Backyard weddings are becoming more and more popular among couples who prefer a more personal and intimate feel for their big day. Not only is there less pressure, but it’s also more affordable as well. According to The Knot, the average wedding costs up to $30,000! Even the cost of renting a wedding reception site is an average of $2,500, so it’s easy to see why couples are opting to have their weddings in their own backyards rather than at expensive venues. If you’re looking to start saving for a future with your new spouse, then you probably don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on an extravagant wedding. Besides, there really is no place like home and planning an at-home wedding in your childhood backyard is a great idea.
The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to plan the perfect backyard wedding. However, it’s important to remember that your backyard isn’t an actual wedding venue—at least not yet. Most homes aren’t prepared for 100 guests, 70 cars and tons of tables and chairs required for a complete backyard wedding. It will require some work, but you won’t regret saying your vows in a place that means so much to you. If you’re looking to host your special day in the backyard of your home or a family member’s, follow this ultimate guide to ensure your special day is as perfect as possible.
Have a Realistic Guest List
First things first—how many guests do you plan on inviting? If you want to invite hundreds of people and expect to cram them into a tiny backyard, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Most people don’t find overcrowded spaces to be very enjoyable. If your backyard doesn’t have enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably, then you’ll need to revisit your guest list and start trimming it down. Backyard weddings are supposed to be smaller and more intimate than wedding receptions held in ballrooms and other venues, so keep your list down to a reasonable number of close family and friends.
Rent Enough of Everything
Hosting a wedding in your backyard will inevitably require you to rent enough tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, glassware, napkins and more. Tables and chairs will take up a lot of space, so make sure you plan accordingly. If you need more room for the reception, you can remove some of the chairs after the meal, leaving enough for people to sit down during the festivities. The last thing you want is for your guests to be cramped and have no room for dancing or mingling at your wedding.
Hire Lots of Help
We’re not saying that you can’t plan a backyard wedding all on your own, but trust us when we say that you’ll appreciate the extra help. Getting married to the love of your life is exciting, but planning a wedding is a lot of work and can be very stressful. In fact, according to one study, 96 percent of newlywed couples found wedding planning stressful and 86 percent actually suffered from stress-related symptoms while planning their wedding, such as skin breakouts, hair loss and insomnia. Don’t allow yourself to become so stressed out and exhausted that you can’t even enjoy your special day. Instead, hire a wedding coordinator to make your life easier. A wedding coordinator will be able to help you with logistics and give you a fresh perspective about what you can and can’t do when planning a wedding in your backyard. You’ll also need professionals to help with setting up, cooking and serving, parking cars, music, cleaning up and so much more.
Decorate by Making the Most of Your Backyard
You don’t have to hire a designer or invest in expensive decorations to create a beautiful wedding and reception. By simply adding thoughtful details to your landscaping, trees and other outdoor settings, you can dramatically improve your wedding’s aesthetic. Because your entire backyard will be on display, you’ll need to give it a more manicured look. Mow the lawn, trim your hedges, plant some flowers and add a few strategically placed potted plants to get your backyard in peak form. You should also consider outdoor lighting possibilities. Nothing complements a backyard wedding better than soft, romantic lighting. Decorate with hanging lights, such as paper lanterns or string lights. If you have a covered patio or porch, consider replacing your existing porch lights with fixtures that will make that area feel bigger and brighter without actually taking up space—recessed lighting is a great option. Finally, add some personal touches to your backyard, such as family photos, photos of you and your fiance and other meaningful keepsakes.
Notify Your Neighbors and Plan for Parking
Be considerate to your neighbors and let them know about your backyard wedding plans as soon as possible. Tell them when your wedding ceremony will take place and ask if they will allow your guests to use their driveways for extra parking. However, you can’t rely on your neighbors’ generosity completely, so plan ahead and make sure there will be enough street space for parking.
Have a Plan B
No matter how much planning you do, you should always be prepared for the unexpected—especially when it comes to the weather. Make sure your backyard is covered in the event of a torrential downpour or arrange to have the ceremony at an alternate location in case of rain.
Whether you’re getting married at the home where you grew up or at your new home, having a backyard wedding is a great idea and will be an event you, your spouse and your loved ones will remember for a lifetime.