An average of 44,230 weddings occur every weekend. Some of these couples choose to elope rather than plan an elaborate wedding. Elopements are no longer a trip to Vegas or the local courthouse. You can have a small backyard wedding with a few close friends and family members. Here are some backyard wedding tips to help plan your elopement.
Beautify the Backyard
When it comes to backyard wedding tips, making sure your backyard is ready for your wedding day is crucial. Your backyard will be the backdrop of your wedding ceremony, so you’ll want to get rid of anything that may be unsightly. You may want to consider hiring tree care services to trim branches that may get in the way. Make sure to mow your lawn and get rid of branches or clutter your guests may trip over.
Before your big day, you may want to consider getting out your garden supplies and plant flowers. This can save you money on buying flowers that won’t last long after your big day. It will also help your backyard transform into something more beautiful for your big day. Before planting, consider how everything will be set up. You don’t want to plant flowers where guests will most likely trample them. Orchids and potted plants are excellent choices for locations that are hot or humid.
Take Care of Gutter and Roof Issues
Another one of the backyard wedding tips you may want to consider is taking care of your gutter and roof. One of the backyard wedding tips to consider gutter maintenance before your big day. Double-check that your gutters are clear to avoid rain and debris from falling down on guests. Make sure downspouts are facing away from where guests will be to avoid puddles of water from forming if it rains. You can either do this work yourself or hire a professional.
If your roof is unsightly, you may want to consider a company that does roof restorations. The last thing you want is for the attention of your guests to be taken away from your gorgeous wedding decorations. Make sure damaged or missing shingles are replaced. Get an inspection performed to make sure there are no serious issues.
Choose Your Catering Carefully
Choosing your catering carefully is crucial for your backyard wedding is crucial. You’ll want to choose food options that can survive heat and humidity and can be prepared and covered outdoors. Some wedding food options you may want to consider are things like beef, chicken, grilled fish, or primavera broccoli crust pizzas. You may want to keep it simple so you can feed all your guests without having to worry about preparing a ton of food before your wedding. You can have family members or friends grill these items quickly during your ceremony so they are ready to eat after the ceremony.
If you’re considering a buffet, you may want to look into Hispanic food distribution. Latin foods are great as either appetizers or a main course. Mexican tamales or tacos with sangria can be a huge hit with guests. Consider having a few desserts such as Mexican wedding cookies available along with your wedding cake. If you have a small backyard, you may want to consider hiring a few food trucks to feed your guests in order to save space.
Print New Invitations and Cancellations
You may be eloping, but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on the invitations. You can find new wedding invitations and cancellations online that you can purchase. You can also use printing services as an inexpensive way to create wedding invitations. There are numerous options available that can send invitations directly to guests.
You may want to consider making sure guests are aware of any changes that may occur due to unexpected weather. If you can’t pitch tents in your backyard, you may choose to have the ceremony in an alternative location. Include inserts in the invitations that include a phone number to contact and the address of the alternate location. Make sure to communicate the dress code to guests in the invitation if you don’t want people showing up in shorts and flip-flops.
Make Sure Everyone is Comfortable
Since most backyard weddings happen in warmer weather, you’ll want to consider finding ways to help keep guests comfortable in the heat. You may want to consider hiring an air conditioning contractor to install a unit in your home so guests can retreat from the sun. You may also want to provide hand fans and sunscreen for guests to use during the ceremony. Renting a generator will give you the power you need for outdoor lighting, heat, or air conditioning. Have plenty of ice-cold drinks on hand to keep guests refreshed and provide plenty of seating in the shade.
Insects and pests are another thing you may have to deal with in your outdoor backyard wedding. Some backyard wedding tips you may want to consider include proving bug spray to guests and having your backyard sprayed a few days before your wedding. You may also want to make sure your guests have access to restrooms during your special day. There are elegant options for portable restrooms you can rent. Consider offering heel protectors to guests to prevent any injuries from sinking into the grass.
Keep Everything Dry
No matter when you plan to have your wedding, you need to be prepared for the weather not cooperating. One of the best backyard wedding tips for avoiding rain or the sun beating down on you is to reserve tents. If you suspect that it will rain prior to your wedding, you can keep your backyard dry by laying down plastic sheets or tarps a few days before the event. If your yard does get soaked, you may want to consider hiring water removal services to take care of your yard before you start decorating.
