Updated: Feb 9
In this post-coronavirus world, outdoor weddings are starting to look more attractive and planning a backyard wedding is becoming more popular to avoid some of the headaches and uncertainty of coordinating Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines with venues. But as some people are learning, planning a backyard wedding isn't as easy as it sounds. It comes with its own set of challenges and headaches, but if you have the right vendor team your backyard wedding can be just as amazing as the well-oiled machine weddings at larger venues are.
#1 Hire a wedding planner or day-of coordinator
I can't stress this one enough. When you're doing a backyard wedding, you suddenly realize how much stuff wedding venues come with that you don't - tables, chairs, tablecloths, plates, silverware, glassware, staff to set it all up and move it around throughout the day... The list goes on. When you're doing a backyard wedding not only do you have to find all of those things but then you have to figure out how and when all those things are going to be set up and who is going to do it. Hiring a planner is the best thing to solve these problems and trust me, the last thing you want to be doing the morning of your wedding day is hauling 75 chairs around during the time you're supposed to be getting your hair done because you didn't budget time or people properly. Plus, planners have the hookup on finding the right vendors for what you want to work within your budget.
If you're looking for an amazing planner, I highly recommend Sarah from Brehant Creations. She's an awesome, creative, funny and smart planner. But best of all, she had a backyard wedding herself before she became a planner, so she knows what's up!
#2 Get Self-Contained Caterers
Backyard weddings can run the gambit for how they are catered, but the best ones have food cooked on site. However, unless you are Martha Stewart you probably don't have a catering kitchen in your house. Some caterers have some equipment they bring out to a job with them to supplement the kitchen at a job site. But other caterers or catering alternatives come fully prepared themselves. My favorite self-contained caterer is On-the-Spot catering, but some other fun catering alternative ideas for a backyard wedding include hiring a food truck, either for the meal, the dessert (like Hardcore Sweet), or for the drinks (like the super cute Queenie's cocktail bus).
#3 Set the Mood
It's really easy to transform your backyard space into something amazing with the addition of two simple things: some fun relaxation spaces and your floral décor. Something that often gets overlooked for backyard weddings is auxiliary seating. People always plan for tables and chairs for eating, but what about other relaxation spots for mingling? Adding a simple lounge or two with some unique outdoor furniture or poufs can really go a long way to creating a sense of welcome and luxury to your backyard wedding. The same goes for the floral décor. You may not be in a massive ballroom where your centerpieces have to fill the space of the room, but now you're outside where literally the sky is the limit. Have your florist build a fun floral installation for a unique ceremony backdrop and later it's a great photobooth opportunity for guests!
Bonus Tip #4: K.I.S. (Keep It Simple 😉)
And by this, I mean keep things streamlined, organized, and you seriously do not have to go over the top. You probably decided that you wanted a backyard wedding because the idea of a large venue wedding seemed superfluous to you. Backyard weddings invite you and your guests to be more free, open and simple for the day. Most importantly (and this goes for any wedding, really) backyard weddings do not have to be perfect. They are the best weddings for moments of hilarity from something going a little awry, or the chairs being mismatched.
The inspiration photos in this blog post were created during a styled shoot hosted by Styled Shoots by Brehant Creations and the following amazing people and vendors. If you're planning a backyard wedding in the greater New England area you should definitely reach out to these people to help out with your wedding planning needs:
Planning + design: Brehant Creations
Dress rental: Rent the Dress CT
Venue: Camp Horizons CT
Rentals + Drapery: Ryan Designs
Videographer: Millside Wedding Films
Beauty: Beauty by Chelsea Dae
Paper flowers: Inspirations Creations and Events
Tabletop rentals: Petals and Plates
Florist: Petals on Petals
Cape Veil: Over the Moon Bridal
Model Brides Saige & Maddie, Nicole, and Celia
Runner: The Snassy Crafter
Bakery: AJ Marie Bakery
Cocktail Truck: Queenie's Cocktail Bar
Vow books: Upstroke Creative