'Queer Eye' star Bobby Berk surprised 5 couples who had to cancel their weddings with backyard makeovers to have at-home ceremonies
- Bobby Berk partnered with Lowe's to give five couples who had to postpone their June wedding celebrations dream backyard makeovers for at-home weddings.
- Berk had a Zoom consultation with each couple, helping them choose a vibe for their outdoor space.
- The design expert recommends buying items you can see yourself using long-term when decorating your backyard for a wedding.
- Berk is encouraging couples to post photos of their backyard DIY projects with #HomeUnitesUs on social media so he can see their at-home weddings.
Wedding postponements have become as common as wedding themselves in 2020, as many engaged couples had to put off their big days.
Some couples are deciding to get married in intimate backyard ceremonies as they wait for their big wedding celebrations, but many still struggle with feeling like their event isn't what they imagined.
Lowe's decided to make altering wedding plans a little less painful for some engaged couples with the help of a famous designer.
Lowe's teamed up with Bobby Berk to surprise five couples with dream backyard makeovers for their weddings
To help soften the blow of losing out on their big wedding celebrations, Lowe's gifted five couples from across the US backyard makeovers for their home weddings.
The company enlisted "Queer Eye" star Bobby Berk to help the couples design their dream backyards.
"It's so close to my heart," Berk told Insider of why he wanted to partner with Lowe's, saying that he had loved ones who had to postpone their weddings. "I have so many friends who have been so devastated."
Berk and Lowe's collaborated on three collections to help couples give their backyard the boost they needed, including Alexis Egeland and Mark Ford. The duo gave Ford's family cabin a romantic feel for the event with drapery and statement lighting, including a chandelier.
"Lowe's and I are joining forces to help engaged couples get their spaces ready for one of the most special moments at home this June – their wedding," Berk said in a press release provided to Insider. "We're working together to give couples the stylish products they need to create a space worthy of one of life's most pivotal moments and show that any home can be transformed into an unforgettable venue."
Berk met with each couple via Zoom, and his appearance was an added surprise for the couples.
Berk is familiar with surprises, both from his work on 'Queer Eye' and from his own wedding
Fans of "Queer Eye" have seen Berk and the rest of the Fab Five surprise countless people with dream home makeovers.
"It's always fun, just like on 'Queer Eye,' to surprise somebody with something good," Berk said. "They're really grateful for it."
But he said working with couples who were throwing last-minute weddings was even more special for him.
"My wedding was a surprise," Berk told Insider. "I didn't know it was happening. My husband surprised me with an engagement and a wedding all on the same day."
Berk and his husband, Dewey Do, tied the knot in 2012, according to Berk's Instagram.
"This couldn't be more perfect," Berk said of his attitude toward surprising the couples.
Berk helped each couple design their space using three collections from Lowe's
Lowe's made items from its Bohemian, Farmhouse and Coastal Chic outdoor collections available to the couples.
The couples selected for the makeovers got to pick furniture from the lines that best suited their style with input from Berk.
"When I work on 'Queer Eye' or any of my clients, we find out the things that they love the most," Berk said of how he helps clients figure out their design style. "We asked them to put together a Pinterest board of their perfect look and that's how I decided which collections to choose for them."
Berk also said the mood boards didn't necessarily have to do with design. "Often I have clients or heroes on 'Queer Eye' put together things that have really nothing to do with design, because often when you ask people, 'Hey, put together your favorite things of design,' they don't know because it's not really something they'd ever had to deal with."
"So I'm like, 'give me pictures of your dream vacation, give me pictures of your favorite show, your favorite clothes,' and that ties it," he said.
For instance, Berk helped Brooklyn-based middle-school sweethearts Nyanka Noire and Brent Jules, give their backyard a tropical feel inspired by Noire's childhood in the West Indies using items from the Coastal Chic collection.
The abundant greenery, gold chairs, and smartly-placed drapery instantly give the space a tropical feel.
Likewise, Milo Anderson and Lance Putnam had been planning a destination wedding to Spain before the pandemic hit.
Berk helped them bring a Mediterranean vibe to their backyard, using a pergola and statement string lights to elevate the space.
The space is romantic without being over the top, striking the perfect balance for an outdoor wedding.
Berk told Insider it was a bit easier to work with the couples on their backyards than some of his other clients, as they had already planned their weddings and had an idea of what they wanted their nuptials to look like.
Berk advised couples planning backyard weddings to think of their long-term vision for their outdoor spaces as they decorate
"Look for things that have longevity in your backyard — things that you can continue to use after your wedding," Berk said, as it doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on something you'll only use once. "We're all on a budget right now."
For instance, newlyweds Torrey Zimmer and Zach Sheets will be able to use their firepit for years to come. The couple's succulents and sand-themed wedding easily translated to the backyard with help from Berk.
Berk said it's particularly important for engaged couples to think long-term because of the cost of a wedding. "Especially if you've already put money into a destination wedding or another big wedding, you want to choose things like market lights and great landscaping that is going to enhance your yard for years and years and years to come," he said.
"If you're doing seating, do bench seating that you can continue to use and you'd have friends come over after and you can also get more people in those seats," Berk gave as another example of a way to buy smart when it comes to your backyard furniture.
Similarly, everything from the Moroccan rug to the concrete planters in Sonja Koehler and James Godfrey's backyard is multifunctional.
Berk helped the couple combine items that referenced both the beach and an industrial brewery where they were originally supposed to have their wedding.
Berk also told Insider that if you can only splurge on one big thing for your outdoor space as you prepare for a backyard wedding, you should focus on landscaping.
"A lot of times people don't think about landscaping as decor, but for me it really is," he said, pointing to Lowe's selection of plants as a great place to get started on the green space in your backyard. "If you live in an area where you can really enjoy your yard year-round, it's really important to think of your plants in stages the way they were throughout the year, so that way you always have color in your backyard."
In addition, Berk encouraged couples not to be afraid to get creative as they decorate for their weddings; they can even use removable wallpaper to decorate a space. "If you wanted a cool backdrop in your backyard, you can put that on one of your exterior walls and then remove it when you're done," he said. Berk's removable wallpapers are available at Lowe's.
If you're having a backyard wedding and want to share how you transform your space with Berk, you can post photos of your DIY projects to social media with #HomeUnitesUs, as Berk will be searching the tag. "I love checking out people's DIY stuff," he said.
And you can learn more about Berk's collaboration with Lowe's, as well as the brand's new collections, here.
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