How to Plan a Backyard Wedding

It doesn't have to be casual, but it will take some work.

When people hear the term “backyard wedding,” they largely think about a low key, casual affair for a couple who chose not to spend the time or money on a more grand, traditional celebration. However, if you or your parents have the property space to accommodate it, a backyard wedding can be just as beautiful as one held in a luxury hotel. 

how to plan a luxurious backyard wedding
Photo by Samuel Lippke Studios; Planning & Design by Geller Events; Rentals by Revelry Event Designers

Due to space constraints, these celebrations are most common when the ceremony is held at a church or another house of worship, with a reception – tented or otherwise – held in the backyard. Of course, if the home available to you has a private front yard, or a large and well-decorated living room, it may be suitable to have the entire event in one location. It all depends on if there is an area for guests to enjoy cocktail hour while the backyard is “flipped” for the reception, or if there is a separate spot on the property where the vow exchange can be held. 

While a backyard wedding can be viewed by some as a budget option, that is not necessarily the case. After all, pretty much everything will have to be rented, including furniture that is often supplied by a more traditional venue. A planner is also of the utmost importance, as well as a setup and cleanup crew, as whoever’s home it is will be far too busy to deal with it. Renting a generator will also be necessary for all the lighting, and you may even need additional restrooms. 

In addition to expense, you’ll have to make sure the home is looking its best, even before rentals and décor items are brought in. You’ll want the lawn green and manicured, the flowers blooming, and the paint on the house fresh. The ground will also need to be level for tables and chairs, as well as a dance floor if you have one. You’ll also have to look into the possibility of needing additional event insurance on top of a homeowner’s policy, and may require getting a permit for the festivities as well. 

Finally, while the location may be convenient for you, that might not be the same case for your guests. Are there hotels nearby? How is the parking in the neighborhood? Arranging for shuttles may solve potential issues, but just be sure that you’re not making things difficult for those invited to celebrate your love. 

For more tips and advice, find out if you should buy or rent your wedding décor and learn how to get the groom invested in planning

Authored by: Emily Lasnier