Expedite Wedding Band Acquisition
If you need to get wedding bands quickly, you can order them online and pay for expedited shipping. Many websites can deliver rings within one to three days. You can get them personalized just like you would at a high end jewelry store. Make sure you research these companies thoroughly before you make a purchase. You’ll also want to read the fine print of any terms and conditions. You can check out review sites like the Better Business Bureau to discover any consumer complaints.
Double Check Your Insurance Coverage
When it comes to backyard wedding tips, making sure you have the right homeowners insurance coverage is crucial. You want to ensure that you and your guests are protected in case something bad should happen. Discuss your coverage with your agent to find out what coverage you have for things like property damage or injuries. If you are using outside vendors, you may want to find out what insurance coverage they’re carrying. You may want to consider supplemental insurance options to fill in any gaps.
Acquire Any Necessary Permits
When planning your backyard wedding, you may want to check with your local city government about any permits that you may need. Permits may be required for a large party or the use of vendors. You don’t want to risk violating any health regulations, zoning laws, fire codes, or noise ordinances. In certain cases, vendors are required to file additional paperwork. Make sure you have all the paperwork filed so you don’t run into problems that can ruin your special day.
Notify Your Neighbors
Another one of the best backyard wedding tips you may want to consider is letting your neighbors know about your plans. Fill them in a couple of months before the big day so they can make any arrangements they need. Let them know where you plan for guests to park to help alleviate any concerns. Consider giving them a written schedule or a small gift to show your appreciation for their patience. A little forethought can help prevent complaints from ruining your celebration.
During your wedding celebration, make sure you’re considerate to your neighbors by keeping your music and noise at an acceptable level. If your neighbors complain, it could cut the night short for you and your guests. Invite your neighbors to the celebration to make it less likely that they will have any problems with your wedding activities.
As you are getting whatever permits you may need, you may want to ask city officials about any parking regulations. Depending on where you live, street parking may not be allowed. Some cities prohibit overnight parking. If you have open lots near your home, you could hire a valet service. Let guests know about the parking situation and encourage them not to leave any valuables in their cars. And if any of your guests prefer motorcycling, make sure they have the proper protective equipment in case of inclement weather.
Take Care of Your Trash
One of the most important backyard wedding tips involves helping make cleanup easier on you once the celebrations are over. A small group of guests can produce plenty of trash through the course of a day. Make sure you have plenty of bins available and hang up trash bags along fencing. Have someone check and dispose of the trash throughout the event. If you have a caterer, you may want to ask if trash disposal is a service they offer.
Consider Lighting and Electricity
Lighting and electricity are important to have for a backyard wedding. Your guests will most likely be celebrating after it gets dark, so you want to make sure they can see in order to get around safely. A few backyard wedding tips you can use include hanging up string lighting or using path lights to help people navigate. Candles on the tables or Chinese lanterns are also excellent options for lighting up your backyard.
Consider how much electricity you’ll be using and make sure you’re equipped to handle it. Some wedding couples have blown fuses several times. Consult with a professional electrician about your party power needs. This will give you peace of mind to not have a power outage during your first dance together or having guests get hurt stumbling around in the dark.
Keep Your Normal Routine in Mind
You may want to consider how normal everyday activities might interfere with your wedding day plans. Do you have sprinklers that go off at certain times every day? You may want to adjust the settings a few days before so your guests won’t get sprayed in the face while you’re sharing your vows. Do you have pool cleaners or landscapers that come to your house on a regular basis? You may want to notify them in advance so they don’t accidentally show up.
Control Traffic Flow
Another one of the most important backyard wedding tips to consider is to find ways to control the traffic flow of your guests during your special occasion. Think about how guests will be moving around through the course of the day. You don’t want to have all your guests rushing from one spot to the next all at once. You can direct the flow by using signage or having hired help guide people from one area to the next.
You may also want to consider how guests that have special needs will be able to move around. Do you need to provide special paths and areas for guests using wheelchairs or walkers? You may want to consider assigned seating to have people who can assist these guests throughout the day. If you have a huge backyard, you may want to consider renting a golf cart and having someone transport them. You may want to consider consulting with a professional wedding planner to help you map out your space.
Planning an elopement doesn’t mean you have to skip out on having a beautiful wedding ceremony. Use these backyard wedding tips to create a special day to celebrate your love that you’ll cherish forever. You’ll be able to share your vows without having to pay for the expensive costs of a traditional wedding. Relax, have fun, and enjoy the backyard wedding of your dreams!