Backyard weddings have exploded in recent months, and for good reason - there’s few other venues that will give you the value or flexibility. The best backyard weddings are really magical - they give the celebration a sense of home while ramping up the romance. But in this time of such uncertainty, is planning a backyard wedding right for you? Here’s six of The Bride Candy’s top tips for the backyard wedding of your dreams with photos by Finding Light Photography and styling by Blue Water Weddings.
Is it practical?
Maybe you’ve always dreamed about getting married with 300 of your closest friends and family members in the backyard of your childhood home. If you grew up on a farm with lots of space, that’s definitely a possibility! But if you’re from the suburbs, hosting a large wedding in your backyard is probably off the table, especially with local social distancing guidelines. You’ll also need to think about neighbors, bathrooms, parking, and local regulations. Backyard weddings are most comfortable for 50-100 guests. If you have a much larger guest count, you should explore other venue options as well.
Do you have a planner?
One big benefit of a backyard wedding is that you’ll likely get the space for little or no money. Consider reinvesting that part of your wedding budget in a wedding planner. Backyards are a blank slate (which is great for creating the wedding of your dreams!) but that means that everything needs to be brought in. Unless you have a lot of experience in event planning, it’s best to hire an expert to help you make sure you’re not forgetting anything big and that your special day goes off without a hitch.
Do you have a rain plan (and budget)?
One thing that we always have to worry about here in South Florida is the weather. A tropical downpour can ruin your wedding pretty quickly. Pay careful attention to the weather in the days leading up to your wedding. It’s best to put aside money in your budget for last minute tenting, fans, coolers, or heaters. A wedding planner will help you make that call and guide you on an emergency budget. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Did you get your permit?
Imagine marrying the love of your life and dancing the night away at your wedding - only to have the police pull up and shut down the party. You definitely don’t want that! Make sure to reach out to your local police department or code compliance office to pull a special event permit so noise complaints don’t get you in trouble. Proactively reach out to your neighbors to let them know what’s going on. Sending them an invitation is a great way to eliminate complaints and keep them happy.
Do your guests have transportation?
Unless you have acres and acres of land, space is at a premium for a backyard wedding. Your neighbors probably won’t be happy if your guests park in their driveways. Consider having your guests park somewhere nearby and hiring a shuttle to transport them to your wedding. It eliminates parking problems and also sets a hard stop time for your guests to catch the last shuttle back to their cars (helping to prevent late night noise complaints!)
Will it look like a wedding?
Your backyard might be beautiful, but this is your wedding day - so it needs to look like a wedding! Consider upping your spend on florals and decor to transform your backyard to a magical wedding wonderland. You’ll want to use florals to delineate your areas: ceremony, reception, dancing. Consider moving your ceremony arch in back of your sweetheart table late in the evening for a romantic effect. Great florals will make you forget you’re in a backyard at all!
With some extra attention to logistics, a backyard wedding is a great way to have a fun, relaxed, and out of the box celebration with your closest friends and family.