There are many benefits to having a backyard wedding. First and foremost, you’ll be saving a lot of money on your wedding by skipping venue rental fees. You can also choose any date you want and invite anyone you want (including pets). Not to mention, a backyard wedding can be very intimate and sentimental.
However, backyard weddings do require a bit of extra planning. While many venues come with package deals that take care of all the big and small details, for your backyard wedding you’ll be taking care of everything on your own. So, to help you be prepared for the big day, here’s our guide on how to plan a backyard wedding!
Think About Space
The first thing you should do when planning a backyard wedding is making sure you have enough space for your festivities. Think about your guest list: can everyone comfortably fit in your space? Remember to consider your guests, your staff, and event set up space. If you don’t have much space, it might be time to shorten your guest list.
Wedding Planners Are Helpful
While a wedding planner is not essential for a backyard wedding, hiring one can be very helpful. A wedding planner can view your space from an outsider’s perspective and help you decide exactly what you might need to have a successful backyard wedding.
Image Courtesy of Golden Hour Studios
You'll Need Rentals
For a backyard wedding, you’re going to need rentals. Things you’ll need include tables, chairs, dinnerware, barware, table linens, place settings, and napkins. And unless you’re only having a tiny amount of people at your wedding, you’ll also almost surely need portable bathrooms and a tent. Portable bathrooms are important because they’ll help ensure that your guests aren’t waiting in long bathroom lines, plus they’ll protect your plumbing. A tent is important whether the weather is rainy or sunny— you don’t want your guests getting wet or burning up in the sun.
Another thing you might consider renting is a generator. If your caterers or DJ need power (or even if you just have lots of lights), it might be too much for your home to handle.
Even if you’re having a very simple backyard wedding, you’re going to need to have some staff. On top of hiring caterers, bartenders, and entertainment, you’ll need people to help set up, serve, and clean up. If you want to keep staffing minimal (serve yourself bars, buffet style catering stations, etc.), you should still consider hiring cleaners. The last thing you’ll want to do after your wedding is deal with an intensive clean up!
Be Respectful of Your Neighbors
If you’re having your backyard wedding in an area where you have nearby neighbors, you should remember to be respectful of them. Tell them about your wedding one to two months in advance so they can be prepared. Remember to also be conscious of your party’s volume (especially later in the evening) to not disturb your neighbors too much.
If you’re having a lot of guests (and staff) at your backyard wedding, that amount of cars might be a bit too much for your neighborhood street to accommodate. So, consider hiring a valet service or arrange for shuttle transportation from a nearby parking lot.
You Might Need a Permit
Depending on your city, you might need a permit to host a large party at your residence. Make sure to research your area’s laws well in advance to so everything goes smoothly.
Protect Your Home
When you’re having a large number of people at a residence (especially people who might be drinking), remember to make plans to protect your home. If you want to have the whole party outside, you can simply have all the necessary amenities out there and lock your doors. But if you’ll be having guests in some parts of your home, be sure to make it clear where they can and can’t go. You can do this by locking doors or by making DIY “No Entry” banners.
Lastly, let’s talk about landscaping. You’ll want to make sure your yard looks lovely for your wedding, so be sure to groom your lawn and plants in advance of the big day. If you want to go the extra mile with your landscaping, plant flowers in the seasons leading up to your wedding for some natural floral beauty.