A backyard celebration was a big part of our wedding. My husband’s aunt and uncle very generously helped us throw a second wedding party in their New Jersey backyard for our East Coast relatives and friends—we wound up with more guests there than at our San Francisco wedding. Dress and food were casual, kids ran around, many of us were barefoot—and everyone had a great time.
If your personality is more backyard than ballroom, you’re in good company this year. The New York Times says that casual food and a relaxed setting are the latest trend among couples who either don’t have the money for a fancier wedding—or just don’t want to look inappropriately lavish in this economy. Whatever the reason, an at-home, casual wedding is always appropriate, IMHO.
I’ve been inspired by some of the super-sweet backyard DIY weddings I’ve seen on blogs like Style Me Pretty and Design Sponge and by the real weddings I’ve been to. I remember one couple who used bowls of apples instead of flowers as their centerpieces—homey, simple and struck just the right note.
Most caterers can handle working out of your family’s kitchen or even using the garage as their makeshift kitchen. Most will take care of getting chairs and tables if you want to go that formal. Some even specialize in barbecues. Check out companies like Savory and Sweet or Thank Goodness It’s Sophia.
Those of us at Here Comes The Guide who are married did not have cookie-cutter weddings: Meredith and her husband had an intimate beach wedding (a.k.a elopement) in Half Moon Bay, Jolene wore a raspberry wedding gown; my husband and I served pizza—old-school, unfancy pizza; and Sharon and her husband had their lively reception in a dojo where the black belts in attendance took turns throwing the groom.
We imagine you want a wedding that reflects you and your intended—that is, something uniquely yours. That’s why we work hard to bring you a variety of options. We think you are smart enough to make the choices that are right for you—but just in case you need a little bolstering in your quest to resist the pressure of friends, relatives and wedding magazines, read Ten Ways to Avoid The Wedding Industrial Complex by Kathleen J. King, published by our friends over at Divine Caroline.
Then just cover your ears…. “La, la, la, la, la. Not hearing you.”
I just learned that “at traditional Persian weddings, guests may grow alarmed when the bride twice doesn’t answer when asked if she will marry the bridegroom. (He doesn’t get the yes until he presents a gift, often of coins or jewelry.)” Thank you New York Times! The Times’ recent article “Different Rules for Different Cultures: Be Prepared” goes over a few of the cultural differences that might flummox wedding guests. What should you wear to an Indian wedding or Orthodox Jewish one? What kind of dancing is permissible at a Muslim wedding?
If you’ve witnessed cross-cultural confusion or have any advice for guests who might not be familiar with your wedding traditions and etiquette, please help the rest of us out by sharing your advice. We really don’t want to embarrass ourselves.