Backyard Wedding Reception Ideas
Take the party outside and have an informal, but wonderful, celebration
By Jen Whitten
Nature lovers shouldn't feel compelled to conform to traditional wedding reception ideas and hold their wedding indoors. These days, outdoor weddings are growing in popularity, so you can bring any of your outdoor reception ideas to life without much difficulty. If you have a space that can accommodate your guests, you're well on your way to a backyard wedding.
Dress up your backyard with the season's blooms for this garden party reception. Transform a standard fence into a thing of beauty with cascading flower garlands strung from the top of the fence. Floating floral candles in bowls of water make for simple but elegant centerpieces; sprinkle flower petals on tables to tie in your theme. Food is also important for any reception. So serve a refreshing punch to accompany a variety of hors d'oeuvres and other fare, and select a cake adorned with natural or sugar flowers. Seat people at long picnic tables to create a communal but festive atmosphere. If you're having the reception at home and your neighbors aren't invited, let them know you'll be gathering so as not to disturb them, and make sure that music is not too loud.
Backyard Barbeque Reception
Use the quaintness of your backyard as an excuse to tone down the formalities of traditional weddings and allow guests to feel at home. Decorations can be as simple as checkered picnic tablecloths or as elaborate as any banquet hall reception. Brisket, kebabs, steak, chicken or any other food you desire are all possible menu elements. Consider cupcakes or a wide variety of sweets in lieu of the standard wedding cake to make the reception feel more like a backyard gathering for friends.
Hawaiian Luau Reception
Backyards with pools or ponds make excellent locations for Hawaiian-themed receptions. Ask the wedding party to give leis to each guest upon arrival, and provide them with a glass of tropical punch served in a coconut shell shaped glass -- or the real thing, if your caterer or planner can find some. String mini lights and colorful lanterns to illuminate the party, and use tiki torches at night for light and ambiance. Look to dense floral arrangements or fresh pineapple for centerpieces. Hire hula dancers to perform and teach guests the basic dance moves. If you want a full hula show, make sure your space is large enough to accommodate the dance troupe.
About the Author
Jen Whitten is a freelance writer and worked in the event and wedding planning fields.
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WEDDING DAY COORDINATOR
A coordinator employed for the day of the wedding only; responsible for the execution of the wedding ceremony and reception.View the Full Weddings Glossary