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Back Yard Wedding Planner

June 4th, 2020

The Backyard Wedding Planner



“I – Dick Monroe – Father of the Bride – have been planning my daughter Chelsea Rae’s backyard wedding since the day she was born.”

I realize that this may not be quite the “dream wedding” scenario that Chelsea and Matt envisioned. Or the fancy affair that Chelsea, Matt, Robin & Abby have worked so hard, for so long, planning together.

However, due to present circumstances, after being rescheduled 8,734 times, postponed 18 more, and nearly cancelled by a pandemic twice…


My daughter’s June 13th backyard wedding & chicken BBQ is officially ON!

As a result, I’ve been scrambling around making Dad wedding preps. The only important writing I’m doing now is on wood- engraving centerpiece bases.

I’ve recruited my “Chicken BBQ Battalion”, reconnoitered the area, identified “Key Terrain” and important “Avenues of Approach”.

Now I’m busy working on our “Backyard Wedding Base Camp.

Together with Robin, Abby & family, we busy ourselves making preparations. Keeping our fingers crossed and praying that Mother Nature will cooperate and shine some sun on Chelsea & Matt’s big day, for at least a few hours.

The only thing we haven’t quite figured out yet is…

“Where’s the best spot for the outhouse?!”


It may not be the dream wedding Chelsea & Matt originally planned,

But I will do my “Dad Darnedest”

To Walk My Daughter Down An Isle Of Clover

In Rustic Backyard Elegance

On Her Wedding Day


Until Our Trails Cross Again:

I’ll be out in our backyard

Busy planning a Backyard Chicken BBQ Wedding

My Daughter’s Getting Married!

I Love You Chelsea & Matt

“May God Bless This Union”

Amen & Amen



June 6th, 2020

The Backyard Wedding Planner


Well…Have I mentioned it lately? Just in case anyone has not heard:

Chelsea Rae is getting married!

Memory photo: “Papa’s Rig”



Guess it’s time for Dad to quit messin’ around and get to work!

Seriously though, made some good progress this week. First I did a bunch of basic clean up & preparatory grounds keeping.

Then I focused on the Bonfire pit area while Robin painted the Adirondack chairs. Both projects came together as planned. Robin & I make a pretty good team.


Then, I wanted a pair of small picnic tables to go next to the bonfire pit. So Robin & I went looking. We had absolutely no luck. We found just ONE..WAYYY too big! WAYYY too expensive! What’s up with picnic tables anyways? Exactly when did they stop making them?

As a result, we came home “sans picnic table”, but still in possession of all of our dollars.

Undeterred, late last evening, I went down in my workshop and inventoried my on hand stock pile of pressure treated wood. I had a good amount on hand, some Trek boards too, left over from various deck work projects.

I stood back, thought a minute, did a bit of measuring and in my head planning, then got down to work. In about two hours, I had one picnic table completely finished, and laid out & cut the pieces for a 2nd. Not perfect, but functional, weather proof, solid construction, trek board top. Came out pretty good.

Based on current market availability and prices, I’d say I saved us about five hundred bucks! Cost to me- Two hours of my time, and zero dollars!


That’s one of my new picnic tables behind the gas grill. The grill is new too, though I did not build it.

I did lay a new gravel “grill area” for it though. Sorry, no pics of that yet. Nothing too fancy, just a few loads of gravel raked out and some patio blocks I had stacked by the shed as a base. Came out nice.

The highlight of my efforts though-what I spent most of my day working on:


This is where I will walk my daughter into the ceremony:


Chelsea Rae has not even seen it yet!

Oh! And most importantly…

We have finally figured out where we are putting the outhouse!

But that will have to be tomorrow’s project.

For the moment:

I’m going to take a break and rest on my laurels.

Until Our Trails Cross Again:

That’s all for now folks!

As Backyard Wedding Pep Progresses

I’ll post more updates & photos



June 8th, 2020

The Backyard Wedding Planner


Good morning! Well, It’s Monday morning, June 8th, 2020. We all know what that means…

Chelsea Rae is getting married in SIX DAYS!!!

Memory photo: “Our Baby Blues”

The Backyard Wedding Planner is not panicking though, not just yet. We had a very productive weekend. Our whole family pitched in. Well, except for RJ. He’s busy settling into his new apartment and his new job. Which is exactly what he should be doing right now.

First, A Brief Recap:

After finishing some basic cleanup grounds keeping, and a wedding planner assessment, I completely refurbished the Bonfire Pit area, created “The Aisle”, a “picnic area” with gas grill, started hand crafting wood centerpiece bases, picked a spot for the outhouse, and built my first picnic table.

