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DIY Backyard Wedding on the 4th of July

Jessica Lee Thomas

Beth and Juan decided to tie the knot on the anniversary of the day they met...the 4th of July. Surrounded by friends and family, this couple exchanged their vows in a backyard ceremony — the perfect setting for a wedding on the 4th! While Beth and Juan did use a lot of red, white and blue, they wanted to avoid the cliché of a full-on stars and stripes theme and did so by incorporating pinks, oranges and yellows in the florals and DIY decor.
Read on to hear so much more from Beth about their special day, especially their full budget breakdown and things she wishes they had done differently. As always, you can see more of this DIY backyard wedding check out the full gallery here, all beautifully photographed by Jessica Lee Thomas.

getting wedding ready

getting wedding ready

From Jessica Lee Thomas:They said their "I do's" in the backyard of her sister/brother in law's home, in Orange, CA. This home was also particularly unique in that it was one of the few home built in 1961 by architects Anshen and Allen. You could just FEEL THE LOVE, as everyone cozied up together in such a special home. Each and every detail was so carefully thought out by Beth and Juan.

Walking into the home in the morning, you could see friends gathering around to help, coordinate, and to bring their vision to life. It was so special to see everyone helping with such excitement...and, of course, Beth's enthusiasm for life and love on this beautiful day radiated on her face ALL DAY LONG.

light pink flower girl dresses

pink, red and orange bouquet by Paradise Delight

blue and red bridesmaid dresses

dahlia boutonniere by Paradise Delight

colorful socks

From the Bride:When Juan and I first started planning our wedding, our top two items of importance were to make it meaningful and to make sure all of our family could attend. Since we had a short engagement (six months), many of the venues we looked at were booked or shared dates with larger events in our area. Crying on the phone one night to my sister (also the MOH), she said that we could get married at her house if we wanted.

The wheels started turning in a positive direction from there. Having the ceremony at my sister's house, we could choose any date we wanted. Since Juan and I met on the 4th of July, we instantly thought that would be a fun and memorable way to commemorate our special day. Additionally, a lot of our family members work in education, so there was no problem with anyone attending a mid-week, July wedding!

ceremony sign

DIY wedding decoration ideas

wedding poppers for ceremony

drink station at wedding ceremony

Juan and I decided not to take away from the holiday too much, but did not want a full-blown stars and stripes theme. Instead, we modified the traditional colors to persimmon red, pale pink and navy blue, and went for a garden/floral theme since the ceremony was in my sister's backyard (not to mention my engagement ring is a flower).

ribbon ceremony decor

diy backyard ceremony decor

Here Comes The Bride sign

backyard wedding ceremony

confetti exit

A nearby restaurant, The Orange Hill Restaurant, was available that day for the reception, along with all the other choice vendors we wanted (photographer, musician, florist). We gave out sparklers as favors and overall kept the day relaxed and fun.

With our closest friends in tow, Juan and I ended our evening watching firework shows from our hotel balcony, toasting with champagne and strawberries. It truly was a memorable day and looking back, I'm so glad we decided to be a little adventurous and nontraditional.

wedding reception at The Orange Hill Restaurant

simple wedding cake by Pacific Bakery

wedding sparklers

Get a closer look at this DIY backyard wedding by watching the wedding video from Forrey Films below.


Read on to see how much this DIY backyard wedding cost and to find out what Beth wishes she had done differently. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.

Here's a breakdown of our wedding budget:
Stationary (including STDs, postage, etc): $600
Videography: $1080
Photography: $2000
Reception (food & drink): $5000
Gown (with alterations): $1600
Veil & accessories: $200
Hair & make-up: $350
Groom's suit: $300
Groom's accessories: $150
Flowers: $600
Musician: $400
Rings (bands): $1700
Hotel & Transportation: $700
Attendant, groomsmen & parent gifts: $500
Ceremony decorations (excluding flowers): $150
Our budget was $15,000. I'm sure there were other incidentals that I'm probably not including here, but this is the general breakdown.
What the Bride would have done differently:One thing that I thought about a LOT after the wedding was that I wish I had changed my hair from a formal 'up-do' for the ceremony, to a more casual, relaxed look for the reception (seems trivial, but true!).

I also felt that I should have hired a day-of wedding planner. I thought about it and even looked at a few prospective vendors, but it didn't seem worth the pricetag. However, after all was said and done, I do believe it would have taken a lot of stress off of me and the friends I enlisted to help, and possibly would have allowed all of us to enjoy the day to it's full extent.That's worth any price!

Finally, we did not have dancing. While I do not regret that decision, what I forgot to consider is that the DJ or emcee keep the event flowing. I felt there were some odd pauses during the day and possibly the above-mentioned coordinator, or even designating a family-member to serve as emcee, would have been better instead of just winging it.

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