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5 Reasons to Have a Backyard Wedding

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Photograph by Iris Photography

One of the first thoughts one would have when it comes to their wedding is, "Where are we going to have it?" Well I have a suggestion to make that process a little easier. What about having it in your backyard? With a tent perhaps! 

Here are 5 of the best reasons to definitely consider a backyard wedding!  

1. Less Time Venue Hunting

The amount time that couples spend checking out venue locations can begin to take its toll. Either its not in your price range, it cannot accommodate your number of guests or you just don't get that feeling that its your spot to tie the knot. What about picking a place that you know inside and out, have a connection with and takes less time to look at...your family home!

If your feeling like you need a little more of a structured space with the help of a tent you can literally bring in the ideal venue to accommodate exactly what you need weather that's for dining/ reception space, a killer dance floor or a ceremony space you get to choose!

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Photograph by Todd France
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Photograph by Todd France

2. Creating Family Memories

Having your wedding at your family home/estate creates an even more personal and sentimental experience for both you and your guests. Picking a venue that could be a distance away can be tricky to coordinate travel, getting detailed instructions so someone doesn't end up getting lost, parking and so on. Hosting at a place that everyone knows brings back nostalgia, a sense of comfort and creates less stress for all parties involved. 

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Photograph by Leila Brewster
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Photograph by Leila Brewster

3. An Overall Cheaper Option

Now this isn't always the case however, if saving is the name of your wedding game this could be a win for you. Without going right to the pricey venues and sticking to something that is literally closer to home you are able to splurge on the oh so important decor from flowers, to table cloths to place settings and most importantly the food. You are able to focus all your creative ideas to what your guests are going to be experiencing when they arrive, where they will be sitting and the overall atmosphere. 

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Photograph by Mel Barlow & Co

4. Total Control of Space & Date of Event

In this case you are in total wedding control of what goes on in your backyard. You want the ceremony here? Great! Tented reception in the other corner? Sounds like a plan to me! Versus picking a venue where they have their own rules and regulations on what they can or cannot do for you does not get you in the wedding spirit. Along with that you can choose the date you want because you have your own venue and no one else to fight over it with!

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Photograph by Mel Barlow & Co

5. What About a Tent?!

So you decided to host your wedding day in your, well probably, your parents backyard excellent choice! Having a tent is a fantastic idea to host all your family and friends. Since tents come in all sizes and designs you will definitely be able to find something that fits your aesthetic weather that's a clear top tent or the seamless Sperry tent to grab peoples attention. The real perk to it is that you are essentially creating an indoor space in the outdoors which is an awesome feature to have. Having options can be great or overwhelming depending if you are a decisive person or not. You are able to customize with full flooring, a dance floor (to strut your stuff), lighting, fans and even sidewalls when it gets colder at night. The tenting possibilities are endless! 

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Photograph by Stolen Glimpses
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A Gathering of Light & Truth - Yale School of Management Reunion

College is such a formative time on one's life. You learn so much about history, the future, the world and especially yourself. And when your alma mater is Yale School of Management, then you really have no choice but to celebrate your time on campus whether it's been 40, 35, 30, 20, 15, 5 or or just 1 year since you studied in those impressive buildings. And there was no expense spared by Yale to celebrate all the accomplishments the students of those graduating classes have achieved over the years. We are also so excited to be a part of this special weekend each year. It's truly a labor of love! 

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As you can see the install process isn't always the prettiest, but with the help of a lot of amazing people at Yale and Shindig Lighting the space was transformed into the perfect location to gather and relive old memories while creating new ones. (And thank you - as always - Anchor Industries for creating the gorgeous 50x100 Navi clear top tent!)

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And thanks to the wonderful Harold Shapiro and Tony Fiorini who captured photos of the festivities throughout the weekend! Would it really be a Yale event without an appearance of Handsome Dan?

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Photograph by Harold Shapiro​ and Tony Fiorini

Harold and Tony documented the entire weekend from beginning to end so if you weren't able to make it to one of the wonderful events of the weekend, they probably captured some photos to share with the rest of the Yale alumni.

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Photograph by Harold Shapiro​ and Tony Fiorini
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Photograph by Harold Shapiro​ and Tony Fiorini
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Photograph by Harold Shapiro​ and Tony Fiorini
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Photograph by Harold Shapiro​ and Tony Fiorini

For all the images be sure to check out Yale SOM's 2019 Reunion flickr account. New photos are constantly being added! GO BULLDOGS! 

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Renting the Aisle

It's such an honor to be asked to be a in a bridal party. Putting aside the real reason a bridal party came to be (there's a thing with demons and tricking evil spirits and it's all just pretty archaic and honestly a little creepy), but essentially today's brides and grooms are saying that you are so important to them, that they want you to be a part of their wedding day. It's really very sweet! Of course you're gonna say yes, even if they didn't ask you with a special handcrafted box of personalized gifts. 

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Photograph by lalaconfetti

But once you give them the affirmative, then the dread sets in. How much is this going to cost? How many parties do you have to plan? How many envelopes do you have to lick and seal and how many days do you have to take out of work? It's best to be up front with your friend when you say yes. Realistically how much can you afford? No good friend wants to see you going into debt for their wedding. 

