While weddings are traditionally in the evening, we’re seeing more and more couples break the wedding norms and host a day that’s personalized to them. For many, this means hosting the brunch wedding of their dreams, complete with pancakes and waffles, mimosas, and garden views. If this is something that you’re interested in but you’re not sure how to pull it all together, you’re in luck. We’re rounding up brunch wedding ideas that are sure to be a hit for your early celebration.
Worried about guests going hungry before the reception? Before your guests take their seats, warm their hearts and their stomachs with hot cocoa or coffee and assorted fresh pastries. They’ll thank you later–especially if your ceremony is on the longer side.
Host It Outdoors
When we think of brunch weddings, we think of spring. And with spring comes beautiful weather. If you’re hosting a daytime affair, turn it into a garden party with flowers galore.
Coffee Pouring Unity Ceremony
Nothing says brunch more than coffee. Instead of the traditional sand-pouring or candle-lighting unity ceremony, incorporate the breakfast beverage into the ceremony by making a perfect cup of coffee together at the altar while you exchange vows.
Put Together A Playlist
Because daytime weddings are typically a bit more laidback, you don’t have to worry about having the perfect DJ to keep everyone on the dance floor all night long. Because of this, you can save a little extra money by creating your own playlist full of upbeat, happy music that guests will enjoy while sipping on their breakfast cocktails.
Organize An After Party
If you have guests flying in for your big day, keep the celebration going after the wedding ends. Whether you hit the beach, embark on a hike, lounge by the pool of your Airbnb, or organize a dinner, hosting an after-party will keep the party going even after your wedding ends.
While we support going all out for your brunch wedding look, you may find that a wedding gown is a little much for your low-key day. Instead, try a little white dress with an extra something special–like sparkles, fringe, or ruffles. If a long gown is more your style, look for something lightweight and bohemian for a more casual look.
Since a brunch wedding is on the more casual side, a groom and his groomsmen don’t need to suit up in full tuxes to say “I do.” For a day wedding, we recommend choosing a blazer and slacks in a lighter color–such as beige, sage green, dusty blue, or pink–and fabric–like a linen or cotton blend.
Instead of dressing your wedding party in traditional bridesmaid dresses, welcome them to choose a floral or pastel dress they’d wear to a regular girl’s day out. Chances are they already have something in their closet, but if not, they’ll love the excuse to add a new dress to their collection.
Instead of hiring a bartender for your reception, bring in an expert barista to make custom lattes, cappuccinos, and more for your guests. We love the idea of hiring one of your favorite local coffee shops to help cater. Bonus if your barista is a latte-art pro, too!
Make Your Own Mimosas
No brunch wedding is complete without mimosas. Because there are so many incredible juice options out there, hosting a mimosa bar where guests can choose their favorites (pineapple, orange, cranberry, mango, etc.) is a must. And it gives you the perfect chance to decorate your reception with fun signage and glassware.
Bloody Mary Bar
The best part about drinking a Bloody Mary is the concoction of extras you can put in your drink. From olives to citrus fruits to bacon, help your guests create the Bloody Mary of their wildest dreams with an open bar of delicious add-ons.
In lieu of traditional wedding reception appetizers, surprise guests with the sweet treat of French toast sticks and syrup dippers.
Main Dish: Build-a-Breakfast
Love pancakes and waffles? Omelets? Breakfast tacos? Of course, you do. And we’re sure your guests do too. To maximize your breakfast potential, let your guests create their own sweet or savory breakfast with a variety of toppings for the dishes of their choice.
Dessert: Donut Tower
We’re all for eating cake for breakfast, but if you want to ditch the idea of a wedding cake, consider having a donut tower instead.
Speaking of the sun, a morning wedding means it may be extra bright out for your guests who want to be able to see you say “I do.” Help them shade their eyes in style with a cute pair of sunnies when they take their seats.
Loving these brunch wedding ideas but still not sure if it’s the right decision for you and your partner? Check out these 7 reasons why a brunch wedding might be right for you!
A special connection to the city and their shared love for travel and adventure led Thi and Kevin to choose a Rome elopement. From the monumental architecture and the cobblestone streets to the iconic piazzas and fountains, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they chose the Eternal City as the backdrop for their happily ever after.
The two started the day soaking in the city’s rich culture and history and exchanged private vows in the middle of it all. After tying the knot, they embarked on a romantic stroll through the winding streets of Rome and took in all the sights and sounds. They visited the famous Colosseum and the Trevi fountain and stopped for coffee and gelato along the way.
