If you feel as if wedding season never really ends, you’re right! On average, more than 44,000 nuptials take place every weekend. While many “big days” are held in religious spaces like churches or at destination hotspots, some take place at the couple’s home, or the home of a relative or friend.
Hosting a wedding in a private residence has its benefits, from saving on a facility rental to not worry about where to spend the night after celebrating until two in the morning. However, if you’re having a home-based outdoor wedding, you need some proven backyard wedding tips to ensure the experience is second-to-none.
Below are eight favorite backyard wedding tips to consider. Many are common sense, but often overlooked. Consequently, they might just leave you thinking, “Why didn’t I think of those backyard wedding tips myself?”
Clear Your Aisle
A particular moment is often captured by guests and a professional photographer: When the bride begins her walk down the aisle. Usually, it’s beautiful and safe. But it won’t be if you haven’t cleared a path for the bride and her retinue to come down the aisle without fuss.
Basically, you need to pick a spot along the lawn and make sure it’s ready to get some foot traffic. Don’t forget that many women wear heels, which makes this one of the most important backyard wedding tips to apply. Heels and tree roots, branches, and dirt mounds aren’t compatible.
How can you clear away an aisle that won’t be a tripping hazard? First, invest in a tree removal service, even if you only have a small stump in the way. Tree removal specialists can get rid of the chopped-off stump for good. Next, check the area for unusual divots and swells. Most lawns aren’t perfectly level, but you can make your aisle level by adding or taking away soil.
Thinking of using a patio or concrete walkway for the aisle? Terrific! That certainly belongs in any wedding-related how-to article discussing insider backyard wedding tips. Nevertheless, make sure your patio or path isn’t bumpy, lumpy, cracked, or uneven. Even if you plan to cover it with a strip of carpet to act as a protective runner, you still need to test the aisle before the wedding day.
Create a Picture-Perfect Natural Setting
Everyone becomes a photographer at a wedding. Even little kids love to take snapshots of each other, although their pictures rarely become the official bride and groom portrait that’s flashed all over social media! Knowing that your guests are going to have their cameras and smartphones in hand at all times, keeps an all-time favorite one of our backyard wedding tips in mind: Spend time doing yardwork before the event.
While mowing the lawn is a good first step, it’s clearly not enough if the rest of your flora looks decidedly raggedy. Invest some time and energy in pruning trees. You may even go on a root pruning spree, removing all the roots that aren’t feeding your trees, but are absolutely messing up your yard’s photogenic nature.
What else can you do to create a scene that looks like it’s right out of a high-end wedding publications pages? First, add some flowers to your empty gardens. Or at least plant a few semi-mature greens or interesting bushes. Just make sure that the plants you buy are meant for the soil and amount of sunlight they’ll get. If you can, do all your planting a few weeks before the wedding. That way, everything will look at-home.
Another way to add polish and pizzazz to a yard is by edging around mulched areas. When handled correctly, edging creates picturesque, crisp lines where grass and dirt meet. Even if you just spend a little time edging, you’ll reap big rewards. Plenty of home sellers swear by edging to improve the curb appeal of their properties. Even though you’re not trying to sell your house, you should think about its curb appeal as part of all those backyard wedding tips you’re learning about.
As a side note, it goes without saying that you’ll need to get rid of unsightly brush, junk or other unwanted debris lying around on the lawn. The last thing you want in your wedding pictures is a pile of old tires or a rusty rake that never made it to the shed. This, again, is where you might want to do some root pruning. Do a once-over the day before your nuptials, just to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
Update Old Fencing
Nothing could be cuter than a photo of a newly married couple beaming while standing in front of a white picket fence. It’s a Norman Rockwell painting in the making. But it’s never going to happen if you haven’t addressed your fencing.
Here’s the basic problem with fences: They start to age. Year after year, the paint becomes a bit faded, or boards begin to pull loose. Within a few seasons, a lovely fence can look downright decrepit. That’s why you need to address any old fencing that’s seen better days.
Go on an investigative walk-through around your property, taking special note of the fence. What looks out of place? What needs to be fixed? You’ll probably find more areas to spruce up than you originally thought, so addressing this as one of your first backyard wedding tips is a good idea. That way, you’ll have enough time to make changes or pay someone else to do the work.
Of course, you might be thinking, “These are great backyard wedding tips, but they don’t mean anything to me. We don’t have a fence where we’ll be getting married!” In that case, have you considered looking into a custom fence installation? Not only will it make your wedding more private, especially if you’re in a residential development community, but it’ll be brand-spanking-new by the time your “I dos” are said.
Freshen Your Garden Beds
The last thing you want is your one-of-a-kind wedding to be marred by gardens in desperate need of a lawn care service. Obviously, you’ll need to do some weeding or hire someone to remove all the unsightly greens from your garden beds. But don’t stop there, because you can affordably freshen up your garden beds in tons of other ways.
