16 Backyard Wedding Ideas To Transform Your Yard Into A Wedding Venue

backyard weddingHaving an intimate backyard wedding offers many advantages. However, there are also disadvantages. You can make the largest yard into a memorable experience. Let us help you plan your backyard wedding with the below 16 tips to transform your yard.

  1. Be sure to have great looking green grass. Bring in new sod if need be. Just as guests expect lavishing reception venues, they will also expect lavishing green grass. Do remember to let grass grow under any portable buildings that will be moved. If you have enough time (two months), reseed. Don’t forget to mow the grass a couple days before the wedding too.
  2. Measure the yard and verify the maximum number of guests that will fit comfortably in it. A good rule is eight square feet for a seated ceremony and four square feet for a standing ceremony. For receptions, a good rule is to stay with eight square feet. However, don’t forget about tables for gifts, the cake and entertainment. The dance floor will also need to be considered.
  3. People love to see flowers in bloom. Check with your local nursery and have plants that will be blooming at the time of your wedding. Think about flowers that may attract insects and bees to pollinate. You don’t want mass hysteria from the bugs. The nursery will also help as to when to plant!
  4. A fresh coat of paint works wonders. Go to your local hardware or paint store and pick out outdoor friendly paint. Look at bringing old sheds, fences, picnic tables and anything else that may need spicing up.
  5. Is there something unattractive in the yard? Consider covering it up with homemade signs, banners, streamers, and ribbons.
  6. Please address the neighbors before the big day. Close neighbors you may consider inviting to the wedding. Others you will want to tell about the event with a home-baked pie so they stay calm during the dancing hours. Check with your local authorities and know the noise ordinances. Also talk to them about getting permission for guest parking in front of their homes and/or driveways.
  7. Carefully examine the condition of walkways like sidewalks, stairs, deck, porch, driveways, and paths. Would you be able to comfortably walk in high heels in these areas? Repair any places with enough time to cure. Roots popping out of the ground and uneven ground will also need to be addressed. Be sure that all structures are up to code and no one will get hurt from broken banisters. It may be best to seal the driveway as it will be a big focal point for parking and walking (one month before the wedding).
  8. Weather happens to be unpredictable. Be sure to have a backup plan. Do you need to reserve a tent or purchase umbrellas or have blankets and mittens ready at hand?
  9. If the homeowner does not want to have the upkeep of lots of new plants after your wedding, consider potted plants that can be given away as favors the week after the wedding. You can even get potted flowers at your local nursery too.
  10. If you are having kids at your wedding, what can they get into or hurt themselves on or keep everyone’s attention instead of on you.
  11. We recommend speaking to a local electrician to verify the home can handle the electrical needs of the wedding. Will you need to add generators for your power needs for entertainment and lighting? Another contractor to have ready will be a plumber. Just in case the toilets get backed-up.
  12. One of the downfalls of having an outdoor wedding is the possibility of bugs. Consider hiring a an exterminator to rid roaches, ants, wasps, bees or any other animals that are common in your area.
  13. One of the best ideas we love is to have a piece of furniture. Go to yard sales, garage sales and swap meets. Look for furniture you can spruce up to turn into usable tables, bars, alter and other elements for the ceremony or reception. You an even create your own lounge area. Whatever fits the theme of your wedding.
  14. Are you having a small, intimate wedding without entertainment? We like the idea of adding a few wind chimes (out of the reach of children), bells or playing music from a small iPod operated speaker system.
  15. First impressions are everything. Do whatever it takes to WOW guests as they arrive you your wedding. A sign saying “Wedding Here” just won’t cut it. Entrance archways, line walkways with lights or decorations, or light strings showing them the way.
  16. If the backyard has a pool, be sure it has the clear blue water look. You can also add floating candles and/or for an elegant aura.
33 bride questions

33 Questions Brides Must Ask Themselves

Questions Brides Must AskEvery bride planning a wedding cannot comprehend all aspects of a wedding. Below is a list of 33 questions to think about while planning a wedding.

