A good rule of thumb is about 2.5 pounds per guest. Remember, you will need ice not only to chill beverages behind the bar, but also to go in water glasses at the table! When working out ice logistics there are two things you need to think through: timing and location. The delivery of your ice should go in-tandem with the arrival of your bartenders. Remember that ice melts and if no one is available to do anything with it upon delivery, it is going to be a bad scene! And once it gets to you, you need to have a plan for where all that ice is going. Ice is heavy and trails water everywhere! You will want to make sure you have designated coolers to store it until the time comes to transfer the ice to the bar (in those lined buckets we mentioned earlier) for chilling!


marisanicoleblog-2Clearly, there is a lot that goes into setting up a logistically sound bar, but if you take all our advice (from many lessons learned the hard way), you will be sure to have a kick booty bar!

Cheers friends!