A backyard can be a wonderful place for that quaint wedding you’re planning. There a few important things to take into consideration first though. The most important is probably the size. Compare the size of the back yard you are considering with the size of your guest list. Your guests will not be comfortable at all if you try to cram 200 people into a small back yard. The area should be large enough to comfortably accommodate the guest list. You’ll have tables and chairs, decorations, and of course some type of arbor or archway where the ceremony will be held.
It may be helpful to draw out the back yard to scale on a sheet of paper. Next, make small paper replicas of all tables and larger objects. Move these around on your paper until you get the perfect configuration. This will make it simple to tell whether everything will fit or not.
A second important consideration is the landscaping. If the yard only needs a small amount of landscaping in order to be the perfect venue, then that’s totally doable. But if it needs thousands of dollars’ worth of landscaping, then this may drive your wedding budget over the edge. Be realistic. Though there are some things that you and your family can do yourselves, ask yourself if it’s really feasible given your time frame and wedding budget.
If you’re having the wedding in someone’s back yard, then you’re already saving hundreds or thousands of dollars, but you can also save in some other areas. A back yard lends itself to more casual food choices. You could even plan a huge barbecue and serve grilled steaks and seafood. This would make a delicious menu for a fraction of the cost of a regular wedding caterer. You can save on the decorations as well. Instead of flowers and floral arrangements, use rustic lanterns and strings of colorful Christmas lights. Handcraft your place cards and set baskets on the tables to hold programs.
Parking is an important consideration. Check with neighbors about parking in their driveways or if there’s a church or business nearby that would allow you to borrow some of their parking spaces, this can simplify that issue. Some couples prefer a simple arbor to get married under while others want a tent for the main wedding ceremony. Be sure to check into the price and availability of items like these so your wedding costs don’t skyrocket. And don’t forget the port-a-potties!