Questions brides must ask include funny, fun and serious.

  1. Will you and your spouse sleep apart the night before the wedding?
  2. Will a family member or friend do up your hair for the wedding?
  3. Will you include an heirloom into your attire for something old?
  4. Will you wear something blue? Sew it onto the dress, toe ring, incorporate into the flowers, or add to hair piece?
  5. If your bridesmaid gets out of control, are you willing to fire her?
  6. Will you donate any cost of the wedding to charity rather than spending it?
  7. Will you have a joint bachelor/bachelorette party?
  8. Who will you bring with you to pick out your dress? Mother, Mother-in-Law, BFF?
  9. Will you get highlights before the wedding?
  10. Would you let your hair down for two different looks at the wedding reception?
  11. What’s the worst part being a bridesmaid – the expense or the tasks?
  12. Will you allow your bridesmaids select their own dress?
  13. What do you want at your bachelorette party? Champaign, sash, tiara, games, shots?
  14. If you could cut costs in half, would you get married on a Sunday?
  15. Do you plan to give the groom a present the day of the wedding?
  16. Will you be wearing your wedding shoes to work the week before the wedding to break them in?
  17. Do you plan to give the DJ a “Do Not Play List”?
  18. Will you be asking anyone for help in paying for the wedding?
  19. Do you plan to freeze the top tier of the wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary?
  20. Do you plan on seeing each other the day of the wedding? Will you get blindfolded pictures the day of the wedding or on opposite sides of a door?
  21. Will you have a signature cocktail at the reception?
  22. Do you plan to write your own vows?
  23. What vehicle will be your getaway car? Friends and family know your car – will you have a backup plan if it is not drivable?
  24. Does your budget have an allowance for those unexpected expenses?
  25. Will you have engagement photos taken?
  26. If and who will be your flower girl(s) and ring bearer?
  27. Will you have a choreographed dance including the first dance?
  28. What will you put in your “snack bag” for the day of the wedding to be sure you eat something throughout the day?
  29. What time is the best time everyone leaves to get to your wedding on-time even when considering traffic issues?
  30. Will you have an inspiration board at home and online?
  31. Will you create a joint account to pay for wedding expenses and start bringing banking accounts together?
  32. Will you have a separate honeymoon registry?
  33. Group dances can fill dance floors. Will you have guests doing the chicken dance, electric slide or cha cha slide?
table number ideas

12 Offbeat Wedding Table Number Ideas

Wedding table numbers are a great way at receptions to designate guests to a specific table to sit. Table numbers do not specify which seat guests are to sit. Guest still have the option to sit next to whomever they wish at the table. Below are 12 wedding table number ideas.

table number ideasOne suggestion we can make when selecting objects for wedding reception table numbers is to think of objects that already have numbers on them!

Wedding table numbers are a great way to show your personality and design. Check out our list of offbeat wedding table ideas and see if we can spark an interest to be creative at your own wedding reception.

