Are you thinking of planning a Backyard Wedding? Here are the Pros and Cons worth looking at.
What’s better than having your wedding in your parents or your own backyard?
I remember my own wedding, marrying my beautiful wife in my parents backyard. We were surrounded by beautiful flowers in the gardens my mom so meticulously designed and planted. There were fully bloomed and flowering fruit trees, our big swimming pool reflecting the afternoon sun, and the 2 family cats, Charlie and Pug, who escaped the house and became part of the wedding party.
Was is memorable and sentimental? Yes of course, was it easy….yes, but there was a lot more to do and consider. Here is what you may or may not know about planning your backyard wedding.
A backyard wedding is a lot of fun, no doubt. Whether it is in your parent’s backyard where you grew up, a beautiful lakeside wedding at your grandparent’s or future partner’s parent’s lakehouse, sounds dreamy and romantic.
But it is just that, your parent’s backyard or a lakehouse, it is not a wedding venue,,,,yet. There are so many things at this point to start considering.
Most homes I know of are not prepared or ready for anywhere between 75-150 guests, along with 50 more more cars, all the tables, chairs, bathroom facilities to host that many people.
Having a backyard wedding can save you some money, no doubt. There is a lot more work that goes into planning for one.
It Can Save You Money (Sometimes)
Wanting everything you ever dreamed of for your perfect wedding can be costly in a traditional venue at first, you may want to start to consider all that goes into planning a backyard wedding and the associated costs to do so. Growing up in the same house you plan to get married in and knowing the layout will help. You already know the grounds, room sizes, but you may need some help seeing it with a different set of eyes. That is why hiring a wedding planner, may help you see things differently and show you things that you may not have thought of, what will work and what won’t, and why.
You will save money on alcohol as there is no corkage, no up charges on your drinks, no employee you need to pay and hire. However that being said, it can be rather elegant having your own bespoke bartender at your service that can look after everything for you, as well as keep an eye on some of the shall we say “More Festive Guest” and not over serve them. The point is, you have full control on how you want your wedding to be.
Things to consider would be, where are you planning on parking all the cars, setting the place up to be ready for the guests, food preparation, catering, cleaning the house and the yard. You may also want to consider if you are planning the reception outside, do you have a tent to keep people out of the sun, rain. Do you need a generator for either fans in the summer time, heaters for the cool nights, outdoor bathroom facilities. Do you have enough tables and chairs? Do you need to rent them or do you have enough on hand from your home? You might also want to check with your vendors what the extra cost for mileage may be as they all differ from one vendor to the next. Chris Jensen Studios never charges mileage to provide photography and video services.
Look at the surroundings, what do you already have that would make a great backdrop for your wedding? Do you have flowering trees, a stunning garden, in ground swimming pool for a gorgeous reflection, a stunning view of a lake or valley? You can drape fairy lights in the tress, beautiful lamps for the garden, or float candles in the pool. There are so many cool things you can do to create a one of kind experience with your backyard wedding. The best part is, these small details and personal touches won’t cost very much money at all, and can either be reused or sold when you are done with it.
You Set The Date
With a traditional wedding venue, Saturdays and other weekend dates in Prime Time can book super fast. Some venues can be fully booked three years in advance. But by having your own backyard wedding, you can set any date you please and it will never be booked on you.
You May Need Permission
For some backyard weddings, you may need permission to host your wedding. There may be city permits, bylaws that need to be adhered to. You may need a fire permit, electrical permit if you are plugging anything in, as well a noise restrictions you may have to adhere to.
I would also speak with your neighbours to let them know what you are planning and if they are ok with your wedding, music and extra noise in the evening. You may also want to let them know what time the wedding ceremony is taking place, so the kids aren’t having band practice in the open garage (we did that as kids with my garage band, I was the drummer), also make sure they are not mowing the lawn during the ceremony.
You may also want to double check with your officiant or minister to make sure they are ok with marrying you outside of a church, some do and some don’t. We were lucky to have our minister come out of retirement to marry my wife and I in my Mom and Dad’s backyard.
Some neighbours may even offer their own driveways as extra parking space. You may even want to look into a Shuttle Company to bring guests to and from your location if parking is at a premium.
You might also want to check your home insurance policy to make sure you have third party liability insurance, as well as as your vendors to make sure they have insurance in case anything happens on the property.
If you are having a large guest list, make sure that the grounds can handle all of your guests comfortably. Make sure they can all fit inside the tent if you are renting one. If you do rent a tent, have the tent company come down to make sure that it will fit in your desired locations (you may need to go smaller). They can also check while they are there that the ground is level and not a big slope. You don’t want guests falling out of their chairs or not being able to put down a dance floor due to the bad slope of the ground.
Also, if you are having your wedding catered, have the catering company come down and inspect your kitchen or food prep area to make sure it is big enough and is approved for food service.
It’s My Party
With a backyard wedding, you are free to hire who you want. Some venues only use certain vendors, with a backyard party, you are not bound by those restrictions. Although, you will have to do a lot more homework to find the perfect vendor for you. There are so many new and inexperienced people coming and going in the wedding industry. They start one year and in less than a year later, they didn’t make their million dollars and they have gone on to something else, leaving you with no vendor and no way of getting your money back. So do your homework, see how long they have been in business, get referrals, ask other brides or venues that have worked with them before. Meet with them and interview them to make sure they are a good fit for you, and know that they will be there on your wedding day. get everything in writing and a signed contract so they can’t back out of it, or at least you have something in writing if you need to take them to court.
Chris Jensen Studios has been in business as a Full Time Wedding Photographer for 11 Years. We have numerous awards attached to our company, and have been named Winnipeg’s Top 3 Wedding Photographers 7 Years in A Row and One of Canada’s Top 10 Best Wedding Photographer’s 6 Years In A Row. We stay all night long for you, never charge mileage for weddings, even out to Banff, Canmore, Kelowna. So you know we will be there, on time and all night for you at no extra cost to you, and your photos will be stunning and fun.
You can have backyard games set up for all day and night fun too.
I remember doing a wedding and their late night snack was a Smokie Cart. It was a massive hit. It was in the city of Winnipeg and people walking past the event stopped by to get a smokie from the cart. The vendor made a ton of extra cash that night because of that, and 5 years later, people are still talking about the wedding with the Smokie Cart. Food Trucks in general are a big trend right now for weddings and events.
The other thing about a backyard wedding is that your entire family and friends can get right involved with the entire planning process, making it a truly family experience for everyone. If you have crafty friends, enlist them, a great cook, enlist them, an amazing cake maker, enlist them, your friend’s band, enlist them. Do you have a friend who loves to be creative behind the bar, enlist him. Do you like Smoores? Bring out the Smoores making ingredients for a late night bon fire. The sky is the limit to where you can take your creativity.
Preferred Winnipeg Wedding Vendors
If you are getting married in Winnipeg or the surrounding area, I highly recommend the following vendors to be part of your wedding day. They are all amazing and have worked with them all several times.
Wedding Planner: Tricia Bachewich Events
Wedding Officiant: Sheri Rehill of Joining Hearts
Wedding Decor: Amanda Somers of Simply Perfect Decor
Wedding Decor: Deb Karpyza of Outta Site Luxury Linens
Wedding Decor: Jackie Coley of Luxe Linens & Indulgence Candy Buffet
Transport: BJ Langdon of Tony’s Team Transport
Music and Lighting: Kelly & Leo of Platinum Productions
Music & Lighting: Mark Dobres of Gopher The Music
Bartending Service: On Tap Bartending
Wedding Photography & Video: Chris Jensen Studios