So, as this weekend started, and I stood back and assessed, the immediate question was,of course…





FIRST PRIORITY: I cleared, leveled and laid crushed stone for the OUTHOUSE SPOT!

It’s right off the main concourse where the guest tents will be. Easy to access but out of the way. (The actual outhouse won’t show up until at least Thursday.)

Then I got to work on “The Church”.

Where Chelsea & Matt will actually get married.

I stepped back & thought to myself for a moment: “What’s a “Church” with out “pews”?

So, with some consult and cash assistance from Cheslea’s Grandma…

I hit LOWE’S (AGAIN!), got to work, and built two.

Backyard Wedding Pew #1

Backyard Wedding Pew #2

“Backyard Wedding Church Pews 1 & 2”

There will be more guest seating of course, but these are nice & shady along the main wedding concourse,and I thought they’d make great wedding photo spots.

Then, once the pews were finished I thought:

What’s a BACKYARD CHURCH WEDDING without a nice ALTAR?

So I got back to work, hit LOWE’S yet again (You all should buy stock), and created this:

“The Altar”

“Panoramic Altar View”

So, with those backyard wedding essentials complete, I got back to the picnic area, finished that up, and built a 2nd small picnic table.

“2 hand-built picnic tables”

“Backyard Picnic Area”

In addition to those projects, I cleared and created an area directly adjacent to where the guest tents will be, an area for a big “changing tent”, and also a spot for a valet parking & concierge service for guests who may not wish to hike. A vehicle will be stationed there, immediately available and accessible, but out of sight of photo ops. Complete with Valets, Chelsea’s cousins have agreed to step up.


“Backyard Wedding Valets, At Your Service.”

In addition to work on completing those tasks, I continued mowing, trimming, yard work, and of course…

Making Wedding Centerpiece Bases

“Only Three More To Go-I’m Now Up To TWELVE!”

So, I guess that’s my backyard wedding planner update for now. Time to get back to work.

Hope you enjoyed this brief update. Have a great week! Be well & safe!

More updates to follow.



AKA: “The Backyard Wedding Planner”


June 12th, 2020

Well, This is it! The final PREP DAY before Chelsea& Matt’s backyard wedding!

Memory Photo: Chelsea Ray by the bonfire. “Papa’s Rig” in the background.

It’s been a busy week. After finishing the aisle and the altar, and the pews, I worked on the entrance,with help from Robin, and some lovely hanging flower baskets & flower barrels from the Marra’s.

“The Entrance”

“The Entrance” Front & Rear Views

I got my chicken BBQ pit area prepped and ready to go! I added a course of gravel on the entrance to our guest driveway/overflow parking on my old farm lot next door, and did some clean-up work & put the island bridges in around the main pond.

We filled & pre-positioned 16 buckets with gravel and weights for the tent pole anchors, & I just put the final coat of poly on the center piece bases this morning.

Now it’s down to the final “punch list” items: putting up tents, setting up tables & chairs, running electric, bonfire tiki torches, propane for the bonfire pit grill…stuff like that.

I’ll try and add some pictures later-if I have time. I know Robin took some.

OHH! And I almost forgot! Somewhere along the line later today…


Chelsea& Matt’s Backyard Wedding is TOMORROW!

I am No Longer “The Backyard Wedding Planner”


I am now “The Backyard Chicken BBQ Pit Master”



Here it is!

The big day Finally arrived!

June 13th, 2020

Chelsea and Matt’s Backyard Wedding!

Celebrated in Photos


All Set Up & Ready to Go!

“The Altar”

“The Isle”

“The Reception Hall”

“The Cake”
“The Caterers”

“The Memory Table”


Wedding Day Photos:

The Families

Family of The Bride

Family of The Groom

“The Murphy’s”

“The Monroes”

The Grandparents


The Siblings


The Wedding Party

Father & Sons

Mother & Sister of the Bride

Mother of the Groom

Father of the Bride


The Music


The Dogs of Honor

The Man of Honor

The Maid of Honor

The Best Men

Walking The Bride to Be Down the Isle


The Wedding Ceremony

“Do you?”

“I do!”

“I now Pronounce You…”

“You May Kiss the Bride”

“The Witnesses”


The Processional


Cutting The Cake


The Speeches


The Toast




Our New Family

We did it!


“Just Married”

Backyard Wedding Mission Accomplished


Until Our Trails Cross Again: