6 Tips for Planning a Backyard Wedding | Amy Galbraith Photography

6 Simple Tips for Planning a Backyard Wedding

It’s no secret that the past couple of years has brought many changes to the wedding industry. The pandemic was a big unknown for couples and many chose to postpone their big day or change their plans altogether. One type of wedding that has become quite popular though is a backyard wedding. While planning a backyard wedding or elopement might seem easy, there are a lot more details that go into one than you might imagine. Whether you’re getting married at your own home, a friend or family member’s home, or an Airbnb, here are a few key wedding planning tips that will help bring everything together.

Ceremony Location

One of the first decisions to make for your backyard wedding is where you are going to hold your ceremony. Not only does your ceremony location need to be large enough to accommodate guests, but you will also want to consider the levelness of the ground and whether or not you need chair rentals. If you have guests with limited mobility, keep in mind how easy the area is to access and whether or not it is wheelchair accessible.

Outdoor wedding reception tables with umbrellas

Tables, Dinnerware & Silverware

Depending on how large your group is, you can either provide these items yourself or rent them out. Either way, be sure to have extra of everything on hand as glassware can get easily misplaced throughout the day.

Bride and groom dancing with neon lights at backyard wedding reception

Lighting

If your reception will be going into the evening, it’s important to make sure there is adequate outdoor lighting for both safety and ambiance. Simple bistro lights always look great! Plus, you can even rent stands to place them along the perimeter of a patio without nailing into the side of a structure.

Bride and groom standing at the wedding altar at backyard wedding

Bathrooms

If you plan on having a larger backyard wedding, it may be a good idea to rent additional bathrooms. Luckily, portable bathrooms have gotten a lot nicer than the average port-a-potty these days!

Wedding party standing in front of white hummer limousine at the base of the PNW mountains

Parking and Transportation

Even cars from a few guests can add up. Make sure your street provides adequate parking for guests, or consider a park-and-ride type scenario where you provide a shuttle from a location with more parking. You may even be able to ask your neighbors if you can use their space as well.

Backyard wood fire pizza oven

Space for Catering

If you plan to have food catered for your wedding, your caterer will likely have a list of questions to go over with you. A couple of questions you might want to keep in mind before talking to your caterer are:

  • What does your location supply and what type of catering do you need?
  • Will a private chef have everything with them or will you need to provide the cooking tools and dishes?
  • Will your caterers need additional space to set up an outdoor kitchen and cook onsite? Is there room for that? Or will the food be prepped ahead of time?

Bride and groom kissing at the end of the aisle at backyard wedding in Washington

Planning a backyard wedding is a great idea especially if you are looking to cut down on costs or simply want a more relaxed feel for your wedding. While backyard weddings might appear easy to plan, remembering these wedding planning tips will be so helpful as you prepare for your special day!

For more backyard wedding inspiration, check out this Vibrant Summer Backyard Wedding!

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Pacific Northwest wedding & elopement photographer based in Port Angeles, Washington
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