Thinking about doing something crazy...

My mother has a big, beautifully landscaped yard, and we're giving serious consideration to holding our reception there.  She's literally spent years lovingly creating beautiful gardens and I can't help but think about bringing in a big white tent with twinkle lights, renting a dance floor, bringing in caterers, etc etc.

We're booking Zach Dauphinais as our DJ and he has availability on 2 Saturdays this coming May.  We're thinking about moving up our date.

Am I crazy?  A complete lunatic?  It's only July.. I still have time to get a dress, right?

Please tell me what you think of this.
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Re: Thinking about doing something crazy...

  • Vanessa630Vanessa630 member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Hmmm I don't have much experience with this at all (I just keep thinking Father of the Bride haha).  How many people are you planning on inviting?  Do you have a plan for what you would do for parking?  I can't remember- did you have another venue in mind?
    I don't think moving up your date would be crazy.  Like you said, you probably have to get a dress soon.
    I think that if this is something you want to do, it's definitely doable.  In the end, I don't know how much money you would save, but it sounds like it'd be really special to you. I'd be nervous about the weather but I guess that's the case with any outdoor reception. 

    Good luck!!
  • edited December 2011
    I say "of course!"  I do think you have time to get a dress. My wedding is next June and I just got my dress a few weeks ago. They told me that I actually ordered from a designer who is pretty quick (the designer is Enzoani) so I am actually ahead of the game, and my dress may arrive as early as November. I would recommend that you start dress shopping ASAP, but I don't think you are under the gun with dress shopping. You probably want to start now though...

    And I know plenty of brides who have planned a wedding in 6 to 9 just have to be organized with your planning, and you have to be understanding of some vendors who may already be booked up for May. So you have to be flexible enough to walk away from your "favorite" vendor if they aren't available, and continue searchinng for other vendors who are available on shorter notice. If you're good with all of this, I say go for it! Sounds beautiful! And another perk of a backyard wedding is that you really have full control over the decor....happy planning!
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  • edited December 2011

    Did you talk to your mom about this yet? What does she think? Also, I would keep in mind parking, space, is there sufficient restroom facilities? Will you have to take out some special insurance for the event?

    As for time, my cousin planned her May 2011 wedding after getting engaged on 12/25/10, so it's definately possible, just be prepared to do research in case you can't get your first choice vendor.

    Those things in mind, if it will make your day and it's possible, DO IT!

  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011
    I think you have plenty of time.  My concern would be logistical issues:

    And then there's budget for bringing everything onto the yard.  That is most likely going to be more expensive than using any other all in one venue (like a hotel), or even a regular venue that is just a naked rental (like Harkness).  You're going to have to itemize each and every item that you rent instead of just telling your venue you want white napkins for example.

    And beyond that, May can be lovely.  It can also be really hot, really cold or really rainy.  Do you have a game plan for any of those things?  Can you rent heaters in case it's too cold?  What about air conditioners if it's too hot?  How does the land handle a lot of rain? 

    And yes - you'd definitely want to find out if your mother is cool with this plus she'd need to buy some liability insurance for the day for an event like that. 
  • edited December 2011
    Did you already put deposits on the venue for November? As long as you are not losing $, go for it!
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  • edited December 2011
    I think it's an awesome idea and this could be the most beautiful wedding you've ever seen. Maybe look into hiring a planner to take some of the stress off of you. There probably are tons of things that you're not considering to make this plan happen but none the less, its an awesome idea!
  • calindicalindi member
    5000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    As long as your Mom is okay with her prized garden being really beaten down and possibly destroyed in some places (grass torn up, dead grass under the floor, etc.) then I'd say it would be a great place - personal and beautiful!  Just make sure she knows what she's getting into and is okay with it!

    Tent and floor and table and chair rentals can get VERY expensive.  And you'll also need porta-potties since it's very unlikely your Mom's plumbing can support all those people (unless you're only having like 40 guests, in which case, there still might be a line).  Porta-potties are also VERY expensive and getting nice ones is SUPER expensive.  Plus most people don't picture porta-potties being part of their big day.  Just something to consider!  Also, caterers would likely have to bring in their own portable kitchen since a normal domestic kitchen isn't big enough.  So it would likely be re-heat only, which means the food wouldn't be quite as fresh out of the oven and might not be the perfect temperature.

    As long as you're aware what you're getting into and are okay with the compromises, then it's a great option, like I said.  I would have done it in a heartbeat if my parents had the space!  It's just a bit more complicated and sometimes way more expensive.



  • SuMmErKuTiESuMmErKuTiE member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    As long as you're not losing money and your mom will be ok with it, then I'd say definitely go for it! After being engaged for 16 months, if we had the option to move it up several months, we would have jumped at the chance!

    One of my friends did a backyard wedding at her uncles house last summer and it was beautiful. She also planned it in less than a year. I think she started planning in November of 2009 and got married in August 2010. So about 9 months.. they rented chairs for the ceremony and got married under a beautiful pergola with a view of the pool in front of the woods, and then they had the cocktail hour over by the pool, and moved over to the big tent for the reception.

  • Mandafly84Mandafly84 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Thank you all so much for the responses!  I should have included some important details...

    -I have not put down any deposits for any venues, so I'm in the clear there.

    -My mom LOVES the idea of hosting the reception at her house.  I should also clarify that the gardens are situated around the perimiter of the property.

    -My mom's house is less than 1/4 mile from the church we plan on being married in.  I'd like to request permission for our guests to leave their cars there, and then rent shuttles.  If the church declines, there's also a school nearby I could ask permission from.

    I also have no problem renting heaters/portapotties, etc.  I'm not entirely sure what I'd do in the event of a torrential downpour.  Hmm.  We'll have to think about that.  And we're trying to keep the guest list (relatively) small, around 85 people.  Close friends and family only.

    I'm feeling better about this... thank you!!
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  • edited December 2011
    Sounds like you've got it mostly covered already. I think you can do this no problem. I didn't buy my dress until 10 months before my wedding & it worked out great. (the bridal shop I went to is actully just had a $99 sale - Stylez for the Ailse in East Windsor, I think the extended it, you can always ask!). As far as port-a-poties go, they have fancy ones that are like mobile multi-stall bathrooms, with mirrors and a sitting area and everything!  I think it's an awesome idea.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think a wedding at home is a beautiful thing. I wish we had the space to do it! Go for it; just know that you will need to buy insurance for the day. God forbid that something happened, you wouldn't want your mom's homeowner's having to pick it up!
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