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How To Have A Backyard Wedding: A Complete Guide

Feb Cortes
Feb Cortes
Need a guide on how to have a backyard wedding? Here's everything you need.


If you’re wondering how to have a backyard wedding, then you’ve come to the right place!

While the concept itself isn’t for everybody, we totally understand the appeal. For one thing, it’s perfect for budget-friendly couples who want to tie the knot. It’s also intimate, convenient, as there’s no place like home!

That said, with those benefits come a few extra details you need to keep in mind if you plan on having one, as a backyard wedding can easily turn into a *gulp* logistical nightmare if you don’t plan it properly.

So to help keep you on track, we’ve compiled this easy guide on how to have a backyard wedding, because who says that yard of yours isn’t fit to bear witness to the start of your forever? Let’s make it happen!

Table of Contents

A couple during their backyard wedding ceremony.

How Much Savings Can You Get Out Of A Typical Backyard Wedding?

If a traditional wedding venue is too extravagant for your tight budget, then a backyard wedding is the next best option! 

In comparison to the average cost of renting a traditional venue, which can range from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, a backyard wedding can significantly slash that expense to zero… since you’re essentially just “staying home.”

This financial flexibility then lets you allocate those funds toward personalizing your outdoor space, with an estimated $2,000 to $5,000 covering decorations, seating, and lighting.

Additionally, catering costs for a backyard wedding tend to be more affordable, with potential savings of around $3,000 to $6,000 as couples opt for casual and personalized dining experiences, such as food trucks, family-style catering, or even a potluck!

In total, a backyard wedding not only offers a more intimate and personalized celebration but also allows couples to save a substantial amount, with potential savings ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 or more compared to a traditional wedding venue.

Creating A Budget

When it comes to backyard weddings, people often think of the potential of cost savings, as it can really be more budget-friendly with the right planning. However, it’s still crucial to create a realistic budget to ensure you don’t overspend. Here are the top expenses to consider: 

Tent or Canopy Rental: Nobody wants to end up getting baked in the sun! So, consider renting a tent or a canopy to provide shade and protection for everyone.

Seating and Tables: Rent or borrow seating and tables for your guests. Additionally, opt for rustic or vintage options just to add a dash of personality!

Decorations: What’s great about a backyard wedding is you don’t have to go all-out with the decorations. Opt for simple but elegant additions instead, like string lights, flowers, and candles.

Catering: There are plenty of ways to go about this, but the most common options include hiring a catering service or having a potluck-style dinner. Of course, if you’re going for the latter, make sure you notify your guests in advance.

Entertainment: Nobody wants dead air at any wedding party! So, make sure you plan for entertainment, like a playlist you made yourself or a wedding DJ that can really turn your yard into a certified dance floor!

Photography and Videography: Pulling off a great backyard wedding is a feat by itself, so make sure you document this wonderful day properly by hiring a professional photographer and videographer. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself later for letting a professional hold the reins (the cameras, that is) while you bask and enjoy the moment!

Permit Fees: If required, budget for any necessary permits or fees. This makes sure you avoid any surprises for you and your partner’s wallets. 

Choosing The Right Backyard

The first step in planning a backyard wedding is selecting the perfect location. If you’re fortunate enough to have a spacious backyard, consider the following factors:

Space: Ensure that your backyard has enough space to accommodate your guest list comfortably. While doing so, make sure you factor in seating, a dance floor, catering, and space for any other planned activities too.

Accessibility: Consider the accessibility of your backyard, especially for elderly guests or those with mobility issues. Ensure there are clear paths and minimal obstacles.

Weather Considerations: Take a look at the weather during the time of your wedding. Is there any chance of rain? Or is it smooth sailing for the time being? In any case, have a backup plan in case of rain or extreme weather conditions.

Permits and Regulations: Check with your local authorities regarding any permits or regulations for hosting events in your backyard. For example, some suburbs may have restrictions on noise levels, parking, or the number of guests that are allowed in one area. 

For anybody wondering how to have a backyard wedding, this guide should help you.