12 Wedding Table Number Ideas

  1. Every N.A.S.C.A.R. driver has their own specific number. You can have die cut numbered cars or even Hot Wheels cars have numbers too. Another option would be to have framed pictures of numbered cars on the track for each table.
  2. Want to place your odds that framed playing cards are a good idea for table numbers? You can even make your own to include your own wedding colors. Be sure the wedding party table is the queen of hearts!
  3. There are very artsy and creative numbers available for purchase individually. Whether it be home address numbers, large neon sign numbers or custom-made numbers on Etsy.
  4. Are you and your spouse big sports fans? You can have numbers on your favorite sports jerseys. The jerseys can be framed images made from your image software.
  5. Can you tell what time it is? Find less expensive or very extravagant clocks that are stopped at the time of the table number. However, you will be limited to twelve tables with this idea.
  6. With the use of spray-on chalkboard, many objects can be used as table numbers with chalk. You can spray champagne bottles, pint beer bottles, jars, vases, and much more.
  7. Going off of the idea of chalkboard paint, the same can be said for numbered stickers. Numbered stickers can be placed on beer growlers, vases, plaques, and homemade signs.
  8. Another great place for numbers is in books. Copy book chapter number pages and save them to your computer. Then, pretty it up on your computer’s image software or import the image into an online image software site like PicMonkey to be more creative in the finished product. If you want a classic look, copy the pages onto vintage paper.
  9. If you have an eclectic wedding, consider having pool table balls for table numbers. If you don’t want the mixture of colors, you can paint each ball and get numbered stickers to place them on the painted balls.
  10. An unique idea for an upscale wedding is to use a form of Roman numerals. You can purchase wooden Roman numerals at your local craft store and decorate them to match your wedding decor. You can also frame images of Roman numerals.
  11. A very offbeat table number without spending too much “money” would be to frame real money. We are not suggesting using dollar bills unless you have the room on your tables for big frames. Each bill must be in full view. However, you can have fun and make change add up to your table number. You can include currency that is not seen on a regular basis like two dollar bills, half dollars and Susan B. Anthony coins. You can also keep it simple by painting pennies to match your wedding colors and frame the number of pennies to match the table numbers (or leave them in original state).
  12. Use Scrabble tiles to spell out actual numbers or clever words. You can glue the Scrabble tiles onto any surface to match your decor.
las vegas sign

Las Vegas Wedding Packages – 20 Things You Must Know

Las Vegas Wedding PackagesWhen planning a destination wedding in Las Vegas, the easiest way to pay for and plan the wedding is to purchase a Las Vegas Wedding Package. Wedding packages can vary from all-inclusive round trip to all-inclusive packages offered by venues. Before purchasing a wedding package there are items you may want to negotiate into the final package price. Do not sign on the dotted line before reviewing our list.

25 things to ask for in Las Vegas wedding packages

  1. Transportation to and from the airport. The mega Strip resorts have free airport shuttles. However, maybe you want a chauffeur with your name on a sign waiting for you at baggage claim to whisk you away in a limo with champaign and strawberries. What about limo service to the wedding venue and errands around town.
  2. Attire rentals can be included in the wedding package. You can rent your wedding dress and the groom’s tuxedo. Just go to your local dress shop and tuxedo shop for measurements and give that to your wedding planner to have everything ready for you upon arrival.
  3. Travel expenses to Vegas and back home. Traveling may include car rental, airline tickets, parking fees and gas money.
  4. Room reservations are a must. Do you want a master suite or a cozy bungalow? In Vegas you can spend as much or as little as the budget allows.
  5. Wedding locations – where will the ceremony and reception be held? You can have a Harley-Davidson motorcycle wedding or married by Elvis with your name in lights.
  6. Don’t forget the wedding vendors like photographers, videographers, food providers, music entertainment, wedding cake supplier and flower shop. Check out our wedding budget for a list of standard expenses for your reference.
  7. Transportation to and from the marriage bureau as marriage licenses must be purchased in person!
  8. las vegas signTransportation to photography hot spots on your wedding night! Vegas never sleeps and neither should you the day of your wedding. Get your wedding party pictures in from of the Bellagio fountains, the word famous Las Vegas sign, and during the day with Red Rock mountains in the background.
  9. Many venues in Las Vegas are equipped to broadcast your wedding ceremony on the Internet for guests who are unable to make your special day. Venues typically include this in the price. Do not pay extra for this feature!
  10. Get specifics on tipping. The town of Las Vegas is a town that lives on tips. Many times tips are expected. Talk with your wedding planner and set tip envelopes aside – unless you want to carry around a wad of cash.
  11. We mentioned your photographer above. More importantly, what photograph package is included? Are the pictures a la carte? A la carte will be MUCH more expensive than a pre-planned package.
  12. With more than one-hundred thousand wedding in Las Vegas every year, time is money. Keep in mind that the more time you are at a location, the more money. Many ocular facilities can have multiple weddings in a single day.
  13. You must plan on where you plan to get ready for the wedding. Does the venue have a dressing room? You don’t want to be putting your make-up on in the bathroom as the processional music starts.
  14. Read the fine print of the contract. How much is the deposit? Is the deposit refundable in-case of an act of God or a change of mind? What if everyone is have a great time at the reception and you want to stay an extra hour? What is the time overage charge?
  15. There is a 8.1% sales tax in Las Vegas. Are there any charges that do not have the tax included that should?
  16. What if your niece Krista decides to bring a date? What is the charge for each additional person in attendance? What is the max capacity of your venues?
  17. For the reception, what type of bar is included in the price? Is the bar wine and non-alcoholic beverages only? How long will the bar be open and are waiters included?
  18. Maps always help you and your guests get their bearings. Be sure to have a map of the resort as even a Vegas local can get lost with all the gaming lights flashing. What is the fee to have maps made and provided at time of arrival?
  19. Can you get a discount with booking a block of rooms for family and friends? What is the tiered discount by the number of rooms booked? Negotiate!
  20. Lastly, take the advice from a Vegas local who also got married here. Actually, Sharon and I pushed our wedding out to Boulder City as we thought we were saving money. However, with the great deals on Las Vegas wedding packages offered, we would have saved money with one of the all-inclusive packages offered these days. Be sure to look for deals too! Shop around and talk to one of the many local wedding planners. This way you will have the advantage of an unbiased opinion of locations to fit your style and budget.
10 wedding first dance songs

