Thursday, April 22, 2010

Backyard Wedding Tips

   A backyard wedding you say? Whether you are trying to save on your budget, looking for an earth-friendly place to have your wedding or just have a really great backyard (or a friend's that you can use), having a backyard wedding can be a more intimate place to hold your ceremony. So here are a few tips to help you out in your decision.

Consider the Space
   Your backyard may be a fantastic backdrop, out there are limitations to the number of guests you can have. May sure this plan is realistic for the space you have. There will need to be plenty of room for chairs and tables. And a spot for dancing, if you choose. Also consider how many bathrooms are available to accommodate everyone.

   Stuff. Yes you will need to consider all the stuff that you will need for your wedding. I'm not talking about the dress and cake. You will need to budget for rental of chairs and tables, linens and buffet tables and a sound system.  Factor in these costs before you start to plan. You will also need to consider electricity and accessibility to it. You may also need a generator. So after all these items are factored in - it may be cheaper to book someplace else that can provide all this.

Food and Drinks
   Handling food and drinks can often be a cost-saving. But many couples will find a day that goes much smoother if they hire a caterer to handle all the food preparation, service and clean up. 

   Your backyard may be filled with awesome flowers in the spring, but does it rain often that time of year? Weather is always a factor to consider when planning an outdoor event. Make sure you have a backup plan just in case Mother Nature has a different idea. (I have been to a few weddings when there was no Plan B. And finding a tent big enough in the 11th hour for 100 guests was impossible. - I was left standing in the rain with a kind guest holding an umbrella so I could get some good images.)  And I know it sounds funny - but be careful of the sun. You want to be sure that the sun isn't going to blind your wedding guests or you while you are saying your 'I do's'.  Offering your guests sunscreen and paper umbrellas are a great way to help protect your guests and add a little style at the same time.

Pets and Pests
  If you are planning a wedding at your home, it's important to consider your furry friends and what all this commotion will do to them. If they are people lovers and good with guests and the social scene, then having them at your party is up to you. If, however, they are not, it may be a good idea to make arrangements for a quieter place for them to hang for the day. Also if your four-legged friends are staying - don't forget to have someone feed & walk them at their usual time. This will help keep them on some type of schedule and lessen the chance for unwanted accidents or misbehavior. (You may also want to consider your neighbors pets. The last thing you want is your neighbors dog howling during your wedding vows. See 'Permission below'.)
  Be aware. Often outdoors equals bugs. Make sure you have considered this in your plans. You may want to have citronella candles and bug spray on hand if necessary.

   You should also check with your local government or complex association to make sure there won't be any issues with noise ordinances and parking. The last thing you want is the neighbors calling the cops on your party. Speaking of which,  it would be a great idea to let your neighbors know what you are planning.  You can even invite them over for a drink at the reception as a nice gesture.

Clean Up
  Yes, having a party at your house means that you or someone you designate will have to clean up the mess.  Often if you have rented your equipment, the service company will provide delivery/pick up (make sure you know that up front.) And caterers should also be in charge of cleaning up after their service. But don't forget all the little things that will need to be done once those big items are gone. Someone will need to be in charge of all the miscellaneous cleaning before (including lawn maintenance) and after the wedding. So unless you want to do it yourself or have a trusted friend, you may want to consider adding a cleaning service to your budget.

I love outdoor weddings!  Happy planning! Need some inspirations?Here are a few other articles to help:
Wedding Budget Worksheet
Garden Themed Wedding on
Inspiration: Garden Theme Cake
Real Wedding: Beth & Joe's DIY Wedding

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