Guest List And Invitations

Next, when making a guest list, take the capacity of your background into account. Then, once you have a rough estimate, send out invitations well in advance. Consider the following as well: 

RSVPs: Request timely RSVPs to finalize your guest list. This helps ensure you know how many people will be attending, and you make the necessary arrangements as early as now.

Accommodations: If you have guests traveling from out of town, provide them with information on local accommodations (or have them stay over at your house, if you have the space for it!)

Parking: Plan for sufficient parking or provide information on nearby parking options. 

Dress Code: Clearly communicate the dress code on your invitations so that guests can dress appropriately for an outdoor event. If there is a theme, communicate it as well, just to make sure everybody is on the same page! 

Setting The Scene

Now that the guest list, budget, and setting is finalized, here’s how you can make your backyard wedding more visually appealing! 

Natural Beauty: What’s great about a backyard wedding is you’re already in a nice place, so capitalize on its natural beauty! Do you have a garden? A pool? Never underestimate the beauty that additional flowers or greenery will bring to any setting!

Lighting: Illuminate the evening with strategic lighting. String lights, lanterns, or fairy lights can create a magical atmosphere, and are often the go-to for many backyard weddings. 

Comfort: Ensure your guests are comfortable by providing shaded areas, seating options, and even blankets if the evening turns chilly.

A newlywed couple having a moment in their backyard wedding.

Catering And Bar Services

Food and beverages are a crucial aspect of any wedding, and a backyard celebration is no exception. Keep your guests full and satisfied throughout the whole event with these tips!

Catering Options: Depending on your budget and preferences, you can opt for a professional catering service, a local restaurant, or even a potluck-style meal.

Bar Services: Set up a bar area with a selection of drinks for everybody. Consider hiring a bartender or assigning this responsibility to a trusted friend who knows their mixes! 

Cake: Whether you choose a traditional wedding cake or a dessert table with various sweets, make sure to have a delicious treat for your guests. The key is to keep them happy all throughout!

Benefits Of A Backyard Wedding

Now that we’re done with the details on how to have a backyard wedding, let’s go over its unique set of benefits, which includes:

  • Intimacy and Personalization: Backyard weddings provide the benefit of not only being convenient, but also intimate. What’s more, the setting frees you up to really personalize every aspect. There’s no place like home, after all!
  • Cost Savings: In many cases, hosting a wedding in your backyard can be more cost-effective than renting a traditional venue. This way, the money you end up saving can go to other aspects of your wedding, or even the honeymoon after!

  • Flexibility: You have the flexibility to choose the date and time that best suits you. There’s also usually no venue restrictions or time limitations, allowing for a more relaxed celebration. 

Tips And Reminders On How To Have A Backyard Wedding

  • Weather Contingency Plan: Always have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. In case tents aren’t enough, make sure there’s an indoor space everyone can run to in case of a weather emergency.

  • Notify Neighbors: It pays to be polite, so make sure you inform your neighbors about your backyard wedding well in advance. This helps manage expectations and address any concerns they may have.

  • Renting Equipment: Consider renting rather than buying equipment and decor. This can save money and eliminate the need for storage after the event.

  • Restrooms: If your backyard doesn’t have restroom facilities, consider renting portable toilets to accommodate your guests. Make sure they’re clean too!

  • Cleanup Crew: Arrange for a cleanup crew for the day after the wedding to ensure your backyard is returned to its original state promptly. Of course, you can also just do this yourself if the mess is manageable enough.

  • Insurance: There are some understated elements on how to have a backyard wedding, and one of them is checking if your homeowners’ insurance covers events like weddings. If not, consider purchasing event insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances.
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There you go, our complete guide on how to have a backyard wedding!

In conclusion, while planning a backyard wedding requires careful consideration and attention to detail, the result will most likely be a celebration that you’ll remember for all your life! 

After all, this is your own backyard, and your wedding ceremony will only add to the wonderful memories you already have in it!

And just to make sure every moment of your backyard wedding is documented properly, why not work with us here at Photo Kings? As providers of top-notch photography services, our team is capable of meeting nearly any photography need… and that includes your own backyard wedding bash!

So, if you’re ready to start planning for your backward wedding, don’t hesitate to request a quote from our Photo Kings team. We look forward to hearing from you and happy planning! 

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