Cultivating Small Venues with Love, New Website Provides Backyard Connections for Micro-Weddings Company

HUDSON – When Carolyn Germaine was planning her wedding in fall 2019, she was looking for a private site for her little wedding. She didn’t want to go the traditional big hall route, but wanted something more intimate than a public park.

“There was nothing, absolutely nothing,” Germaine said.

This struggle stuck with her even after her marriage, and last year she decided to do something about it. Germaine set out to create an online site with a collection of private wedding sites.

To start with, she took garden tours to meet homeowners with beautiful gardens and backyards who might be interested in lending their gardens. There she met Louise Nyquist, an owner who liked her idea.

“She had the vision,” Germaine said.

Together, the two created backyardsites.com, an AirBnB-style website that connects engaged couples with owners offering their sites for small weddings.






A backyard site in Hudson offers a private venue for weddings with a view of the river. The site is one of many available on the BackyardSites.com website, a new venture of two local women to provide micro-wedding venues. Submitted photo


To build the site, the two started by sharing the vision with potential hosts. They listened to the owners before moving on to create the site itself.

The website is a nationwide business and both potential sites are welcome from anywhere in the country. For starters, they focus on the St. Croix Valley and Twin Cities area, because that’s where they come from. Currently, the site has six backyard sites available.

Micro weddings, an increasingly popular trend in the wedding industry, do not include all aspects of traditional large hall weddings.

“We’re not trying to create a traditional little room with all the embellishments, that’s not our point,” said Germiane. “We are going to have new visions.

At these weddings, the bride and groom will arrive already dressed and ready. The hosts and the couple will have a pre-wedding discussion to arrange the space as they see fit. On the day of, the hosts will be responsible for setting up chairs, providing an indoor bathroom and a plan in case of inclement weather. They are also responsible for checking with their respective municipalities to host the events. That’s the extent of the problem, Germaine said.

The sites can accommodate both micro-weddings and micro-receptions ranging from 5 to 50 people. The setup is designed to eliminate the expectations that often accompany weddings, as well as the stress and financial burden that those expectations can create.

“The vision is the one that holds on to the essential part of the wedding day, which is your wedding with the person you love, your guests are really very important and other memories of the day,” Germaine said.






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A backyard site in Minneapolis is ready for a micro-wedding. Through www.backyardsites.com, the couple and the owner work together to create a vision of the space. Submitted photo


The backyards provide an enchanting site for the couple to begin their wedding and for the guests to engage and enjoy the moment.

“The people who have these backyards and host people in these backyards, they work this land, and so you feel, in the most truthful way I can think of, you feel like you you stand on sacred ground, said Germaine.

Nyquist said it gives owners a chance to show off all of their work.

“As a gardener I had these other feelings like, I do all this work, it’s wonderful and wouldn’t it be wonderful to share that with someone,” she said.

It also allows gardeners to support young couples at the start of their marriage.

“It’s good for revitalizing people, I think and sharing the joy was part of that,” Nyquist said.

Additional income is also a benefit that can make a big difference in their life, she said.

Some of the venues will also be available for other events, including graduation ceremonies, birthdays, anniversaries, showers and more.

Those interested in being backyard hosts or having a wedding at one of the sites can find out more, view the sites, and complete applications at www.BackyardSites.com.

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