This couple certainly chose one of the most beautiful spots in the world to toast to their love and start their new life together! And thankfully, Lilly Wilson Photography captured every heartfelt moment and captivating detail of this unforgettable celebration for two. So get your hearts ready. We guarantee you will fall in love with these photos.
Thi and Kevin
Why They Decided On A Rome Elopement
We chose to elope in Rome because Kevin is of Italian descent, and I studied Ancient Roman history for my undergraduate degree. One of the most important things for our elopement was to keep it simple, lighthearted, and intimate. We were able to blend together quiet, intimate moments (like our three-person ceremony) with fun moments (sight-seeing Rome’s hidden spots or getting cheered on by strangers throughout our day).
Advice: Stick To Your Priorities And Find Vendors Who Align With Your Vision
Our advice is to figure out first what’s really important to you and your partner and stick to that and not let the priorities of others dictate your day too much. Also, find a photographer with whom you trust and share a common vision. This also applies when choosing a wedding planner if you can afford one.
Congratulations to Kevin and Thi on their breathtaking Rome elopement. And a big thank you to Lilly Wilson Photography for capturing all the beautiful moments the couple will cherish for the rest of their lives.
From the incredible architecture and delectable cuisine to stunning coastlines and vineyards galore, it is no surprise that many couples look to tie the knot in Italy. Whether you are looking to elope just the two of you or have a grand celebration with your loved ones, check out our guide for everything you need to know about getting married in one of the most beautiful countries on Earth!
A backyard wedding is perfect for couples who want a uniquely sentimental feel, love to be outdoors, or want their dream wedding on a budget. There are so many benefits to a backyard wedding–including cost and convenience–but with those benefits come a few extra details you need to keep in mind and situations you need to plan for.
To keep you on track, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about planning a backyard wedding, from logistics to design.
Benefits of a Backyard Wedding
Furry Friends Are Invited
A backyard wedding gives you the perfect excuse to include your pets in your big day! You don’t need to clear it with a venue or pay a deposit, your furry friend doesn’t need to stress over travel, and they can head back inside when they’re finished partying with your guests.
When you decide to have a backyard wedding at a family member’s or friend’s home, you automatically slash your wedding budget dramatically because you aren’t paying for a venue, security deposits, per-person fees, and all the other hidden charges that go along with it. You can also save money on decor since you’ll have the natural elements to add visual interest. Yes, you’ll likely need to rent almost everything else, but those rentals will not outweigh the cost of a venue.
Dates Are Flexible
This might seem like a small thing but having complete freedom to choose a date that works best for you and your fiance is actually a huge benefit of a backyard wedding. It’s especially helpful if you want to get married during peak wedding season when venues book up at least a year in advance.
You Can Have An Intimate Guests List
Because a backyard wedding tends to be naturally more intimate than a wedding at a traditional venue, this is the perfect reason to keep your guest list small. If you’re nervous about how your families will react to a small guest list, remind them that space is the main limiting factor in your decision. Unless you’re getting married in the backyard of a multi-acre mansion, there simply won’t be enough space to accommodate a huge guest list. (But, really, you don’t need to feel guilty about your wedding guest list, no matter where you decide to tie the knot.)
There is nothing like saying “I do” in the backyard where you played as a child or getting ready in the room where you grew up. The sentimental factor of a backyard wedding can’t be recreated at any other venue and shouldn’t be underestimated. You and your guests will feel more comfortable in a space that feels like home and it will be a special memory your family and friends will cherish forever.
Between the extra lighting, the sound system, and the food prep equipment, you’re going to be using a lot more power than most homes can handle. To ensure you don’t blow a fuse or put the entire neighborhood at risk of an outage, rent generators to accommodate the extra power you’ll need.
After you check with your caterer to find out what equipment they’ll be using and your DJ to find out how much power their setup needs, ask your wedding planner and the generator rental company for help in choosing the power sources that will fit your needs.
If your guest list is larger than 20 people, you will need to provide additional toilet facilities. There are so many options for upscale portable toilet trailers that provide a comfortable experience, including lighting, mirrors, sinks, and–most importantly– more space than traditional port-o-potties. You can even add a personal touch by adding a small amenities kit to each bathroom with breath fresheners, Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, cotton balls, and safety pins.
Trust us, this will save a lot of headaches because you won’t have everyone walking through the house and you won’t have to fix an over-used bathroom system.
