Backyard Weddings: 5 Tips to Host the Intimate Wedding of Your Dreams
Forget the church or country club. Your ideal wedding venue may be as close as your own backyard. In 2012, the average wedding in the U.S. cost over $28,000, according to a survey from wedding website The Knot. Hosting a backyard wedding is a great way to save money, although it’s important to plan carefully to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.
Whose Yard Is Fairest of Them All?
Not all brides-to-be have the luxury of a large, perfectly manicured backyard. If you’re stuck in a tiny urban apartment, that casual outdoor vibe is still achievable. Consider the yards of your parents, relatives and close friends. If one of them offers a usable space, check it out with tape measure in hand. Then, use an event space calculator such as one from Banquet Tables to determine how many square feet you’ll need. Be sure to consider whether you want full seating for dinner, a standing cocktail hour or a dance floor, all of which require different amounts of space.
Consider the Weather
The last thing you want on your wedding day is a gaggle of guests with muddy shoes and streaming wet hair because of an unexpected rain shower. Think about ways to keep your guests dry and warm. Renting a tent is a smart option, although it may become expensive. If you’re feeling lucky, plan to have your ceremony and reception under the clear blue sky. Before your wedding, invest in a housecleaning service to make sure your home is in tip-top shape in case all of the guests need to move indoors because of bad weather. Provide pashminas or space heaters if evenings get chilly in your climate.
Transportation and Foot Traffic
So you’ve figured out your backyard can comfortably hold 60 people, but where are they all going to park? Beware of street parking restrictions that may cause your guests to have to feed meters or risk expensive tickets. Alternatively, rent a nearby parking lot and invest in a shuttle to bring your guests to and from your home.
Consider the flow of people through your space. Set up chairs, tables, the aisle and any other important pieces that need to fit in your space. Then, make sure you have plenty of room between tables and within the aisle. For example, Rental Max recommends measuring 54 inches of space between tables to give guests ample room.
Think About Power
Perhaps you’ve dreamed of twinkling lights, the warmth of space heaters and a rocking sound system for your dance floor. It would be a wedding disaster if you blew the circuits because of the extra voltage your equipment requires. To ensure that things go smoothly, invest in an alternative energy source. For example, a generator rental from Sunbelt Rentals allows you to choose from a variety of fuel tank sizes as well as step-down transformers to operate equipment safely. Then, you can blast music from speakers and dance the night away without worrying about blowing a fuse.
Don’t Forget the Bathrooms
One of the trickiest things about planning a backyard bash is planning for those inevitable calls of nature. United Site Services recommends one portable bathroom per 50 guests (although it’s always better to err on the side of too many). If you’re fine with guests going inside, stock up on extra toilet paper and hand soap to ensure that there aren’t any mid-event crises.