Planning a wedding is practically a full-time job. From choosing the dress, the location, the food, the flowers and hundreds of other details, it can get overwhelming, not to mention pricey. Many couples often decide to save time and money and host their wedding ceremony at home in their own backyard. With the right amount of planning and attention to detail, your backyard can be the perfect place to house a simple, elegant and beautiful wedding ceremony and reception.
Step 1: Consider the space
One of the most important things to consider with backyard weddings is space. While the yard might seem large and accommodating, once you factor in all the chairs, tables and other decor, suddenly the space doesn't seem so big. Be conscious of how many guests you're planning to invite and how many can comfortably fit in the space. Remember, there has to be enough room for your guests to mingle and, if you're hosting your reception in the same location, dance throughout the night.
Step 2: Lay the groundwork
It's safe to say most backyards aren't wedding-ready year-round. The first step in creating your dream wedding at home is prepping the yard. For the best results, this should start months in advance.
First, consider the theme and vision you and your partner have for your wedding and what overall look you're trying to create. The great thing about backyards is that they usually have their own natural decoration, so work with what's already there. Decide if you want to hire a landscaper to prep the yard for you or if you want to do it yourself. If you're doing it yourself, keep in mind how much updating the area will need. If your lawn is in a state of despair, plant new sod and mow regularly prior to the event. Also, take the time and plant some new flowers now so they'll be blooming for the big day. The color and fragrance will add to the beauty of your wedding.
Step 3: Lighting
With any outdoor wedding, lighting can be tricky since you typically have to create it yourself. Depending on the theme and time of day, you might consider adding some special lighting touches. Simple additions like Mason jar candles or twinkle-light strings hung around the yard and seating area create a warm, romantic atmosphere.
Step 4: Consider guests’ needs
Keep in mind that since your wedding is at home, guest accommodations are your responsibility. Make sure there is ample parking around the venue for all attendees. If parking is minimal in your area, you may need to arrange for transportation to and from the venue for your guests. If you have a lot of family or friends flying in for the wedding, provide them with a list or some suggestions of hotel or other lodging options (unless you have enough room for them to stay with you).
Step 5: Plan for weather changes
As with any outdoor ceremony, weather must be taken into consideration. You don't want your perfect day to dissolve due to a sudden rain storm. In the event of last-minute weather mishaps, put a contingency plan in place. If your yard is large enough, consider renting a tent in case of emergencies or try making your own covering. Don't forget the possibility of extreme heat conditions. Have cooling fans on hand to keep your guesting from melting under the sun. Also be prepared to move the party indoors if the weather gets crazy. Simple precautions will ensure your peace of mind, because, let's face it, you'll have plenty to worry over without having to think about the weather.
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