Backyard weddings have come and gone in terms of popularity. Some years the idea has been popular, and some years, people have preferred a larger venue. With the COVID-19 pandemic that we are in the midst of, we see a rise in the popularity of the backyard wedding again.
Because of social distancing orders and group gathering regulations, many people opt for a small backyard wedding, even if that was not the original plan. Remember that sometimes you need a contingency plan for the contingency plan since backyard weddings can depend on weather conditions.
Benefits of a Backyard Wedding
Though a backyard wedding may not have been the original plan, there are many benefits you may not have considered.
- You can include your pets – many people have pets who are as close to them as their human friends and family. Having a backyard wedding means that your fur family may be able to attend as well.
- It is cost-effective – Paying for a venue can be costly right upfront. You will have to pay a deposit to secure the venue, and it may be non-refundable. A backyard wedding does not carry the same cost if you can use your yard or the yard of a family member or friend.
- Your date is flexible – When you are not contending with others to book a facility, the date is flexible. You can choose a date that works best for you, and if the date needs to be changed, there is less hassle.
- You can keep your guests to a minimum – while some people want a huge wedding, others prefer to have just their closest family and friends. Holding it in a small backyard will keep things cozy and comfortable, and acquaintances will understand that you did not have room for many guests.
- It is sentimental – Imagine saying your wedding vows in the backyard you grew up in as a child. Or perhaps you are starting your new life together in the first home you have bought and want to celebrate there. Holding a backyard wedding holds a sentimental aspect that you would not have in a large rented venue.
Logistics of a Backyard Wedding
There will be some planning involved if you are choosing to hold a backyard wedding. You will need to consider things that would not be the same as if you had rented a venue.
You will need to consider a power source for some of your needs, such as lighting, sound system, and food prep equipment. You may need more power than a typical residential home has available, so you will need to rent a generator.
If the wedding is small (20 guests or fewer) and you don’t mind people going in and out of the house, your indoor washrooms will suffice. However, if you have more than 20 guests, you will need additional facilities.
Many companies have upscale portable toilets that you can rent at a reasonable rate. Some of them are equipped with lighting, mirrors, and sinks.
If you decide to hold a backyard wedding, it is a good idea to plan well in advance so that it is landscaped and decorated for the festivities. You will need to make sure the ground is level enough for tables and chairs and plan to cut the lawn a day or two before the event.
If you are renting a tent, find out what is needed. Some tent companies deliver the tent with one or two people, and they require you to have additional help on hand to help with the setup.
Hopefully, everything runs smoothly, and you will not have to worry about insurance. Still, it is a good idea to review the homeowner’s policy before holding a large-scale backyard event.
See what the insurance policy covers in terms of property damage both inside and outside the house. Get in touch with your vendors to see what they carry for insurance as well. Your vendors’ insurance may be enough, but there is the possibility that you may want to purchase supplemental insurance for the event.
Ensure you check with your city or town to ask about permits for hosting larger parties at your home. You do not want to violate noise ordinances or fire codes. There may also be permits you will need to ensure you are following health department regulations. You will also need a liquor permit if you will be setting up a cash bar.
You will want to give neighbors plenty of notice before the wedding day. This will allow them to be prepared and decide if they will stay home or plan a night away. Make sure they have as many details as possible so that they know what time the ceremony is taking place and where you have asked guests to park.
Being considerate of the neighbors will help to keep everyone happy. Tell them of your plans in person and offer a written schedule of your events and thank them for their consideration. You could even provide a small token gift to thank them!
You may also need to contact your city or town regarding parking permits and regulations. Sometimes street parking is only allowed at certain hours, and some communities do not allow overnight street parking.
If there is an open lot nearby, you could consider hiring a valet to assist with guest parking. If this is an option, make sure your guests are informed. You will want to make sure they know not to leave any valuables in the vehicle.
Cleaning up after a large event can be a lot of work. Find out what services your catering crew offers and consider if that will need to be supplemented. Ensure you rent enough garbage and recycling bins and have someone checking on them periodically to ensure they are emptied.
The Contingency Plan
Mother Nature does not always cooperate with our plans. You will need to have a plan B in case the weather is not suitable for the outdoors. If your house is large enough and you don’t mind having guests inside, that is one option.
If you can’t host indoors and have not planned to have a tent on-site, it may be a good idea to have a deposit on a tent so that it can be brought in at the last minute if needed.
Nobody ever wants to go to plan B, but it is best to have one in place… just in case!