Backyard Weddings

Finding an outdoor location for your wedding that ticks all the boxes is that much easier with Backyard Weddings, a website that connects couples directly with potential outdoor venues and properties.

More and more couples are choosing to embrace the beauty and accessibility of outdoor settings for their big day, and Backyard Weddings offers a great selection of venues including beach locations, vineyard spots, country spaces and, of course, garden wedding venues.

Backyard Weddings is run by couple Eliza and Nic Murray who also own Twelve Tables, an event hire business that has set up elegant furniture and marquees for many outdoor weddings throughout Aotearoa. Their new venture was a natural next step.

“Through Twelve Tables, we get to travel to the most breathtaking locations in the North Island and help our couples turn bare land and outdoor backdrops into their dream weddings. It is an experience that we are so honoured to be a part of,” says Eliza Murray.

Backyard Weddings had been around for a few years prior to our involvement. When Nic and I took over, we fell in love with the concept and we knew that with my 10+ years of experience as an event planner and the knowledge that is gained through Twelve Tables, we have the ability to turn Backyard Weddings into a useful tool for couples when it comes to planning their wedding.”

By being connected directly with the venue or property owner, you are spared the effort of looking for that perfect spot but not knowing how to find it, or gain access to it. Each listing has helpful information on capacity, available amenities and pricing, as well as imagery, and often video, so couples can get a sense of the space and then make an enquiry to confirm their dream venue.

Among the listings are some real gems, such as the McCallum Residence, a charming Scottish manor
nestled on a private beach on Auckland’s east coast which offers a truly luxurious experience. For those after an incredible sea view, Orua Sea Grotto is a charming cliff-top marquee wedding venue overlooking Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel. Those looking for a rural escape will enjoy Kakariki Estate’s lovely private lawn with a nearby avocado orchard which is just a 20-minute drive from Tauranga.

Nature is also front and centre at the amazing TreeChurch, a living chapel made of trees set in beautiful gardens near Ōhaupō. In the South Island, stunning Gibbston Valley is where you can find the region’s oldest founding vineyards, nestled between rugged schist mountains. It’s wonderfully picturesque and offers a delightful vineyard experience for you and your guests.

The wedding industry has been greatly affected by the global pandemic and with restrictions placed on indoor gatherings for much of the last two years in Aotearoa, outdoor weddings have become even more popular.

“Covid has made the wedding planning process a little bit harder and more stressful,” Eliza Murray explains. “This has resulted in a real need and demand for outdoor wedding venues, as it offers you that little bit extra security.”

“Over the last 12 months, when outdoor venues were allowed higher numbers of guests than indoor, we could see a real peak in traffic to Backyard Weddings. It was an easy tool for couples to use to find suitable locations, without needing to spend hours researching what was available. That peak hasn’t slowed down, as there is a bottleneck of delayed weddings due to Covid, and now the next two seasons ahead are limited in availability due to this. There is a lot of demand for venues, with a large number of couples still trying to find that perfect venue.”

When it comes to choosing your venue, the Backyard Weddings team have two pieces of advice. The first is to remember that your outdoor venue or marquee wedding is a blank canvas that lets you design a wedding day that is unique to you and your story. By adding your own style and details to the event, those small touches will mean a lot on the day, and also to your friends and family who are there to celebrate your special moment with you.

The second is not to worry about the weather, but plan for it, so you’re covered whatever happens. If your wedding is in the middle of summer, make sure to create shade. Adding umbrellas to your hire inventory, not just for cocktails and drinks spaces, but also at the ceremony, will be a welcome touch. If you think it might rain and you are using a marquee, plan for your cocktail/mingling space to be big enough that it can be turned into a ceremony option as well, just in case. For further advice, there’s also a helpful blog on Backyard Weddings with some great inspiration to help you decide on your wedding details, with useful tips and tricks to create a day that’s individual and memorable for you.

Whatever your wedding budget or style, Backyard Weddings can connect you with the best and most unique outdoor and marquee venues that Aotearoa has to offer. Creating a special experience for your big day has never been easier or more accessible.

Visit the Backyard Weddings website HERE and their Instagram HERE.

Imagery By: @stephanandnakita / @alpineimageco / @ramboestrada / @ericajanephotographer