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Bridal Club Magazine


Weddings In Your Backyard - Formal and Informal

If having your wedding and reception in the backyard appeals to you - you will discover many more benefits than meets the eye. Not only can it be more enjoyable and flexible in wedding planning arrangements - in some cases it can be less expensive than a more conventional wedding.


Consider it like a party or BBQ in your backyard. There is a great deal of freedom in some areas while adding more to your to-do list. There can also be a backlash with people underfoot in your living space. This month we give you some guidelines that may help in your decision to have your wedding in your backyard.

Why Have Your Wedding In The Backyard?
Backyard weddings are more casual and relaxed. They can also build special memories for you as a couple if you plan to live at that residence for a considerable time. Private locations allow more freedom for guests - no being kicked out of venues just as the good time is starting up. It can be less expensive, but not necessarily so - depending on how much of the work you want to do yourself. Apart from venue fees, labour such as decorating, food service and preparation, a backyard wedding usually does not cost less, so add up your costs and figure out if you would be spending less at a local hall or church. Family may even chip in and offer to provide and prepare food. You will also have the ability to hold unique themes and ceremonies.


Things To Consider Before Confirming A Backyard Wedding

  • Space - is the area big enough for the number of guests? Draw up a ground plan on graph paper, draw to scale a design of your home and backyard. Locate exactly where all the necessary items will be. Include tables, chairs, shade, catering space, toilet access, dancing and band area. Will your ceremony be requiring a special focal point while leaving you adequate space for guests to sit or stand and an aisle for you to walk up?
  • Neighbours - let them know in advance what you are planning so they don't complain about the noise. Perhaps an invite to the ceremony could placate them if they are familiar with you?
  • Nuisance issues - Check these out in your neighbourhood such as planes flying overhead, barking dogs next door and industrial noise nearby. There may also be noise restrictions and time curfews to adhere to in built-up residential areas - check with your local council.
  • Parking - Is there enough space? Kindly neighbours may even offer driveways if they know it is for a limited time and special occasion. Alternatively, you could provide a shuttle from a nearby parking space.
  • Weather and seasons - this could have a considerable bearing on the time of year you wish to have your wedding. You will have to be prepared to be undercover in an unexpected downpour and provide shelter from the searing sun. A big backyard will be of no use if it rains and your lounge can't even fit the bridal party in it. Think about hiring a marquee tent for shade and cover - no matter what the weather.
  • Rentals - you will need to make a list of every possible thing you may need to hire that a venue will usually take care of in their costs. Tables, chairs, extra power, porta-loos, lighting, table flatware and all catering items - the list could go on. Mentally run through the day and write the items down as they come to you.
  • Children and animals - What will you do with any animals or children on the day or preparation leading up to it - will they be underfoot or can you have them looked after? Insurance - you may need special home and contents cover for the event in case of any accidents.
  • Alcohol - call your local council to see if there are any restrictions on the serving of alcohol at events in your residential area.
  • Insects - depending on the season of your weather and things like nearby farmland or water, bugs could be a problem at your wedding. You will need to provide plenty of bug deterrents if you plan to go ahead with your backyard wedding.


So You Have Decided To Go Ahead With An Outdoor Wedding?

  • Getting organised - It is imperative that you create yourself a project timeline and just like your budget - stick to it religiously. Delegate your responsibilities to the people who are willing to help and keep a list of who is doing what. This is not a time to be worried about asking for help because you are going to need every little bit you can get. If you are hiring professionals - find out their requirements for electricity. They may need more than your wiring can handle when everything is going at once.
  • Invitations - these will need to be clear that the wedding is held at a private home with the exact address, time and place of the ceremony and reception. A map may be required to give adequate directions to the house and for parking information.
  • Your ceremony - arches, gazebos, canopies with flowers, ribbons, banners, vines or ivy are especially beautiful for focal points. Herbs, wild flowers, vineyard vines and grapes are often used. Also corn husks and wheat provides decor in the autumn. Think about releasing butterflies or doves after your vows.


Extra Helpful Hints For Your Backyard Wedding

  • Keep wedding party fabrics light and breathable for summer weddings.
  • Don't leave your cake in the sun - for obvious reasons. Make sure it is in a safe place so guests can't knock it in close quarters.
  • Nice linen and covered chairs that match will add elegance to your wedding and reception. Keep the cake table set with nice linen and fresh serving plates and forks.
  • Ask your servers to please clear plate's etc. when the guest is complete with the meal.
  • If you put the foods out under a latticed area, the shade will cause a chequered effect on everything and the photographs will show this when they come back.
  • Make sure your choice of flowers will hold up in the heat of the day - they may require topping up with water at some stage.
  • Foods and servers should be shaded. Ice carvings melt fast. Always have plenty of water and ice.
  • Misters and outdoor heaters can be rented from party rental companies
  • Take a walk-through of your serving areas -- look at what your photographers will see through a camera lens - making corrections to backdrops as needed or when possible.
  • If you are having children at your wedding, have someone responsible for taking care of them with organised activities so that their parents can relax and enjoy themselves. If there is a pond or stream, remember that children are drawn to water. Make sure you have a separate area of the house for nappy changing, away from the guests' view and food serving areas.
  • Have a first aid kit in the kitchen and a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Keep a room or stand for guests' coats and purses.

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