YHL Wedding Week

Today marks the one year anniversary of our swanky DIY backyard wedding… so we thought a wedding week was in order.

That’s right, we’re dedicating this week to sharing all of our crafty and creative ideas for not only a swoonworthy backyard wedding, but a fun and festive gathering of any kind. So don’t tune out if you’ve already tied the knot, we’re gonna bring you tons of affordable, personal, and unique decorating and entertaining ideas fit for any par-tay on your own turf (even if it’s just a romantic evening for you and the hubby). So sit back, relax, and don’t worry about having to catch the bouquet.

First the basics. We got married on 7/7/07, our exact two year anniversary of dating (which just happened to fall on a Saturday). Unfortunately 36,000 other couples picked the same exact date to get hitched, so we decided to make everything else about that day feel fresh, original and so very John & Sherry. And what could be more personal than hosting the 75 person affair in our own backyard?

Just like everything else we do, our wedding was one giant DIY project. From the invitations and decor to the food and entertainment, we pulled out all the stops (without breaking the bank) by doing everything with our own four hands. And because the event was at our home sweet home, we were able to put money that otherwise would have been spent decorating a venue into our own home improvements (gifts that keep on giving even a year later). For example, we knew our old jagged patio was a tripping trauma waiting to happen…


… so we invested some of our wedding money towards replacing the old slate patio with a new cobblestone paver version, which created the perfect place for a big wooden buffet table full of delicious gourmet eats and a grilling station for the chefs (John’s uncle and nephew)- who donned customized aprons that read: “You may now kiss the cook.”

And not only did we need a flat surface for serving, we also wanted one for eating and entertaining, which is why we went on to pave our treacherous gravel driveway (where heels + gravel = yikes!).


The newly paved surface created the perfect place for grubbing as well as mugging for the photobooth that we rented for the occasion. We’ve never been so thankful to have such a huge driveway (with a spacious turnaround area in the back of the house which kept all of our partying private). And the added bonus that we haven’t had to weed our monstrous driveway since getting it paved (which used to take days) is one of the best wedding presents we could have given ourselves.


While these two home improvement projects were so major that we brought in the professionals, nearly everything else was completely DIY from there on out (thanks to some help from our fabulous friends and family). Between John’s cousin officiating the ceremony, a friend playing “here comes the bride” on the guitar, and relatives cooking up some gourmet fare on the grill, we definitely kept things personal and meaningful. And when it came to setting the tables, crafting the menu, making the bouquet, assembling the centerpieces, designing the lighting, creating the perfect favor and coming up with our version of a wedding slideshow, you know we embraced the creative and the unexpected. So stay tuned for every last DIY detail.

*Drop in on our Wedding Album tab (right below the header) to check out all the details of our big day from start to finish!


  1. Tatyana says

    Looks lovely!
    We sort of did something similar for our wedding (7/17/04), except our friend let us have the wedding in his “backyard” which is on the beach. And we only had 25 people. But we did pretty much everything ourselves: decorations, invitations, bouquet, music mix… everything but the clothes, and food…
    But we couldn’t figure out how to add lighting like you did… so we had to rely on tiki torches around the property. Please do tell how you did that. Maybe we’ll be able to use it for another party, eventually. :)
    I can’t wait to see more of your photos and ideas.

  2. says

    With a backyard as gorgeous as yours there is no reason not to have it at home! :) Seriously, it looks like the space was just made for a wedding.

    We got married in the winter, otherwise I would have had our wedding outside in the yard too (my parents yard). We got married almost 1 year to the date of when we started dating, and we have a fun date as well. We also got married during the Olympics which were going on in Salt Lake City (we went to an ice hockey game just the week before our wedding!).

    Can’t wait to see the rest of your wedding week posts. It looks like it will be a fun week.

  3. Samantha says

    i love this idea and how it looks. i notice you didn’t have a tent- was there one in the plans as a backup in the case of rain?

  4. Heather says

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Your wedding was one I will always remember. From the photo booth to the clothesline of photos to the candles lining the driveway…it was perfect and you really lucked out with the weather. Congrats on one year down and a lifetime to go. xoxo

  5. YoungHouseLove says

    Glad to hear everyone’s looking forward to wedding week. If we’d had this blog last year you all would’ve been invited. Promise.

    Samantha actually asked the million dollar question: what was our rain plan? It included three things: cross our fingers that it didn’t rain, cry if it did, then cram inside for cover. We considered the tent option but couldn’t find a way to cover both the reception area (driveway) and ceremony area (yard, which would be muddy even under a tent). We also didn’t want to sacrifice the beautiful, open setting on the off chance there might be showers.

    So we just nervously tracked the weather for days in advance and breathed a big sigh of relief when the forecast called for nothing but sun. But we know it was quite the gamble (and we’re still breathing sighs of relief).

    And I must say I’m thankful we got married last year, because the weather this week hasn’t been very dry…


  6. says

    Fantastic wedding pictures… Aimee’s right: Your backyard looks primed for a wedding. Looking forward to your ideas for making use of the back of the house space – probably our fav. place in our home.

  7. Sara says

    I can’t wait to see the rest of the pictures. We had our wedding in a church but our reception was outside. We also did not have much of a rain plan. We got married in April in Texas so you never know about that time of year. I’m so glad we picked the weekend we did because it was pouring rain the weekend before and it was freezing cold the weekend after.

  8. says

    Wow – your backyard is huge. What a perfect spot for a wedding! Can’t wait to see more photos. In NYC, no one has this kind of space but I wonder why more people don’t have at home weddings?

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