Having a wedding in your own backyard can be a beautiful and intimate way to celebrate the big day. But what are the options and what do you need to think about? We’ve listed the essentials.
1. Can you officially get married in your backyard?
To legally marry in the backyard, the location where the ceremony takes place must be a wedding venue. You can have your backyard designated a one-time wedding location, but there are other options as well. For example, you can choose to get married ceremonially and perform the official acts at City Hall at an earlier time.
Wedding venue for one day
In the event that you want to have your backyard designated as a one-time wedding venue, you should check with the municipality to see what the options are. You can think about arranging permits and meeting certain safety requirements. In any case, it is useful to check with your municipality what needs to be officially arranged.
2. Cost of a wedding in your backyard
A wedding in your backyard can, in some cases, be cheaper than a party at a venue. Still, there are costs to consider, such as renting tables and chairs, decorations, catering including staff and power supplies. Consider hiring a food truck or creating a DIY food station, such as a “build-your-own taco” bar or s’mores station.
It is also wise to rent a tent in case it rains. We ourselves have worked with OMG Rentals, a company that rents and also sets up stretch tents, on several occasions during your day.
Also consider shaded areas for guests during nice weather. For example, you can purchase some umbrellas or sunshades for this purpose.
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Catering in your backyard
An important part of the wedding is, of course, the catering. You can choose to hire a caterer, but you can also take care of the catering yourself. For example, a nice option is to rent a food truck. This creates a cozy atmosphere and the guests can choose what they want to eat.
Just make sure there are enough staff present to keep everything on track. And also arrange enough glassware, for example, unless you’re sure guests are fine with rinsing their glasses themselves with extra drinks.
Should you go with professional catering: are there enough facilities available for the catering to do their job? Can they use your own kitchen for reheating dishes? Is there a possibility to rinse glassware? And what will be done with waste?
3. Benefits of having a wedding in your backyard
Having a wedding in your backyard has several advantages. For example, you don’t have to travel during the wedding day and the location is completely familiar to yourself. Possibly, if you have children, you can put them to bed yourself in their familiar surroundings.
Personal and intimate atmosphere
In addition, it is often possible to organize the wedding in a way that completely suits your wishes and personality. For example, you can completely determine the decoration and the catering to suit your exact taste. Of course, the setting is also unique: you will make unforgettable memories in a place that means a lot to you.
The beauty of having a wedding in your backyard is that you can make many choices yourself. What decorations do you want? How do you want the day to go? How do you want to organize everything? Everything is up to you!
You could do much of the organizing together with friends and family. For example, we once experienced getting married in an old barn in the yard, but that barn was first refurbished by friends. The goal was to have an awesome party night in that particular barn. And they succeeded!
4. Disadvantages of getting married in your own backyard
Of course, there are drawbacks. For example, noise pollution can occur. Parking can also be a challenge. In addition, you should consider the size of your backyard and the number of guests you want to invite. You may need extra space, such as by cordoning off part of the garden or using a nearby parking lot.
Music and sound equipment
Many weddings have music, during the party or ceremony, for example. You can also use music during the reception. When hiring one or more musicians, also keep in mind the space they need. Consider, for example, space inside the tent (because one rain shower and you have a problem).
Otherwise, is there enough power and a good sound system? Does the musician bring this himself? Test everything prior to the wedding day so you know what to consider.
Are you band that the rules around noise will affect your day: check with the municipality to see what is allowed. Possibly make arrangements with immediate neighbors (if you live rural) or consider going for a silent disco or having the party end earlier. You might even consider an after-party at another location.
If you invite many guests, it can be difficult to find adequate parking near your home. Make sure your guests know where to park and that there is plenty of space.
You can also consider using shuttle buses to take guests to and from the venue. Do you live in the outlying area? Then check to see if you can use a nearby field.
Another major concern is the restrooms. If you don’t have access to toilets in your home, you need to make sure there are plenty of toilets available. For example, you can rent portable toilets. Just make sure these are in a discreet place.
It is also good to still think about guest safety. After all, you are going to be with perhaps 100 guests in one location. Do you have a first aid kit at home? Is it possible, in small accidents, to bring in professionals who can help? Really one of those points that you may not think about easily, but is useful to think about.
The big cleanup
The list of drawbacks gets very long this way, but who is going to clean everything up, the day after the party? What part does the caterer take for granted and possibly the stylist? When will the tent be picked up again?
Consult with your insurer whether additional coverage is needed in terms of liability, for example. Because what happens if someone, due to loose decking, goes down? Always useful to check in advance to see what this is like.
5. Decoration and activities
Use the natural beauty of the backyard as a backdrop. Green is always beautiful. Add personal details, such as garlands with photos or a special family heirloom. Create a cozy atmosphere with light garlands, candles, and fun seating areas such as couches or cushions on the floor.
It is also fun to organize outdoor activities or games for guests to enjoy during the quiet moments. We regularly went through festival weddings.
If the party continues into the evening, it is important to provide adequate lighting. For example, you can hang light garlands or place candles (safely). Special lamps are also available that are solar powered, so you don’t need power.
6. Preparing the garden
If you are planning to host a wedding in your backyard, it is wise to prepare your garden properly. Make a map of the garden and determine where the ceremony, dinner and party will take place. Make sure the garden looks neat and the lawn is mowed. Optionally, you can add flowers and plants to make the garden even more beautiful.
It is also helpful to think about the routing of your guests. Do they have to walk from one side of the house to the other several times? Or, for example, is it possible for them to walk from the parking lot to a reception location, then to the ceremony location, then to the reception location and finish at the place where dinner and any party will take place?
Also, think very deliberately about where you yourself will sit, during the wedding ceremony and where your guests will be seated. What do they see in the background? And what will you see during the wedding ceremony? For example, avoid having guests look at the nearby parking lot.
7. Final tips for your backyard wedding
Take advantage of the knowledge of a wedding planner. They can help you organize the wedding and have experience with backyard weddings. For example, we have often worked with wedding planner and stylist Nailia of Best Day Ever. She arranged a total of about 40 weddings at couples’ homes in their own backyards. Can you imagine,… 40 just!
Hiring a wedding planner can save you a lot of stress and ensure that everything is arranged to perfection. Moreover, they often have good contacts with suppliers and can help you figure out what is common in terms of prices and agreements and what is not.
A wedding in your backyard can be a beautiful and intimate way to celebrate your love. With the right preparation and organization, it can be an unforgettable day for you and your guests. Make sure you start preparations on time and make a clear schedule.
Use the knowledge of a wedding planner if necessary, and enlist the help of friends and family if necessary. With these tips, you can enjoy your special day carefree in your own backyard.
Are you getting married in the backyard?
Are you getting married in your own backyard and still looking for a fine photographer? As you can see we have a lot of experience and so we would love to come and photograph on your wedding day too! Check our availability or send an email right away (see below).