2021 Backyard Wedding Ideas
What’s not to love about a backyard wedding? They’re intimate, convenient, and perhaps best of all, often a budget-friendly or free venue. But before you write off a backyard wedding as an overly casual affair that welcomes a rustic vibe only, know that there are endless backyard wedding ideas to transform it into anything you want it to be. After all, there is no place like home.
Furry Friends Are Invited
A backyard wedding gives you the perfect excuse to include your pets in your big day! You don’t need to clear it with a venue or pay a deposit, your furry friend doesn’t need to stress over travel, and they can head back inside when they’re finished partying with your guests.
Money Can Be Saved
When you decide to have a backyard wedding at a family member’s or friend’s home, you automatically slash your wedding budget dramatically because you aren’t paying for a venue, security deposits, per-person fees, and all the other hidden charges that go along with it. You can also save money on decor since you’ll have the natural elements to add visual interest. Yes, you’ll likely need to rent almost everything else, but those rentals will not outweigh the cost of a venue.
Dates Are Flexible
This might seem like a small thing but having complete freedom to choose a date that works best for you and your fiance is actually a huge benefit of a backyard wedding. It’s especially helpful if you want to get married during peak wedding season when venues book up at least a year in advance.
You Can Have Intimate Guests Lists
Because a backyard wedding tends to be naturally more intimate than a wedding at a traditional venue, this is the perfect reason to keep your guest list small. If you’re nervous about how your families will react to a small guest list, remind them that space is the main limiting factor in your decision. Unless you’re getting married in the backyard of a multi-acre mansion, there simply won’t be enough space to accommodate a huge guest list.
There is nothing like saying “I do” in the backyard where you played as a child or getting ready in the room where you grew up. The sentimental factor of a backyard wedding can’t be recreated at any other venue and shouldn’t be underestimated. You and your guests will feel more comfortable in a space that feels like home and it will be a special memory your family and friends will cherish forever.
Logistics of Backyard Weddings
Power And Electrical
Between the extra lighting, the sound system, and the food prep equipment, you’re going to be using a lot more power than most homes can handle. To ensure you don’t blow a fuse or put the entire neighborhood at risk of an outage, rent generators to accommodate the extra power you’ll need.
After you check with your caterer to find out what equipment they’ll be using and DJ to find out how much power their setup needs, ask your wedding planner and the generator rental company for help in choosing the power sources that will fit your needs.
If your guest list is larger than 20 people, you will need to provide additional toilet facilities. There are so many options for upscale portable toilet trailers that provide a comfortable experience, including lighting, mirrors, sinks, and–most importantly– more space than traditional port-o-potties. You can even add a personal touch by adding a small amenities kit to each bathroom with breath fresheners, Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, cotton balls, and safety pins.
Trust us, this will save a lot of headaches because you won’t have everyone walking through the house and you won’t have to fix an over-used bathroom system.
Yard Maintenance And Setup
You’ll want to plan yard maintenance in advance to give plants time to fill out, flowers to bloom, and space to be cleared, if necessary. You might even consider hiring a landscaper to take care of all the design and maintenance so it’s one less thing on your to-do list. At the very least, you’ll need to cut the grass a few days before the wedding.
One thing you absolutely can’t forget to check is that the ground is level enough for chairs, tables, and a dance floor. If you’re renting a tent, their professional team will be able to check and let you know if they need to lay a foundation so the dance floor is level. If you’re not renting a tent, a landscaper should be able to check.
As much as you don’t want to think about anything bad happening on your special day, it’s better to be safe than sorry if an accident does happen. Contact your homeowner’s insurance to see what is covered, such as property damage inside or outside the house. Then contact your vendors to find out what insurance they carry. You might have to purchase supplemental insurance, but your vendors’ insurance might also provide enough coverage for certain areas–such as bartenders.
Before you get too far into booking vendors, you must check with your city officials to find out if you need permits to host a large party at your home. There might be noise ordinances, fire codes, health department regulations, and zoning issues that you don’t want to violate.
In some cases, your vendors might need to file additional paperwork, so be sure to include your wedding planner on any meetings with or emails from the city clerk’s office. Your planner should either be able to coordinate with the vendors to file the paperwork themselves (usually for an additional fee) or file the paperwork for you.
A month or two before your wedding, notify your neighbors of your backyard wedding plans. This will give them plenty of time to plan ahead, rearrange any plans, or plan a night away. Give them as many details as possible, such as the exact time of your ceremony–so they know when you’ll need some extra quiet–and let them know where your guests plan to park in case they have concerns about street parking.
If you’re going to tell your neighbors in person, we recommend also giving them a written schedule so they have all the details for the day-of. You could even include a small gift, such as a pair of earplugs, as a token of appreciation for their patience. A little consideration will go a long way in keeping everyone happy.
When you’re checking on permits, also check the rules for street parking in your neighborhood. Some communities have certain times that street parking is not allowed or even prohibit overnight parking. If that’s the case–or you don’t have enough street parking near your home–consider hiring a valet service to park the cars at a nearby open lot. Just be sure to tell guests ahead of time so they don’t leave valuables in their cars that you could be held liable for.
This is one of the most important details to keep in mind when planning your space and your rentals. A group of 20+ people will produce a lot of trash over an entire day, so you’ll need to rent plenty of trash and recycling bins to collect it all. Your caterer might even take care of emptying the bins throughout the day, so ask if that’s a service they offer. If not, you might want to designate or hire someone to monitor the bins so they don’t get too full and cause an unpleasant sight or smell.