Yard Maintenance And Setup
You’ll want to plan yard maintenance in advance to give plants time to fill out, flowers to bloom, and space to be cleared, if necessary. You might even consider hiring a landscaper to take care of all the design and maintenance so it’s one less thing on your to-do list. At the very least, you’ll need to cut the grass a few days before the wedding.
One thing you absolutely can’t forget to check is that the ground is level enough for chairs, tables, and a dance floor. If you’re renting a tent, their professional team will be able to check and let you know if they need to lay a foundation so the dance floor is level. If you’re not renting a tent, a landscaper should be able to check.
As much as you don’t want to think about anything bad happening on your special day, it’s better to be safe than sorry if an accident does happen. Contact your homeowner’s insurance to see what is covered, such as property damage inside or outside the house. Then contact your vendors to find out what insurance they carry. You may have to purchase supplemental insurance, but your vendors’ insurance might also provide enough coverage for certain areas–such as bartenders.
Before you get too far into booking vendors, you must check with your city officials to find out if you need permits to host a large party at your home. There might be noise ordinances, fire codes, health department regulations, and zoning issues that you don’t want to violate.
In some cases, your vendors might need to file additional paperwork, so be sure to include your wedding planner in any meetings with or emails from the city clerk’s office. Your planner should either be able to coordinate with the vendors to file the paperwork themselves (usually for an additional fee) or file the paperwork for you.
A month or two before your wedding, notify your neighbors of your wedding plans. This will give them plenty of time to plan ahead, rearrange any plans, or plan a night away. Give them as many details as possible, such as the exact time of your ceremony–so they know when you’ll need some extra quiet time–and let them know where your guests plan to park in case they have concerns about street parking.
If you’re going to tell your neighbors in person, we recommend also giving them a written schedule so they have all the details for the day of. You could even include a small gift, such as a pair of earplugs, as a token of appreciation for their patience. A little consideration will go a long way in keeping everyone happy.
When you’re checking on permits, also check the rules for street parking in your neighborhood. Some communities have certain times that street parking is not allowed or even prohibit overnight parking. If that’s the case–or you don’t have enough street parking–consider hiring a valet service to park the cars at a nearby open lot. Just be sure to tell guests ahead of time so they don’t leave valuables in their cars that you could be held liable for.
This is one of the most important details to keep in mind when planning your space and your rentals. A group of 20+ people will produce a lot of trash over an entire day, so you’ll need to rent plenty of trash and recycling bins to collect it all. Your caterer might even take care of emptying the bins throughout the day, so ask if that’s a service they offer. If not, you might want to designate or hire someone to monitor the bins so they don’t get too full and cause an unpleasant sight or smell.
Couples often think that hosting in a backyard will change their guest list dramatically. That’s not always the case. Whether you’re looking to increase your guest count or simply remove the limitations that physical guests can provide, virtual weddings are a good solution. Our friends at Lovecast App have made it seriously easy.
Weather happens, so it’s best to have a plan B in case it rains or is unseasonably hot or cold. With enough planning, your plan B can be just as incredible as plan A. If your house is large enough, plan to move the party inside.
If you’d rather stay outdoors, put a hold on a tent early so that it’s ready to be picked up in case you need it. When using the tent, ensure that the sides are completely covered to protect against the rain, bring in small fans to beat the heat, or rent propane heaters to keep your guests warm. The hope is that you don’t have to go to plan B, but it’s best to have a plan in place ahead of time so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
Backyard Wedding Timeline Suggestions
There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a timeline for a backyard wedding. First, and most importantly, you want to work around the light. Try to avoid having your ceremony during the harshest light to ensure you get beautiful photos.
Second, because guests won’t be traveling between events, you want to ensure there is no downtime. You might consider doing all your photos before the ceremony so you can go straight to cocktails with everyone else. But, if you’d rather wait, you can also plan an activity or set out yard games during cocktail hour to keep them occupied until you finish up.
Lastly, you want to be considerate of your neighbors. You might need to cut your party short–or ask everyone to head out to an after-party at a bar–so you’re not keeping your neighbors awake until the early morning hours.
Whether your backyard is small or sprawling, you’ll want to pay particular attention to where you set up your ceremony. Large trees make for the perfect backdrop and provide shade from harsh sunlight. If you want to make the house a focal point, you could set up your ceremony so you, your fiancé, and the officiant are standing on the back porch with all your guests on the lawn, facing you.
