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A backyard wedding and reception can cost far less than other affairs. here are a couple you can plan yourself.
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Due to the nature of the event, you can get away with station-like dinner service. Craft a menu similar to Proud’s suggestion of a crudité and fruit display, spring greens, a choice of two pasta dishes (remember to keep one veggie-friendly), a beef-carving station with rolls and butter, three passed hors d’oeuvres and your cake. Working with a flexible caterer (not one with a fixed menu), expect to pay around $6,000, including gratuity, for a similar menu. Because you’re in your own backyard, you can provide the alcohol, saving the markup that a caterer may charge. Try a place like Total Wine, which allows you to return unused liquor ($700).
With all that open sky, your guests will want to dance under the stars. Save yourself the cost of rental and delivery of a dance floor and invite friends to kick off their shoes and get down in the grass.
Rates vary, but check out Diamond State Party Rental as an option. For your tables, linens, stemware, glasses, etc., allow around $1,000. Keep a tent on standby with a $1,000 deposit.
With an event this gorgeous and romantic, you’ll want amazing photography. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. It is possible to find a photographer who will do the traditional eight hours for a great price. (Try Thomas W. Lunt, $2,250.)
Of course, it’s not easy to do this all on your own. Wedding planners offer tons of package pricing options. The lower your budget, the lower you’ll pay for coordination services. Proud to Plan charges a 15 percent planner’s fee. (For this event, it’s about $1,900.)
Total Spent: $14,900 if you need a tent, $13,900 if you don’t.
Quick tips from Proud to Plan
- Play designer imposters. Do you love peonies? Go for white ranunculus instead, getting the look at half the cost.
- Three words: up and coming. Rising stars in related industries—photographers for example—tend to charge less than their more experienced counterparts, and they still do great work.
- Get a letter from your photographer that says you own the rights to your wedding photos. With a simple DVD of high-resolution proofs, you can go to do-it-yourself heaven and make your own album for less.
- Hold your event on a Friday night to take advantage of any discounts vendors offer.
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