Gone are the days of stuffy, traditional weddings in ballrooms and hotels. Nontraditional wedding venues, including backyard weddings and outdoor weddings, are now all the rage.
Outdoor wedding ceremonies increased from 39% in 2009 to 52% in 2017, and this percentage has skyrocketed more recently in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are backyard weddings safer, but they can also be more intimate, more affordable, and more flexible compared to other wedding venues.
In this article, we’ll share more benefits of backyard weddings and highlight some of our favorite ways to transform your backyard into your dream wedding venue.
Why Choose a Backyard Wedding?
There are many reasons to go with a backyard wedding. First and foremost, backyard weddings are highly intimate and personal. Imagine walking down the aisle in the same yard where you used to play as a child. Your backyard is probably a space that holds very special memories for you and your family – so why not add another extra-special memory into the mix?
Not only is the environment much more personal than a rented space, but it’s also extremely convenient. You can have the wedding party or family members stay at your home, just steps away from the ceremony. You can get ready in the comfort of your own room. You have bathrooms already in place and a full kitchen that can be used by the catering team.
Another key reason to use your backyard as your wedding venue is that you will have total control over what vendors (caterers, florists, liquor providers, etc.) you hire. When you go with a more established wedding venue, you may be forced to choose from their exclusive or preferred vendors. In your own backyard, you will also have total artistic and creative control over the space! Your space, your rules.
As an added cherry on top, a backyard wedding is also a budget-friendly choice compared to renting out a space for the ceremony and reception. On average, most couples spend between $12,343 and $14,006 for their wedding venue, so the potential for savings is huge! Of course, you should take into account the fact that you may have to rent tents, chairs, tables, and other important elements that are provided by some venues.
Last but not least, the vibe of a backyard wedding is flexible. You can go with a casual, DIY aesthetic and make it feel like a summer BBQ or hire a team to transform the outdoor space into something much fancier. With some careful planning and investment, you might not even recognize your own backyard!
Our Favorite Backyard Wedding Ideas
If you’ve decided to host a wedding in your backyard, there are many things you can do to make it feel extra special. Here are just a few of our favorite backyard wedding ideas to help get you inspired:
– Choose or create a focal point in your backyard for the ceremony. This could be a viewpoint, a beautiful tree, a water feature, a gazebo, or any other special place in your backyard. You can also construct a rustic arch with flowers or greenery to clearly mark the altar.
– To help guide your guests through the space, create a clear entrance area and paths leading to different areas. You can use flowers, plants, lanterns, signs, or other decorations to mark the pathways.
– Plan ahead to make sure your garden is looking as beautiful and abundant as possible. Consider hiring a landscaping team to get things looking their best before the big day.
– When it comes to decor, lean into natural elements as much as possible. We love the idea of using potted plants or flowers as centerpieces rather than traditional bouquets.
– Set up some lawn games like bocce ball, cornhole, croquet, or giant Jenga to help keep your guests entertained. You can even have them custom-made to match the theme of your wedding or engraved with your initials.
– When it comes to food, consider hiring your favorite food truck or food cart instead of a caterer. This is a fun and affordable way to feed your guests and goes well with a more casual wedding vibe.
– Set up a festive outdoor bar and choose a signature cocktail.
– Be sure to have a plan for inclement weather! Set up some tents so that you don’t have to stress about the chance of rain.
– Instead of a traditional guest book, take inspiration from the dutch custom and set up a wedding wishing tree where guests can write well-wishes to the happy couple on a piece of paper and hang them up in a tree.
Choosing a Backyard Wedding Dress
A wedding dress for a backyard wedding doesn’t have to be more casual, but that is often what brides lean towards. If you’re in a hot climate, you may want to opt for a dress that is more lightweight with a summer silhouette. Airy fabrics like chiffon, tulle, or lace are best for warm weather.
As with any outdoor wedding, you also want to think about how you can protect your dress and keep it clean. Some people even steer away from traditional white in order to avoid too many stains.
Lastly, don’t forget some heel toppers if you’ll be walking around in the grass!
Casual Yet Coordinated Backyard Wedding Attire
Wedding attire is getting less formal, and this is especially true for backyard weddings. More and more people are encouraging casual yet coordinated wedding attire, rather than full-on black tie wear.
Because backyard weddings are smaller, you can have more control over what your guests wear and suggest a more specific color palette or style. This will give you more control over the entire aesthetic of your big day.
Romantic Backyard Wedding Lights
Lighting is an important part of any backyard wedding for both practical and not-so-practical reasons. For safety purposes, you’ll want to make sure that dining areas and pathways are well-lit. You don’t want anyone to trip and injure themselves on their way to the bathroom!
Lighting also helps set the mood and can make the overall aesthetic feel more romantic and magical. Twinkly string lights are a classic choice for backyard weddings. Try pairing them with some greenery or creating a full-blown canopy.
If you have a tent or covered patio, you can hang some rattan chandeliers or other statement light fixtures in the center to help illuminate the dining or dancing areas.
Battery-powered LED candles or lanterns are another great (and easy!) lighting option for your backyard wedding. They also contribute to a romantic and cozy atmosphere.
Comfortable & Cohesive Backyard Wedding Seating
Traditional wedding venues have tables and chairs, as well as rows of seats for guests to observe the ceremony. But why not go the extra mile to make your guests comfortable and create some lounge areas in your backyard where people can gather and socialize? You can rent or buy some patio furniture or even bring some of your indoor furniture outdoors.
Top things off with a few baskets full of warm blankets and extra pillows to make sure everyone is comfortable. Fire pits or outdoor fireplaces are another special touch that can help keep guests warm and cozy at night.
No matter what kind of seating you choose for your backyard wedding, some beautiful outdoor cushion covers will make any seating area look special and cohesive!
How Much Does a Backyard Wedding Cost?
Generally speaking, a backyard wedding will cost less than a wedding at a more traditional, rented venue. You will certainly save money on the upfront cost of renting out a venue, but that can sometimes mean more personal effort and stress. Plus, other costs like tents and furniture can start to stack up. As with any wedding, you will want to create a detailed budget to make sure things don’t get out of hand.
Make a Backyard Wedding Checklist
Planning any kind of wedding can be stressful. Making a checklist will help ensure you don’t forget any important details. Here are a few key things to remember when planning a backyard wedding:
- Get any necessary permits in order
- Make sure you’re insured
- Think about parking
- Make sure you have enough bathrooms
- Notify, or better yet, invite your neighbors
- Be realistic about how many people you can accommodate comfortably
- Make sure you have a weather contingency plan
- Ensure you have plenty of food and drinks for your guests
- Think about safety
- Make it feel like a party!
- Have a cleanup plan
Ready for a Memorable Backyard Wedding?
Your backyard is a special place, and with a little planning and preparation, it can be the perfect venue for your special day.
If you need any help with outdoor wedding seating ideas or are looking for beautiful outdoor cushion covers to fit your wedding theme, we would be honored to help out. We can create custom cushion covers to fit almost any kind of outdoor furniture.
Thanks for reading and we wish you all the best on your wedding day!