Keep in mind that, if you’re getting married in warm months, you’ll want to keep your guests’ chairs out of direct sunlight before the ceremony or, ideally, choose a shaded spot to set up chairs. If you’re getting married in cooler months, you might consider setting up your ceremony in a non-shaded spot so you and your guests can enjoy some natural warmth.
Tents are perfect for designating a reception space in a backyard and make space planning a breeze. Before you rent a tent, work with your wedding planner to decide how many tables and food/drink serving stations you need and how large your dance floor should be. You don’t want to overcrowd the space and you want to ensure your guests have plenty of space to dance–even if that means you’ll need to move tables/chairs at certain points of the day.
Because your reception will also include food and drink, your caterer and bartender should visit the space so they can let you know what extra equipment they’ll be bringing and how much space they’ll need. If your kitchen isn’t large enough, you might need to set up another food prep area, which is something you’ll need to account for when planning your space.
One of the best parts of having an outdoor wedding is that you have the freedom to choose any color palette you like. You aren’t restricted by a venue’s decor, colors, or style. If you love the earthy feel, draw colors from the flowerbeds, grass, and trees in your backyard. You can also go for a bolder look by adding vibrant pops of color in florals, linens, bridesmaid’s dresses, or accent decor.
If your backyard has distinct architectural elements, choose colors that complement and highlight those unique aspects of the space. If you still need a little help, we highly recommend creating a wedding mood board to help you get a sense of the colors and decor that you tend to lean towards.
Setting the Scene for Your “I Dos”
Your ceremony will be the highlight of your day. After you’ve chosen the perfect location with either a natural or architectural backdrop, you’ll need to decide whether you want to frame the space with an arch or artsy backdrop. We recommend ceremony arches and backdrops for every wedding style because it adds dimension and creates a defined focal point, ideal for wedding photos. We also can’t say enough about aisle markers for adding visual interest without too much fuss.
We’ve already mentioned that a tent is a perfect way to designate a reception space. It gives you a way to hang lights or larger-than-life floral installations, plus it adds texture and depth while providing set boundaries for your tables, dance floor, and serving stations. But, a tent isn’t the only way to go. There is something uniquely romantic about dining under the stars.
If you’d rather keep your backyard wedding reception uncovered, you might want to use tall centerpieces that will take up vertical space and hanging decor in the trees to fill out the design. The benefit of an open reception is that you have more space to spread out tables and serving stations.
You might be wondering whether you should plan a cocktail hour since your guests won’t be leaving your backyard between events, and the answer is yes. The cocktail hour is the perfect time for your guests to mingle in a more casual way and allows everyone–including you–to transition from ceremony mode to party mode. If you plan to take couple portraits and wedding party photos after the ceremony, this is also a great way to keep your guests entertained while you’re away.
Lighting Up the Night
Lighting is one of the easiest and most dramatic ways to create a certain mood for your wedding, especially for a backyard wedding where there is little to no built-in lighting sources. Twinkle lights or strings of cafe lights in the trees, lanterns with candles, marquee signs, chandeliers, and clusters of votives are all great ways to add some romance to your look while providing enough light for you and your guests to party safely. If you’re curious about how your photos will look in different lighting, get inspired by the gorgeous ambient light in these wedding photos.
Preparing for Nature And Weather
While you can’t control nature or the weather, you can prepare to keep your guests comfortable in all scenarios. Provide insect repellent and sunscreen for your guests to apply—and re-apply—as needed. Incorporate citronella candles into your decor to keep bugs at bay. Set out blankets if it will be chilly or provide hand-held fans to help guests beat the heat.
If your guests will be sitting in the sun, consider providing sunglasses in case they forget their own. If there is even a slight chance of rain, make sure to have plenty of umbrellas on hand, as well. The bonus is that, if you’re purchasing items that guests will want to keep, they can double as wedding favors.
As with any outdoor event, you’re going to need to rent a lot of items for your backyard wedding. You might end up not renting everything on this list if you decide to use DIY or repurposed decor and furniture, but it’s a great checklist to have handy when you need to double-check that you have everything you need.
Here are the rentals you’ll need for a backyard wedding:
Guest Book Table
Food Prep/Storage Equipment
Trash and recycling bins
And that’s it! Now you are ready to plan the backyard wedding of your dreams. Want to make your backyard wedding special to who you are as a couple? Check out our guide on how to host a unique wedding!