As we head into the fall season, backyard weddings are more appealing than ever. There’s just something extra romantic about exchanging vows beneath the autumn leaves and soft breeze. Plus, thinking of backyard wedding ideas brings a sweet sense of nostalgia to the day since the venue is a place where many memories were made.
For couples who want wedding atmosphere that feels warm, welcoming, and intimate, your own backyard (or family estate) may be the perfect place to say, “I do!” In addition, keeping the guest count low at a private residence can be social distancing-friendly.
However, this is your big day. These are priceless moments! You want it to feel extra special. Even if you’re keeping the day simple and casual, there are still a few things you might consider to make it extra memorable. It may take some work, but it’s possible to transform your backyard into dreamy outdoor wedding venue.
5 Steps to a Memorable Backyard Wedding Ideas
- Work with the space, not against it.
Keep your vision and expectations realistic. Focus on enhancing the best parts of the outdoor space rather than attempting a full backyard makeover. (Although, it’s not a bad idea do a little sprucing and landscaping.)
First, find the best focal point, and center everything around that. For instance, if the backyard features a beautiful old oak tree, consider setting up the ceremony arch beneath the sprawling branches. Trees usually lend themselves to gorgeous portraits. Or, if one side of the yard has less aesthetic appeal, move everything over the large lush lawn on the other side. Remember, you don’t necessarily have to use all of the space – no need to use the bare side yard if you don’t want to.
- Don’t forget guest accommodations.
Don’t leave your guests to fend for themselves. Please don’t make your loved ones walk a mile in heels due to limited parking space. Instead, reserve parking options, valet service, or transportation if needed. Furthermore, let guests know ahead of time about any specific parking restrictions/rules to avoid citations.
It’s time to get awkward for a sec. If you don’t want guests using the restrooms in your home (or if your home uses a septic system rather than city water), you should probably opt for restroom rentals. I know, not fun to think about, but it’s less fun to deal with in the middle of your reception!
- The organization is everything!
Decorating is fun, but don’t forget the setup! Believe it or not, I often recommend hiring a wedding planner for backyard weddings. Since you are the venue, you’re responsible for all the details, vendor coordination, planning, and implementation. To take the pressure off, a planner will know how to tie it all together for a seamless wedding day and share their best backyard wedding ideas. Then, you can enjoy the day instead of spending the day hosting and tying up loose ends.
A planner will facilitate:
- Vendor coordination
- Food preparation and setup
- Seating arrangements
- Design & décor
- Day-of schedule
- Have a backup plan.
Next, don’t forget Mother Nature. Rain may be good luck, but you don’t want it to cancel your wedding day. If you don’t want to use your home, rent a tent (or at least have the option on standby). They can be a bit pricey, so find a vendor who will work with you. You may be able to find one who only requires a deposit. Then, you just pay the full amount if you end up needed it.
Furthermore, you’ll be using quite a bit of electricity to power everything from lighting to entertainment. Purchasing or renting a generator will ensure that your evening doesn’t get cut short by lack of power.
- Check for city ordinances, obtain permits, & notify neighbors.
If you’re inviting more than immediate family and bringing in several vendors, you may need to think about insurance in case of property damage, plus any city ordinances or permits for vendor services. These vary by location and vendor, so do a bit of homework ahead of time.
In addition, large gatherings can get loud. Let your neighbors know about the wedding, and be courteous. Instead of partying well into the night and disturbing your neighbors a few feet away, consider adjusting the time so that the celebration ends at a reasonable hour (or just invite your neighbors to join in the fun! ;)) Basically, use your best judgment and be a thoughtful neighbor.
All that’s left is making sure you document it all so you can relive this day for years to come. Want some help with that? Inquire HERE about Susan Shek Photography & Videography (pssst, we have photo booths, too!)