As long as there are backyards, there will be backyard weddings. A wedding at home, outside, is both a homey and charming way to celebrate your marriage. Some couples opt to marry at a friend or loved one’s home too. Regardless, planning a backyard wedding is exciting and fun. Read on for breezy tips.
All the typical wedding vendors still apply to a backyard wedding—florist, caterer, cake baker, even DJ or band. The main difference in vendors is that they won’t know the site ahead of time, and will need at least a couple of trips to your site to make sure everything’s perfect. Caterers need to check kitchen facilities, the band will need a place to play, and the florists will need to check what natural foliage he’ll be competing with.
When interviewing all vendors, tell them immediately it’s a backyard wedding, and find out how much experience they have in that field. Expect a lot of the unexpected—like the photographer telling you there’s no spot to shoot the wedding photos, or the DJ saying he needs a backup generator. Book all vendors as early as possible so conflicts can be resolved.
Backyard weddings tend to be less formal than indoor affairs; a Princess-line dress might work better than a ball gown. While fashion is your choice, keep in mind the weather, and to wear something that works will in heat and wind. The same goes for your hair. While that fancy updo you’ve been practicing for months might look great, will it hold up in the wind? At the same time, if you want to wear your hair long and down, make sure you’ve got berets so it doesn’t fly in front of your face as you’re reciting vows.
Should you want to add more elegance to a backyard affair, tell your vendors. Lights can dot the trees, you can add a champagne fountain, and nothing says class more than a canvas tent. Make sure the invitations stress the formality of the affair—black tie, cocktail attire—as guests will need more guidance for the dress code in a backyard than they would in a house of worship.
No matter where you live, a backyard wedding requires a rain plan. If you can’t have your Plan-B inside the house, you’ll need to book a close-by hall. All optional layouts—the band’s site, dance floor—will need to be figured out. Also, bathrooms are a necessity. If you can’t have people roaming around indoors, you’ll need to rent port-a-potties (relax; they look a bit more spiffy these days). Also, it’s a good idea to tell all of your neighbors ahead of time—inviting them is even better—to avoid complaints. Check with the local police about parking requirements and any other specifics that need to be taken care of ahead of time