The “Backyard Wedding” is gaining popularity as couples are having to make the tough decisions of postponing or downsizing their big day due to Covid-19 restrictions. For those whom the desired date is worth keeping, making the shift to a smaller at-home wedding is the obvious choice. If you had the big garden wedding planned this might sound like a disappointment. That is unless your parent’s backyard turns out to be the most beautiful venue you didn’t know you had. This was the case for Caroline and Ryan.
A Pleasant Surprise
When I showed up to Ryan’s parent’s house I started the now normal regime of putting on my mask and gathering my equipment. While doing so I looked up and noticed one of my grooms from last year all dressed up and walking with Ryan. I then saw Ryan’s step-dad and put it together that I actually do family shoots for his family as well! As more people showed up it became more apparent that I in fact was going to know most people at this wedding. I was thrilled – especially in a time when we have felt so isolated – to be among friends. It took all I had not to hug everyone I saw.
We lucked out on the weather. Being May in Oregon is always a toss-up. There was a 70% chance of rain leading up to their date and the day prior had been bad. But by a miracle, it was warm, dry, and sunny.
Ceremony and Beyond
There was a lot about this wedding that was different from your typical “large wedding.” A homemade arbor was nestled in front of a small grove of trees and chairs for guests sat 6 feet apart. Guests who could not attend could Zoom in on a laptop that sat in the back. Their dogs were able to join the festivities – which I’m always a fan of. Most of all, emotions were running high that day. Maybe we can blame the quarantine, but everyone was crying – including myself.
We had an amazing time doing portraits in the evening and I still can’t believe this was not a real wedding venue. I was obsessed with Caroline’s dress, especially her sleeves. The way the sunset caught her veil was a dream and you could feel the love radiating off of them.
As the backyard wedding becomes more common, I hope other brides take this day as an example. Do not be afraid of an elopement if your plans have to change. The past few I have had the honor to participate in have been amazing. They are relaxing, low stress, and no one feels rushed. It is something to think about for sure.