Transforming your home oasis into a small backyard wedding reception is no easy feat. There is no doubt that backyard weddings can be sentimental, cost-effective, and a great blend of nature and convenience, but with no built-in staff, the pressure is on you to pull it off. Luckily, we’re going to set you on a course to plan your wedding with ease by following these few tips.
The key to a successful backyard wedding lies in the preparation and planning. Here are five crucial elements for hosting a small backyard wedding reception. These must be on your wedding planning checklist.
1. Plan For Any Type Of Weather
You had to know this one would be on the list, right? Any time you plan an event that is outdoors, you have to consider the weather. Both the good and the potentially bad. We know that nature and all its beauty create an incredible setting for weddings, but forgetting to add a backup plan for any kind of sudden turn from sunny skies could be devastating. Here are some ways that will help you disaster-proof your small backyard wedding reception:
Wedding insurance has been around for a long time and can be a lifesaver for if something goes awry. And it doesn’t just cover things like a wedding vendor not showing up or property damage from a fight that breaks out. Wedding insurance can also cover weather-related disasters. And since none of us have Mother Nature on speed dial, you just never know what type of unexpected guest the weather might be. Sure, a few light raindrops might not be a significant damper on the event, but what about heavy rain, hail, a tornado, a hurricane, or even just strong wind?
Have A Backup Plan
Planning a small backyard wedding reception means that you also have to prepare for a backup reception space. Of course, no one wants to think about this, but the truth is…stuff happens. Make sure you consider some kind of a backup option for your reception in the midst of planning. Here are a few ideas that will still create a unique and unforgettable small backyard wedding reception.
Rent A Tent
This is a standard option we know and, while it’s not ideal, a backyard wedding reception can be utterly romantic in a tent. It’s an added expense, sure, but could be a quaint, intimate lifesaver if the weather turns bad.
An Indoor Option
Another great idea is to repurpose space in the home as an indoor reception area. Move furniture around or put it in storage to accommodate the tables and chairs, and enjoy an intimate event with your family and friends.
2. Get Creative With Your Decorations
Sure! Your backyard’s natural setting and ambiance are beautiful enough for your wedding without doing too much, but adding just a few simple touches will really elevate the guest experience. We love these ideas for adding some extra decor and excitement to your small backyard wedding reception.
Stylize With Lounge Seating
This is one of our favorite outdoor wedding trends: lounge-style seating areas. Adding lush couches, chairs, and tables to your backyard increases the level of whimsy and uniqueness to your event. Find a local vendor that rents unique furniture to dress up your backyard space.
Decorate With Trees & Plants
If you have to host your reception in a tent, don’t forget to add some decor inside the tented area. Potted trees and plants add a lovely touch of nature to the inside of your tent. If weather dictates you can’t have your reception in your backyard’s natural setting, move the green space inside.
Grab A Few Yard Games
Modern-day couples are changing the wedding game by turning their day into an explosion of
“experiences” rather than just a party. When it comes to backyard weddings, a great way to make it unique and interactive is to add some yard or lawn games. If you love cornhole, get some customized boards made with your wedding date or wedding hashtag on it. Your guests will love it! Here are 30 other wedding reception game ideas.
Don’t forget signage. This is an essential element for any backyard reception. Guests won’t know where to go or how to navigate your yard. To help them easily traverse your outdoor space, create custom signage with arrows, cute sayings, and your wedding hashtag. It’s a great way to dress up the space.
Hang Up A Few String Lights
100% recommend adding string lights, cafe lights, or twinkle lights to your backyard wedding party. They just add an entirely new level of romance and whimsy, not to mention they look incredible in photos. You will absolutely adore your outdoor space with these lights. In fact, you may not even want to take them down after the event. We don’t blame you!
3. Don’t Forget About Restrooms
Oh, gosh! This is something we bet you never thought you’d have to consider when planning your wedding. But depending on the size and setup of your backyard space, or if you don’t want guests trekking through the house, you may want to consider renting outdoor restroom facilities for your guests.
Now we know outdoor restrooms certainly aren’t glamorous, but they are a necessity for your guests. And you certainly don’t want them to be front and center at your wedding. Find a place that you can tuck them away so that they are less noticeable, maybe among a group of trees or behind a building. But make sure you have plenty of signage and a proper pathway (that’s covered if possible in case it rains). Oh, and don’t forget! You’ll have to find a water source.
How Many Outdoor Restrooms Do You Need?
The last thing you want at your wedding is a long line to use the restroom, so make sure that you rent enough. A good rule of thumb is one port-a-potty for every 25 guests.
Is this even a thing? When we hear the words “port-a-potty,” we all get a similar picture in our minds. Ugly, blue, plastic restrooms that are always pretty nasty. But did you know that there are luxury port-a-potties? We found them! A company named Grand Restrooms is changing the outdoor restroom game. And if you want to provide your guests with an enjoyable outdoor wedding experience, even down to the restrooms, this may be the way to go. They feature hot and cold running water, large vanities and mirrors, hardwood-style flooring and china toilets with a foot flush. Definitely worth the cost.
4. Consider Non-Traditional Catering
The best part about having a wedding outdoors is that it provides excellent opportunities for you to mix up the food options. No stuffy sit down, passed plate menu is necessary for your soiree. Here are some unexpected and unique food ideas for your backyard event.
Hire A Food Truck
This is a new trend that is taking over the wedding industry, and we love it! Wedding food trucks allow you to offer your guests a fantastic selection of local grub. Tantalize their taste buds with yummy handhelds, delightful sweet treats, and more. Food trucks at your wedding reception also add an interactive experience for your guests to mingle.
Have A BBQ
Cause yes! BBQ and outdoor parties are a match made in heaven. Consider hiring a BBQ caterer to set up and cook right there in your backyard. This will create a wonderful and memorable culinary experience for your guests.
Consider Cooking Stations
If you’re looking for a way to get your guests moving around and enjoying your backyard event, consider hiring caterers that offer cooking stations. These can be anything from pasta stations to omelet bars and everything in between.
5. Check If You Need Permits
A little unknown fact that many couples don’t know…some counties require permits for hosting large events on your property. Any time you plan an event where there will be vendors and lots of cars, it’s always a great idea to call your municipalities to inquire if permits are needed. Typically there are fire codes, noise ordinances, and health regulations. So, be on the safe side and ask in advance. And while these permits are an extra expense that affects your budget, we have some great ideas on saving money that’ll help cover these costs.
Get To Planning
We love that couples share their special day by opening up their homes and backyard spaces with friends and family. Add these tips into your planning, and we’re sure it will be a huge success. After all, there is no doubt that our beloved backyards do offer a lovely setting for your “I Do’s.”