A backyard wedding can hold special meaning to you and your parents. It’s very sentimental. There is charm and there are memories. There is a family history here. If you are planning a backyard wedding, there are tons of ways you can transform a backyard into a beautiful space to make the experience classy, gorgeous and memorable. Facebook’s Marc Zuckerberg got married in a backyard wedding, why can’t you?
The most important thing to do is treat the space exactly as you would if it were a high-end wedding venue. Have a vision of what your day will look like and create a seamless theme. Don’t overlook any detail that will help your vision become a fruition.
Tips for Your Backyard Wedding
- You should still consider hiring a wedding coordinator. They will be able to give a unique perspective on the property with fresh eyes and imagination. At the very least, employ your maid-of-honor or a very close friend to help you stay organized.
- You may want to consider supplemental home owners insurance for the event. Make sure your vendors have their own liability policies.
- Notify your neighbors so they won’t host a party on the same night or decide to mow the lawn during your ceremony.
- Make sure your outdoor space has room to accommodate your anticipated number of guests.
- Have a backup plan indoors should the weather not cooperate. Make sure it will comfortably hold your guests and make sure Plan B is as good as Plan A.
- Start babying your lawn way before it’s time to exchange vows. This may be a good time to consider replanting flower beds or reseeding lawns. You could even plan a separate garden to grow all your own wedding flowers. Succulents are a great choice for a backyard wedding!
- If you’re putting up a tent with lighting or hiring a catering kitchen, make sure you have the necessary power to operate these. A generator may be necessary to avoid knocking out the power to your entire block.
- Don’t wing it. You still need a rehearsal and a timeline of events.
- Tents will provide shelter from rain, snow, wind and sun and can be your saving grace. They are available with walls, floors and heating/air conditioning.
- Consider boarding your pets for the event, or at the very least, make sure they are out of the way.
- If your yard is uneven, temporary outdoor floors may be needed so the cake doesn’t topple over and so that guests can boogie the night away.
- If possible, consider separate areas for ceremony, reception and a comfortable seating area away from the music so your guests can easily mingle.
- Unless you have a 25-room estate, make it clear who will be staying overnight. Recommend a close hotel for your guests.
- Check with city ordinances and fire departments. You may have a restriction on noise levels or need an inspection or permits for parking.
- If parking will be an issue, ask your neighbors to borrow their drives for the night. Encourage your guests to carpool or arrange a valet service at the nearest church/school.
- Plan on three bathroom trips per guest and one bathroom per 35 guests. You may need port-a-potties, but not to worry. There are some very upscale options that include lighting, mirrors, air conditioning, sinks, and hot water.
- Use a hired cleaning crew before and after the celebration.
- Make sure your chosen officiant will give their blessings at a place outside their worship.
- Greet your guests with signage/balloons/streamers welcoming them at the street or entrance to your property.
- Plan your alter to be in a place in the yard that brings back those carefree childhood days.
- Don’t decorate at eye level only; look overhead for ways to incorporate tree limbs, eave overhangs, light poles. etc.
- Take full advantage of any existing landscaping, yard decor or water features.
- Your music and lighting have to be on point. Purchase Chinese lanterns and battery-operated tea lights online in bulk. If a band or DJ is out of the question, consider a commercial-free Spotify account. At $10/month, you can create your very own wedding day playlist.
- Plan yard games. Cricket, horse shoes or a bean bag toss will provide something for your guests to do while they have a cocktail or wait for you to take photos. Make sure you especially plan activities for your younger guests like face painting, coloring books, or a bubble station.
- Above all else, personalize the day! Make this as personal and possible for your guests—after all, that’s the advantage of having a backyard wedding.
Having a wedding in your backyard should be exciting, not scary! Just be prepared. This is an amazing idea and your guests will forever remember the unique, intimate and personal time they had. There couldn’t be a more perfect place to say, “I do.” Find the right people to help you carry out your vision, and you will walk down your backyard aisle stress-free.
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**The images contained in this post were shot under the direction and for assignment of A to Z Photography. The images are copyrighted by A to Z Photography but are used herein with permission.
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I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.
I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
I am a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.
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