Jessie and Tim Kissing During Sparkler Wedding Exit

Dream Tips: How to Plan a Backyard Wedding

Now that intimate and micro weddings are on-trend, homes are becoming especially popular venue choices! You can make your own rules about start and end times, save some serious cash, personalize every last detail, and keep things as low-key as you’d like. Whether you’ve got access to a family farm, a lake house, or a small slice of domestic paradise in the middle of a city, check out our tips on how to plan a backyard wedding and transform the space into the wedding venue of your dreams.

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
While you don’t have to tour venues, there are still plenty of logistics that go into hosting a backyard wedding. Your planner will be able to manage the logistics and help find vendors for rentals, lighting and sound equipment, flowers, and catering. Getting some assistance from a pro will help you stay organized and relaxed in the long run and, more importantly, bring your aesthetic vision to life.

Wedding Invitation Suite and Bridal Shoes

Let nature be the main inspiration for your wedding day design! The seasons can be your guide when it comes to choosing a color palette, florals, and your food and drink menus. The best part of a backyard ceremony and reception is the flexibility, so you can dress things up as much as you want, or embrace the vibe of a casual garden party. For the ceremony, think about setting up an archway, or opt for lighting fixtures or drapery hung between two big trees to serve as a focal point for the altar.

Looking for more decor and planning tips? Don’t miss our other helpful guides.

Laura and Matt

Before deciding on a backyard wedding, make sure you have room to say “I do.” Take in the layout of the yard and see if it logistically works to get married in front of a romantic focal point like a big tree or a blooming flower garden. For the ceremony, you’ll have to configure the yard’s layout to include enough space for a tent, tables, chairs, and dance floor, and consulting with a planning professional will help make it all more straightforward.

Food and Drinks
When it comes to a small backyard soiree, you’ll have an incredible amount of freedom when it comes to planning your menu. You can try to place a large order with your favorite bistro in town, have a local food truck park out back, or hire a catering company that can use your home kitchen to whip up a few dreamy dishes. Tacos and barbecue are always winning favorites—especially during summer—but feel free to get as fancy as you’d like!

Need more wedding catering tips? Check out the rest of our catering and food guides here!

Plated Salads on Rustic Wedding Reception Table

Any extra lighting, a sound system, and catering equipment will be using more power than a home can handle, so you might want to hire an electrician to check everything out. Renting a generator is a great way to accommodate the extra power you need and prevent a fuse from blowing in the middle of the reception. You’ll also want to call the city to obtain any permits, think about noise ordinances, and figure out where all of your guests are going to park.

Your backyard will be on display for guests to see and where photos will be taken, so planning yard maintenance such as reseeding, trimming, planting, and mowing in advance is a must. Hiring a landscaper to help with the outdoor design will give you more time to focus on other details and ensure your space is picture-perfect.

Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Based on the guest list size, you’re most likely going to need portable toilets. Don’t worry, they’re nothing like the porta potties you’re thinking of: Think upscale bathroom rentals that include vanities like lighting, mirrors, sinks with hot water, and air conditioning. 

It’s polite to notify your neighbors that your wedding will be held in your backyard at least a month in advance. This way, they can adjust their plans accordingly and prepare for any loud music or noise. Consider giving them your contact info and a written schedule with details such as where guests are parking and when they should expect the reception to end. A small gift can also show your appreciation for their understanding and patience.

Bride & Groom Posing With Wedding Party

Guests will be driving to your backyard wedding, so you’ll want to check the laws for street parking in your neighborhood. If there are certain times street parking isn’t allowed or if overnight parking is prohibited, you’ll want to hire a valet service. This way guests won’t be driving around looking for a spot and the valet service can park each car at a nearby parking lot.

No one can control mother nature, so having a plan for rain or cold weather is a must. Renting a tent can protect against rain and also keep guests warm by adding heaters inside. You can also incorporate decor inside the tent, so it will still be wedding day chic or whatever your vibe may be! If you’re planning a summer wedding, try to place ceremony chairs away from direct sunlight and have cool drinks and hand fans available.

Outdoor Wedding Reception Table Setting

Clean Up
Even a limited guest list will result in a large amount of trash by the end of the day’s festivities. Consider renting trash and recycling bins or check if your caterer can empty the bins throughout the day for an additional fee. You don’t want mountains of trash ruining your wedding’s aesthetic.

Photos by Through Victoria’s Lens, Jen & Chris Creed, and Caitlin Steva Photography. 

If you’d like to talk to our catering and planning experts about how to plan a backyard wedding, send us a message at