How to Get Married in Your Own Backyard

Blog Post

At bride and groom at their outdoor wedding.

A lot of couples opt for backyard weddings because of their affordability, intimacy, and opportunity for memorable experiences. Deciding to celebrate your special day in your own backyard definitely has its benefits! However, whether it’s your own house or a friend’s or family member’s, there is a lot to consider.

Keep Your Officiant in the Loop on the Venue

Be sure to let the officiant you want to hire know immediately that you are planning a backyard wedding. Not all officiants are willing to give you their blessing outside of their place of worship.

Ensure the Logistics of Your Space Make Sense

A backyard wedding reception with lights decorating a tree.

Choosing to host your wedding in a backyard, whether it’s yours or someone else’s, can seem like the perfect way to cut costs and make the day easier. In reality, backyard weddings have their own set of challenges, logistics being one of them.

Before you make a final decision to open your home to wedding guests, ensure your yard is actually big enough to accommodate all of the people you plan to invite. And not just your yard, but also your driveway! The logistics of your backyard as a wedding venue also includes the layout of the space, how many chairs and tables you can comfortably fit, where you can put the dance floor and DJ booth, and the overall flow.

Know What Permits and Insurance Are Required

Although paperwork is not the most exciting part of planning a wedding, it’s important to know which permits you need in order to host your wedding in a residential setting. What exact permits you need will depend on where you live. If you’re not sure, call your city and check. For some places, a liquor permit is required if you plan on serving alcohol.

Two other things to think about include insurance for your personal belongings and any rental equipment, liability insurance, and noise restrictions. Every city has their own local bylaws about allowable noise allocations, and specific hours for when outdoor music must be shut down.

Let Your Neighbors Know About Your Plans

A backyard wedding reception decorated with paper touches.

Unless you live a fair distance from your closest neighbors, chances are that you need to take into consideration your neighborhood. Hosting a large party in your backyard could be a disturbance to those who live around you, whether it’s people parked on the street or loud noise. The polite thing to do is alert your neighbors well in advance that you’ll be hosting a backyard wedding so they aren’t shocked on the day-of, can plan for it, and even offer up their concerns for you to consider.

Make Sure You Have Enough Restrooms

Depending on how many guests are expected, you might need to rent a portable restroom to accommodate all their needs. For a backyard wedding with only 30-50 people attending, a house that has 2 or 3 bathrooms should be enough. However, if you have a guest list of 100 or more people, you’ll want to look into extra options. Luckily, there are fancier bathroom rental options available these days.

Take the Food and Food Prep into Consideration

As with any kind of party, food is a huge factor in keeping your guests happy. For smaller, more intimate weddings, a potluck dinner might be just right. Home cooking is also an option if you’re only expecting a small group of close friends and family. If you’re planning a larger guest list, you should consider hiring a caterer. That way, you don’t have to worry about cooking or even clearing the dishes, which will make the day so much more enjoyable for you. Make sure to work with the caterer in advance so they know if they’ll have use of the kitchen or will need to provide extra accommodations depending on your menu’s needs.

Don’t Forget About Lawn Care and Landscaping

A wedding set up in a backyard with a vintage chair and a welcome sign.

Outdoor weddings offer gorgeous backdrops full of nature, but having a group of people in your yard can cause quite a bit of damage to your lawn. Expect to do some extra lawn care in the weeks after your wedding.

Before the wedding, remember to spruce up your yard since it will act as the backdrop to your celebration. Don’t forget to budget for this cost, but do consider that a beautiful backyard may require less money spent on decor. Sprucing up a yard for a wedding is often a win-win for many engaged couples. Also, don’t forget to budget your time for this aspect of wedding planning, as well. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, consider hiring a professional landscaper.

Consider Hiring Vendors, Even if You Want to DIY Everything

A lot of people choose to do a backyard wedding because they want to DIY everything. This can be a really difficult task, especially if you don’t round up some help. Think of some things you might want to hire someone else to take care of, like a DJ. Planning a wedding is a big undertaking, but more importantly, you don’t want to be running around taking care of any surprise issues on the day-of. Vendors to consider hiring include a caterer, DJ or live band, photographer, florist, and baker.

Have a Backup Plan for Inclement Weather

An outdoor wedding ceremony set up in a field with chairs.

You should always have a backup plan whenever you arrange an outdoor event in case of bad weather. If you’re planning on hosting a wedding in your backyard and it starts to rain, are you able to all go inside? Or will you rent tents? Plan this out well in advance so you don’t have to panic on the day of your wedding.

Have a Cleanup Plan

Usually when you have your wedding ceremony and reception at a venue, they take care of the cleanup. If you’re planning on hosting a wedding at your house, you need to figure out who’s going to take care of the cleanup afterwards. You could opt to do it yourself, but that wouldn’t be a very fun way to spend the first moments of your honeymoon. For a smaller wedding, consider enlisting the help of your close friends and family, or for a larger wedding, look into hiring a cleaning service to get it done.

The post How to Get Married in Your Own Backyard appeared first on Weddingbee.

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