Element #1: Gorgeous backdrop.
My parents have a house in the country on beautiful land. They got this little archway to put up and surrounded it with flowers and bales of hay for guest seating.
This huge planter is an upcycled old satellite dish. Genious? I think so.
If you time it right, you can get some great sunset photos.
Mason jar lights hanging in the trees, twinkling to light up the pathways and line the property as it got dark.
Element #3: A family who gets involved in all aspects.
Brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, nephews, friends...people willing to pitch in and clean, bake, organize, rearrange seating, make an occasional emergency batch of coleslaw, create table decor, and anything else that needs to be done.
A brother who is an A/V genius.
A photographer sister. In this case, the bride...so she developed an incredible way to capture images even though she wasn't able to be the one taking the images: an outdoor DIY photo booth! It was a huge hit - these pictures were taken long after the sun set:
Element #4: A plan for the end of the event.
Since this really was out in the country, my parents arranged for a bus (yes, a big yellow school bus) to drive guests from the hotel about 45 miles away to the wedding and drive them all safely back at the end of the evening. No worries about people driving after having a beer or two. Everyone got home safely, and as the bus pulled out onto the country road, the event cleanup got underway.