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Home Weddings and Backyard Weddings

Connecticut Justice of the Peace
Ernest Adams   —   (860) 543-2334

Celebrating Your Day Your Way!

Home Weddings

Whether you call it a home wedding, backyard wedding, or a do-it-yourself wedding, yours will be meaningful and uniquely your own.

As the economy slowed, some couples turned their thoughts from having a lavish wedding at a luxurious resort to a small wedding at home. Does your home have a garden, a patio, or a great room that you think would be a nice setting for your wedding? How about a home ceremony in front of your fireplace, surrounded by your pets? You can do it! Here are just a few tips for a home wedding / DIY wedding.

Home Wedding Basics

What do you need to do to have a beautiful home wedding?

The same things that you need for any other wedding: Two loving people who want to be wed; one congenial officiant. Other things, rings, guests, flowers, are all optional!

Your home wedding can be as simple or structured as you would like it to be!

One of the most sincere complements I have ever received is Natasha's father recommending me to marry his daughter. It had been an honor to marry MaryLou and Serge at Mystic Seaport, and less than a month later Natasha called.

Natasha and Le'Once wanted a simple wedding ceremony, one that would recognize their six years together and their daughter, Ayjia. It was a pleasure to create a special wedding ceremony just for them. Most of their ceremony was focused on Natasha and Le'Once; Ayjia was thrilled with a short reading from Dr. Seuss that linked the future of two loving parents and their two year old daughter. Including children in a wedding ceremony is pure joy for me!

Natasha and Le'Once's home wedding is a good example of combining the festive feel of holiday decorations with the comfort and security of home. There are times when having a private wedding is more meaningful than having a crowd. Ayjia loved being part of her parents' home wedding. Because we had an indoor wedding, everybody stayed warm and dry.

Have you thought about video at your in-home wedding? Videotaping a small wedding is easy, even if there aren't going to be any guests. You can simply set up a tripod, start the video camera, and record your intimate wedding at home. In a few minutes you will forget that the camera is on! There won't be anyone blocking the camera, and nobody will be distracted from your ceremony by having to take care of the camera. If you want professional results, however, it's best to hire a videographer who is used to doing at-home weddings.

At A.G. and N.M.'s intimate wedding ceremony there were very simple decorations. A.G. had brought hand-made Chinese "Double Happiness" decorations, black ink on white rice paper, with her from China. N.M. had purchased votive candles, which provided a soft, romantic glow for their small wedding.

After the English vows, they said a few words to each other in Mandarin, keeping their special vows private. As tokens of their vows, she gave him a locket with the Double Happiness character; he gave her a beautiful heart-shaped stone.

For the homemade wedding pictures, I took photos of them exchanging tokens, then we put their camera on a tripod and used the timer to take pictures of the three of us. It was a very special private wedding, and I felt honored to be part of it!

For K.C. and J.B.'s intimate wedding ceremony they exchanged vows in the great room of their home by their horse farm. K.C.'s daughter held her mom's flowers while her new dad put the ring on her mom's hand. After the ceremony we all had juice, cheese and crackers, and I took pictures for the family album. Their private wedding was fun! Because I respect everyone's privacy there are no photos here.

Backyard Weddings Can Be Elegant

Josam surprised Rachel by sending a horse-drawn carriage to pick her up for their wedding.

Josam and Rachel put a lot of their own thought and work into their wedding, transforming a Ledyard, Connecticut backyard into a romantic setting. The surroundings were natural, yet made special by the addition of personal touches.

You can't beat an outdoor wedding for decorations. Whether it's spring, summer, or fall, Mother Nature provides lots of color.

These days many people are concerned about the environmental impact of special events, and a backyard wedding is usually a green wedding.

Josam built columns and a platform for the ceremony itself, a simple yet elegant design. He also built a dance floor, to be lit with Tiki torches, with a table for the DJ nearby.

The home wedding reception was held under the tent, near the dance floor, just a few steps from the outdoor wedding ceremony.

Because of Josam's background in construction, everything was very sturdy. Even though the meadow sloped considerably, the ceremony platform was level and the columns appeared to be the same height. The meadow had been mowed and raked carefully for the wedding, adding the sweet small of new-mown grass.

Did you notice that Josam had a woman attendant rather than the traditional best man? It is always your choice! There are more photos of Rachel and Josam's wedding on the Handfasting Page.

Backyard Weddings Can Be Casual

Jamie and John invited their guests to celebrate their marriage at their backyard wedding. Jamie's father put together an arch, which her mother decorated with flowers and lights. Friends and family made a buffet-style banquet for the backyard wedding reception, and they even had a homemade wedding cake.

There are other pictures of Jamie and John's wedding on the Handfasting Page and the Unity Candle Page.

Cory and Dean had their wedding at home in Groton, with friends and family from the West Coast (California) and East Coast (Connecticut).

The ocean is very important to both of them, so we had originally planned to hold their ceremony near the beach at Avery Point (there are small pictures of Avery Point on the Locations Page, and big pictures of Avery Point on the Avery Point Page.) Spring in New England gives us plenty of changing weather, so they decided to have their wedding at home, an outside homemade wedding if possible or an inside wedding if it rained. The rain held off just long enough for us to set up, complete the ceremony, and move inside; then the skies opened.

It's good luck to have rain on your wedding day!

Cory and Dean had a Sand Ceremony to symbolize their union. Cory is originally from the West Coast, so her father brought some California sand when he came East for her wedding. Dean is from the East Coast, so he had sand from very nearby.

The photo may not show the colors well, but Cory's sand is very light tan, while Dean's sand is purple from the amethyst rocks that have been ground into sand by the ocean. Both sands are on corn husks.

In keeping with the ocean wedding theme, Cory and Dean used local shells to scoop their sand from the corn husks into the jar.

You can see more information on sand ceremonies at the Sand Ceremony Page and other ways to personalize your indoor or outdoor wedding on the Unity Ceremonies Page.

Backyard wedding with wedding trellis A home wedding makes children feel safe. A simple home wedding with bright colors. The groom helps the bride down from the horse-drawn carriage before their backyard wedding. A meadow wedding in a backyard in Ledyard, CT. Wedding in a meadow: The wedding cake looked beautiful against the natural greenery. Tables set for the home wedding reception. The DJ at the meadow wedding reception was between the wedding reception tent and the dance floor. Is it easy to put on a backyard wedding?  Yes! Jamie, John, Ernest and the children at the wedding at home. Jamie and John's unique homemade wedding cake. Home wedding ring exchange. Unity ceremony sand at Cory and Dean's home wedding

How can I help you make your DIY wedding special?

Call me at (860) 543-2334 for do-it-yourself wedding ideas!

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Version 6.00   4 November 2013