Erie Colorado Backyard Wedding {Forest + Olivia}

Backyard Wedding Reception

Erie, Colorado

Directly after getting married in a church, Olivia and Forest held a beautiful backyard wedding reception on the bride’s family’s property in Erie, Colorado. The main thing that sticks with me about this wedding is how loved the couple must be for family members and friends to come together to prepare for the backyard wedding. There was a full-on dance floor (which totally impressed me and got me wondering if I could rent one for a dance party with my friends!), cute chalkboard signs, and bouquets of flowers decorating the space.

If you are planning a backyard wedding, check out the wedding photos of Olivia and Forest, and then be sure to scroll down to see a few of the backyard wedding tips that I learned from this Erie, CO wedding day.

Backyard Wedding Reception Ideas


1. Unless you are having a full-on plated dinner served by professionals, consider serving your backyard wedding reception food indoors.

Olivia and Forest had a fabulous buffet spread and served it indoors. After serving themselves, guests brought their food outside to eat. Tables were placed in different shady spots throughout the backyard. I thought that by serving indoors, flies and other bugs were much less of a concern, as was the temperature of the food on a hot summer day.

2. Lawn games, lawn games, lawn games.

If you have the space, backyard weddings are a perfect venue for cornhole, huge Jenga, and other lawn games. Forest and Olivia offered cornhole and bocce ball to adult guests, and had several games for kids as well. I like lawn games because they are a decent way to unite guests.

3. I’m not saying that all backyard weddings are casual and should therefore be over-run with crazy children, but I do think that fairly relaxed backyard weddings are a great option for families with young kids.

Olivia and Forest were very family-oriented, as demonstrated by the tender parent dances, the sweet emotion of Olivia’s younger sister, and the number of children who attended the wedding day. And you know what–it was totally fine. Kids typically do great when they are outside, and these kiddos had a lot of space and special games without all of the fussiness of a fancy wedding venue…if you are interested in inviting a lot of super young guests to your wedding, having a backyard wedding may make a lot of sense.

4. Um, S’mores please.

Olivia and Forest had a S’mores bar at the wedding. I believe Colorado was under a pretty strict fire ban on their wedding day, but they had a tabletop S’mores experience was delicous. Guests of all ages loved roasting the marshmallows and getting down to the business of eating those delicious dessert sandwiches.

5.  Bring on the DJ and dance floor!

As I am always mentioning, I love a good dance party. And I love how Olivia and Forest chose to include a professional DJ at their backyard wedding. The DJ kept the events rolling along and the dance floor provided additional entertainment. Win win, if you ask me.

6. Lots of tents and chairs.

The wedding couple set up many covered areas for eating food, which provided a ton of shade from Colorado’s hot, hot sun. (And if it had been sprinkling, guests would have been protected from that as well, obviously.) They also set up many, many chairs in different areas, which let guests mingle, sit in the shade, sit in the sun, sit near the dance floor…you get the idea. There were no shortage of seats, which is important.

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.