Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Projects are a given when you own a wedding venue in your own backyard, it can’t be helped. The creative side of me see’s things that I must have; old doors with personality, rusted rod iron fence parts, unique chairs, lanterns, material at the fabric store, what is a person to do? Use them!!

Junk or Treasures

Over the years I have acquired many treasure that I knew I would use at the venue. My husband calls them junk. Les was not created to see the vision I guess, lol. However, he is willing to make my vision come to life and that is one of the reasons why I love him. ?

This whimsical photo area has been an idea of mine forever. Ever since I found these fabulous doors lying next to a shed on a flip house property. Covered in dead grass, and mice poo.  I gave them a-lick-and-promise cleaning and moved them home for a future time.

Two years

More than two years have passed. That is a long time to store something. It takes up space and is un-purposeful. We have a short weather season for doing outside projects. Most projects need to be done before wedding season or after. I don’t want a construction area in the yard during weddings, goodness no!

We encountered two problems with this set of doors; the doors are very heavy and very old. We chose a treed area that did not receive sprinkler water. My fabulous doors couldn’t take constant movement either.

Wedding Season

They needed to be set-up for wedding season and left up. Taking them up and down was not an option. The doors are also in an out of the way place, so brides do not have to use this area at all. I will seal them with outdoor sealer in case it rains. In the winter months they will be stored in the barn.

This year we had a break from weddings in August. We decided to get-er-done. It took us about three weekends to finish, and I love it! It will be fun to see how all my talented brides will decorate it for their photo sessions.

First things first:

Les and I got out the tape measure, through down some markers and the work began. Of course it never goes as planned, lol! There was way more dirt to move than I had envisioned. My husband decided it would be best to get the tractor with the bucket on it to make it go faster. I was almost in tears as the hole got bigger and bigger. My little photo area project was turning into a nightmare. Be still my heart.

HB: 016 Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Gather supplies:

2- 4 x 4 x 10 boards, 1- 4 x 4 x 8 board, 2- 60# bags  premix concrete, 50 gray retaining wall blocks, course sand for floor, 90 – 12 x 12 gray stepping stones, 1 bag natural sand, 4 screw eye lag bolts, 4 screw hook lag bolts, small river rock, 4 hurricane ties, paint.

The frame:

We dug holes for the frame boards to stand in and added the cement. Make sure your measurement is correct for the doors to fit between the poles. I painted all boards. The top board was then connected with hurricane ties.

HB: 016 Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Wall and floor:

Next the retaining walls went in. After I added sand to the floor area. Stepping stones were put in place next. I used very fine sand to sweep over the stepping stones. There was a gap between the wall and stepping stones, and we added small river rock.

HB: 016 Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Secure the doors:

This is where we used the lag bolts. The four screw-hook bolts went on the top beam and the four screw-eye bolts went in the top of the doors. Les decided to use a drill bit to make a hole before he used the hooks. He didn’t want the wood on the doors to break or crack.

The doors had parts of old hinges on them. We were able to move them to the bottom of the door and use them to secure the doors to the side poles. If a wind storm comes up we don’t have to worry about them moving.

HB: 016 Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Paint/seal the doors:

I love the color and texture on one side of these doors. The other – not so much. As of this writing I’m still contemplating what I will do. I will probably paint the green side with a new color. After, I will seal everything with a clear coat. These doors are in a protected area. But, will still get some rain from time to time.

HB: 016 Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

A venue owner must be fearless!  God given talents are meant to be used; and enjoyed by others. Never shy away from your gifts.  I used mine to create a whimsical space that everyone will enjoy. There should be no question if a project should be done. Of course it should. And you have my permission to enjoy every minute of creation.

Models for this backyard photo shoot: Grandchildren Evelyn and Tyrion

HB: 016 Creating a Whimsical Photo Area

Update 2019:

This whimsical photo area has been used a lot! I’m so glade we – just did it – lol!

Are you looking for another DIY project? Check out our DIY Outdoor Hand Wash Station.

Are you interested in owning your own Backyard Wedding Venue?

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