Backyard Weddings

Tips for Having a Backyard WeddingThinking of hosting your wedding and/or reception at home? A backyard wedding can be beautiful and intimate. The outdoor setting lends a relaxed vibe to the proceedings, and many couples prefer it to being married in a more traditional setting such as a church. It may also be much more affordable than renting a venue. However, there are some challenges you’ll face when planning any kind of outdoor wedding, so a little extra legwork is required to make it all come together!

You might have a backyard wedding with a few close friends or 100 guests, depending on the available space. But when planning a backyard wedding, you need to consider other factors besides the size of the yard. Remember that scene in Father of the Bride where Steve Martin realizes he has no parking space for his guests? Unless you’re having a very small backyard wedding or your guests can carpool, there may not be adequate parking.

There’s also the obvious issue of square footage: will there be room for guest chairs and an outdoor altar, plus tables and a dance area for the reception? You might have a backyard wedding ceremony with a reception at another locale, or vice versa, if the yard space is limited. If you’re having more than a dozen people, and you have a small home, you need to think about practical things like a lack of bathrooms for guests and limited indoor space if the weather turns nasty.

Will there be small children present? Everyone knows how quickly they can sneak off to wreak havoc, and at a busy event like a wedding, they may not be well supervised. If you’re concerned with the idea of kids running loose in your home, potentially damaging valuables or otherwise getting into anything they shouldn’t, your home might not be the best locale for the wedding.

You’ll also need to comply with local noise ordinances, if you’ll be having a late wedding or possibly a DJ. Many residential areas have restrictions on noise levels and acceptable hours for amplified music, so make sure you comply with all local laws. Finally, it’s a good idea to let your neighbors know that you’ll be having a backyard wedding, especially if you’ll be having music or a large number of guests taking up the street parking. A friendly heads-up can go a long way toward heading off resentment in the future!


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