The basics of a backyard wedding

Backyard weddings can be simple or extravagant. Image: Belle Magazine

Backyard weddings can be simple or extravagant. Image: Belle Magazine

Backyard weddings can be enormous fun, but just because they’re being held in your home (or someone else’s) doesn’t mean they’re going to be a cinch to plan. In fact, planning a backyard wedding comes with a unique set of challenges – but they can also allow your creativity to flow widly!

A backyard wedding, especially if it’s held in the backyard of your childhood home, can be extremely sentimental. It can speak to the love of family and provide a unique and private sanctuary for the couple to wed surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

Keep the following things in mind and your big day will be even more fuss-free:

The weather:

The idea of an outdoor wedding likely makes you think of exchanging vows in the sunshine, but what if it rains? Having a Plan B for any surprise weather condition will help keep stress at bay on the big day. Ordering a tent or planning to move the party indoors are both solid back-up plans.

The comfort of guests:

Keep in mind the size of the backyard and what space is needed for the day when building your guest list. First determine how many guests will comfortably fit inside your backyard – both during the ceremony and the reception. This includes making sure that tables and chairs easily fit into the space without it feeling overcrowded. Also take into account bathroom facilities. If the backyard is too small, it may limit your guest list.


Be sure to order enough tables and chairs for every guest. It may seem smart to skimp on furniture, but your grandparents probably won’t find sitting on a tree stump or picnic blanket as cute as you do!

Permits and licenses:

Permit requirements vary depending on the area and, though most backyard events won’t need one, at least check with local council about local noise rules etc, as well as any potential problems with cars or the erection of large PA systems or marquees, though it usually isn’t a problem.

Crowd flow:

Think about how the guests will get from the front of the house to the back. Also consider things like where guests will go if, say, the living room is being transformed for a ceremony etc. Ensure main entrances and exits are not blocked. A good trick is to utilize food and beverages to your advantage. Keep the bars and food talbes away from entrances to prevent gridlock.

Have fun with a theme:

Backyard weddings allow for you to be as creative as you want because there is no pre-set décor to work around. Let your ideas flow. Many backyard weddings are rustic and country themed. Others take cues from popular movies, such as Alice and Wonderland or colour themes. You can even set up a backyard carnival! No matter what theme you choose, let your personality as a couple shine through every aspect of your big day.

Use nature:

There is nothing more beautiful than nature and an outdoor wedding provides a lot of its own decorations. Figure out what the most beautiful spot in the backyard is and choose this as the place to have your ceremony. You can even time your wedding so that the sun is not in your guests’ eyes. Garden flowers make for beautiful bouquets and creative centrepieces can be made out of bell jars, rocks, succulents, and even sand! Don’t be afraid to be imaginative.


It is important to provide proper lighting for your guests, especially if you plan to party into the wee hours. Romantic lighting can also add to the romantic ambience of the wedding. Try hanging coloured paper lanterns (in your wedding colours) from trees or using fairy lights to line tents, tree branches, and tables – and don’t forget to ensure everything is lit properly for an evening event. You don’t want guest falling or tripping over each other because they can’t see what is going on!

Above all, have fun!

When the day of your wedding comes, have fun and enjoy your beautiful backyard event. Having a back-up plan and ensuring that all of the above elements are taken care of will allow you to relax and enjoy the day with your new spouse – in the place that you consider home!

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