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Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical WeddingGuerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

Guerrilla Weddings: How To Make A Backdrop Anywhere | A Practical Wedding

In the last of the guerilla wedding decoration series, we tackle the most traditional spot for a public space wedding: in front of a big ass tree. While trees are beautiful on their own, adding some pops of color are a-okay by me.

The supplies you’ll need to gather: around 30 pieces of 12” x 12” colorful cardstock, a large bowl (or something large that’s round. Or even a compass), a pencil, some scissors, clear monofilament string, and strong tape. Start by tracing the bowl onto the cardstock to create a large circle. Cut out the circle. Do this on all 30 pieces of your brightly colored cardstock. Bring these circles with you to that perfect tree you’ll be getting married under. Starting in the middle of the trunk, tape the circles to the tree in a random pattern. Layer them on top of each other and try not to put two of the same color next to each other. After the first layer of circles is taped on, secure them to the tree with the monofilament by tying a large piece around the trunk. This is just an extra layer of protection against wind. Color up the string with more circles. Keep taping on circles until you are happy with the end result. It helps to stand back a few feet every now and then to take a look at your progress.

Now, get married in front of your easy, DIY backdrop. Here, Amber is showing where she would stand if she was officiating a wedding. Oh, you didn’t know that Amber was ordained? Well, she is. Because she’s awesome.

Photos by Monica of Hart & Sol East, Crafting and Graphic Design by Michelle Edgemont, with Crafting Assistance by Amber Marlow (all APW advertisers)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • Christina

    Love this! Could you do a post for us brides in WIC reception halls that don’t allow you to hang things on the walls? I would love a photobooth backdrop that is not a blank wall, and am envisioning something involving tripods like how photographer backdrops are held up in a studio– but not sure where I’m going with it. Help!! :)

    • http://www.michelleedgemont.com Michelle

      Love this idea! As I understand it, there are two options you could go with: A) rent a backdrop support from your local professional photography store, or B) make your own frame out of PVC pipe, which is readily available at Home Depot/Lowe’s. For the PVC, imagine a big letter H with a bar across the top and feet. I hope that makes sense! Then, hang something awesome off of either. Hmmm….this is the perfect idea for a new DIY post.

    • meg

      And funny enough, I think Maddie may habe a detailed tutorial on that up her sleeve.

      • Christina

        Awesome idea, the people at my photography store are really nice too so lets hope they have something. I can’t wait to see what Maddie has up her sleeve. Thanks ladies!

    • Julia

      Hi,
      I remembered having seen a tutorial online, and found it :-D Maybe that can help you if you decide to build the backdrop stand after all…

      http://www.weddingbee.com/2010/08/23/build-your-own-photo-booth/

      Cheers & good luck!

  • Kestrel

    I think a great variation on this would be to hang the circles from fishing line from the branches of the tree – it could be a little more far reaching and a bit more airy that way.

    • marbella

      we just did something similar for my friends photo booth at her ranch in CA – we hung a ton of different coloured ribbons off a somewhat horizontal branch. We liked them blowing in the breeze but you could also anchor them at the ground if you wanted too.

    • Flood

      You know what is great for this? Cake rounds. A little sturdier, spraypaintable, and a box of hundred will run you about ten bucks.

    • http://www.michelleedgemont.com Michelle

      So funny you said this because I tried that exact thing when we were shooting, but there was crazy, crazy wind that day and all the hanging circles were blowing away. Great idea!

      • MEI

        Michelle, unrelated, but lip color in the post. LOVES. Seriously. You mind sharing what it is?

        • http://www.michelleedgemont.com michelle

          Mei, hi! The lip color is Lancome Rouge In Love in color Rose Boudoir. It stays on through eating and drinking and still feels like a chapstick. Love it.

          • MEI

            Thank you!!!!!!

  • http://penn.typepad.com Leah

    To save time, I imagine it’d be simpler to create the overlapping circles at home (tape them to each other) and then just use the fishing line/tape on the back to secure this to the tree.

  • http://theambershow.net Amber, theAmber Show (Amber Marlow Photography)

    Ha! I’m ordained in the five boroughs of NYC – if anyone wants to get guerrilla married in Prospect Park (or my backyard, where we shot all the prep photos), get in touch! I’m currently only accepting payments of alcoholic beverages.

    • meg

      WHO IS IN? I AM IN. Oh, shoot. I’m married.

      • MDBethann

        Vow renewal ceremony???

        • meg

          Never. As Miss Manners says, that implies the option not to renew. (I love that woman.)

          • MDBethann

            Didn’t know she said that. Good point.

            An anniversary celebration then :-)

  • Class of 1980

    Love weddings in front of “big ass” trees. ;) Nature’s cathedrals.

  • http://Www.lauGhterinthelou.com Emma

    Delightful! I love when I can enjoy a post even when I might not use it anytime soon. Thanks!

  • http://www.madamvonsassypants.wordpress.com madamvonsassypants

    Oooh ooh ooh! This is perfect! Our wedding stationary features a lot of overlapping colorful circles (Venn diagrams, anyone?), and this would be an awesome way to bring that theme out into the day itself.

    And it’s cheap and easy– my favorite.
    Craft, that is.

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