The place where you marry your best friend, where you exchange vows and promise forever to each other, should be special – and there’s nothing more meaningful and personal than getting married in the backyard of a home that means a lot to you. Whether it’s a house where you played as a child, a family member’s backyard, or your own home together, an intimate backyard wedding is the perfect way to tie the knot!
This guide will tell you everything you need to know to plan the perfect intimate backyard wedding, with tips, advice, and things to think about!
If you’re debating whether a backyard wedding is right for your day, here are a few perks, and some reasons that couples decide on an intimate backyard wedding instead of a traditional venue!
Finding and booking a venue can be difficult, as you’re competing with countless other couples who are planning a wedding – popular dates get booked up fast. One of the biggest perks of an intimate backyard wedding is that you have the ultimate flexibility when it comes to choosing your wedding date!
A big reason to plan an intimate backyard wedding is that it’s, well, intimate! Not only will getting married in a backyard be more sentimental, upping the cozy-factor of your wedding day, it also usually means keeping the guest list on the smaller side. This allows you to prioritize spending time with each other, and with the people you love most.
Instead of running from place to place trying to say hello to everyone, you’ll get to enjoy time with your guests and really be present on the day you get married.
I know I hate leaving my two fur babes behind – and if you have a pet, they’re part of the family! With an intimate backyard wedding, you can include your pup (or even other four-legged kids) on the day you get married, without the hassle of finding a traditional venue that allows pets and doesn’t require a hefty deposit.
Along with being able to bring your pets, you have more freedom in the entire planning process when you get married in a backyard! Venues have all sorts of restrictions, but with a backyard wedding, you have the ultimate freedom to do just about anything – while respecting the owner of the backyard and any neighbors, of course.
Traditional weddings are, let’s be honest, expensive! Planning an intimate backyard wedding instead allows you to invest that money elsewhere, and you can prioritize what’s important to you – whether that’s food, a live band, or an epic honeymoon.
Once you’re ready to dive into wedding planning, here are some tips to keep in mind that will help your day go smoothly!
At the beginning of the planning process, be sure to look into local requirements for throwing a backyard wedding. Some things to consider are noise ordinances, as well as any regulations that may require you to get a permit for a large party. Typically, the bigger your backyard wedding is the more likely you are to run into legalities and restrictions, but check with city officials to make sure everything is good to go!
Be sure to keep the neighbors in the loop about what’s going on. They’ll likely be understanding if they know what to expect, so tell them about your plans, let them know if there will be a lot of cars parked on the street, and give them a phone number of someone they can contact on the day of the wedding in case they need to.
Parking isn’t super glamorous, but it’s important! Think about the logistics of where your guests will park their cars – if you have a big property, maybe you can set up a parking area, or you might have guests park on the street.
For parties of more than 20 people or so, you may need to get additional restroom facilities! This doesn’t have to be a gross port-a-potty. You can rent restroom trailers for weddings that have running water and are pretty luxurious!
With any intimate backyard wedding, it’s important to have a plan in case of rain. When you set a date for your wedding, think about when the weather is best, and when you’re most likely to have clear skies and comfortable temperatures!
But, things happen and weather can be finicky, so have a rain plan no matter what the forecast says. This might mean moving things indoors, if the homeowner is okay with that, but a better option is to rent a canvas tent for your day! A tent will allow you to stay outdoors, while giving you some shelter from rain – or even from the sun if it’s hot that day.
Unless you already have enough tables and chairs lying around, you’ll probably need to rent some for your backyard wedding! You can rent a lot of the decorations, and most of what you’ll need for the day. This can be more budget friendly, better for the environment, and allows you to return everything afterwards instead of having to store it. Some things you’ll likely need can include table cloths, plates and silverware, decorations (lights, maybe an arch), and speakers for music or speeches.
Not to toot my own horn here, but a photographer is a huge part of any wedding day! I’ll be there to document all the little moments, and the big ones, on the day you get married, and I’ll be by your side to help you plan.
Your wedding day should be everything you want, and nothing that you don’t – it should be stress free, and it should be about spending time with the people you love! So if you’re ready to tie the knot, contact me to start dreaming up your intimate backyard wedding.
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Your not-so-traditional Elopement + Intimate Wedding Photographer. I document love stories for couples who want something unique, and who's focus is each other and having a meaningful, intentional experience on the day they say "I do".
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