DIY Outdoor Wedding Lighting Tips

We married in July on my grandparents property in Aptos, California (in Santa Cruz). Since we had the space to do an “at home” wedding… we leaped at the chance. My parents married on the same property 24 years prior.

Here are my tips for lighting an outdoor at home wedding.

Make sure you test out the lighting a couple days prior for the following reasons:

  • some lights can only be strung together so many times without the whole strand getting dim. Make sure to string them together before hand so you know how many can be strung together.
  • if you are running the electrical from a home… make sure to to run the lights before because your house may not provide enough electricity from one outlet.
  • make sure you have enough extension cords (extra is helpful in case of an emergency).
  • don’t use small bulb Christmas lights… I say this because we rented both and wasted money on the Christmas lights. Although Christmas lights can be strung together the connection looks tacky. Unless you find a safe way to hide the connection… I wouldn’t do it. Too much work.
  • the lights that we got from the rental store were not able to be connected together (no male and female ends) BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR RENTAL COMPANY BEFORE HAND!
  • If you are stringing the lights on poles in the ground…. make sure the poles are deep enough. You have to pull the lights pretty snug so there is not too much “droop”. You don’t want your guest ducking under lights, and you don’t want the poles falling down. We used 4×4 redwood posts dug in a couple of feet. We did this months in advance.

I cant express this enough… GET THE LIGHTS EARLY… set them up days in advance.

Good luck!

Thank you for Jor.Dan Photography in Santa Cruz, California for this picture. 

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Wedding Set

My husband took great pride in picking out the perfect ring for me. I only told him I wanted something with a vintage feel. My set was from Kay Jewelers line from the Neil Lane collection. It is a custom 1.2 carat center, has hand finished milgrain beading and scroll work. It is accompanied by the matching band.

Photograph taken by Jor.Dan Photography from Santa Cruz, California.  

Napkin Fold for Wedding

This is my place setting for my wedding comining up in July. It is a simple napkin flower fold with a name card in the center of the flower. This is going on top of the salad plates, which are on top of the gold charger.

Wedding Ceremony Programs

I thought these were cute and easy way to keep guests cool while providing them with the details of the ceremony. This is how I did it.

Wedding Ceremony Programs

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So for my upcoming wedding in July I have been planning, planning, planning. And in the middle of planning I am Pinteresting ideas about things I should plan or do or make.

Since our ceremony starts at 4:30pm I know that my guests will be in the sun. So I decided that program fans are the way to go. After they read all the information they can cool themselves off (rather than holding a piece of paper while it melts in their hand).

Here’s what you need:

1)      8 ½ x 11 card stock paper in the color of your choice- I purchased a pack from Staples for about $9.00 for 250 sheets.

2)      Craft sticks- AKA Popsicle sticks. I purchased mine from Target for $1.99 for a packet of 60.

3)      Double sided tape

4)      Corner rounding punch- I purchased this from Stapes for about $5. It is found in the scissor aisle.

5)      Embellishments- I used raffia that I purchased at my local craft store. This is a great way to tie in your theme/color of your wedding… so bows, flowers, jewels are all great ideas!

6)      Microsoft word

7)      Printer

This is what I did:

1)      In Microsoft word- Open a new document

  1. Click the “mailings tab”
  2. Click on “labels”
  3. Click on “options”
  4. Under  Label Vendersclick on “AveryUS Letter”
  5. Set the Product number to “3297 Half Fold Greeting Cards”
  6. Click on “okay”
  7. Click “new document:

Now a new document will be created with a line down the middle. This creates the front and back of your ceremony fan.

2)      Design- This is where you get to tie in your wedding theme by creating a wedding program that fits you and your hubby to be. Some of the essential things to add:

  1. Date and location of wedding
  2. People involved (bridesmaids, parents, musicians, offiants)
  3. Order of the ceremony

3)      Print- print the document on your cardstock and fold each on in half

4)      Stick-Open  the program back up and add double sided tape to one half of the inside (the blank side) of the sheet.

5)      Sick on the craft stick

6)      Fold back together

7)      Add embellishments