Mallory and Carl’s Elegant Backyard Bash

We’re totally suckers for a sweet backyard wedding, and if we were to throw one ourselves right now, it might look something like Mallory and Carl’s charming homespun nuptials. For these cuties, as much focus was placed on their guests as was on the two of them. And that turned their day into a celebration filled with so much love and meaning, it couldn’t not be a total success.


Wedding date: 25/02/2017
Wedding location: Matakana
Number of guests: 100
Wedding budget: $15,000
Wedding cost: $20,000

The Couple

Tell us a little about…

How you first met… Carl knew my dad as the both have classic cars and my dad introduced us.

When you knew it was love… We were inseparable after the first few dates





The proposal… He took me for a picnic on One Tree Hill in Onehunga as it was my birthday. Then he had invited my close friends and family over for a BBQ that night to celebrate.

Pre-wedding celebrations… We had an engagement party which I cannot recommend enough. It was like really good practice for how our wedding would be. We noticed we hardly saw each other at the engagement party so we promised each other that at the wedding we would go around and say hello to everyone together. We also had a polaroid camera setup with props which all our guests loved so we decided we would definitely have a photo station again for our wedding.



The Wedding

Tell us a little about…

The ceremony…

Originally we wanted to get married some where other than our reception venue but I really struggled to find somewhere suitable. I tried various local gardens, parks, churches, beach’s and batches in Matakana but they were already booked, had a small guest limit or not enough parking so we decided to have our ceremony at the same location as our reception which was at my family friends house. I think the guests really liked that they didn’t have to travel between ceremony and reception. Also to keep guests comfortable I had brought hand fans for the reception thinking the odd person might use them but absolutely everyone was used. So I’m glad I had brought them. One of the highlights of our reception was walking back down the aisle as husband and wife and having our guests throw petals at us. I brought the petals for $10 from a rose grower. I definitely recommend going straight to the source rather than through a florist for small things such as that. After we were married our guests all helped themselves to a HUGE antipasto platter and drinks from Frankies Caravan Bar.







The reception…

We had a marquee wedding at a family friends property in Matakana. My dad brought the marquee from china and so we had to put it up and down ourselves. It worked out much cheaper but was a lot of work. It took us two days to setup the marquee including lights, draping, tables etc. and we had approximately ten people helping us. It was great fun but also very overwhelming. We brought, borrowed and stole (just joking) most things. The only things we really hired was toilets, chillers, chairs and then paid professionals to do makeup, photos, DJ etc. My parents organized most of the food for the wedding. We had a huge antipasto table for after the ceremony and then buffet for dinner. My parents had hired two friends to help with food on the night which I was very happy about.







Your favourite memory about the day?

Waking up feeling very excited and at peace, going for the twilight photos, listening to the speeches and having my grandparents there.




The best thing about having a backyard wedding?

You can do things exactly how you want them and it feels much more intimate. Most of our guests didn’t leave until 2.30am which I think is awesome because it shows they had a good time as did we. At a venue though you would have to be out by a certain time so are much more restricted. We also had a get together again the next day which I loved because I was so excited to be married and could have a good decent catch up with all the guests who we don’t get to see often and listen to everyone’s recollections of the wedding.



The Logistics

What made you decide on a backyard wedding? We wanted our wedding to be intimate, hospitable and “us” so a backyard wedding was always our first choice. We also see ourselves as the DIY type and from watching other peoples wedding videos I had always admired the ones where all the family and friends were all setting up and making things for the wedding. I love the idea of community that comes with a DIY wedding. SO many people poured so much love into our wedding that it really is overwhelming and I feel like I can never thank them enough.




How did you discover the backyard?

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning a backyard wedding? Logistics. As we live in South Auckland but our wedding was in Matakana and most of my friends and family live all over the place it was a struggle to figure out who was going to do what and how everything’s was going to get to the venue.

What part of the day or planning are you most proud of? The bar. We made a Caravan Bar ourselves with the help of my Granddad. He use to work on Caravans in the 70’s and when I got engaged I asked did he think it would be possible if we made one ourselves. And he said of course so he came to Auckland from the Waikato every couple of weekends and then him and my Fiancée at the time would work on it together. We named the Caravan after him as to say thank you for everything he does for us.Mallory&Carl-1602



What were your save and splurge items?

We decided to splurge on a photographer and Videographer. It was a really hard decision to make but we decided that it was important to have our memories preserved so we can show them to future generations.

Saved on flowers. I went straight to a rose grower and was able to get 400 roses for $400 and I ended up with so many left. Also save on anything you can by borrowing or swapping. We borrowed lights from someone in exchange for them using our marquee for their wedding. My cousin also made the cake which was a good saving. Because I thought the worst that could happen was it falls over and then we’d have a really good story to tell. It didn’t and it ended up tasting amazing.


What advice do you have for couples who are considering a backyard wedding?

Its a lot of work but give jobs to everyone coming and make sure you enjoy the company of the vendors you are hiring. Its so important because its such a special day and you only want to spend it with people who are going to make you feel happy. For example I had only hired my friends to work behind the bar for 6 hours but they ended up staying way longer as we were all having so much fun and wanted the drinks to keep going. If they hadn’t been my friends they could of just left or demanded more money on the spot.


The Wedding Team


Wedding Dress and Shoes: Dress was from Jennys Bridal in New market. Shoes from Mimco.
Hair and Makeup: Ruth Baron from Madeup. Highly recommend.
Groom’s Suit: Grooms was from Rembrandt and Groomsmen from Hallensteins.
Photographer: Lucy Rice Photography
Bouquets and Boutonnieres: Twig and Bloom Matakana
Table Florals/Centerpieces: Rose wholesaler in Drury. Roses Galore.
Chairs: Carlton Party Hire Matakana
Decorations: Brought from all over the place
Officiant: Melinda Stevenson Celebrant
Wedding Cake: My cousin
Caravan Bar: Frankies Caravan Bar
DJ: Discotech Djs- Shane (he ended up staying way later than he was suppose to aswell)
Photobooth: Hotshots Rodney
Bridesmaid dresses: Max


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