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Decorating Your Outdoor Wedding

As the weather turns warmer, some couples do not want a traditional chapel wedding with all the formal decorations and traditions. This desire is especially popular with older couples or those planning a second marriage. The setting for these weddings can be a park, beach, hot air balloon or even a deck in a backyard garden.

One simple solution that maintains the beauty and splendor of traditional ceremonies is an outdoor wedding in your own backyard. While the setting might be casual, decorations will still be a primary concern of the couple.

Before you do anything, pick your theme and color scheme and work from there. Coordinated weddings and receptions, even those in backyard gardens, need to look not only festive, but organized around a theme or color scheme. Your theme doesn’t have to be fancy or formal, like Victorian, but can easily be a simple and beautiful free-flowing ceremony.

Check out the backyard and notice the major colors there. Do you see lots of flowers or mainly green bushes, trees and grass? Are there patches that need a little sprucing up? With a little creativity, you can transform a normal backyard into a magical wedding site.

Prior to the wedding, visit florists and choose your flowers and order any arrangements you might need. You will want an abundance of flowers to maintain the festive atmosphere.

The day before the wedding have the yard professionally mowed and raked by a trusted garden service so it will look fresh the next day. A day or two ahead of time, cover those bad patches with shredded cedar or some other colorful mulch and put a pretty pot of flowers on top of each one or plant a blooming bush as early as you can. If your backyard is contained inside a fence, decorate it with ribbons and bows that match your colors. Hide anything you don’t want to be part of your celebration behind screens, rented bushes or trees. Wrap the pots they come in with pretty foil or wrapping paper.

Wedding rental companies will deliver and pick up arbors and even gazebos for the actual ceremony. Have the gazebo delivered a few days before the wedding and decorate it with flowers and ribbons. Make sure your florist delivers your floral choices when you need them for your pre-wedding rush of decorating.

You can also rent chairs for the guest’s comfort during your ceremony and the carpet to walk down on your way to your groom waiting at the gazebo with the minister. If it is particularly hot in your part of the world, add a canopy to shield your guests from the sun to your list of rentals.

You reception can be held in an open-sided white tent decorated with tables draped in white tablecloths and holding baskets of flowers and candles. If your reception is at night, hurricane lamps might be a better choice than candles because the nightly breeze won’t blow them out. Outside lighting in the yard will be necessary for safety. Use netting if mosquitoes are a problem.

Many outdoor weddings have an outhouse delivered for guests to use. Don’t forget to decorate it. Rent another arbor, decorate it and place it in front of the outhouse. Place a large, colorful ribbon bow on the door. Inside, add a few sprigs of flowers in the corners or some silver wedding bells.

Finally, make sure whatever music you have chosen for your reception and your wedding, can be heard by your guests. If you hire a DJ or band, discuss volume with them. You need it to be pleasing in the background during the reception and just loud enough to be heard by your guests and at the gazebo, but not so loud your neighbors call the cops. That problem could be avoided by inviting them to your backyard wedding.

These decorating suggestions should give you a starting place. Use your own creativity and make your backyard wedding be something you will remember everytime you look out your kitchen window or sit on your deck.

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