The Best Tips for an Intimate Vintage Backyard Wedding


Discover the perfect blend of nostalgia and romance with our tips for an intimate vintage backyard wedding. Let our advice inspire you to create an unforgettable day filled with timeless elegance and cherished moments.

Back in 2021 when there wasn’t a wedding venue that was open we hosted the sweetest intimate vintage backyard wedding!

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The book “Father of the Bride” which was written by Edward Streeter in 1949 was the inspiration for the 1950, 1991, and now the 2022 versions of the movie. It is this month’s Virtual Book Club Read.

We loved the 1991 movie version with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton as the bride unlike the bride in the book was named Annie and so is our oldest daughter.

For the last few years, the movie was played on repeat as we prepared for Wedding #1 and Wedding #2.

Welcome to the April Edition of the Virtual Book Club.

I along with three other bloggers will be sharing our interpretation of a different book each book on the fourth week of each month.

On Thursday we will be sharing something home decor related and on the following Saturday a culinary treat inspired by our book

Maybe you would rather listen to the audio version of these books! Join Audible and you can enjoy books on the go from your phone! This is a great way to read lots of books!

Or maybe you are a movie watcher, like me! Join Amazon Prime and get access to thousands of movies!

Our Annie had always wanted to get married on July 26th which was my parent’s wedding anniversary.  The only time that it landed on a Saturday for years was in 2021.

Our daughter and future son-in-law didn’t want to wait for their wedding day. We didn’t want them to have to miss out on a very special big day!

Unlike Stanley Banks in  “Father of the Bride”, “Handy” was in lock step with me in all of the wedding preparations. Unlike the Bank’s of the 1990 Movie, we didn’t have a wedding coordinator, florists, or caters. It was all “Handy” and me. 

We also didn’t have 250 people coming to our home!

Planning our Backyard Garden Wedding

Having hosted our own wedding and my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary in our backyard, we felt confident that we could host a beautiful wedding for our kids.

In planning this dream wedding we wanted it to be intimate and unforgettable. 

A backyard garden wedding was the perfect choice for us. 

With its natural beauty and intimate setting, a backyard garden wedding offers a unique and personal touch to a very special day.

Benefits of a Backyard Garden Wedding

One of the biggest advantages of a backyard garden wedding is the flexibility it offers. You can customize every detail of your wedding to fit your personality and style. 

You can choose the flowers, the decorations, and the seating arrangement. Being able to decide on the menu and the music, gives you complete control over your special day. 

Additionally, a backyard garden wedding can be a more affordable option compared to renting a venue, which can help you save on your wedding budget.

So, if you’re looking for a small and intimate ceremony that reflects your personality and style, a backyard garden wedding might be the perfect choice for you and you’ve come to the right place for some great ideas and tips.

Here are some benefits you can expect:

  • Affordability: Renting a venue can be expensive, but having a backyard garden wedding can be much more affordable. You won’t have to pay a rental fee, and you can save money on decorations since the natural beauty of the garden will provide a stunning backdrop.
  • Flexibility: With a backyard garden wedding, you have complete control over the schedule and timeline of your ceremony. You won’t have to worry about being kicked out of the venue at a certain time, and you can plan your ceremony and reception exactly how you want it.
  • Intimacy: Backyard garden weddings are perfect for small, intimate ceremonies with close family and friends. You won’t have to worry about accommodating a large number of guests, and you can focus on creating a meaningful and personal experience for everyone in attendance.
  • Customization: With a backyard garden wedding, you can customize every aspect of your ceremony and reception. You can choose your own vendors, create your own menu, and decorate the space exactly how you want it. This level of customization can make your wedding day feel even more special and unique.
  • Comfort: Backyard garden weddings provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for you and your guests. You won’t have to worry about formal dress codes or uncomfortable seating arrangements. Instead, you can create a casual and comfortable environment that allows everyone to relax and enjoy the celebration.

Overall, a backyard garden wedding can provide a beautiful, intimate, and affordable option for couples looking to tie the knot. With complete control over the schedule and customization, you can create a wedding day that is truly unique and special. In our case, it was the perfect solution and a wonderful way to get our kids married on the date that was so important to them.

