Tis The Season For Proposals

Dated: 11/12/2017

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How to Host a Wedding in Your Backyard

How to Host a Wedding in Your Backyard

At-home weddings are some of the best. They offer a comfortable, intimate, and personal celebration with loved ones.  Additionally, you get more for less, which is a bargain worth considering.

However, not all backyard weddings are created equally. It takes meticulous planning to turn a backyard into a marital oasis.  After all, this is the couple’s big day and it involves a lot of work to get it done just right. Running around at the last minute simply isn’t an option. Start with this step-by-step guide to hosting a wedding in your backyard and your landscape will be ready when it’s time to say the “I do.”

Determine the practicality of using your backyard to host a wedding

The idea of hosting a wedding in your backyard is great. However, it’s important to think long and hard about the viability of your property. Even with the best party planning, if your backyard isn’t cut out for a ceremony, you could run into many roadblocks that may jeopardize the big day.

The three main things to consider prior to planning a wedding in your backyard are legality, space and cost of hosting a major event on your property.


Depending on the specifics of the wedding and guest list, special permits or site inspections may be required to ensure a legal celebration. It’s important to check with your local fire department, police department and city hall. Some regions have a limit on how many people can be in a home at one time, while others have noise restrictions and/or overnight parking laws which can put a damper on a great celebration.  Be aware of restrictions or city requirements and plan accordingly.


Additionally, you need to determine whether you have enough space to accommodate the wedding guests, along with the requirements of seating, feeding and entertaining them. If you plan on having any additional features, such as weather-friendly areas, a dance floor, buffet, band, bar, etc., you’ll need for additional space.


Lastly, you need to think about the various factors that determine the cost of a backyard wedding. Things to consider include the cost of equipment rental (chairs, tables, lighting, stages, tents, etc.), an officiant, catering, drinks, photography, cake, decorations, flowers, wedding favors and music.

Create the ultimate backyard wedding checklist

Phew! The hard part of sorting out permits, space and costs are handled. Time to carefully create the ultimate backyard wedding checklist to ensure a flawless celebration. Make your checklist as thorough as possible, with a priority level marked beside each task. You may want to first determine everything that needs to be accomplished, then rewrite the list in order of completion date or priority level for optimal organization.

As you’re about to see, some tasks can wait until closer to the day whereas others should be completed as soon as possible. Here is an example list of tasks to consider adding into your ultimate backyard wedding checklist:


  • Create a floor plan

  • Check landscape for any inconveniences

  • Level ground if needed

  • Plant flowers


  • Rent a generator to handle electrical needs

  • Rent a dance floor

  • Rent tents, tables and chairs

  • Book sound and lighting

  • Rent one Port-a-Potty for every 30 guests


  • Send out Save the Date cards

  • Send out invitations

  • Purchase or rent decorations (table linens, glassware, dinnerware, napkins, barware, trash cans, etc.)

  • Figure out flower arrangements

  • Purchase centerpieces and aisle runners

  • Purchase party lights and candles


  • Book your officiant

  • Hire an electrician to address electrical needs

  • Hire appropriate crew for parking, catering, entertainment, setup, etc.

  • Book licensed bartenders

  • Hire a DJ or band

  • Book a photographer

  • Schedule hair and makeup


  • Confirm the menu

  • Reach out to your neighbors to inform them of potential noise and traffic

  • Consider wedding insurance

  • Make sure you have your permits

  • Purchase the dress and shoes, and rent the groom’s tuxedo

  • Plan a honeymoon

  • Get your marriage license

  • Purchase bridal party gifts

Create a timeline of events

Once you have the finer details of a backyard wedding ironed out, it’s time to create a timeline of events. Determine the things that’ll occur on the big day and make a list. Some things to consider include the ceremony, the first dance, father and daughter dance, toasts, speeches, cake-cutting, bouquet toss, etc. This changes per couple, so include both the bride and groom when creating this list.

As soon as you have the events sorted out, you can create a timeline for them. Try to specify the exact time you want each event to occur to make sure nothing gets left out. Print the list and give it to everyone who will be helping you keep things on schedule on the big day, from the mother of the bride to the DJ.

Courtesy of: BHGRE

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Alisa Johnson

Whether you're buying or selling, as your agent, I pledge to you that I will listen and acknowledge your wishes, be friendly, and professional throughout our relationship and provide you with the know....

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