Today on the blog we talk all things backyard weddings: the misconceptions, the possibilities, the pitfalls to avoid, and some tips on how to make it all happen.
First, let’s define a backyard wedding. For our purposes today, I want to talk about weddings that are hosted outside, in a yard or on a private property, that is owned by you, your family, or close family friends. A backyard wedding probably won’t cost you anything to rent, and likely has some sentimentality to you and your fiance.
Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s talk misconceptions. When I say the words “backyard wedding,” what comes to mind? Do you have a good idea yet? Now quick, take that idea and throw it right out of the window! Backyard weddings are as diverse and varied and unique as any other wedding at any other wedding venue. Backyard weddings differ in theme, cost, size and feeling. A great benefit to a wedding like this is that you can customize it to your needs and wedding dreams.
That brings us along to the possibilities of a backyard wedding. In short, they are endless! However, it’s important to look at your space to help determine what it can do for you. Look back at our blog about choosing your venue to get a list of helpful questions about the space that you can use while planning!
Look at your space as a blank canvas where you get to create your dream wedding. If it’s spread out with multiple unique spaces, consider utilizing them for different parts of the wedding day- like separate ceremony & reception spaces. If there’s a unique tree or other feature, consider using it as the backdrop to your ceremony. Remember, unlike a more traditional venue that has weddings on a regular basis, you don’t have to think about what people “usually” do in the space, and you get the opportunity to dream up whatever you want! As you start your planning process, take a good look at the unique space you have and consider how you can use it to reflect your relationship and one-of-a-kind wedding.
With all of that being said, there are some potential snags to consider and plan ahead for to avoid any big problems on your big day. One potential complication is parking. Since your backyard wedding isn’t a traditional venue, there is likely much less parking available. Consider utilizing a nearby parking lot (with permission!) and having your guests shuttle in. Or, if your venue is located on a street, consider asking neighbors if you can utilize extra parking spaces in front of their houses or properties. It doesn’t hurt to invite them over for a free drink on the big day to sweeten the deal!
Something you might want to consider is restroom space for your guests. Most likely, the house where you’re hosting your backyard wedding doesn’t have enough facilities to accommodate the sudden influx of guests. Make sure you plan ahead to have portable restrooms, or even a restroom trailer on the big day.
So, how do you pull this whole event off? How do you create the backyard wedding you’ve been dreaming of? My best piece of advice: hire professionals. Since you are in an environment that doesn’t regularly host weddings, it’s best to work with pros who are used to handling all kinds of event variables and who are there to help guide you to make the best choices for your space. Working with an excellent event rental company, wedding planner and other professionals who are used to creating weddings in unusual places is the quickest way to make your day smoother and make your planning process less stressful. They will foresee any complications and help you to make arrangements and plans to stop them from even beginning.
So whether you’re struggling to find just the right venue for you, or if you’ve always dreamed of having your wedding in that personal family space, hopefully you have a better idea of how to pull off an incredible and unique backyard wedding!