George Banks: “I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That’s getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition.”

Considerations for a Backyard Garden Wedding

When planning a backyard garden wedding, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Here are some things to think about as you plan your special day in your outdoor venue:


One of the biggest advantages of a backyard garden wedding is the beautiful outdoor setting. However, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast and have a backup plan in case mother nature decides on rain or extreme heat. Consider renting a tent or having an indoor space available in case of inclement weather.


Make sure your backyard has enough space to accommodate your guests comfortably. Consider the size of your guest list and the layout of your backyard. You may need to rent additional tables, chairs, and other equipment to ensure everyone has a seat and enough space to move around.


If you live in a densely populated area, noise can be a concern. Make sure to check local noise ordinances and inform your neighbors about your wedding plans. Consider hiring a DJ or band that can control the volume of their music and ensure that the noise level is not disruptive to your neighbors. We made a great playlist and bought some new wireless speakers and they worked beautifully as our sound system.


Lighting is an important consideration for any outdoor wedding, particularly if your ceremony or reception will take place in the evening. Consider renting additional lighting equipment or using candles or string lights to create a romantic and intimate atmosphere. Outdoor string lights worked perfectly for us. 


Make sure to provide adequate parking for your guests. If your backyard does not have enough space for parking, consider renting a nearby parking lot or arranging for shuttle transportation to and from the wedding venue.

By considering these important factors, you can ensure that your backyard garden wedding is a beautiful and memorable event for you and your guests.

Planning a Backyard Garden Wedding

When planning a backyard garden wedding, there are a few things that you need to consider to ensure that your special day is perfect. Here are some tips to help you plan your backyard garden wedding.

Backyard Garden Wedding Checklist

  1. Check with your local government about any permits or restrictions for outdoor events.
  2. Choose a wedding date and time for your wedding that works best for you and your guests.
  3. Hire an officiant to perform the wedding ceremony
  4. Decide on the size of your wedding and create a guest list.
  5. Choose a theme and color scheme for your wedding.
  6. Hire a caterer or plan your own menu.
  7. Rent tables, chairs, linens, and any other necessary equipment.
  8. Hire a florist to create beautiful floral arrangements for your wedding.
  9. Rent a tent or other outdoor shelter in case of inclement weather.
  10. Hire a photographer and videographer to capture your special day.
  11. Create a timeline for your wedding day and share it with your vendors and wedding party.

By following this checklist, you can ensure that your backyard garden wedding is a success and that your special day is everything that you have dreamed of.

Our Backyard Wedding


Since Annie and Tommy lived in Dallas they left a lot of the preparation and planning up to us. 

I had a vision and luckily it aligned pretty much with what Annie and Tommy wanted too. A Vintage wedding theme was something that I thought would work well with our home and our gardens

We used the same color palette as most of the flowers in my gardens, pink, and white with some green. 

Our Intimate Wedding Guests

Because the whole world including the United States had been shut down, our wedding would just consist of immediate family members and the bridal party would be Annie’s Sister and Brother and Tommy’s two close friends.

There were 18 of us in total.

The Food and Drinks

We opted for steak and lobster for dinner. We did all of the cooking. I made the mashed potato casserole a few days before, We also prepped the lettuce and made the dressing for the Caesar salad in advance. We did order the wedding cake. 

Our greenhouse became the bar for cocktail hour and a nice backdrop for the neon sign that Annie had ordered long before the backyard wedding plans began. 

We served the food and drinks with a combination of new, vintage, and antique china, glassware, and silverware. We had a long banquet-style table under the tent.

The Attire

Annie chose to buy a different dress than the one she purchased for the original wedding.

She wanted something less fussy and flowy for the backyard wedding vibe. The groom’s attire was a blue suit instead of a tux.

She found the most beautiful dress on Facebook Marketplace! Yes, you heard that right.

The Flowers

We ordered flowers from a mail-order flower company that “specialized” in beautiful vintage-looking fresh flowers but when they came they were pretty much ruined. Thank goodness for our local Trader Joe’s. We were able to pick up bunches of beautiful blooms to round out our floral design. 

