Getting married is a major life event that you’ll never forget. If you’re planning to walk down the aisle with that special someone, a backyard wedding is a great way to say your vows and tie the knot on a budget. Whether your outdoor space is large or small, it’s easy to plan a backyard wedding if you know where to start. From summer celebrations to a beautiful autumn ceremony, read on to learn how you can plan your wedding for a special moment right in your own backyard.
How to Get Started: Review the Logistics
Before you pick out what wedding favours you’ll have and the décor for the day, start with the logistics. How successful your wedding is will depend on where you live, the time of year, and the weather. Try to nail down a date where you feel confident the weather will hold out for a glorious day. You should also check out whether or not you’ll need a special licence to get married in your backyard, as some locations still require a permit to perform official ceremonies in a private space. Find out how to get the right amount of power for music, lighting etc. An extension cord might do the trick but be aware that it also poses a trip hazard. Determine how much equipment will be needed for the wedding so you can get the proper power source set up. You might need a generator to create power for things like speakers and catering equipment.
In addition to permits and power, now’s the time to clean up your yard and get it ready for the big day. Get rid of old dead plants, tree branches, and weeds to create a clean slate for your ceremony and after-party. Come up with a layout now so it’ll be easier when it’s time to set everything up. Another crucial thing to keep in mind is wedding insurance. You might not think you need it in your own backyard, but it’s good to check it out to see what’s covered in case a guest gets injured on your property. Other things to consider include parking and notifying your neighbours in advance.
Once you’ve listed all of the logistics, the fun part begins. Think about the special features you want to include in your backyard wedding. Will you have a specific theme? Will you have lots of flowers? Seats for everyone? A dance floor or stage? Karaoke? Write down a list of ideas and tweak them as you go. Think of planning your backyard wedding the same way you would in any other venue. If you love music, add outdoor speakers so everyone can dance to your favourite tunes. A beautiful fountain can add a nice touch to an outdoor wedding, too. And a photo-booth will help you and your guests capture all those magical moments. Brainstorm several different features you’d like to see so you can start planning ahead as early as possible. But remember, keep it as simple as you want. A backyard wedding doesn’t have to be over the top and complex.
Benefits of a Backyard Wedding
While a formal venue is always nice, there are plenty of awesome benefits to getting married in your backyard. First and foremost, you’ll save a ton of money on the cost by having it on your backyard. That fact alone makes considering a backyard wedding worth the effort! Aside from saving money, here are some other benefits of hosting a backyard wedding:
- If your pets are part of your family, you can enjoy their company at the wedding. You can certainly enlist your pooch to be the best man if you decide to get married DIY.
- Aside from the wedding itself, you can also host a backyard rehearsal dinner. Have some casual food catered in, or just cook some food on the barbecue for your wedding party to enjoy.
- Since your backyard probably has limited space, you can keep your guest list small, too. The fewer guests you have, the less money you’ll need to spend on things like food and entertainment.
- Backyard weddings give you the flexibility to choose any date you want to get married. Instead of planning around the “wedding season” to find an open slot, you can pick any day you like when you host your own backyard wedding.
- You might be nervous about getting married but doing it in a familiar place is a great way to calm those nerves and help you feel more relaxed and at home.
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Have A Plan B in Place
There’s no way you can predict the weather to a T, so be sure you have an alternative “Plan B” in place just in case the storms roll in or it’s a really hot day or there are strong winds or hail. Weather can change in an instant. Draft up a Plan B where you can move everyone inside your home or shed at a moment’s notice if you need to. Having a Plan B is essential so that you’re not going to have to worry about it on your wedding day. If the weather gods are unkind, just head straight to Plan B! If you’re insistent on keeping the celebration outside, hire a marquee that you can use, in case of an emergency. Make sure someone can pick the marquee up just in case you need it at short notice. Ensure that the sides of the marquee are covered to protect everyone from the rain. If the weather happens to be unseasonably hot, have plenty of fans, umbrellas, sunscreen and drinking water available. If it’s cold, stock up on outdoor heaters. Having these safeguards in place will keep your stress levels low and the wedding moving along without a hitch.
Wedding planners are experts at creating the perfect timeline. If you’re doing everything on your own, it’s crucial to make sure you create a timeline that works. Think about scheduling your ceremony early so you’re not saying your vows in the dark. Try to avoid too much downtime between the ceremony and after party, so your guests are looked after. If possible, try to schedule at least some of your wedding photos before the ceremony begins so you can mingle and visit with guests directly after the ceremony is over. If you can’t get pictures beforehand, consider a few fun backyard games or activities to keep everyone entertained while they wait. Finally, remember to be mindful of your neighbours and try to agree on an official time when the after-party will finish. You can always move on to a local bar or another hot spot later in the night.
Save a ton of money on the cost to rent a venue which can run you into the thousands of dollars.
– Isabella Caprari
DIY Décor and Inspiration
If you’re planning a backyard wedding, you’re likely already working on other DIY ideas when it comes to themes and décor. Doing everything yourself gives you the freedom to create almost any style décor using any theme imaginable. Here are some suggestions to inspire you and prompt you to create a memorable theme with beautiful décor that’s all done DIY:
- Hang outdoor string lights throughout your backyard to create a warm, magical glow when the sun goes down.
- For autumn weddings, focus on beautiful colours like orange, red, and gold for décor and flowers.
- Place clear glass vases on each table and fill them with freshly cut flowers you picked from your own garden.
- Laminate some of your favourite photos of you and your better half to protect them from the weather, then display them on rope or string and hang them from a tree or around a fence line.
- Consider jewel-toned plastic goblets in lieu of glassware. It’s a great way to serve beverages in a beautiful way without having to worry about broken glass.
- Use texture and patterns outdoors by adding beautiful printed tablecloths or runners over tables. A pair of sheer curtains can add a gorgeous, romantic touch to the stage, too.
- Get creative with seating and place a few vintage sofas and chairs outside. You can also use some hay bales as seating if you’re aiming for a wedding with a rustic or farmhouse theme.
- Instead of paying tons of money for custom invitations, consider printing some at home or through a local printing service. Create the layout and design using a simple program, then print them in full colour on heavy cardstock paper.
Besides saving money and enjoying a smaller guest list, having a backyard wedding carries quite a bit of sentimental value, too. Imagine saying your vows right in the place where you grew up. If you don’t still live in the same house from your childhood, you likely still have plenty of wonderful memories from this special place. Your guests will probably feel sentimental as well, especially if they’ve spent a lot of time at your home and in your backyard. Have your furry friends join in the celebration, which is another great way to make this day more sentimental and special. Getting married in this place can create a very meaningful moment for you and your new spouse. Remember to enjoy the moment and capture the memories with lots of photos, family, and friends.
Isabella Caprario is a commercial engineer specialized within marketing area with four years of experience in research, determination and evaluation of demand to develop advertising strategies and campaigns. Experience in managing resources, equipment and supplies, including the supervision of strategies that meet business objectives, extensive practice managing work teams, problem identification and providing specific solutions.
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