So you’re one of the millions of people who are just trying to get married in the near future, but have had to turn your big dream wedding plans into smaller more intimate elopement plans thanks to a worldwide pandemic that no one saw coming.
OR you know someone who is.
As a wedding photographer, working through this crazy dream they call 2020, I have had a front row seat to so many cancelled or completely changed up plans. I’ve also witnessed some amazing ingenuity and bootstrapping capabilities in the weddings I’ve been able to photograph since COVID. I wanted to share a few tips + tricks to help you plan the perfect little socially distanced-friendly backyard elopement.
Scroll through for the goods! If you have any tips or tricks of your own, feel free to drop those in the comments.
PLEASE NOTE that I 1,000,000 percent believe that IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, always hire a local wedding vendor to help you pull off the perfect little elopement! While these are great tips for something last minute or cost effective, if your budget or time permits, go with a pro. Support small businesses!
You seriously can’t go wrong with a simple box cake or an artful stack of donuts! Just pop in some floral bits and display on a cute tray and voilá, you have an elopement worthy dessert! Shoot, at my own wedding we cut a cake that was just some local bakery sheet cakes with whipped topping in the middle (added flowers of course!). This was not the initial plan, but helped get us out of a last minute bind.
Are you more of a fan of the homemade flavor but without the homemade time + hassle? Check out this SUPER simple hack from Three Cooking Sisters to make any box cake taste like homemade deliciousness!
Do you have some sheets of colored tissue paper (in your themed colors of course), a bit of string or twine, and some scissors? Then you have exactly what you need to craft up a sweet little tassel garland to spice up the cake table or string between two chairs at the sweetheart table. Check out this really easy tassel garland tutorial and get to crafting!
Not necessarily having a wedding party, but would like guidance on how to get your closest people on a similar page when it comes to what to wear? For this sweet backyard elopement, the girls each chose a romper in a color + fit that they loved. This way they coordinated, but weren’t forced into buying or wearing something that would break the bank.
And as for hair + makeup, thankfully we live in a time where the Youtube tutorials are ENDLESS. All you need to do is decide on the look you want, and search away! This gorgeous and simple beachy glam look was learned from a fun tutorial by Wild Emerald Bridal’s instagram highlight.
Need an appropriate backyard elopement dress on a budget? Done & done. This beauty got her gown from Lulus.com. They have TONS of options/styles/price points and they even sell bridal shoes and accessories now too! As for her sweet kicks, those are from Keds.com who ALSO now has a bridal/wedding specific collection.
Now, how do we transform a basic backyard-looking backyard into the perfect spot to say “I do”?
For this ceremony set up, it only took a backdrop frame (which you can either DIY or get online from Amazon), some lace fabric tablecloths, a few fun patterned rugs (these are from Target!) and some extra bunches of flowers!
There are a million different options, depending on your makeshift venue’s layout. Have fun with it and make it your own!
There are TONS of ways to share your special day with friends + family far away!
Some of the most popular are Facebook livestream, Zoom, or recording it on a phone and sharing out the video!
Again, if your time and budget permit, I ALWAYS recommend going with a florist for such an important part of your backyard elopement. A couple that I recommend (who also happen to have some pretty sweet elopement packages!) are:
Iris & Barry Blooms [Los Angeles, CA area]
Blooms & Twine Floral Design [PNW area]
For this last minute intimate elopement, we used some stems from Trader Joe’s (my absolute FAVORITE place to pick up some beautiful and cost effective florals) and mixed them with some stems cut from around the backyard. Using some satin ribbon we had on hand and some floral wires and tapes, we were able to craft a bridal bouquet + boutonniere + corsages for the bridesmaids.
To create this cute little cake table set up, we added our garland from earlier, some signs from the Target dollar section, framed photos, and of course our DIY’d desserts.
The plates and linens came from Wandering Rose Rentals (shameless plug for my little rental side biz!) But feel free to use whatever you have in your own home!
For food and drink- if you choose to serve anything- feel free to stick to you + your boo’s favorites! Is your drink of choice tacos and White Claws?
GO FOR IT!
Have any other tips or tricks you’ve seen or wanted to try out yourself? Share them below! If you’re ready to start planning your own DIY elopement, contact me here to get started!