You are one of the lucky brides- or grooms-to-be, and your home (or that of a friend), is stunning enough and has sufficient space to serve as the setting for your special day. Maybe it’s your grandparents’ farmhouse. Maybe it’s a family vacation home. Maybe your sister’s friend’s boyfriend has a connection you were somehow able to take advantage of. Whatever the circumstances, you are now in charge of hosting your own wedding.
People actually pay other people a lot of money to manage these kinds of events. So how are you supposed to do it by yourself? Here are 10 ways to make your backyard wedding a success.
This is first for a reason. You have family and friends around you, and some of them care enough to offer their backyard as a venue for you to get married. There are people around who can help you, so ask. It’s better to have too many hands than too few.
Plus, if there are enough people, there’s less work all around for individuals to do. It’s much easier to manage silverware than it is to handle all of the food. Make your request with an open heart, knowing that not everyone can say yes, then work with those you find to make your wedding dreams come true. Throwing in an appreciative gift afterward might be a good idea too.
The setting of the occasion is completely within your control! Whether you hire someone to help out for a few months or put in brand-new blooms a few days before, strategize for how you want the place to look when you get married. What is the scene? A refined orchard? A woodsy glen? A floral explosion? Pick your scene, then walk it back to the present. What do you need to have happen to make that scene? The added advantage of planning your garden well is that you can spend less on decorating since you are already planning on making your site—and, by extension, your wedding—so lovely.
Not many people have the kind of space where they can set up their reception area and their ceremony area simultaneously. There is probably going to be some conversion from the ceremony scene to the party scene. What needs to go where? How much help do you need? Where will your guests be, and what will they be doing while this is all taking place? Being organized as to the flow of your event—with a few practice runs of setup, conversion, and tear down—will contribute to a wonderful wedding.
As much as it’s not supposed to rain on your wedding date, sometimes the weatherman gets it wrong, and you don’t want your wedding dress or men’s suit to pay the price. Having a plan for what to do if the weather is against you is a smart idea when hosting your own wedding. Maybe the guests can fit inside. Maybe there is a tent you can opt for, just to cover your bases. Do what makes the most sense to keep your wedding moving forward.
Electronics are a factor. Figuring out how to light your backyard along with powering a sound system will definitely be a challenge to solve. Can extension cords reach, or will you need an alternative power source? Having enough power to keep your event lit and musical will help your backyard wedding flourish.
It is unlikely you have all you need to host this kind of event. Organize your outdoor furniture —maybe add a rocking chair or two from the house—then figure out what you are missing and see where you can get it. After that, see how you can use it most effectively. When you have all the pieces, and you and your team know where everything goes, your wedding will be able to run smoothly.
Is your home ready to accommodate your guest list in lavatory terms? Hopefully, yes, but if not, consider helping your attendees out by renting extra restrooms to supplement those in your house. Hospitable touches like monogrammed hand towels can help your guests feel more comfortable. If you have enough people coming, this bit of foresight may save a life, resulting in grateful guests and a great event.
Beyond restrooms, you will want to plan activities for your guests while pictures are being taken, chairs are being rearranged, and food is getting ready. Look into an outdoor bar and some lawn games to interest your loved ones while they are waiting for the party to start. Again, happy guests mean good memories and a fantastic event.
Empty tables aren’t very festive, no matter how nice your location is. Use runners and plants and greenery to liven the atmosphere. Candles in lanterns can go on the tables or the ground and can also make things look nice. If you have a gorgeous tree in your yard, hanging flowers or candles from the branches in mason jars might be an intriguing idea.
You know your house well, but your guests don’t. Use signs, maps, and programs to tell them where to enter, where the restrooms are, what is happening now, and what is happening next. This kind of peace of mind will allow your attendees to relax and have fun!
With these tips checked off, you have become the consummate host or hostess for a fabulous backyard wedding.