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backyard wedding arch folding chairs

Planning a wedding in your backyard is a great way  to bring an important life event back home. Here are 9 areas to think about and plan around for the Big Day.

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Getting married? You may want to consider a backyard wedding! Hosting your own wedding has jumped in popularity over the last few years. Maybe you’re saving for a vacation and don’t want to spend too much on a wedding, maybe you’re getting married for the second time and want a more casual affair, or maybe you just love your space so much it just seems like the perfect place to hold your wedding.

Even if using your own yard you can still hire a professional to organize the event for you, but if you’re determined to do it yourself here are some things you need to consider:

1. Space

Your yard may seem spacious and you only plan on inviting 25 people but take into consideration they will need chairs, tables will have to be set up, and you need plenty of room for an aisle to walk down and space at the front for the ceremony to take place.

Take some time to measure your space so you can plan your layout. Don’t forget to map out an area to set up a stereo and some speakers and room for people to dance!

2. Accessibility

Make sure your guests won’t have trouble getting into, or around, your yard – if you have 15 steps leading down to the yard your Great Aunt in a wheelchair may have a hard time getting there. Parking is also something you will need to consider in advance – perhaps you can ask people to carpool, or find out if you can use neighboring driveways or parking lots.

3. Flora

You may already have a blooming beautiful garden to complement your backyard but if you don’t you may want to plant some flowers well in advance of your wedding, or plan on buying some for the event. Your lawn will also need some care beforehand to get it into tip top shape. Make sure there are no uneven areas that you, or a guest, could trip over.

4. Food

If you are making your own food, or bringing food in, you need to make sure to have enough space to serve the food and ways to keep it cold or hot before it’s needed. Maybe you’re keeping it very casual and having a potluck wedding (another trend that seems to be on the upswing in the last few years) but you will still need to ensure you have enough tables, cutlery, cups, napkins, plates, etc. These items can be easily rented if you do not have enough.

backyard table of food

5. Ceremony

Some religions insist you get married in a church while others provide the service of coming to your home. If you have your heart set on having a specific person perform the ceremony make sure you check out their policies and availability.

6. Shelter

They say rain on your wedding day is lucky, but you probably don’t feel that way! Plan for any kind of weather by making sure your ceremony can be easily shifted to a covered deck, or have some tarps or large tent ready to go. Similarly for the sun – being outside for long periods of time in the blazing hot sun can be too much for some so have some shade umbrellas on hand if your yard doesn’t have many trees.

7. Help

Keeping costs down means getting help wherever you can. Have a friend who is great at hair and makeup? An Uncle who is an excellent photographer or a talented DJ? Know someone who makes great cakes? Ask them if they will consider giving you the gift of their talents. Good friends may also be willing to help you set up and clean up after.

8. Respect

Give your neighbors a heads up of what will be occurring so they realize there will be a little noise coming from your yard, and also so they can keep their own outdoor noise to a minimum that day. Be respectful and move the party into the house or shut it down after 11pm.

9. Facilities

If you’d prefer not to have people traipsing through your home, or if you are expecting a large number of guests, you may want to consider renting bathrooms. Port a Potties can range from basic to practically spa-looking, so contact a few local companies to get prices and options.

Your experience?

Have you ever attended a backyard wedding, or had one yourself? Is there anything you would have done differently? Let us know in the comments.

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Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer is a Mom and freelance writer located in Beautiful British Columbia. She is currently working hard to create a home for her new family and is stumbling hilariously down the road to becoming a domestic goddess. In addition to her love of family, and reading and writing, she enjoys exploring new interests with friends, shopping for just about anything, and cuddling up with a great cup of tea and some sort of chocolate treat.