I love planning backyard weddings because there is something luxurious and intimate about getting married at home. Especially when the wedding is on a sprawling horse-acre in Potomac, Maryland with a family who loves to host parties and celebrate every occasion. At a backyard wedding, the bride is able to walk out the door of her childhood home and down the wedding aisle. Celebrating with your loved ones in your home creates a warm, personal wedding.
From the start, Mary and Max envisioned a laid-back elegant wedding that evoked many of the evening cocktail parties her family hosted on their back patio under the stars.
Max and Mary knew each other throughout their college years and got engaged on a hike to a waterfall. Their love has a strong sense of adventure, fun and solid foundation of respect for each other and their values. Their top priorities for their wedding were providing an incredible guest experience, great music and dancing, and a beautiful, but laid back atmosphere where everyone felt welcome.
Mary prepared for her wedding day in her childhood room, and exchanged letters with Max before the ceremony started. Max's dog, Bebe welcomed guests as they arrived.
The wedding party processed out of the bride's home to the arbor made by Max out of reclaimed wood.
After the ceremony, guests wandered about the property enjoying the Brimful Farm signature cocktail while High Point Events passed appetizers and a bluegrass trio played acoustically.
During cocktail hour, Max and Mary took pictures with their wedding party in a private garden. The bridesmaids wore slate gray dresses and the groomsmen dressed in khaki suits.
Mary included several personal touches in their backyard wedding. Heirloom tablecloths and napkins covered gray tablecloths. Mary and her mother made the centerpieces, bouquets and floral wreath for Max’s dog, Bebe. The cake topper is a family heirloom (with an added umbrella to fit the evening).
One challenge when planning a backyard wedding is creating a temporary wedding venue in a family’s backyard. Even if a tent is unnecessary, bathrooms, a location for the caterer to cook out of, and water and power sources are all required.
With hurricane season starting in late August in Washington DC, we created a plan to ensure all 200 guests enjoyed the wedding regardless of weather.
The ceremony and cocktail hour went off without a hitch, but as the guests were seated for dinner, dark clouds rolled in.
Cathleen, Mary’s mother, surprised for Mary and Max with a meaningful musical performance.. After the welcome speeches, a family friend played “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes from across the field.
Once the song finished, guests made their way (somewhat hastily) to the house where beer, wine and appetizers were passed until the storm rolled away. Cathleen laughed “Our home has always been a warm, welcoming place, so it makes sense that it continues to be that way on our daughter’s wedding day.”
Despite the summer storms, Max and Mary’s celebration went on with dancing and joy. Mary traded her heels for cowboy boots and joined all the guests on the dance floor.
At the end of the night, a nod to more traditional weddings, Mary changed into her going-away outfit and departed with Max down a sparkler-lit aisle to her father’s vintage Porsche.
Photographer: Joyeuse Photography
Catering: High Point Events
Videographer: Neverending Film Co.
Planning and Design: A. Griffin Events
Bagpiper: Nina Muscato
Ceremony Music: Naked Mountain Men
Reception Music: Rob Jefferson
Wedding Dress: I Do, I Do Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Union Station (formerly Little Borrowed Dress)
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Joseph E. Banks