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Well, nearly. We all know that weddings aren’t allowed in Greater Melbourne at the moment and weddings in Regional Victoria are limited to five people (the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses). But that won’t last forever. So here’s five simple reasons why you should have a back yard celebration when restrictions ease.
2020 dealt us a dud hand. There’s no denying that. We all need to clutch tightly onto any positives we can to help us get through it. So, along with the rediscovery of baking, reacquainting ourselves with chatty neighbours and the end of corporate workwear, I’ve found one more positive we can add to the list; backyard weddings. These are massively underrated and deserve serious consideration when planning your wedding. Here’s why.
With the extra time at home this year, I’m guessing most Australians have lovingly cared for and improved their backyards, so why not make the most of it. Plus it’s somewhere meaningful to you. It doesn’t have to be a big space or particularly fancy. If you can have a separate area for a ceremony and then a table setting, great. But if you’ve only got one smaller area, you can still make it work. The L shaped courtyard we have in our rented house isn’t particularly fancy, but I managed to set it up for a photoshoot and it worked so well. We had the ceremony at one end of the L and a table setting at the other end. A clever photographer will be able to draw the viewers eyes to you rather than the surroundings anyway so if your backyard isn’t quite what you envisage, don’t let that put you off.
Other than a fixed time for your celebrant to marry you, you have no time frames whatsoever and you can enjoy your space at your pace. There’s no rushing to the reception venue, there’s no last call for drinks and there’s no set time for speeches. It’s a much more relaxed way to spend your special day.
Any floral decorations you have for your ceremony, on the tables or around your house can stay in situ (basically until they die!). Depending on their set up, you may not even need to dismantle them or move them – so you’ll get maximum value and enjoyment. I switched the flowers from the ceremony screens at the photoshoot into vases and kept them in my kitchen, they’re still going strong a week later!
You can spend as much or as little as you like without being bound by a venue’s minimum spend or packages. You could do this really cheaply with takeaways or you can spend as much as you like on oysters, lobster and caviar.
Everything you need is at your fingertips. When your feet get sore, your slippers are close by. If your father in law needs HP Sauce then it’s only five steps to the fridge.
My only advice is to still get the professionals in to take away the stress. Maybe get a catering company to cook and serve your food, get a florist to pretty up your space, and still book a photographer. This way you will be able to tie the knot then put your feet up, all while making the most of your space!
I’m not expecting that we will immediately be allowed to host huge numbers of guests in our homes when restrictions ease. So treat your backyard wedding as an intimate ceremony to get the official part done, but also book your dream venue for a massive celebratory party post Covid!
Photo Credit: All of these beautiful shots were taken by Vanessa Clementson Creative. Vanessa is a freelance photographer, based in Sydney. She specialises in portraits including headshots, families, maternity and underwater photography (seriously go check out her underwater portraits and weddings – they’re incredible!).
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Based in Cowes, Victoria.
Creating florals all over Phillip Island, Bass Coast, Gippsland and Melbourne