Looking for ideas on how to host a farm wedding on the homestead? Here are some practical ideas for us practical homesteaders – with a lot of whimsy and beauty thrown in!
For the Homestead Moms
This article is really for active homesteaders, gardeners, DIYers – everyday moms on the homestead. I appreciate the creativity of designers and lifestyle experts, but I’m not one of them. My homestead has kids, chicken poop and weeds.
Having said that, however, the homestead is a wonderful place to host your farm wedding! There’s so much beauty and potential on a homestead. Plus, given the average cost of most weddings in the US, the homestead offers practical savings so that the happy couple and their families don’t have to go into massive debt.
Planning a backyard homestead wedding may be the last big thing you do with together before your child goes off to form a brand new family. (I hear these new families produce grandchildren which are, I’ve been told, the whole point of having your own children in the first place.)
Even if you’re only daydreaming at this point, here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm this lovely event on your homestead.
To create more cozy family times that bring you closer together, join our newsletter and download your copy of our Homestead Hygge Workbook. Hygge is the Danish concept of turning our homes into sanctuaries of light, love, and peace through simple homespun activities like natural crafts, wholesome recipes, and simple pleasures.
First Things First – Stay Focused
I worked in floral design for several years and ran a small design business that catered to brides. During that time I learned a few things about successful weddings as I watched those brides plan, budget for and produce their special days.
Across the board, the happiest brides were those who were more focused on the point of the day, rather than the day itself. One bride was so laid back she let her soon-to-be mother-in-law plan the whole thing and just showed up when it was time.
She was pleased with the results, too! (I admit I was a little nervous standing there with a bridal bouquet the bride had never even seen before.)
The point is, stay focused on the new family that’s being created while you plan and prepare. Don’t let nerves, raw emotions, budgets, and late nights rob you of the joy of this time. Because this time will never come again.
Planning a Farm Wedding on the Homestead
The following is not a step by step to-do list for your farm wedding event planning. There are professionals who can help you with that, if that’s what you need. This article is meant to provide a framework for you to begin your farm wedding preparations.
Homesteads are unique places and will require some preparation so they can best serve the needs of your special day. After the “brain work” of the article is completed, I’ve included some fun links to various article on DIY items like floral arrangements, party favors, and more.
Work With the Land You Have
There’s no sense beginning this farm wedding planning by being upset that you don’t live on a pristine ranch in upstate New York on rolling green acres that spontaneously produce gorgeous wildflowers and where sheep idyllically frolic in the background at all hours.
That sure ain’t what my homestead looks like!
Be happy and grateful that you have any kind of land with which to work, even if you’re homesteading on less than an acre in the city. Hosting a wedding on your homestead is all about sharing the feel and spirit of what you’ve been building on your homestead.
Your child could have picked a upscale, modern events center for their special day, but they didn’t. They asked to come home and they did it for a reason.
Analyze the Homestead
So, working with the land and home you have, one of the first things you’ll need to do is determine what’s going on around the homestead during the month of the wedding.
- Are there homestead projects that need to be put on hold or quickly finished before that day comes? If you’re growing out a batch of broilers that will be ready to harvest around the wedding date, you may want to rethink the plan for meat birds this season.
The first rule of wedding days is that there’s ALWAYS way more left to do than you think there will be and something ALWAYS goes wrong near the event date. Just accept it now and clear your homestead schedule as much as you can.
Another thing to determine is where the wedding will be held on the land.
- Will the service be outside?
- Will it be in the barn? In the house?
- Where will guests mingle afterward?
- How will they use the bathroom?
- Where will they leave dirty dishes?
- Through where do you not want them bringing their foot traffic?
The Farm Wedding Look Through a Lens
From a design standpoint, a good exercise to run through is to take a quick tour of your land looking through the lens of a camera. You may have a favorite spot you think will work really well for the wedding. Go to that spot and start snapping photos of it from various angles:
- up a nearby tree
- laying down on the ground
If you already have a photographer that won’t charge you a huge fee to do this, have them come help you with it.
You’ll See the Weeds!
You might start discovering flaws and fixes that need to be seen to that you might not have noticed before. Remember, a homestead is a raw, organic place where people come to feel real and close to nature and family. The setting does NOT have to be without flaw.
However, we often get used to the pile of poultry netting next to the shed and the burn pile next to the barn. Using a camera can help you zero in on unwanted mess and help you identify places that can be spruced up.
We don’t want to stress out over every imperfection, but we do want to represent our family and our land as well as we can.
Pick the location as soon as you can, and then pick a back up location in case of weather or a bridal couple’s change of mind. Run through the camera exercise with your secondary location, too, and make plans to likewise tidy it.
Budget and Plan
We have a whole section on homestead finances in our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead, and we refer you to it for making wise plans for resource management on the homestead. To get a free sample from that section, simply email me at Tessa@homsteadlady.com.