Chester County Trends: Backyard Weddings
Did you know that October is the MOST popular month to get married in Pennsylvania? With it’s Goldilocks temps (not too hot, not too cold) and gorgeous fall colors, it’s not hard to believe that couples look at October as the ideal time to say “I do”. But, things as they are lately, large soirees of the past have been put to the wayside for a more intimate setting. What better backdrop than a familiar, loved spaced with your closest family and friends to share in the most intimate of moments. COVID may have kept us in quarantine, but LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED! And so emerges one of the newest trends in weddings in Chester County – an intimate celebration in your own backyard!
I was so lucky to meet Tara Thistlethwaite, owner of Engaged Management, who gave me some great insight on this new trend in the age of quarantine. She and her team have been planning weddings and other special occasions for almost a decade. Her focus is a boutique experience for each and every couple from planning, logistics, vendor coordination, day of management, and happily ever after after. In addition to her private wedding planning management, she is also the exclusive event planner for the Faunbrook Bed and Breakfast in West Chester.
Tara’s tips to make a memorable wedding experience
Tara has noticed that her couples are getting back to a more genuine, intimate, relaxed atmosphere when it comes to their weddings. Her advice – just because your wedding is in the backyard, doesn’t mean it will be any less spectacular! Backyard weddings don’t have to lack glamour, style, or personality. Couples are taking the opportunity to make a more intimate experience for their closest loved ones. Here are some of Tara’s best tips to make the day even more memorable:
Create a Welcome Packet
Personalize the experience for each guest. You can include a handwritten note with a special memory for each person. Include the program, dinner menu, favors, and wedding PPE. You can leave the packet at a welcome table as guests arrive.
Smaller-scale can mean a greater focus on all the little details. Think individual calligraphy for programs, bride/groom masks, individualized appetizer plates suited to each guests tastes, mini dessert platters for everyone (instead of a buffet or shared plates).
Videography Takes Center Stage
Tara shared a really special moment of one of her couples. The couple’s family members each made a small video that was compiled before the ceremony. The couple was surprised with a special message from each guest during their reception. Bridal party – this is your chance to surprise the bride and groom!
Who says you can only have one dress for your special day! Think more formal for the ceremony, more fun for the reception.
Backyards aren’t necessarily designed for dance floors (nor is COVID), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun. You can entertain your guests with activities that you and your soon-to-be spouse enjoy. Think yard games, karaoke (without a shared microphone), bonfires, and s’mores (perfect for fall nights).
With brisk fall nights and the need to stay outdoors, create cozy spaces for your guests throughout the yard. You can even have custom blankets made for everyone (who doesn’t love a warm blanket on a cool night?) and family, friends can snuggle around the fire pit.
Enlist the Help of an Expert
On your wedding day, the last thing you want to deal with is event coordination. And parents-of-the-couple: neither should you! Your focus should be on your spouse and your loved ones. Enlisting the help of a wedding planner that can coordinate all of the details of the day will relieve stress, and allow you to focus on the people you love.
So, I’m pretty sure that I want to get married all over again just to I can enjoy this amazing new trend. How about you? Would you consider tying the knot in your backyard? Have you? If so, I’d love to hear your story!
*Photos are courtesy of Tara Thistlethwaite