10 Tips for Making Your Backyard Wedding Dreams Come True

Check out these tips to make your backyard the wedding destination of the summer!

Sometimes the place you’ve been looking for has been right under your nose the whole time, or right in your backyard! Planning a wedding can be daunting no matter where the location, but planning one in your own backyard breeds its own unique set of challenges. There is a good chance that your house has never been tasked with such a challenge, so it is important to think about all of the potential questions that may come up when deciding whether or not to have a backyard wedding. Here are 10 tips to make your life a little easier.

1. Make Sure the Spot is Up to the Challenge

First things first, imagine your perfect wedding. Now, imagine all of the things that go along with it, such as tents, buffet tables, chairs and dance floor. Simply put: Will it all fit? Odds are if you thought to have the wedding there in the first place, then the answer is yes. Still, step one should surely be the question of whether or not this particular backyard will cut it.

2. Mood/Theme

Perhaps the biggest advantage of a backyard wedding is your complete control of the environment. I mean, it's your backyard, you know it like the back(yard) of your hand! So, YOU get to set the stage. You want a cozy, string-lit, natural vibe? Go for it! You want something a bit more traditional with a white floral arrangement? It’s up to you! Get a sense for what mood you are after before you make any major decisions and go from there.

3. Prep, Prep, Prep

Plan B should always be as good as Plan A. Usually, the only difference between the two is the weather. Rain or shine, tents are 100% a necessity. There is a large variety of tents to choose from, so do a little research to help figure out which kind is best for your ideal vision. Also, if it is the buggy season, make sure to get rid of those unwelcome wedding guests with citronella candles. Late summer wedding? Think about ordering some mister fans to keep people cool during the ceremony.

4. Rentals

After you have a general idea of how you want your backyard wedding to look, the next step should be securing any outside rentals. One possible downside to a backyard wedding is the lack of traditional amenities that may be included within a classic venue. This means you should be prepared to look into rentals for some of the more logistical necessities, such as chairs, tables, bathrooms and catering.

5. Food

Speaking of catering, we can’t forget about food. The people got to eat! There are a ton of options for this category, from food trucks to a buffet to ordering out. If the caterer is planning on using your personal kitchen for the prep, make sure it is all up to the challenge. Try to keep dietary restrictions in mind as well!

6. Make Sure the Spot is Suitable From Your Wedding Officiant

Have a talk with your officiant about whether or not he or she is comfortable performing a ceremony outside of a house of worship as some religious officiants prefer to keep the ceremony inside the church. It never hurts to check!

7. Save on Decorations By Using What You Got

The great part about the backyard is it can help you set the stage without needing too much work. For example, do you have a beautiful tree in your yard that can be used as a focal point? Think about framing the space around that by using a floral arch or string lights. Yard primarily consists of large open space? Use the grass to set up the dance floor or the seating arrangement. The key is to find what layout your yard is calling out for and follow it as far as you can!

8. Gardener/Florist

Of course, you want your backyard to be as picture perfect as it can be for the big day, so make sure to call your gardener to help take care of any less-than-perfect shrubberies, bushes or flowers. They also may be able to help blueprint the best layout by evaluating where your yard slopes or stays flat. Got a green thumb and thinking of tackling the project on your own? The key here is to start months in advance, as natural decor sometimes needs a little time to grow.

9. Permits

Although not the most fun, this is a super important part of backyard wedding planning. Make sure to check with your homeowner’s association and local government as to what permits you may need to have a backyard wedding, and ask about any ordinances too. There are sometimes laws about how late you can have music blasting from the DJ’s speakers, or parking regulations for commercial vehicles on your street. The sooner you apply for the permits the better, as the last thing you want is some icky legal trouble setting you back.

10. Parking/Neighbors/Amenities

Last, but not least, you want to make sure that your neighbors know far in advance what will be happening next door. For example, will you be able to fit 20+ cars on your street? If so, is everyone in the neighborhood cool with that? In terms of parking, valet can be a very helpful investment, especially if you need to utilize a local parking lot or some space off-site. There are a few other unromantic amenities to keep in mind, such as generators or portable bathrooms to ensure that everything runs smoothly!

11. BONUS: Hire Your Help

Here is the secret tip: Hire a wedding planner! A wedding planner will help with all the logistics that may seem a little overwhelming, such as catering, building a kitchen, bathrooms, tableware and more. She (or he) will know the right people to hire, the best places to rent from, and won’t let you get led astray! Basically, she will cover most of steps 3 through 9, leaving you relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the big day.