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Tips For Planning A Fabulous Backyard Wedding

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Planning to have your wedding at home? Don’t miss these backyard wedding tips for hosting a smooth and enjoyable event in your own backyard!


Picture the scene–a beautifully manicured lawn with a huge white arbor propped up in the center, tables full of delicious food surrounded by gorgeous decorations and beautiful flowers. In the middle are a bride and groom, smiling and happy, posing for pictures to remember the day for the rest of their lives. Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?

Well, this is a quick description of a backyard wedding. You can host the wedding of the century in your own backyard quite easily today. All you have to do is make sure that everything is planned out and that you stick to your budget. This is easier than you may think if you follow these tips for a great backyard wedding:

Tips for Throwing a Backyard Wedding and Making it Magical

A backyard wedding can be a beautiful affair and may save you some serious money on your wedding budget, but it’s not without its challenges. With some extra planning, your backyard wedding will go off without a hitch and be a truly personal and memorable affair.

1. Get the Guest List Right

Creating a reasonable list of attendees for a backyard wedding is a must in more ways than one. You should always make sure that you only invite the number of people that can be accommodated in your home. Keep your headcount realistic to avoid overcrowding which could ruin the vibe of your event, not to mention create logistical problems with restrooms, parking, and other headaches.

2. Prepare for Inclement Weather

Outdoor weddings will always have the added component of planning for the weather, and backyard wedding planning is no different. Take a look at the temperatures and precipitation for your wedding month in the past few years to get an idea of what you can expect.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst in terms of the weather– that way you will be ready for anything and won’t end up disappointed. Rain is always a possibility unless you’re in a desert, so make sure to prepare accordingly. You’ll need rain coverage or an alternative indoor location planned just in case. Some rental companies allow you to keep a tent on ‘standby’ and if it ends up unused due to beautiful weather they will not charge you the full amount for the rental.

Making Your Backyard Wedding Magical

3. Embrace the Natural Decor

You don’t need a ton of decorations when you have an outdoor wedding because the natural scenery is so nice! Consider planting some extra flowers or grab planters from your local home improvement store. You can also easily make affordable decorations to hang from trees, chairs, etc. Working with your natural setting can lead to some beautiful centerpieces and decorations. You can gather branches to create lovely tree centerpieces or flowers from the garden for a more traditional arrangement.

4. Call In Reinforcements

Planning a backyard wedding often involves a large number of do-it-yourself tasks. Be sure not to overwhelm yourself. Enlist friends and family to help and hire a professional here and there to take some of the stress off. For the big day itself, try to make sure that your job as a couple is simply to say your vows, take pictures and enjoy yourselves.

A good set of family and friends will always rally around when it comes to arranging a wedding in your backyard. Never be afraid to use them by delegating tasks to save yourself from stress. Make the most of any offers to get quotes from various companies, arrange mundane tasks like renting tables and generators, and making food or decorations. The more help you get, the more likely you are to get through this in one piece.

5. DIY Wedding Improvements

Nobody owns a perfect house or garden. Backyard weddings expose your property for what it is, so make sure that you’ve identified all the problem areas and repaired them accordingly. You could also make additions to your home to advance its appeal and functionality during the wedding if your budget allows. Installing patio porch swings, for example, will add to the aesthetics of your home as well as provide a comfortable place to sit. The advantage will be two-fold; adding something that will help out with the big day but something you could still enjoy for years to come– helps justify the cost.

6. Outdoor Lighting

One of the most important tips for having a backyard wedding is to have the right lighting. Good lighting can transform your backyard into a fairy tale wedding venue. You need proper lighting so that the party will go on into the night without accidents, but there are ways to do it that can heighten the ambiance. Consider strings of twinkle lights, paper lanterns, or mason jars with candles inside hanging from the tree limbs. You can find many other attractive outdoor lighting options in the garden center of most department stores. Stake lighting, glow-in-the-dark stones or uplights are all fun and interesting ways to light your walkways and ensure the safety of your guests. Lanterns can also make attractive centerpieces and have the added bonus of adding some more illumination to your tables.

7. Setting the Mood with Music

After lighting, the other main contributor to the mood of a backyard wedding is music — but both have to be spot on. Music adds atmosphere so be sure to choose the perfect reception playlist to complement the ambiance! You’ll also want to be sure you have appropriate speakers to project your music to your guests. Just double-check about local noise ordinances so you know when the sound “curfew” begins!