The arbor that Keith and I took our own vows under became the backdrop and focal point for Annie and Tommy’s vows. It sure was a trip down memory lane for us. The autumn clematis that was already covering the arbor was further enhanced with more lush florals.

“Handy Made It”

Handy” made a dance floor out of old palettes. He put it down by the river and had twinkly lights strung all around it. It was perfect for a vintage backyard wedding.

He also made a frame with two vintage doors to create a door to the wedding ceremony area. It was perfect for his grand entrance as “Father of the Bride”.


In conclusion, a backyard garden wedding is the perfect choice for a small, intimate, romantic wedding. White it was not part of the original plan, it was such a beautiful ceremony and backyard wedding reception. 

Not only does it provide a beautiful and natural setting, but it also allows for a more personalized and customizable experience. By having your wedding in your own backyard, you have the freedom to create a unique and special atmosphere that truly reflects your personality and style.

Additionally, a backyard garden wedding is often more budget-friendly than other wedding venues, as you can save money on venue fees and decorations. 

You can also choose to DIY many aspects of the wedding, such as the centerpieces and floral arrangements, which can further cut down on costs.

Another benefit of a backyard garden wedding is the convenience and comfort it provides for you and your guests. You can easily set up seating areas, a dance floor, and a reception area all in one location, making it easier for guests to move around and enjoy the festivities. Plus, with the comfort of being in a familiar and relaxed setting, you and your guests can fully enjoy the celebration without feeling rushed or stressed. We loved that we were able to spend their special day without a lot of people. 

Overall, a backyard garden wedding is a wonderful option for those looking for a more intimate, personalized, and budget-friendly wedding experience. So, if you’re considering a small and intimate wedding, why not consider having it in your own backyard?

Don’t forget to see how the other ladies in my book club were inspired by “Father of the Bride”. You can find their links below.

Peace & Love,

Photography Courtesy of Chelsey Barhorst Photography

fireworks at the end of a beautiful intimate vintage backyard wedding

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for planning a casual backyard wedding?

When planning a casual backyard wedding, keep in mind the size of your guest list and the layout of your backyard. Consider using outdoor lighting, such as string lights or lanterns, to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere. You can also use natural elements like flowers and greenery to decorate your backyard. Don’t forget to provide comfortable seating for your guests, and consider renting a tent or canopy in case of inclement weather.

What are some affordable backyard wedding rentals?

There are many affordable backyard wedding rentals available, such as tables, chairs, linens, and tableware. You can also rent a dance floor, lighting, and sound equipment to create a fun and festive atmosphere. Consider renting a portable restroom trailer to provide your guests with a comfortable and convenient restroom experience.

What should be on a backyard wedding planning checklist?

Your backyard wedding planning checklist should include items such as creating a guest list, sending out invitations, arranging for catering and beverages, renting tables and chairs, and hiring a photographer. You should also include tasks like setting up decorations, arranging for music and entertainment, and renting a tent or canopy in case of inclement weather.

How can you have a beautiful backyard wedding on a budget?

To have a beautiful backyard wedding on a budget, consider using natural elements like flowers and greenery for decorations. You can also create a DIY photo booth with props and a simple backdrop. Consider serving a signature cocktail or wine instead of a full bar, and opt for a buffet-style meal instead of a plated dinner. You can also save money by using paper goods instead of renting tableware.

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  1. Everything looks gorgeous! You did such an amazing job. Hugs to you.

    1. Thank you Renae! It was such a wonderful day. I can’t wait to do it all again someday for Emma.

  2. So many valuable tips Lynn. I will definitely be keeping them in mind as we plan our daughter’s wedding. I absolutely love your daughter’s dress and it is hard to believe she found it on Facebook marketplace. It was like it was made perfectly for her! Love all that you and Handy did especially the grand entrance! Pallets for a dance floor is brilliant. What a beautiful day you all had. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for the kind words. It actually turned out to be beyond my dreams. It was magical.

  3. Annie was a gorgeous bride, and what a magical setting for this beautiful wedding! You’ve offered so many great tips, too!

    1. I just loved having such an intimate group and sharing that time with them all to ourselves. I can’t wait to do it again for Emma (some day)

  4. Your daughter’s wedding was simply stunning. Every detail was so well thought out and it could not have been more beautiful.