DIY Weddings: A Backyard Wedding With Homemade Brew
For a lot of us, a backyard wedding is the epitome of the ideal wedding. Maybe it’s because we’ve watched Father of the Bride one too many times, but we don’t think that’s quite it. The backyard wedding we’re dreaming of is down-to-earth and personal. There’s something incredibly touching about starting your new family in the place where your forever-family raised you. And while most of our family homes don’t have yards that are big enough or beautiful enough to make our big day as incredible as we want it to be, our next couple, Kristin and Bryan, had just that and they put it to the best use possible.
While wearing a Jenny Woo dress, Kristin walked down the aisle at her parent’s home near Sacramento, California. Her dad gets all the credit for spending years building their backyard into a refuge that borders on botanical garden.
The site of the ceremony was anchored by an old draping willow tree. The scene was romantic enough to give goosebumps to the entire guest list… and anyone looking at this image.
A sort of garland was created by tying flowers into the branches of the willow, which in turn lead to a subtle frame for the bride and groom’s to take center stage while stating their vows. The bride adds, “While the ceremony flew by, it is still such an incredible moment to reflect on now. I usually get crazy nerves in front of crowds, but it felt as though we were the only people there.”
When it comes to staging the vibe, Kristin tells us that she and Bryan “were really focused on creating a fun, relaxed atmosphere while still acknowledging the fact that getting married is a big deal! It was important to have an amazing event that all of our loved ones would enjoy, but not to create a scene that would make us totally stressed out or unable to be present. The food and drink, atmosphere and dance party were where we spent the majority of our planning time. We were going for delicious, beautiful and hysterically fun.”
As far as adding personal touches goes, Kristin shares, “We spent a ton of time on the DIY elements, and the weeks leading up to the wedding were crazy (and super fun!). Friends and family came over every night to help us.”
And just what did they help them with? Lots of things, but let’s start with the gilded terra cotta pots, which held their beautiful gold, peach, cream and warm orange arrangements created by floral designers Scarlett and Grace. This is a project you can totally tackle yourself. We even have a tutorial for you right here.
The latest must-have for wedding fun, cornhole, is something you can also make yourself. Best of all, you can set it up in your yard after the ceremony, use it for years to come and it will serve as a reminder of your happy day. To make yours, check out Cornhole How To, a site dedicated to making the game. If you run out of time to sew the bags, Etsy is always there to help you out.
And probably our favorite (and their guests’ favorite) DIY element of the wedding was Kristin and Bryan’s favors, which doubled as escort cards. They home brewed their own beer and had a friend design the labels. Each guest went to their table (and then home!) with a four pack. Not a bad way to end an epic day. Try your own home brewing adventures with a kit or the American Homebrewers Association is happy to take you through the process.
If you want to have at least one DIY element to your wedding, table numbers are kind of the way to go. There are a million ways to do them. There are no wrong or right answers and they can be as complicated or as simple as you want. In Kristin and Bryan’s case, they were incredibly simple and beautiful. If you like the watercolor look (which we wholeheartedly encourage), we can help you out with our own little how to.
Their menus looked totally pro, but were actually made by the couple and their friends. Bryan told us that the willow tree “became a sort of motif throughout the design and was included on the menus, save the dates, etc.”
Bryan and Kristin replaced their guestbook with something we’re totally swooning over — a Wish Station, where guests made predictions about the happy couple with prompts like: “Where Do You See Us in 25 Years?”
If you ask the groom what his favorite part of the day was, he’ll tell you that it was when their photographer Kris Holland grabbed them in the middle of cocktail hour for a photo shoot in the back of the property: “We’re talking hiking through weeds, trampling on burrs, bugs and dirt. We had a great moment to reflect on all that had just happened, and we are so thankful to have had that space together.”
Bryan and Kristin left us with a suggestion that we think is a good one to pass on to all engaged couples: “We spent a weekend away a few weeks before our wedding to focus completely on writing our vows, talking about what we were hoping for from our marriage and our excitement about it all. It was a very, very special time and highly recommended!”
The couples’ final thoughts? “We were so lucky to have such an amazing community to lean on and support us through all of the planning stages. If you are planning on doing a lot of DIY, enlist your troops!” Not only will asking for help ensure that the projects you’re passionate about get finished, but it’s a way for your friends to be involved on another level.
Floral Design: Scarlett + Grace
Wedding Planner: Catrina Arcularius of Catrina Maria Designs
Photographer: Kris Holland Photography
Print Designers: Jack and Ginger Studios
Hair + Makeup: Polish and Pout
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
If you have a super creative wedding you’d like to share, we want to know! Just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message in the comments below.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com