Backyard weddings can be fun, light, meaningful and usually a little less on the pocket book! However, they do require a lot of planning and work as you near the day. You may want to begin with having a professional wedding planner as part of your team. And you’ll want to start early, create a great team of support friends and family and of course be prepared for the weather of the day!
- Your Wedding Budget – As you begin your plans, you’ll want to define a budget for your wedding day. This is a great time to connect with a professional wedding planner. They’ll be able to tell you very quickly whether or not you should hire them. In doing so, you’ll not only save a lot of valuable time, but you’ll be able to work with the budget you have and even save money.
- Your Wedding Décor – What’s your backyard wedding going to look like? As you won’t have all the set-up (nor fees) of a banquet hall, you will need to think creatively towards how your backyard will look as you and your guests celebrate your wedding. Such things as chairs, flower, tables, bar and food service, live musicians or DJ’s are just a few items you’ll need to consider. Where will they be? In the evening how will we light up the event? A buffet or serving? Again, it’s wise to visualize your event based on your backyard space and existing décor and then plan accordingly.
- Your Back-Up Plan – It probably goes without saying but June through September make the best of time for your outdoor and backyard wedding in Canada. However the one obstacle we can’t control is the weather, especially rain! Will you have a large tent to both perform your wedding ceremony and reception in? Do you have enough room indoors for you’re the number of your guests? A word to the wise, if it’s a rainy day and you’re indoors, rent some mats and runners as wet mud never leaves a great look throughout your home.
- Your Invisible Nemesis – It may sound a little odd, but lousy weather is not limited to rain. Plan for windy conditions as well. A windy day has the potential to disrupt your décor and dinner along with the potential of great photos from your wedding day. If you’re hoping to symbolize your wedding with the lighting of Candles (the Unity Candle), I can share with you as a wedding officiant, many candles don’t survive the wind! And of course, your hair and your dress may find itself a mess! You may want to have a back-up for your photo session, either off site indoors or even in your own home.
- Your Wedding Cuisine – You’ll want to plan well about apps, drinks and dinner. Depending on the size of your backyard, you may want to set up food stations, allowing your guests to serve themselves buffet style at their pace. You’ll want to ensure if you’re serving hot food, chaffing trays to keep things warm. Here’s where a great caterer can help!
- Your Enemies – Bugs! Depending on the month, geography and moisture in the air, black flies, mosquitoes, or just everyday house flies can become a real nuisance to you and your guests. To check out the conditions, have a rehearsal party in your backyard – have food and a bar and see how things look and feel! You’ll probably want to stock up use citronella candles. Then, place them around the border of your wedding area disguised with rocks and other natural elements.
- Your Wedding Attire – Although your guests may be able to shed their suit jackets and light coats, you as the bride and groom may find it a little more challenging. And so you your listen to the forecast the day or two before, have back-up wedding attire if you sense the need. Brides, you want to have a dress to change into (of course you may want to change into it, even if the weather doesn’t change, simply for comfort), have a shawl or sweater handy. Grooms you’ll probably be OK with a suit jacket if it cools down, but staying too hot is never that good! Have a change of clothes for you as well (even for the sake of comfort).
Plan well and then celebrate your backyard wedding at your home, your cottage, or even a local park! After all, your wedding is about your love, not your location