And et's be honest - no one will ever wear their bridesmaid dress again. How many people have actually "cut it down" or "paired it with flats" and allowed their dress to be reborn into another garment? Not many - IF any. We can't all be on Project Runway

But there is one brilliant way to save money and cut down on waste - Rent the Runway? It's that fabulous way to have fabulous clothes for one Cinderella night at completely affordable prices. And now your bridesmaids can have a fabulous dress for a fraction of the cost and they don't have to dedicate any precious closet space to a dress (I mean seriously how did Katherine Heigl have a closet large enough to hold 27 dresses in NYC?) they will never wear again because... Rent the Runway goes Bridal

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It's incredibly easy. Select the occasion, the dates of the wedding (you can rent for a minimum of 4 days and up to 8 with additional fees) and bam! They show up on your doorstep. A little steaming might be necessary and (only if necessary) some Hollywood Hem tape, but with their back-up size shipment and a discounted second-style, you should be good to go! And in the off-chance that your dress doesn't fit, they will do everything possible to overnight a dress to you in time for a fee of $12.95. 

It's a little more expensive than a dress from David's Bridal - I will readily admit that. But if you're bride is requesting Amsale or designer dresses it's a lot cheaper to rent for $180 than it is to buy for $400. It's a win for you, a win for your bride and a win for the environment because it's one less dress in the landfill. 

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Earth-Friendly Weddings

In our current society where everyone is striving towards being greener, leaving a smaller footprint and producing less waste, over-the-top weddings don't really seem the most eco-friendly. With lots of lights, plates of food and tons of paper menus, invitations, save-the-dates, wedding cards etc... weddings can produce a lot of excess. So what are some solutions for all those brides and grooms who are consciously trying to be greener and more eco-friendly? Here are a few tips on how to make your festive day a bit greener on Earth Day. 

1) Choose a Sperry Tent of course! Our sail cloth tents, hand-crafted center poles and flooring and custom lighting are all made from eco-friendly materials locally in Rochester, MA by Sperry Fabric Architecture. And did you know that our tent and awning production is mostly powered by solar panels? On an average day they make enough power to run the whole building! Sperry Fabric Architecture supports a recycling program re-purposing sail cloth and other materials into handbags, ice bags and even new sails! A pretty green operation all-around.

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Photograph by Mark Davidson Photography

2) Choose local vendors for your table! Summer is the perfect time of year for eating local. With bountiful greens, grass-fed meat, blooming fruit trees and delicious locally made wine and spirits, any creative bride and groom can craft an all-localvore menu. And instead of importing roses from all over the world, select a florist who has close connections with local farmers growing native flowers and succulents for the perfect centerpiece and bouquet. Filling your eco-friendly venue with gorgeous local flowers in re-purposed vintage vases and rounding out your dinner with locally-made ice cream, makes your special day that much more unique and memorable.

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3) Opt for an eco-friendly venue! Although a backyard tented wedding is ideal, sometimes a venue provides the perfect 'destination wedding' feel without the high cost (and large energy consumption) of extensive travel. Many venues are taking steps to create a smaller carbon footprint from using organic bedding, brewing locally-roasted coffee and heating and cooling rooms with more energy-efficient products. 

4) Use family heirlooms as decorations. There are so many ways to tie the past to the present and the future, such as adding an escort table filled with photos of relatives' weddings or using a favorite book as a guest book for people to write their best wishes. Instead of purchasing pricey jewelry, you can wear vintage gems from your mother or the groom's mother. Making sure your special day is rich in family history and happiness will not only cut the cost and decrease the waste, but it also provides a special touch making your wedding different and unique. For ideas on how to incorporate family heirlooms throughout your wedding, take a look at this wedding at the Willowdale Estate this past summer.

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Photograph by Gulnara Studio

5) Recycle and compost! Make sure to put recycling bins throughout your wedding for discarded wine bottles, empty beer bottles, used plastic containers, paper napkins and instead of trashing all the uneaten food, compost the waste! It's amazing to the see the amount of wasted food that is carted to a dumpster at the end of a wedding. Cut down on plastic bag usage and dump truck fuel costs by composting left over salads, cheeses and bread. And even better if you hold your wedding at a farm because you can share your leftovers with the full-time residents

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Photograph by Gulnara Studio

6) Send wedding cards to a recycling foundation! So now you've received 200 wedding cards with best wishes written on the inside. Are you really going to keep all of those cards?? Instead of tossing them into the trash or recycling bin, you can send the fronts of the cards to the St. Jude Ranch in Nevada. St. Jude's Ranch for Children recycles your used greeting cards and creates new holiday and greeting cards for any occasion. Recycled cards are sold in packs of 10 for $10 to support their programs and services. The program is an entrepreneurial venture run entirely by teens providing them with the experience and confidence to embark into the job world successfully. "The program is beneficial to everyone – customers receive fun, "green" holiday cards they can feel good sending to their friends and loved ones, and the children at St. Jude's Ranch receive payment for their work and learn about basic job skills and the importance of recycling," says the St. Jude's Ranch web site. How is that for giving back and staying green?

7) Donate your flowers! Let's be real - you probably spent thousands of dollars on your wedding flowers. Instead of carting all those blooms back home, call in an amazing org like The Reflower Project or Bouquets of Kindness. Or you can extend your wedding day bliss and donate the flowers yourself to a local nursing home or hospital. This is a great way to share the joy and love of your wedding day with those who need a little extra sunshine in their day.

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Photograph by Sarah Bastille Photography

These are just a few ways to be a little more green on your wedding day. Happy Earth Day!

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