A venue is one of the first things that you need to book for your wedding date and so understandably it can cause couples a fair amount of stress. Trust me, I understand. It’s always incredibly important to me to curate an experience for my couples that not only results in a beautifully designed wedding, is enjoyable to bring to life as well! If you’re currently looking to bring your event to your home (and take advantage of the beautiful backyard that you own or have access to), here’s a list of absolute “must have” steps to planning a flawless backyard wedding.
In case you’re new to the blog here, my name is Marcia and I’m the owner of Imagine It Event Decor and Design. Being an event designer is so much more than a job to me – it’s my passion and purpose. I love bringing you and your guests together in a space where you can be fully present and enjoy an incredible experience together. When you are ready to get started with the design, please contact me here. The sooner the better as space has been filling up so quickly, and I would love nothing more than to be a part of your day.
1) Create your wedding budget and guest count
Seriously. I know that these are the two lists that aren’t “exciting” and nobody wants to make. However, they will be the guide for every decision you’re going to make. Your budget and guest count are going to be the deciding factor on whether or not the space you have in mind is even possible. Despite what you might think, backyard weddings are often not less expensive than a traditional venue either. Although traditional venues have a venue fee rental, they include a lot of essentials like chairs, tables, basic linens, and more.
When you choose to have a backyard wedding, you’re building everything from the ground up. That being said, having the opportunity to customize the outdoors, and the nostalgia and intimacy of the property can make it so worth the added cost and effort. After all, here at Imagine It, we love making each and every event design unique to you. What better way to do that than building a venue from scratch? Then building the venue to ensure that the space can accommodate the guest.
2) Inspect the yard for flat areas to hold the ceremony, cocktail hour and or reception.
If you are reading this, you likely have a backyard in mind. I always love to walk through the space with my event design clients in person. This way, I can help them map out which areas would work best for the ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception. When deciding what should go where, I don’t look at the view, I look down! The best view is important but we need to take advantage of where the flat land is so we save money on flooring (see step four!).
3) Rent and Reserve A Tent.
You don’t want to be caught with nowhere to hold your ceremony and reception if it rains. I know nobody wants to think about the possibility of rain, but this really is not optional. You have to be prepared, especially when you are essentially creating your own venue from scratch and there are no backup plans “included”.
4) Rent Flooring
If the yard is not levelled OR has the potential to get extremely wet or muddy, you are going to want to consider renting flooring. After all, your guests comfort is your responsibility and it should be made a priority. We can design a beautiful event together, but if guests are uncomfortable, that’s all that they’re going to remember. You might be looking at your backyard with rose colored glasses, but this is exactly why you bring in an experienced event designer to help you navigate things that you might be overlooking. Even floor is definitely something to look at because you don’t want to trip in your heels walking down the aisle or have a guest to hurt themselves on the dance floor.
5) Backyard Wedding Lighting
Do not underestimate lighting. It adds so much to the overall look and feel of your wedding. Plus, great lighting helps you see all the details in your photos for years to come! As far as the feeling goes, different lighting options create a different mood. String lights, for example, add a relaxed ambience in a way that decor cannot alone. Flood lights will create more of a party atmosphere. This is exactly why hiring an event designer is so important. Ask your event designer what lighting option might be best for your event.
6) Backyard Wedding Bathroom Ideas
This is something that nobody wants to think about, but don’t worry – you will be surprised at the luxury port-a-potty options that are available to you. Even if you have a friend or family member that is willing to rent out their property, they might not want all of your guests that using the washroom inside their house. It’s not practical either – residential toilets are not made for hundreds of flushes in one day.
7) Rent a Generator
Your home electricity will likely not do the trick. Electricity is needed for so many things in a backyard wedding – from lighting, catering, entertainment. Your home electricity will very likely not be able to accommodate it. I’ve been talking a lot about being better safe than sorry in this post, but really this is a big one. In this case, the worst case scenario could lead to a fire!
8) Water Supply
Restrooms will need access to a water source to function efficiently. Your catering team will likely need a water source as well. This is something that most people assume their home will be able to provide but depending on the size of the event, that might not be the case.
Planning a backyard wedding in Maryland
I hope that this has given you a fresh perspective on what it truly takes to plan an amazing backyard wedding. Although these are necessarily the “fun” items to check off your list, they are some of the most important. When you think of creating a smooth experience, your guests will notice the above steps. Trust me, more than they would notice imperfect decor! If you’re in Maryland, make sure to reach out to Imagine It Events and I’d be happy to set you up with a complimentary consultation. This is what I love to do so if you were feeling stress reading this, let me put your mind at ease so you can be excited again.
Check out one of my favorite articles on tips for planning an outdoor wedding.