8. Investing In Priorities

When it comes to wedding planning tips, backyard weddings aren’t much different than any other type of event. How much do you need to spend on a backyard wedding? Well, that depends on your priorities and preferences. You can rent larger equipment like tables, chairs, and lighting systems and that tends to work out to be less expensive than if you were to buy it all. Get plenty of quotes before you decide either way. Having the wedding in your backyard will instantly save you on the site fee, but remember that tents and other rentals will still be necessary and can add up quickly.

9. Personalize the Day

Having a wedding in your backyard already gives your wedding a more personal feel. Keep the ‘You-ness’ of the day going by including pieces of your love story into the ceremony and reception. Love music? Give mix CD favors to your guests of all the different bands you’ve seen together. Live for ice cream? Skip the cake and have a sundae buffet. This day is to celebrate your love, so make it as personal as possible. Your guests will love getting to know you both more as a couple in the process, and will make them feel special to be included!

10. The Perfect Temperature

Too hot or too cold? Which would you prefer for your wedding day? If you’re planning a backyard wedding, you are taking a chance with the weather no matter when you choose to get married. However, you can always rent a heater or fan depending on the weather for your event. If it’s hot, offer your guests ice-cold lemonade or tea or place paper fans on each chair. If it’s chilly, offer pashminas for the ladies and serve hot cocoa or cider to warm up your guests.

Making Your Backyard Wedding Magical

11. Picture Perfect

The majority of couples consider photography to be of the highest priority when it comes to wedding vendors. You want to record the day for posterity so be sure to have a professional on board. You could also have disposable cameras available on the tables or set up your own photo booth for guests to take photos so you get a little bit of fun in with that too!

When it comes to wedding photography, an outdoor setting can lead to some spectacular pictures. Include country touches like a barn door or wood barrels in the background for a charming rustic feel. Rent or borrow some antique furniture and place it near some trees for a combination of chic and fairy tale woods impression. Make sure your photographer knows what the lighting conditions will be like ahead of time so he or she can bring the right equipment to make you look your best.

12. Checking The Necessities

It’s important to remember the practical aspects of planning a backyard wedding, especially if it’s going to be a large gathering. For example, 200 wedding guests and one guest bathroom is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you have a plan for restrooms, garbage disposal, and other practical issues. If you don’t have enough restrooms in your home for the number of guests you are inviting, you can rent luxury restroom trailers to keep on your property for the day. Make sure all garbage disposal areas are clearly marked to minimize the cleanup afterward.

Making Your Backyard Wedding Magical

13. Have Proper Supplies on Hand

Good backyard wedding planning means making sure your guests are comfortable. To be prepared for an outdoor wedding, have plenty of water on hand to offer them and fans if it is hot. A basket filled with useful items like sunscreen and/or insect repellent can make the day more comfortable for everyone. If high-heeled shoes will sink into the ground in your yard, be sure to warn the ladies to wear flats. These little touches show your guests that you care and will help everyone focus on the joy of the day rather than on small annoyances.

14. Define Your Ceremony + Reception Areas

Depending on the size of your property, you may not have enough space for separate ceremony and reception areas. Be sure to think through the flow of your event. Will you have to do a “quick change” and rearrange your ceremony seating into a reception style? What sort of backdrop will you use for your ceremony altar? Will you be having a dance floor and a DJ? Make a “floorplan” of your backyard and sketch out where each important item will go so you have a plan in place for the big day.

15. Consider Parking

Does your street have enough room for your guests to park their cars? Or will they have to park a bit farther away? If you’re expecting a large number of guests and you don’t have ample parking, you may want to consider arranging a shuttle or even suggesting your guests carpool or use a rideshare service like Uber instead.

A backyard wedding can be both beautiful and elegant– it’s not just for rustic or boho brides. Make sure your wedding matches your style as a couple and makes you both happy.

Getting married at home can be the best day of your life if you take the time to iron out all the details properly in advance. Create a beautiful event in your own backyard and you’ll be able to recall the memories of your big day every time you step into it. We hope these backyard wedding tips prove to be helpful in your own planning experience!


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