Tying the knot to the one you love is the happiest and most magical day of your life. If you're planning to walk down the aisle and create a magical space for you and all your guests, a backyard wedding is a great way to say your vows on a budget. Knowing where to start, no matter if you have a large or small space is the first step. From cottage-core celebrations, elopements or a fairytale ceremony, you can plan your special day right in your own backyard.
Your dream wedding is dependent on where you live, the time of year and the type of weather. While these seem like big hurdles to cross, try and nail down a date for the big day as soon as possible and 2 out of the 3 decisions have been made. Once your date is locked in, you can move on to figuring out the logistics.
Licensing: First and foremost, you must determine whether you need a special license to get married in your backyard. Some locations still require a permit to perform official ceremonies.
Power: Figuring out how to get the right mix of power for efficient lighting and music is highly important. In some cases, an extension cord might work but may cause a trip hazard. You’ll likely need a generator to create power for speakers and caterers. You must determine how much equipment is necessary for your space.
Prep: Start early! The earlier you ensure your yard is party ready the better. Get rid of dead plants, trees and weeds and create a clean slate for the ceremony and reception. Design a layout for seating and stage arrangement so when the time comes, it’ll be easy to set up your
Insurance: While you might not think it’s a necessary step, wedding insurance is crucial. You need to see what’s covered in case a guest gets injured on your property.
Practical details: In order for the day to run smoothly and without a hitch, other things to consider include parking, notifying your neighbours in advance, creating an official wedding program and having a backup plan in case of bad weather.
Special Touches: Don’t forget, this is YOUR day! You need to think about the special little touches to make this day truly amazing. Do you want a specific theme? What kind of flowers do you want? Do you want an outdoor dance floor/stage? An arch to get married under? A fountain? Think about planning your backyard wedding the same way you would any other venue. Make it personalised, make it meaningful.
Plan B: Nobody can predict every aspect of a day. Weather can change in an instant and you need to be prepared. If it rains, do you have tents and tarps? If it’s cold, do you have access to heaters? If it’s hot do you have fans? Make a Plan B outlining what to do incase disaster strikes to eliminate stress.
Timing: When it comes to a wedding, timing is everything. You are doing everything on your own, so you’ll need to create a timeline that works for you and the kind of atmosphere you are trying to create. Do you want a sunset ceremony with a mellow dinner party? Or early morning vows to keep the party going until the late hours of the night? Small details including when the
photos will be taken and how to keep guests entertained in between the ceremony and reception are crucial.
Benefits of a backyard wedding
Formal venues are always nice, however, there are so many benefits to getting married in your backyard. Firstly, you’ll save a ton of money and you get to create a more intimate day that you and your guests will remember forever.
Aside from saving money, these are some more benefits to hosting a backyard wedding:
Pets: If pets are a part of your family, you can enjoy their company on your amazing day. Most venues don’t allow pets, so this is a great alternative option if you want your pooch to be your best man.
A smaller guest list: Since your backyard will have limited space, you need to keep your guest list small. The fewer guests you have, the less money spent on things like food and entertainment.
Flexibility: Backyard weddings give you the flexibility to choose any date you want to get married. There’s no need to plan around the ‘wedding season’ when you can pick any day you like.
Sentimentality: Having a backyard wedding carries quite a bit of sentimental value. Imagine saying your vows right in the place where you have created so many wonderful memories or hope to start a family.
Planning everything yourself gives you the freedom to create any style of decor using any theme imaginable. Creating a nice scenic area with outdoor string lights makes a magical glow, focusing on beautiful colours and matching the
season to the flowers and or dresses, laminating photos and standing them around the space, printed tablecloths or even sheer curtains and playing with vintage chairs and sofas to create fun and comfy photo spaces are just a few ways to DIY your decor.
With the COVID-19 Pandemic still affecting everyone, weddings are changing in 2021. Brides and grooms are opting for smaller, more intimate ceremonies and are looking to get married on a smaller budget. Since each state is constantly changing their restrictions, the type and size of your wedding will depend on
your local jurisdiction. Two of the most popular trends are micro weddings and elopements.
A Micro Wedding
Micro weddings are simply a smaller and more intimate occasion. They typically have a maximum of around 20-50 people. Guests are usually immediate family members and a handful of close friends. With a free venue, less food and fewer people to entertain, it’s not hard to see why micro weddings are becoming so popular amongst couples.
Micro weddings are much smaller than the standard wedding. Meaning, your guest list will be quite limited. Always include immediate family first and then look at which peoples attendance is most important to you and your partner. The wedding party is another factor that needs to be cut down. Instead of a flower girl, a ring bearer and tons of bridesmaids, try to opt only for a maid of
honor and a best man. Since your wedding will be small, you can find other areas to splurge on, whether that be on a gorgeous designer gown or spending a little extra cash on a honeymoon. Plus, with this extra money, giving your guests a special treat will really help in celebrating your day.
Planning Your Elopement
Elopements are rising in popularity as couples don’t want to wait to get married until Covid restrictions are lifted. But, this doesn’t mean it still can’t be special. Since you won’t have a huge guest list you should pick your dream location or anywhere both of you cherish as a couple. Choosing an incredible photographer to document your amazing day is also a necessity and is a
great option to share with friends and family who didn’t attend. Though your friends and family didn’t attend the ceremony, you can still throw an exciting party and you can all celebrate together. Choosing your gorgeous gown and handsome suit should still be an important decision for you and your groom, so your photos are spectacular.