THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLAN A BACKYARD WEDDING
A backyard wedding is perfect for the couples who love being outdoors and want to have a meaningful wedding celebration with a unique touch. Having a backyard wedding has it's perks, like convenience and cost, but also has a few extra details you need to consider, like having the capacity to actually be able to host a wedding in your backyard. Nonetheless, we will cover everything you need to know about backyard weddings. Keep reading to learn if a backyard wedding is right for you and how to throw the best wedding celebration in your backyard!
LET'S START OFF WITH THE BENEFITS OF A BACKYARD WEDDING:
You will save money - Having a backyard wedding means you'll have to bring everything in like tables, chairs, glassware, etc. BUT they won't outweigh the costs associated with weddings that are hosted at a venue like rental fees, security, parking and more.
You can choose any date - You have the freedom to choose your own wedding date, since you aren't competing with any other couples for a date. This helps relive stress, as you have total control and can actually decide to get married on a peak wedding day, like a Saturday in August, without having to book a year in advance or pay any premiums for the popular wedding date.
You can include your furry friends - If you have any pets, you can have them be part of your wedding without having to worry about where your dog will go after the ceremony, since you're right at home! Whether they are with you for your getting ready photos, or walking down the aisle to start the ceremony, it will be a special moment to have your furry friends be part of your big day.
You can keep your guest list small - Having a backyard wedding usually means you have limited space (unless you have a large property), so you can opt for an intimate wedding sharing your celebration with your closest family & friends. Having a smaller wedding also helps keep costs down as well, which is always a great thing, right?
You feel right at home - Whether you're at your own house or a family member's house, you can do as you please and don't have to worry about sharing the space with other couples. You and your guests will feel more comfortable being in a space that feels like home (because maybe it is) and it will be a special memory your family and friends will cherish forever.
Now that you know the benefits of a backyard wedding, let's get into the details about what it takes to host a wedding in your backyard.
Setup - Do you have a gorgeous willow tree to say "I Do" under? Maybe opt for al fresco dining with twinkle lights everywhere! First and foremost, you need to consider where your ceremony & reception will be held, so you can prep accordingly. Ensure the ground is level for furniture rentals like chairs & tables, and if you are renting a tent. You may even consider sprucing up the backyard with a few new plants and flowers. One thing that is a MUST to do before your backyard wedding is cut the grass, at least a few days before your big day.
Power - You'll be using a lot of power on the day of your wedding for things like catering equipment, lights, DJ or band equipment, etc. To refrain from having a power outage, renting a generator is a must! Talk to all your vendors to see what is needed on their end so you determine how much power is needed. If you have a wedding planner, ask for advice on what has been needed in the past and consult the generator rental company to make sure you are covered for your wedding.
Permits - When having a large gathering on your property, you should consult with city officials to confirm what permits are needed to do so. Depending where you live, they can include fire codes, health department regulations, and zoning issues. It is important to let your vendor team know if any permits are needed, so they can file additional paperwork if needed.
Insurance- It's hard to think something bad will happen on your wedding day, but it's always best to plan for the worst, so you don't have to stress about it later. Check with your vendors on what their insurance policies cover and then consult with your home owner's insurance as well. If damage is covered within your home insurance, you may not have to purchase additional insurance.
Neighbours - If you're not inviting your neighbours to your wedding, the nice neighbourly thing to do is give them a heads up about it! Let them know a couple of months before and maybe even consider gifting them something small to show your appreciation. It's best to keep everyone happy, so you don't have any headaches to deal with on your wedding day. Once you finalize your wedding day timeline, it's best to share it with your neighbours so they can plan accordingly.
Clean-Up - This is the not-so-fun stuff you have to deal with, but it's better to plan ahead so you don't have a huge mess to deal with after your wedding. Have garbage and recycling cans in designated areas, like by the bar or buffet table. If your catering staff does not empty the bins, make sure to designate someone to monitor these as they can fill up quickly.
Backup Plan - Weather is something to ALWAYS consider on your wedding, but when you are having a backyard wedding, it's a MUST to have a backup plan. I know you really don't want to think about rain on your wedding day, but there is a slight chance it could. Please plan for it, along with any other weather changes that may cause you to rent heaters or fans to keep guests comfortable. If you have a large enough house, bring the party inside. If not, a tent would be needed and it's best to have all walls enclosed in case it's not the sunny day it was supposed to be.
Timeline - A wedding day timeline is always needed, but a few details to consider when having a backyard wedding is sunlight and no extra downtime. You want to plan your wedding keeping light in mind. You don't want to start too early and have the guests cooking in the sun while they wait for the ceremony to start. Since your wedding will all be in one place, you need to ensure the flow is seamless. Following your ceremony should be the cocktail reception, then move onto dinner and dancing. You may not be able to have a late night because you don't want to upset the neighbours or receive any noise complaints, so do plan accordingly so your wedding day has a nice relaxing flow.
Planning a backyard wedding may not have been something you thought you would go for, but being in the midst of a global crisis, it may be the best option for you right now. You can keep it intimate, personal and have a wedding that is perfect for you!
I've been part of a handful of backyard weddings and they really are so special and meaningful. If you think a backyard wedding is for you and need help planning your wedding celebration, get in touch today and let's start the fun!