Greer & Paul Finally (thank you, Covid) Say I DO
It goes without saying that Covid came in strong and hit a lot of industries right in the gut. In the wedding and events world, this translated to a ton of postponements, downsizing, and changes in overall visions and expectations. Many of our clients were affected, some having to postpone not just once but TWICE. As a planner, you have to expect the unexpected and make adjustments on the fly. You also have to stay calm (because your client might not be able to). Luckily, the wonderful couple featured in today’s blog kept it cool, calm and collected. Greer & Paul moved venues, downsized and shifted aesthetics but that did not result in anything less than a stunning backyard wedding worth remembering.
Immediately following the decision to postpone their original wedding date, we envisioned that the wedding venue and all other details would remain the same. So, bring on the waiting game. Unfortunately…we were mistaken and this couple was not done making tough decisions. With the pandemic refusing to slow down, it seemed as though our original venue was just not going to pan out. Luckily, our lovely parents of the Bride came in with the save.
Enter: A dreamy backyard wedding at Greer’s family home.
As we have mentioned, postponements often come with a lot of changes. This particular venue movement resulted in both a downsizing of guest count and some styling adjustments. As well as bringing on a caterer (original catering was through the venue), and adding in transport and parking assistance.
Greer had a clear vision of her style from day one, so in order to update this vision we made a lateral shift, rather than a huge overhaul. This bride is a Boho girl with a Western flair, through and through. We had really leaned into that Western flair at their original venue (The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort) while also adding a fun pop of Mid-Century Mod elements. In order to achieve cohesion with the romantic garden vibe of her parent’s fairytale backyard, we removed the Mod as well as the Western flair, fully embracing the Boho.
In comes an updated style board and a refreshed color scheme. Cue: new proposals from our florist Desert Rose Florals, and our rental and specialty rental companies La Pinata Party Rentals and Provenance Rentals. With Desert Rose, we were really able to take advantage of the existing features of the property. Namely, one very special tree (like seriously, the stuff of storybooks) that would be the backdrop of the ceremony. Although beautiful on its own, the tree was enhanced with a floral adornment. Desert Rose really spiced up the entire space with arrangements that were to die for, elements of clay and candles. Using the combined forces of two of our favorite rental companies, we were able to create the cutest little lounge set up where guests could put their feet up. We also sprinkled high and low cocktail tables around the backyard, brought in a wood bar and styled with lots of boho pillows. Other noteworthy details included dried flowers for guests to toss post-ceremony, hanging lanterns above the bar, fringe umbrellas to bring some shade and a floral adornment on one of Paul’s prized motorcycles (hello personal details and a photo op for guests).
Paul’s motorcycle wasn’t the only personalized detail at this event. Greer had a special patch created to surprise Paul (hold for backstory) that we attached to her gorgeous bridal bouquet. Paul is big into motorcycles (in case you didn’t catch on to that just yet) and he often goes on group rides. Greer makes it a point to attend these life moments for her (now) husband. When a ride came up that Greer was unable to show up for, Paul made a pretty sweet move. He got a custom patch made that said her name and he ironed it on his outfit, so that she would be with him in spirit. The patch on her bridal bouquet was a call back to this moment and man oh man is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard.
Okay so…venue changed, rentals changed, style shifted, personalized elements increased. What next? The less fun stuff. While we love a backyard wedding for many reasons, it does bring about some logistical challenges that are worth noting. Like, where are people going to pee, where will everyone park, what are the power capabilities and do we need to rent a generator? Where can catering set up their food prep area? Also, who is the person on site who knows the most about the yard and will they be available to assist with vendor needs when issues arise? Although not as fun to plan, these are crucial elements that will directly affect the success of your event.
A pro-tip for parking: consider contracting either a shuttle service or valet (or both). For this event in particular, the home was in the hills with no available street parking, so this was a huge factor. Guests parked at a nearby area where street parking was available and we had a shuttle pick up location where guests would board and be driven to the wedding. Some events will have many guests coming in from out of town. This shuttle method would work the same way in this case, except you can schedule the shuttle pick up at whatever hotel your guests are staying. If your street has more parking available and most of your guests are local, valet should suffice. In some instances, you may want to contract both.
If your space is short on restrooms, we also recommend renting restrooms to have on site. With a very small guest count and enough bathrooms available inside, you can get away without this BUT it is highly recommended. Think about the clean up, potential sewage back up, having guests in and out of your house (potentially intoxicated), as well as having to think about refilling hand towels or toilet paper. Really not stuff you want to be worried about on your wedding day.
With a backyard wedding, unlike a typical rented event venue, there is no official representative running the operations on-site. In order to navigate this missing link, we suggest selecting a family member who knows the home well to be the point of contact for vendors (mainly your planner). Shout-out to Greer’s parents for being extremely helpful before, during and after their wedding.
Some advice from P.S. on downsizing your event, due to the pandemic or any other unforeseen circumstance: People who you invite to your wedding are more than likely all people who love you as individuals and as a couple. People who love you tend to be understanding and what they really want is to see a happy couple. It is most important to be transparent and communicate as soon as changes arise. Above all, this is YOUR day so act accordingly. Everyone will be happy for you regardless.
After all the changes, we could not be happier with how Greer and Paul’s wedding day ended up. With such an amazing couple, hospitable home owners, and a great team of vendors it was an outstanding execution.
Wedding Planner & Stylist: P.S. & Associates Event Planning
Photography: Sister B Studios
Videography: Paperbird Weddings
Glam: Emily Lynn + Co.
Wedding Gown: Dreamers & Lovers
Florals: Desert Rose Florals
Catering: Four Seasons Food Catering by Billy Burd
Violinist: Jenifer Argenti
All photos in style boards are for reference, photos were found via Pinterest & Google. They are not our work.