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Casual Wedding Food

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.

Casual Wedding Inspiration from Design SpongeI’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.

Hosting a backyard-style wedding is also a great opportunity to support state and local parks, like Franklin Canyon Park or Preservation Park.

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