10 Wedding First Dance Songs Not Overplayed

10 wedding first dance songsWhen seeking a wedding first dance song, our hope is that you have a special song between you and your future spouse. That should definitely be your first dance song. If the song really doesn’t fit into the theme of the wedding, have the master of ceremonies explain why it is your special song – was it playing the night you met, was the song playing during your first kiss. No matter how odd or unusual the song is to be played at weddings, all that should matter is that it is a special song for YOU.

Next, think about how often songs are played at weddings as to whether you want your special song to be the same song as millions and millions of other people. Again, if the song has special meaning to you, who cares? However, if you are looking for a song that is not overplayed at weddings, consider one of the 10 wedding first dance songs below.

Never Stop (Wedding Version) – Safetysuit
January 2012, Pop Rock

Our Song – Ron Pope
March 2011, Alternative Rock

I Can’t Wait (Be My Wife) – Ben Rue
April 2014, Country

Endlessly – Green River Ordinance
February 2009, Rock

She Is Love – Parachute
August 2009, Rock

Your Guardian Angel – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
May 2007, Alternative Rock

100 Years – Five For Fighting
October 2004, Rock

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
October 2011, Pop Rock

The Luckiest – Ben Folds
September 2001, Pop Rock

A Drop In The Ocean – Ron Pope
November 2007, Pop Rock

For a complete list of wedding first dance songs, take a look at our top 110 First Dance Songs.

10 Wedding Website Ideas

10 Wedding Website Ideas for a Better Site

10 Wedding Website IdeasHaving a wedding website is a great idea for busy brides and grooms planning their weddings.Wedding Websites will give details of the wedding day and even weekend events. Here are 10 wedding website ideas to not only help you but also your guests.