For instance, have you ever considered installing a simple border around the garden beds? A border can serve a threefold service. First, it creates a natural barrier that’s appealing to the eye. Secondly, if it’s tall enough, it can keep critters out of your fruit, herb, or vegetable gardens. Finally, it can add to the distinct outdoor design elements of your home. You can purchase plastic, metal, stone, and wooden borders and border pieces at any home improvement store.
Another one of the best backyard wedding tips related to gardening is to replant blossoms that echo the colors you’ve chosen for your wedding. If purple’s your theme, plant a bunch of already blooming violets or pansies. Is pink your color of choice? Dazzle your guests with garden beds carefully laid with an assortment of pink posies like azaleas, dahlias, and hyacinth. To be sure, you’ll need to invest a bit in color coordinating your flower beds. Still, the overall effect may be worth it.
While you’re focused on areas without grass or pavement, do yourself a favor and pay for bark dust blowing. Bark dust blowing removes all the backbreaking aspects of laying mulch. Instead of having a business dump several cubit feet of tanbark in your yard or driveway, a bark dust blowing service literally uses a hose to blow the bark right into your garden beds. It’s a super-quick way to fix a lackluster garden that time forgot.
Take Care of Roofing Issues
This is one of those backyard wedding tips that you’re probably not going to love. After all, it’s hardly exciting. Nonetheless, it’s practical, and that’s important.
Your home’s roof needs to be in tiptop condition before you invite guests to your wedding. Can you imagine if shingles were falling off, or the roof seemed to be ready for retirement? Instead of allowing your roof to sabotage your first impression with wedding guests, make an appointment with a roofing company to inspect the roof or make repairs.
How can you evaluate a roofing company, particularly if you’ve never needed a new or updated roof before? You can always go online and examine local roofers’ reviews. Remember that sometimes irate customers write nasty things that aren’t true, though. So you’ll want to read all the reviews to get a clearer picture of what to expect.
Another way to figure out which roofer is the most trustworthy in your region is to ask your neighbors for suggestions. Someone who lives on your block or street is sure to have a recommendation, and you’ll feel better about making that phone call.
One last thought when it comes to roofing: Always get a second opinion if a roofer insists that you need to completely redo your roof. The roofer might be right, but you should double-check before spending a lot on money.
Finish Any Lingering Construction Projects
Practically every homeowner has a few construction projects that always seem to get put on the backburner. Maybe yours is a shed that just never took shape near the back corner of your yard. Perhaps you started a fire pit and then abandoned the thought when it was half-completed. Or you might have a bigger mess on your hands, like a residential pool construction project that never got off the ground — but that left a big hole in the ground.
No matter why you stopped putting any effort into your construction projects, you need to either finish them now or clean up your property. Having a lot of wood, metal and other materials around won’t look good during your wedding. And nothing looks sadder than a gazebo that’s just begging to be sanded, stained, or painted.
Hire an Expert
No list of backyard wedding tips would be complete without some kind of a call-to-action urging you to know when to get some professional expertise. Many people are DIYers by nature. They would rather fiddle around for days or weeks on a project than turn it over to an expert. But when you have a wedding date on the calendar, you need to be open to being efficient.
Let’s face facts: Some projects just call for a trained individual’s touch. A property maintenance company may be the right choice to help you figure out what to do if your property is such a mess that you don’t know where to begin. Sure, you want as much of your savings to go toward a nice honeymoon, but don’t skimp on working with experts.
Still not convinced that you can’t do everything on your own, or with friends and family? Why not compromise? Some professionals will lower their fees if you do a bit of the work. It never hurts to ask, and you could save a bundle. As an added bonus, you’ll have the pleasure of knowing that you at least helped out, even if you couldn’t do it all.
Create a Cool Indoor Atmosphere
Most of the time, outdoor weddings take place during the warmer summer months. Although you may love hot, humid weather, your guests won’t necessarily follow suit. In fact, some of them might be happy to go indoors as soon as the wedding vows are complete.
To accommodate people who aren’t the outdoorsy type, conduct a thorough tune-up of your air conditioning unit. Schedule a time for your preferred HVAC provider to go through some air conditioning maintenance a few weeks before your wedding. That way, you won’t have to worry that the inside of your house feels hotter than it does on the lawn.
In addition to focusing on your central air conditioning, be sure to have lots of beverages and seating available for people who come indoors. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Hopefully, you’ve taken these backyard wedding tips to heart and are ready to plan an event that will be memorable and unique! Home-based weddings can be some of the most amazing experiences for the wedding party and guests. Even if you only have a little time to throw yours together, you shouldn’t assume that a backyard wedding’s impossible. It’s possible, as long as you spend time on what matters most.