Backyard Wedding in Ipswich, MA


This fall I had the honor of photographing this intimate backyard wedding for Cat and Ben at a private family residence in Ipswich, Massachusetts. If you have been following the blog, you may even remember these two from their in-home engagement shoot in Boston a few months back!

For those of us who have started scrolling through the long lists of venues and vendors at the start of wedding planning and thought “maybe I’ll just get married in my backyard and throw a big cookout instead,” this post is for you. 

Cat and Ben’s backyard wedding was anything but thrown together; it was a thoroughly and thoughtfully planned celebration of their relationship, their families, and all the talented people around them. If you’re thinking of having an intimate backyard wedding, here are some things to consider when making it the perfect day for you!

  1. Start Planning Early: Although it may seem like a backyard wedding would be less work to pull together (and this may be true for some), Cat and Ben started planning over a year in advance to make each detail right for them. They chose to get ready off-site at the Essex Street Inn in Newburyport, MA and lined up vendors and helpers early on, so the rest of the day went smoothly. All this planning makes it easier to focus on the celebration itself!

  2. Choose the Time and Location Carefully: Make sure that the place you have in mind will be looking its best while you are there. Cat and Ben chose a family member’s house in Ipswich in early October, so the gorgeous fall foliage the Northeast is known for was just starting to come through — but guests were not bundled up in coats, either.

  3. Ask for Help: This was something exceptional about Cat and Ben’s celebration. Not only did they get married at a home that meant something to both of them, but they strove to include the incredible talents of friends and family members wherever possible. One provided the cake, another the floral arrangements; Cat’s father did his part by hand forging their wedding bands. Your family may not be full of designers and metallurgists, but looking to them for help with the details will alleviate some of the planning pressure and get everyone excited for the big day!

  4. Class It Up or Dress It Down: Another advantage of a backyard wedding is that it can be as formal or casual as you want it to be. Cat and Ben converted this family home into a sophisticated and elegant venue by adding handmade decorations, a tent for a formal dinner service, and a delicate arbor for the ceremony.

  5. Make it Personal: The most important part of any wedding is that it checks all the boxes for those tying the knot, and each couple brings a unique set of hopes and expectations to the planning process. Make sure to sit down with your significant other early in the planning process to figure out what kind of celebration is right for both of you. For Cat and Ben, this meant pulling in lots of small details, down to the groomsmen’s cuff links and the bridesmaids’ hand-embroidered jackets.


Brides Dress: BHLDN x Catherine Burkey

Grooms Suit: Crown Tailor

Flowers: Lauren Davis + Natick Community Farm

Cakes: Kate Motter Gregario

Donuts: Russell Orchards

Catering: Tuscan Catering

Tent: Baystate Tents