Shelly Pate

How to Have a Backyard Wedding: Virginia Wedding Inspiration

Couple laughs while exchanging vows at mountainside wedding ceremony

It’s completely possible to design the style of your wedding in any way that you imagine it. If that involves going no further than your own back door–then we can make that happen! This couple decided to take advantage of a family property for their ceremony, and a local wedding venue for the reception. Using both enabled them to create a wedding exactly to their taste! If you’re wondering how to have a backyard wedding just the way you imagine it, then check out this one!

Even though wedding venues like barns or old estates are popular, there’s something special about hosting it at home! This couple found a perfect balance between familiar comforts and an experience that’s completely new. When it came down to how to have a backyard wedding that’s well balanced, these two figured it out!

Bride holds dress and groom holds bouquet at fall leaves wedding

A Virginia Wedding Venue to Complement Your Day

Wedding invitations and wedding rings flat lay

Apart from their backyard ceremony on the family property, Michaela and Colin chose to do the remaining events at The Blue Door kitchen & inn in Flint Hill, Virginia. The wedding day could be both comfortable and relaxed as they integrated family memories and new experiences. 

Bridesmaid cheers with mugs while getting ready at Virginia wedding venue

The couple’s getting ready, first look, wedding party photos, family portraits, and reception were all held at The Blue Door kitchen & inn. This all-inclusive wedding venue can be rented out entirely so that even your wedding party and family can stay there. Michaela and her bridesmaids enjoyed relaxing in one of those rooms wearing silky robes and holding their personalized mugs! After some sips and prepping they were ready to go! 

The groomsmen opted for solo photos with just Colin and his best man putting on his boutonniere. This is a great option to get a few shots before the first look in lieu of getting ready photos! 

Making Your Public Ceremony a Little More Private

Couple holds wedding vow books at backyard wedding

The couple found a private spot at The Blue Door to have their first look and exchange private vows. I moved back and switched to a long-focus lens so that I would be out of listening range, creating a truly private moment. They still exchanged personal vows during the ceremony but wanted these private ones to remain special! Michaela even added a first look with her dad which are always super sweet!

Bride has first look with dad at Virginia wedding venue

The reception venue offered many options for gorgeous photos. We grabbed shots in the woods surrounded by fallen leaves following the first look. Tall bamboo trees and the woods were then used as the backdrop for all family and wedding party portraits. This allowed all the time needed for Mr. and Mrs. photos on the family property following the ceremony.

Coupe has private vows at Virginia wedding venue
Couple holds hands while waking through woods at Virginia wedding venue

 Adding Some Personal Touches to Your Wedding Day

Mountainside view from backyard wedding venue

The family property could be found by traveling down a private dirt road to a backyard with mountain views as the backdrop to the ceremony. There were even chickens nearby giving that farm vibe!

Michaela and Colin reserved the ceremony and their first photos as Mr. and Mrs. for all the secret spots along the family property’s backyard. We got many shots of the newlyweds as the sun was setting against that mountainous background (see below!). Besides learning how to have a backyard wedding, these two were also amazing at adding their own personal touches to the wedding day.

Couple stands under wedding arch at Virginia backyard wedding ceremony

These personal touches included creating a literal family tree with family photos attached to a tree trunk at the reception. Below this was their photo guest book where each guest could take a photo and write a note using a Polaroid camera. Even the menu provided by Blue Door was personalized specifically to the couple’s tastes. And I can’t get over how the cart provided for the cake was just THE cutest!

The decor under the tented reception space included endless incandescent strands of light bulbs creating a magical glowing space for the evening. These lights bring so much to the photos and I just love capturing them! All of this brightness was complemented by the greenery on the tables and a neutral color palette for the rest of the decor.

These two truly figured out how to have a backyard wedding by putting a local wedding venue and their own property to the best use!

How are you picturing your own backyard wedding? I would love to photograph it!

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