4 Things to Consider When Planning a Backyard Wedding on a Budget

backyard wedding on a budget blog

Imagine this – you’ve been engaged for a couple of months now. You’ve already started planning your wedding, and one step includes scouring the area for the perfect wedding venue and location. 

But maybe you’ve looked at a few and they don’t feel right for you and your fiance. 

Or maybe you’ve looked at some, and they are way too expensive (hey, we get that! Dropping a whopping $10K for a wedding venue is nothing to blink at). 

Maybe, still, you just want a local place where you can host a simple, small wedding. 

You’ve looked everywhere, but nothing beats the idea in your head of a backyard wedding. 

planning a backyard wedding with stringed lights and a few guests
Guests with smartphones taking photo of a dancing bride and groom at a backyard wedding reception.

The only kicker? Your backyard, your parent’s backyard, your grandparent’s backyard … it’s not set up to host a wedding.

That’s not a deal breaker! It just means there might be some extra steps in your planning process. Don’t worry! We’ve gotcha covered with these 5 tips for planning a backyard wedding on a budget. 

Planning a simple backyard wedding

When you’re planning on hosting a wedding on your own (or your family’s) property, there’s quite a few things you’ll need to think about. So here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover: hosting your guests, wedding day entertainment, wedding ceremony and reception decor, and feeding your guests.

How many guests should you invite

A backyard wedding is perfect for a small, intimate wedding ceremony and reception. So if you’re hoping to only have between 10 and 50 guests, we’d say a ceremony in your backyard is a perfect option! Any more than that, and we start to run into problems like … what if more than a few people need to use the restroom at one time? And will there actually be enough room to host more than 50 guests? 

If you’re worried about friends, family members, or “close acquaintances” feeling left out or forgotten, think about live-streaming your wedding so loved ones around the world can feel as if they are truly a part of your day! 

live stream virtual wedding ideas
You can take a selfie and life stream your wedding from your backyard, too!

And if you’re curious about how to live-stream your wedding, you can check out our blog posts on how to do it. 

Click here for part one. 

And click here for part two! 

Plus, keeping your guest count small for a backyard wedding means you’ll keep your wedding low cost. Don’t forget, as much as we love our guests, they come with a price tag on the wedding day. 

Backyard wedding entertainment ideas

No wedding is complete without some kind of music. You do have to walk down the aisle after all! 

Now, you can absolutely get a card table and set up your laptop with old, busted speakers and have your uncle manning the wedding day ceremony playlist. 

But, there’s a better way to include music in your ceremony to elevate the overall experience of your entire wedding day. 

backyard wedding planning wedding string quartet
Wedding String Quartet Performing at a Backyard Wedding Ceremony

Including a string quartet is the perfect option for backyard weddings! You won’t have to worry about figuring out how to bring power out to your yard. There’s no need to worry about speakers or amplification. The instruments of your string quartet provide their own natural amplification. 

And on that note, a string quartet isn’t overpower during your wedding ceremony. Instead, it’ll add a gorgeous harmony and melody that will fill your space. Better yet, a string quartet for your backyard wedding ceremony will add an element of sophistication that can often make or break intimate events. 

Don’t worry about taking up too much space, either. String quartets can easily fit into smaller spaces, so you’ll have plenty of room for all of your guests, too. 

Ready to get a quote for your intimate backyard wedding? Click here! 

How to decorate for a backyard wedding: 

One major thing you’ll need to think about is how to turn your backyard into an actual wedding venue! 

The biggest way to do it is to bring in plenty of decor to make your wedding look the part.

First things first, you’ll need to decide where to put your ceremony area and where to put your backyard wedding reception area. 

backyard wedding planning ceremony archway idea
Green bright garden decorated with chairs and archway for a backyard wedding ceremony

Once you’ve done that, then you’ll need to think about how your guests will sit. Consider finding a rental company to rent foldable chairs for your guests during the ceremony. Same goes with tables and chairs for the reception! 

Feel free to get creative, too! If you’re planning a rustic wedding, think about having your guests sit on hay bales with a blanket over top (so they don’t get their nice wedding clothes dirty). 

backyard wedding planning guest seats hay bales
Backyard Wedding Ceremony with Hay Bales and Blankets for Guests to Sit on

For your ceremony site, find a way to create an altar as best you can. You can look at rental companies that rent out arches. Or you can create your own space using a rug or blanket, flowers, and candles. 

And speaking of candles, think about marking out seating rows with flickering, flameless candles. Those can be relatively inexpensive and add a beautiful element to your backyard wedding ceremony! 

As for your reception area, consider stringing up lights overhead. Stringed lights add a gorgeous, ethereal touch to your wedding reception area, too. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive, which is perfect for planning a backyard wedding on a budget! 

backyard wedding planning lighting ideas
outdoor string lights hanging on a line in backyard for a Wedding Ceremony

How to cater your backyard wedding reception: 

We all know guests choose to come to wedding ceremonies to help the couple celebrate their love for one another. 

But we also know guests come for some yummy food, too! 

Catering your backyard wedding reception can be such a fun way to showcase your vibe as a couple! Think about bringing in a food truck that makes some of your favorite dishes like tacos or burgers and hot dogs. And if you’re thinking of having alcohol at your backyard wedding, there are plenty of mobile bars popping up all over the states! 

If food trucks aren’t your thing, consider designating a place for catering trays to be brought in. Barbecue is a great option for this kind of wedding catering, especially for a backyard wedding! 

backyard wedding planning cake pops
Assortment of cake pops arranged in a jar for a backyard wedding

You’ll also need to think about dessert options. Are you planning on having a full wedding cake, or would you rather go a little more non-traditional route? Cake pops or cupcakes are both fantastic options to consider if you’re not dead set on a true wedding cake. And they’re budget friendly. Both of those are easy to order and bring in, and they’ll keep through various temperatures. 

If a traditional wedding venue is not panning out for your wedding, don’t rule out turning your backyard into a beautiful wedding location! 

Planning a backyard wedding is a great way to stay budget conscious and still have an incredible day you’ll never forget. 

And to make it even more unforgettable, consider hiring a string quartet for your backyard wedding ceremony. 

Want to get a quote for one? Click here!