Sherry + John’s Backyard Wedding

Monday, July 21st, 2008

I’m so happy to share John and Sherry’s amazing backyard wedding! John and Sherry, of This Young House, are self-described “hopeless DIYers.” The couple put the same skill and charm into designing their dream backyard wedding that they did into renovating their charming rancher. John and Sherry said, “From the invitations and decor to the food and entertainment, we pulled out all the stops (without breaking the bank, $4,000 total to be specific) 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).”

John’s cousin officiated the ceremony and a friend played “Here comes the bride” on guitar.


Sherry purchased her dress 2 days before the wedding at Arden B (for a mere $190)! She made her bouquet from 3 large hydrangea blossoms purchased from a local grocery store the morning of the wedding. Total cost: $12.

John and Sherry decided against renting table linens, drinkware and flatware; after comparing costs, they realized it was more affordable to just buy it themselves. They purchased white muslin and yellow fabric at a local fabric store to make tableclothes and runners. Glassware was purchased at Ikea and donated to a local charity after the event.

The couple collected wine bottles, left over from wine tastings, from a local restaurant. Once the labels were removed and the bottles were cleaned, they were filled with water, sweet tea and mint lemonade.

Centerpieces were composed of lemons and limes found at the grocery the morning of the wedding. The tables were sprinkled with about 200 glass votives the couple purchased from a bride on Craigslist for $30.

John’s uncle and nephew wore aprons that read: “You may now kiss the cook.” They served up blue cheese angus burgers with parmesan caesar dressing, sweet apple chicken sausages with honey dijon, and tomato and cheddar veggie burgers with basil ketchup, all made ahead of time by John and Sherry.

A buffet of homemade cold salads, shrimp, chips and fruit accompanied the burgers.

Guests were given mini brown paper bags filled a gladiolis bulb. A photostrip that read “plant one on us…smooch” was attached to the front of the bag, tying in the photostrip idea that John and Sherry wove throughout the wedding from their save-the-dates to the photobooth they rented for their wedding day.

Vanilla cupcakes from Ukrop’s were served for dessert.

In lieu of the traditional photo slide show, John and Sherry hung family and childhood photos on a clothesline by stringing twine between two 5ft garden hooks and using charming wooden clothespins. Total project cost: $20. The clothesline kept guests entertained while they waited to take pictures in the photobooth rented here.


In the end, isn’t this what a wedding should be all about? Family and friends around a big table enjoying eachother’s company? (Tables and chairs were rented at Party Perfect.)
Thank you for sharing your lovely wedding with us John and Sherry! It’s really so inspiring to see how much love you put into crafting your wedding.

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