The rise of backyard weddings?

I love a backyard wedding!

10 years ago if you told me that the majority of weddings I will be shooting wouldn't be in a church, I may have laughed at you. I mean...weddings happen in churches right? As of the time of writing this blog post, I have 10 backyard, or outside weddings booked for 2018.

Now, don't take this post as me pouring hate on the church, because I certainly am not, this is just a trend that I have noticed.

Some of our churches are astonishing. The work that was put into building them is breathtaking. You don't really see buildings like that being constructed anymore.

Beth & Kenny

Beth & Kenny

Maybe the reason most couples are choosing to tie the knot outside is because Cape Breton has so many amazing spots to get married. So much breathtaking scenery, or maybe people are just spending too much money on landscaping and want to show it off? lol

Take the image above from Beth & Kenny's Wedding this past summer, for example. That actually is their backyard, and they got married just to the right of where they are dancing. Phenomenal!

The photo below from Mike & Ashely's wedding is on their families cottage property, a perfect spot for a wedding. Outside, on the water, surrounded by friends and family in a place that means something special to them. 

Mike & Ashley

Mike & Ashley

So, with this "different" style of wedding trend really taking off over the last few years, what is the reason? Are weddings moving totally away from the traditional style of  - church ceremony at 2pm - hall supper at 5pm - hall reception at 9pm? Are we seeing a shift? Would couples rather customize their own day and watch fireworks after their first dances or mingle with their guests outside in the open air with a cool breeze?

10 years ago, nearly every wedding I photographed was in a church. It was a special wedding that took place outside and that couple was "unique", it seems almost all weddings are outside, in a back yard, or on one of the beautiful Cape Breton Resorts with a Justice of the Peace.

I personally don't think it has anything to do with the church. I believe couples just tend to want a more relaxed wedding day, less formal and less spread out over the entire day making the day easier on themselves and their guests. 

As a photographer, I love it. It really makes for a fantastic day for myself and for the couples. But what are your thoughts? Are you tying the knot outside? Let me know why! Are you a wedding vendor and have noticed the trend as well? Whatever you think, leave a comment here or on Facebook and let everyone know your thoughts!


I am a wedding and portrait photographer in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Over the last 12 years I have photographed thousands of people, families and hundreds of weddings locally and abroad.
I now focus on wedding and high school senior photography. If you have a unique idea for some images, let me know!
Cape Breton Island Wedding Photographer • Scott McIntyre

Scott McIntyre