Planning a Backyard Wedding in Less Than a Week

It's been a little quiet on the blog for a few weeks...and for good reason! I was busy planning a wedding ceremony, food and decor that all needed to come together in less than a week!!!

Naturally, everyone wonders what drove us to plan a wedding in less than a week. Piggy-backing off the spirit of small, covid weddings, we decided to throw a backyard wedding when all the stars seemed to aligned. It was summertime, there was lots of family in town, and our eldest daughter and fiancé who had been engaged for over a year no longer had any good reason to wait! 

Although I now look back on that week as something akin to giving childbirth...it's something that I can imagine doing again despite the intense pain and exhaustion I experienced in a short period of time.  Maybe I'll give myself a few more weeks or months for the next go around!

Backyard Wedding Menu - Fun and Easy Finger Food

Our original thought was to do just a very simple ceremony and serve a light treat, with plans to hold a separate reception a few months later, when the groom's family could be a part of the special occasion. But as things often do, one thing leads to another, and we decided to serve a little more of this and that—while still keeping the menu on the lighter side.

Our Backyard Wedding Menu:

  • Soft pretzels served with queso cheese, marinara sauce and strawberry cream cheese dip

  • Pinwheel sandwiches from Costco's Deli

  • Assortment of cookies

  • Fruit and veggie platters

  • Italian Soda Bar

The Wedding Cake

We opted to display wedding cupcakes on a 5-tier stand, with a mini cake on the top for the bride and groom. Doing the wedding cake in this fashion, rather than a traditional cake, is not only budget-friendly but also super convenient for guests.  Often a traditional tiered wedding cake isn't cut until the end of the evening, and sometimes a lot of sliced cake goes to waste if guests need to leave early.

Plus, with a 5 tier cake stand like the we purchased from Amazon, the display is every bit as elegant as a traditional cake. We used another beautiful tiered wooden stand for additional cupcakes.

Pretzels and sauce cups were purchased at our Costco Business Center. Our dips were served in a 3-pot warmer.  We left the third warmer on "off" and added the pot of cream cheese dip to the base at the last minute.

The Flowers

A few days before the wedding, I spoke with the florist at Costco about the best time to get my selection of flowers.  At this point, I had fully intended to order bouquets and boutonnières from a flower shop, and was only going to purchase Costco flowers for arrangements on the tables.  Somehow the florist convinced me I could easily make my own bouquets and boutonnières at half the cost.

Although it ended up being more work than I anticipated, I was fortunate to have my mom and sister helping me with the arrangements and the power of YouTube to instruct me on assembling the wedding party flowers.  I also stopped into Trader Joes for some accent flowers, which really made the bride's bouquet extra special.

The Decor

You know the old adage, "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...." Well the decor department was where we were really blessed and fortunate to have friends, family and church groups lend us their place settings, wedding arch, greenery, tables, chairs, linens and an assortment of decor. We did buy some extra white chairs from Ikea, if you're looking for some.  I had called around to rent chairs, and I found that it's hard to book them in less than a week.  

If you're looking for decor on a budget, check your thrift shop for glassware and place settings, and your local community centers or churches for chairs and linens.

I Do!

If I can do an elegant, yet simple wedding in less than a week, you can too! If you have any of your own tips or want additional information, please leave a comment or question below.Note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I could earn a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.