Hosting a Backyard Wedding

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Heather Jones
Heather Jones
I'm Heather, an author passionate about home improvements. My writing is your guide to making homes better. Let's explore easy ways to enhance your living spaces, from small fixes to exciting projects. Join me on a journey of making your house a cozy and stylish haven.

A few years ago, the idea of a backyard wedding was considered something subpar. Now they are trending again because many wedding venues shut down either temporarily, or sadly, for good. Backyards provide an intimate setting that allow for families and close friends to celebrate together. Hosting a backyard wedding doesn’t mean it has to look like the family potluck. With the right touches, you can turn almost any backyard into a simple, but gorgeous wedding venue.

Pick a theme

The time of year often helps set the stage for the theme of your wedding. But truthfully, you can make your theme whatever you want no matter the time of year it is. The theme of your backyard wedding helps set the stage for how formal people should dress, what decorations you’ll choose, the kind of invites you’ll send, and even the food that could be served. The theme is very helpful for getting everything organized.

Coordinate the clothes

Once the theme is set, it gets easier to pick things like what you’ll wear or what the groom will wear. Tuxedos can still work for a backyard wedding, just be aware that when the temperatures outside get hot, so will he. Some men choose a more relaxed suit with or without a tie depending on how formal the event will be. The bride’s dress should be equally formal as he is as should any bridesmaids or groomsmen. The key is to pick what works for you and your theme/colors/look.

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Create the guest list

Small weddings mean small lists. Pick the most important people in your life, whether it’s your parents, siblings, mentors or closest friends. You know how many people can fit in the backyard, so this list might need to be limited to local guests only or even just immediate family. There is no right or wrong answer. You choose the people who will help make your celebration that much better.

Create and send invitations

Traditionally, wedding invites were sent months in advance to help people get airline tickets and more. If the wedding includes only local family and friends, you may be able to send them out just a month in advance. Wedding invitation templates help simplify this process. You can get them to coordinate with your theme and even use pre-made wording to add to the professionalism of your wedding. Invitations help your backyard wedding feel more luxurious.

Choose a menu

Whether you plan to serve tiny sandwiches with gourmet cheese or grilled steaks with baked potatoes, it’s important to decide what kind of food you want. Some people hire a caterer or personal chef to help plan the menu and cook and serve on the day of. Plan a menu that works for you and your event. I once went to a wedding where they served Thai food because that’s what they ate on their first date. They wanted to share that experience with everyone. There are plenty of options for simple meals that you may not even need a caterer to pull off.

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Decorate the day of

A backyard wedding can be as simple or extravagant as you’d like. Get a crew to help you set up everything from the chairs to the table and even the altar. If you create a detailed plan in advance, it’ll make everything go more smoothly. Part of the appeal of a backyard wedding is that it lends itself to simplicity. Think subdued florals, outdoor lights, flowing fabrics, and low-key centerpieces.

Cleaning up

If you’re getting married, and it’s in your backyard, it might help to hire a maid service to come cleanup afterwards. Unless your family and friends are warm to helping out with that, you can keep everything as hands-off for them as possible with a professional team. They can wash and put away dishes, pick up all the trash, and even put away the decorations if you’d like.

At the end of the day, a backyard wedding can be very simple and beautiful to plan. The intimate setting creates a unique ambiance that can’t be recreated at any wedding venue. So if these strange times have you rethinking your wedding venue, don’t rule out a lovely backyard affair. 

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