  • Our favorite use for your wedding website is for tracking R.S.V.P.s from family and friends who you have emailed wedding invitations. In these mobile Internet times, many people do not take the time to mail invitation responses. That would require a stamp?! Bridal couples can give a link to their wedding website to supply guests’ R.S.V.P.s.
  • Maps! We suggest creating a custom local area map that include points of interest along with the mandatory ceremony and reception locations. Upload the map(s) as an image if the wedding website provider does not offer downloadable files. Then, guests would still be able to right click on the image and download it to their computer/tablet/phone.
  • Be sure to get a customized domain name. How is the link going to look on the invitation as www.samplesite.com/yourspecialweddingwebsite/ourweddingwebsite.html? A custom domain name could be smithjoneswedding2014.com. If by chance you are not able to get a custom domain name, be sure to use a service like bitly.com for a short link redirect.
  • A great idea for out-of-town guests visiting your wedding website is to have local hotel options that both near the festivities locations or near family members’ homes. Be sure to include addresses and contact information.
  • We will leave out off the list obvious choices like dates and times. However, we will include ideas like custom registry ideas. Everyone can have links to their online registries like Target, Amazon and so on. However, for the couples who marry later in life or saving for a new home or honeymoon fund, consider having a custom registry on your wedding website for cash donations.
  • Social Links! We are not talking about your own personal accounts. Create your own wedding profiles on sites like Instagram and Pinterest. For example, get a profile on Pinterest under the user smithjoneswed. Then, pin all your favorites wedding style likes so that wedding vendors will get an idea of what you expect your wedding to be. Then, create a custom Instagram account to send all guests to to post pictures from your wedding. The best part is your custom wedding email and social sites can be deleted at any time.
  • One of our favorite ideas is that many wedding website templates also offer in matching stationery such as invitations, save-the-dates and thank you cards. Awesome how it will all have the same theme!
  • If you feel ambitious and want a custom wedding website, consider a user-friendly website creating software. Wedding websites can be created on sites such as Wix.com, Weebly.com, Squarespace.com, and Weebly.com. Take a look at their features before buying and how much work will really have to go into it to get the desired final result.
  • Know your wedding website privacy. Almost all wedding websites are viewed by the world. Do you want the world to see your website? Just because a site is password protected does not mean it is protected from spiders. Be sure to get examples of other password protected website URLs and search for them on Google and Bing just to be sure the search engines will not show your wedding day details.
  • Final tips. Pay for your domain and website at least one month past your wedding and be sure to note when to cancel. How long will your website be published? Start designing as early as possible so you can have a link on your save-the-dates.
personalize reception

10 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Reception

personalize reception
Today’s bride wants her wedding like no other wedding. For that matter, who would? You would want your wedding to show your love for each other and also show your own personality. Here are 15 ways to personalize your wedding reception.

  1. Love watching movies together as a “date night”? Consider having a vintage popcorn maker to serve kettle corn popcorn.
  2. For the eco-friendly bride, consider sapling wedding favors. Guests can plant them and think of you season after season.
  3. Create a wedding photo table of other family member’s wedding pictures. You can also include friends’ wedding pictures. A great touch would be to have vintage picture frames holding wedding pictures of your family members that have passed – like great-great-grandparents.
  4. Have guests sign a unique guest book. Check out our Gutsy Guest Book pins on Pinterest for great guest book ideas.
  5. It is said that every bride gets her wedding cake. Grooms can also have their custom groom cake. Who’s to say the bride cannot have her personal cake too? Just make sure the wedding cake is not very big if 3 custom cakes are ordered.
  6. Love the idea of having a kids area at the wedding reception. Cover the table in rolled paper for coloring with markers and crayons. Be sure to include the Bride and Groom’s favorite childhood toys like Matchbox cars, board games, Legos, stuffed animals, and whatever else is a favorite.
  7. At one time it was quite popular to call radio stations and make song dedications. So can be done at the wedding reception. You can make pre-determined song dedications for special guests or family members. Be sure to speak with the music entertainment as to the most appropriate time to play the dedications as to not interrupt the flow of the night.
  8. The number one easiest way to personalize your wedding reception is though the wedding favors. Love camping, offer s’mores kits. Love music, offer custom flash drives with your digital wedding music. Love to bake, offer homemade cookie kits. Have a green thumb, offer take home succulents. Your options are endless.
  9. Having a late night reception? Consider bringing in an after-party snack. Customize to your style of event. Options include sliders, pizza, tacos, sushi, doughnuts, and whatever else that will soak up the alcohol.
  10. Last but not least is the bride and groom attire. Personalized attire include the following: adding color to the all white wedding dress, your shoes, the flowers selected for the boutonniere and bouquet, choices for old-new-borrowed-blue, and the lasting style of your photography.