7 Ways to Make Your Small Backyard Wedding Special

A backyard wedding ceremony decorated with white balloons and white vintage chairs.

Considering a small backyard wedding? In the last decade, they have become increasingly popular, even among celebrities. And in 2020, they’re often been the go-to due to gathering restrictions.

Coronavirus or not, hosting a backyard wedding can make your special day a memorable affair. Don’t think that a backyard wedding means casual outfits and BBQ (unless that’s exactly what you want). One of the main benefits of having your wedding at home means the freedom to do whatever you want. So, if you want an ultra-elegant and fancy party, the world is your oyster!

Not to mention, the venue is more intimate and the guest list exclusive, so you’ll have more time to mingle with your loved ones. That alone is a key selling point for celebrating on a small scale. But best of all—it’s a far more budget-friendly way to go!

Now that you’re convinced, you’re probably wondering how to make the most of a backyard wedding. Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to make the occasion special.

1. Embrace the Outdoors

Let’s start by cleaning up the “venue.” Assuming you’re not doing last-minute nuptials, you should have plenty of time to transform your backyard into a small paradise (if it isn’t already). In which case, start doing regular maintenance on it about two months ahead of time. This means taking care of the grass, planting some flowers and greeney, and adding a few pieces of decor. Hiring a weekly gardener can help if you have a busy schedule. And if you want to go above and beyond, consider also hiring a professional landscaper.

2. Don’t Forget the Lighting

A backyard wedding reception decorated with candles and string lights.

Decor plays a pivotal role in setting the ambiance at a wedding but after the sun sets, the lighting will be center stage. While there are plenty of ways to be creative with this one, including lanterns, torches, candles, or even chandeliers, you can’t go wrong with string lights. Not only are they inexpensive, but they always give off the right mood. Bonus points if you intertwine the string lights with greenery (real or artificial).

3. Create a Lounge Area

A comfy lounge area is a must-have at any backyard wedding. Both you and your guests will likely be spending a lot of time there. Think comfy sofas, blankets for the evening, and some sort of shelter from the sun or wind.

Just because you’re having an outdoor wedding doesn’t mean you’re limited to outdoor-friendly supplies. Feel free to bring out your indoor furniture for the day; this alone will create a whole new cozy vibe. But take advantage of the fact that you’re outside, too. How about adding a fire pit or a fountain?

4. Hire Live Musicians

A couple musicians playing guitars at a backyard wedding.

Even though you’re likely hosting in a small space, the fact that you’re outdoors makes a live band the ideal choice for entertainment. In terms of sound quality and further enhancing the experience, live music comes highly recommended by outdoor event hosts.

5. Add a Few Extras

In addition to an outdoor bar, why not have other stations for your guests to enjoy? Favor bars have long been a hit at weddings and they feel extra special at an outdoor event. Need an idea? How about an ice cream station or a cigar bar (since you’re outside, anyway). A backyard also gives you a great opportunity to hire a food truck and take care of your catering at the same time.

6. Play Some Games

A backyard wedding with lawn games and a sign that says

Another benefit of hosting your wedding in a backyard is you can expand your entertainment options by offering some fun activities for your guests. Think lawn games or (if you have the space) some casual sports such as a mini-golf course. You can also add a few things like board games or chess to the lounge area. And since you’re having a small gathering, games provide an easy way to mix and mingle with everyone.

7. Think Outside the House

Got lots of ideas, but lacking room to roam? Don’t worry. Hosting a backyard wedding doesn’t mean you literally have to host it in your own backyard. If you really want to upgrade the occasion, consider renting a vacation home. As a bonus, it can serve as accommodation for any guests who come from out of town.

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