S’mores, homemade pies and jam, a campfire, fireworks – and kittens. Yes, kittens! What is not to love about this $5,000, at-home wedding?

Melissa and Adam wanted to feel comfortable on their wedding day; being the center of attention in front of a big crowd was not their idea of a good time. The solution? A backyard wedding with their closest friends and family.

The couple planned their wedding in only a month. They pulled it off by pooling the many talents of their friends and families.

“Having a small wedding made it possible to plan everything in a short time frame and we were able to include personal and handmade details that would have been difficult to include with a larger wedding,” says Melissa.

Jesslaine Elise Photography did a stellar job capturing this gorgeous Saskatchewan wedding!

Backyard Prairie wedding

Melissa, 29 & Adam, 27

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Wedding Date: August 12, 2012

Number of Guests: 25

Wedding Cost: $5,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: Bride’s parents’ acreage

Wedding Reception Location: Bride’s parents’ acreage

melissa and adam's diy backyard wedding

white gerber daisy and rose bouquet

groom in tan suit with white rose boutonniere

bride portrait in Saskatchewan

groom portrait in Saskatchewan

farm wedding

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We are both uncomfortable being the center of attention in a large group, so we knew we didn’t want a large traditional wedding. We wanted to share the day with our family, but wanted to make the day as affordable and stress free as possible.

DIY Backyard wedding ceremony

Saskatchewan farm wedding

Saskatchewan farm wedding

outdoor farm wedding ceremony

diy wedding

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding? 

We found the wedding planning relatively stress-free due to the size of the wedding. Our biggest challenges were with the timeline and planning the wedding in one month. We choose to have the wedding on a Sunday to make it easier to book vendors on such short notice. The entire wedding was outdoors, so our other challenge was the weather. We did not have a back up plan in case of rain and we into the day with fingers crossed hoping for good weather, luckily, everything worked out.

thumbprint leaf guest book

mason jar chandelier

bride with barn cat

outdoor vintage card table

backyard wedding

 Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

We did have a hard time with the guest list. There were a lot of people we would have like to have invited, but we have a large extended family and it would have quickly turned into the large wedding we knew we didn’t want. We chose to invite only parents, siblings and grandparents at the ceremony and supper. Later in the evening, we had a few friends over to celebrate with us.

backyard wedding plants

rustic barn wedding portrait

jam wedding favors

strawberry jam wedding favors

 Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them? 

Our family was very supportive of our small guest list. We invited a few close friend for drinks after the wedding. We had extended family members offer to help out with the day. My cousin and her family prepared and served all of the food and a close friend offered to help with clean-up and day of coordination so I could relax and enjoy the day.

Saskatchewan backyard wedding  reception

wedding rings on rustic wedding bouquet

vintage sewing machine wedding table with LOVE mug flower arrangements

leaf thumbprint wedding guest book

wedding portrait in front of hay bales

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

The biggest highlight was marrying my husband! It was meaningful holding the wedding where I grew up. We chose a reading that we felt best represented us and our relationship.

backyard wedding ceremony

backyard wedding ceremony

backyard farm wedding ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

DIY backyard wedding ceremony

rustic wedding portraits


What were the highlights of the reception? 

We built a pergola and mason jar chandelier in my parent’s yard for the wedding reception. We had a delicious meal and an assortment of homemade pies for dessert. Instead of a dance, we had a campfire and roasted S’mores and had a fireworks display when the sun set. A litter of kittens kept everyone pretty entertained for the evening and two of our guests even adopted kittens. We created a playlist of songs from concerts we have been to together and the movie soundtrack from our first date for a personal touch.

diy wedding

rustic backyard wedding reception table setting

diy wedding

rustic backyard wedding reception

wedding pie

backyard outdoor wedding reception with mason jar chandelier

outdoor wedding buffet

intimate backyard wedding reception

outdoor wedding buffet

outdoor wedding reception table

wedding pies

cat at outdoor wedding

wedding fire pit

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

The best thing about having an intimate wedding was that we got to have the wedding that we wanted and include the most important people in our lives. We had time to talk to everybody and still enjoy our day. Having a small wedding made it possible to plan everything in a short time frame and we were able to include personal and handmade details that would have been difficult to include with a larger wedding.

Saskatchewan wedding portrait

bride and groom in front of old barn

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Our advice is to have the wedding you want and not worry about everyone else’s expectation of your wedding. Plan a day that reflects you as a couple and have fun!

bride and groom kissing in field


Photography: Jesslaine Elise Photography

Hair and Make-Up: Chop Chop Salon

Flowers: Grower Direct Saskatoon

Dress: David’s Bridal