Backyard Weddings: A Break from Tradition
Having a backyard wedding is a unique option for couples looking for flexible planning, a modest guest list, and a meaningful venue.

Backyard Weddings: A Break from Tradition

Photos courtesy of Magic MayHeim

What comes to mind when you hear the words “sentimental” and “beautiful” in terms of weddings? Do you think big guest lists with grandeur venues? Or do you think of natural scenes and big white tents? The outdoor and backyard wedding trend sprung up and was all the craze back in 2020 because people were trying to avoid indoor, large-scale weddings during the pandemic. However, the backyard wedding craze hasn’t slowed down and is predicted to hold until late 2022. Couples have seen the possibilities of creating their dream wedding while saving money and minimizing stressful planning. Here are some benefits to choosing a backyard wedding:

Saving Money

Ceremony and reception spaces can cost thousands of dollars. A pavilion will cost you around $20. Your backyard? Free. And that’s just the venue costs. That’s not including what you could potentially save with the other benefits we list (vendors, decorations, etc.).

Control in Choosing Vendors

You are not bound by the venue to choose their catering service or by other vendor regulations  set in place by the venue. Having control in selecting your vendors gives you the opportunity to prioritize specific elements you want to have on your big day and scale down the other pieces of your wedding to fit in your budget.

Flexibility

Celebrating your wedding in your backyard gives you more flexibility in the design of the space and the day you want to get married. You are able to decorate and shape your venue however you wish, and if you don’t like the way the yard looks, change it!

Picking the best date for your wedding is easier to adapt to you and your fiancé’s schedule. And depending on your vendor list, you may have the ability to postpone the wedding if something prevents you from getting married on that date.

Invite Your Pets

If you are a big dog or cat lover, you can have all the pets you want with a backyard wedding. No need to stress about venue restrictions or figuring out how to travel with your pet.

Intimate Guest List

The size of a backyard wedding is relatively smaller than a traditional wedding and the space creates a more intimate atmosphere when you are surrounded by your closest friends and family. This is also a perfect reason to keep the guest list modest and avoid the stress of a mass mailing list.

Planning a small outdoor wedding in your backyard has a handful of benefits, and it is just one of the many options for couples who are looking to stray from a large, traditional wedding and want more control with their space and vendor options. With all of the splendor that comes with a backyard wedding, preparation is key to being aware of all the external factors that are involved. We have listed a handful of things to take into account when planning your backyard wedding.

Permits from the City

If you opt for a public area instead of your own backyard, you may need to reserve the space to ensure that no one will be interfering with your ceremony. If you are in your backyard, you will need to check with your city ordinances and neighbors for noise restrictions like quiet hours.

Planning in a Smaller Space

Setting up a wedding in the backyard may mean limited space. It is important to plan for the number of guests and calculate how much room you will need for everyone to be comfortable. You may need to adjust your guest list if you find that the space will be too crowded. If you are planning to use a tent, consider how its dimensions will affect the layout of the seating and the space it will fill in the yard.

Backyard Maintenance

Depending on how you want your wedding, there may be renovations to make the area more suitable to your wants and needs.

Special Equipment

If you want your wedding outdoors, you may want to invest in some type of speaker system for the ceremony and music. A tent is a great idea to prepare for unpredictable weather and provide shade for you and your guests.

Weather

If you live in South Dakota, it might be wise to not plan a backyard wedding in the middle of January, but summer storms may also loom overhead when we least expect it. It’s important to check the weather during the week leading up to your big day. This may help with delaying the schedule or postponing the wedding to a different day if the weather is looking too dangerous to be outside or for your guests to travel in. Another option would be to prepare a Plan B where you move the ceremony and reception indoors. 

With all of the benefits and factors that emerge when considering a backyard wedding, the biggest and most important piece of advice is to do your research and plan, plan, plan. Being prepared before your wedding day will help you be stress free and enjoy every moment on your special day. //

Just Married

Vanessa and Elijah Conger’s Backyard Wedding

Wedding Cake: Walmart

Event Tent: Menards

Photography: Brandon Heim, Magic MayHeim

Bridal Dresses: Brides ‘N’ Belles

“We wanted an intimate ceremony, surrounded by our families, not having to deal with the excess that comes with traditional weddings. It was the right choice for us because it allowed us more one-on-one time with our loved ones. Couldn’t have asked for a better wedding day!” — Vanessa Conger