Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a backyard wedding

this weekend will be our one year wedding anniversary! the excitement of surviving the first year has brought with it lots of reminiscing, time spent with our photos, and a few traumatic flashbacks to that week-before wedding stress {if you've had a wedding already, you probably know what i mean}.

dannon and i were only engaged for about 4.5 months, and the month before our wedding i graduated from grad school and we moved from san francisco to LA.  we had done a teensy bit of planning in those first 3 months of our engagement, but for the most part, we planned, booked, and made everything during that last month before the big day.  one of the few things we had done ahead of time was book a beautiful rental on the coast of malibu, only to have it fall out from under us four weeks before our wedding.  that meant even our venue had to be put together at the last minute!  stressful? yes. busy? yup. possible? definitely!

we ended up finding a big vacation rental house with a beautiful backyard in the hancock park neighborhood of LA.  now i know a lot of brides who prefer to let the venue handle everything, and that's fine.  i, however, loved having complete control over the space.  i also strongly believe there's absolutely NO reason to spend thousands of dollars on that one day.  it's all about your love right? and money can't buy love.  which means, going the route of a backyard wedding was conducive to saving us thousands of dollars AND providing an intimate environment in which we could celebrate our union.

  reasons i loved having a backyard wedding:
- we had our venue for an entire weekend {3 days} at a mere fraction
of the cost of what other venues charge for 6 hours.
- our families and friends could stay at our wedding house for free, saving everyone money on hotels.
- we had plenty of time before and after our wedding day to set up/take down the decorations.
- we had access to beautiful furniture that we could set up around the yard, giving it
a cozy feel without having to buy vintage pieces for that one day.
- we had access to a full kitchen where we could store and prep wedding food
{we saved money by doing it ourselves, no caterers}.
- the yard was surrounded by gorgeous flowers {even lavender!}, vines, and trees, which meant we needed very few extra flowers from the market {saving more money - yay!}.
- it was completely private, no worries about strangers wandering in, having to be out at a certain time for the next group, nor dealing with other people needing to access our space.
- no need to deal with venue rules {liqour licenses, music constraints, required vendors, etc.}.
- we were able to make the best use of our space with lawn games, a picnic area, multiple photographic settings, and dancing! 
- i had complete control over the environment we wanted to create - cozy, intimate, creative, and
most of all fun!  {things that are often missing at other venues}

over the next couple days, i'll probably share more from our wedding.  it's sort of a shame that all that hard work and fun was only experienced for one short day, so i'm going to relive it all again here. okay? okay.

ps - aren't these photos great?! they were all taken by our friend crystal of crystal chanel photography.  she wasn't our official photographer, since we wanted her to enjoy our wedding as a guest and not be working all day, but she's a fabulous photographer and available for your wedding!  i'll be posting more of her photos from our special day, so stay tuned.


  1. This sounds like the perfect wedding to me! In any way.
    Sounds like you got so much more out of it this way.More time, more privacy, more freedom, sounds brilliant! Happy anniversary!

  2. Happy Anniversary to you two!
    So glad you had your dream wedding... that's the only way to enjoy - however and wherever you decide to celebrate it.

    Here to thousand years more. Cheers,

  3. You had a perfect wedding, but you must have been so stressed with no caterers etc. I was happy leaving everything to the venue... but I guess the prices are a bit different in Denmark, well maybe not much, but we went to the place right after the church and the last guest had left at 5.00 am, and the charge is the same if we are there a few hours or all night... when again we might just have been lucky with our venue, because come to think about it, we had so friends who had to be out at a certain time...

  4. If I were planning a wedding right now, I think you would have sold me on the idea of having a backyard wedding, ha! And I don't know what it is about that last photo, but it - and YOU! - is/are stunning!

  5. I think small, intimate weddings are the best thing!

    I can't wait to see more wedding posts this week!

  6. I seriously can't get over how perfect your wedding was.

  7. I adore these photos! Very vintage like and a touch of glamour. Hey, that's just like you!

    I always wanted an outdoor wedding reception. There's something just so freeing about it.

  8. You two are the cutest! Can't wait to see more. And now I'm glad I've chosen my parents' backyard for my own wedding :) xo

  9. That sounds amazing - what a wonderful way to celebrate! Those photos are beautiful, too.

  10. The pictures are fabulous! And I love the sound of your wedding :)

  11. Your wedding is so inspiring, Kim. Everything about it. I'm definitely going to have a backyard wedding. Just gotta find myself a groom first.

  12. Could you and Dannon be any cuter?! I love this post and I loved getting a chance to see more wedding pictures!

  13. I clicked over to your blog from 'b for bel' and am so excited to have found it!

    I love your attitude, your style and how you chose to celebrate your love and partnership! I completely agree with the reasons behind it and would do the very same thing if I ever decide to partake in a public ceremony.

    I am really enjoying your blog and your beautiful and creative pictures and posts and will definitely be following you to keep being inspired! I hope you will check out my blog too :)

    Jenn xo

  14. She did a magnificent job with these photos and everything looks so beautiful. I love the idea of a backyard wedding, too, and being able to share a home with your guests for a weekend without them having to foot the cost of a hotel for three nights is also amazing.

    Great job!

  15. the last picture is just perfect. you look radiant. aww! loving the flashbacks.

  16. congrats, congrats, congrats to you both!! i've been scrolling through your posts and just love the pictures. pure joy