How to Plan a Backyard Wedding

Fierce Productions
Photo by: Fierce Productions

A backyard wedding is a wonderful option for couples on a budget who want an intimate and sentimental celebration. However, there are many things to consider before committing to this decision. While it is a great way to save money, there are important details to figure out and a whole lot of planning to do.

We’re here to give you all the best-kept secrets in event planning to help give you the backyard wedding of your dreams.

So, first thing’s first. Assess what you can work with.

Having a backyard wedding allows you to have a lot of flexibility in terms of how you plan and what you want to do on this day. However, these are the details that you simply cannot miss out on when planning.

The Space

Backyard Wedding
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If you want a backyard wedding, you must first have one that gives you enough space to hold your event. Are you sure it’s big enough to fit everyone you want to invite? Would it be large enough to have a space for the ceremony and the reception? Is your reception going to be cocktails only, a seated dinner, or a buffet?

To help answer these questions, make sure you have this SPACE CHECKLIST.

  • Measure the space you’re working with. This way you get to decide whether you can host both a ceremony and reception there. You will also be able to find out how many guests you can accommodate.
  • Visualize your wedding. Now that you’ve measured your backyard, you can start visualizing the theme and look of your celebration. You may want extra lighting, a tent, or a dance floor. Now you can start creating your floor plan.
  • Decide on the type of reception you want to have. Seated dinners require tables and chairs. This means that you need more space to accommodate this compared to cocktail-style reception.
  • Hiring help. We will delve more into this in the next section but the type of wedding you want may entail hiring staff. You may need lighting, generators, tables and chairs, a dance floor, bar, tent, etc.
  • Space for help. In relation to possibly hiring vendors, you need to take into consideration the space for their trucks or vehicles to park when they deliver your goods.
  • Yard setup. If you’re hiring a stylist, you should plan the layout early on so you can start on your yard maintenance. If you have the budget and time, a landscaper can help sort out the area for your wedding. You mustn’t forget about the ground area of your backyard. It must be level to accommodate your tables and chairs. If you’re renting a dance floor or tent, make sure the rental companies check your space beforehand to be sure you have a proper foundation for their setup.

DIY V.S. Vendors

When it comes to saving money, many people will resort to DIYs. One thing many fail to consider is the fact that not only will this take up a lot of time, it may also be more expensive once everything adds up.

Rad + In Love
Photo by: Rad + In Love

For a backyard wedding, we highly suggest a hybrid. Get the best of both worlds. You can DIY what you can and what you want while hiring vendors to do the heavy lifting for you. You may already have what you want in mind for the styling of your space, you can rent props or have a stylist do the decorating for you. We suggest you hire a catering company too. They can set up the place and you don’t need to worry about cooking and serving the guests.

Professionals will be able to help you with planning as well. You can do away with a planner if you want. But having vendors such as event stylists, caterers, florists, and rental companies for a tent, lighting, generators, etc., will help a lot. They can suggest layouts and will work with you to plan your special day.

There is absolutely no right or wrong here. If you have the budget since you’re saving on the venue, you can go all out and get vendors for all your needs. It all boils down to what you want to do and how much stress it may cause you to DIY. Some couples are incredibly talented and can do it all on their own. Others need extra help. While many can get all the help they can get. Whatever your choice is, remember that this is YOUR special day and you have every right to decide how it goes.


Electrical Needs

Chrisman Studios
Photo by: Chrisman Studios

Afternoon and dinner celebrations will absolutely need extra lighting. Not only will it serve its purpose to light up the area, it will also make the space absolutely beautiful. Aside from that, you’ll need power for your sound system, preparation needs, and so much more.

Depending on your vendors or your choice of entertainment, it is best to talk to your caterer and DJ (should you choose to have one) about their setup needs. You can then canvass for a generator rental company to suit your needs.


We don’t know about you but we sure wouldn’t appreciate having 50 or more people using our house bathroom at one time. You must consider having additional restrooms to accommodate your guests. As a general rule, you should have one toilet for every 30 guests. Imagine if you were attending an event, you would want a comfortable area with proper toilets, mirrors, and sinks. You can research toilet rental companies that provide amazing services for outdoor events.

If you’re DIYing the wedding, you can include these in your styling by adding some amenities, flowers, and fresheners. If you have a stylist and decorator, you can definitely ask them to spruce up the rental and make it look cohesive with the rest of the backyard.


One thing to consider about having your wedding in your own space is the fact that sometimes, the unplanned can happen. It’s always better to err on the safe side. Make sure you have insurance to cover property damage inside and outside your property. Should you choose to hire vendors, they will have their own and it’s important to talk to them about the coverage. In some instances, you may need to avail yourself of additional insurance just to be sure that everything and everyone is protected.


A wedding is not like your typical house party. Especially if you’re hiring vendors, you must be sure that your city will allow you to celebrate your event. Permits are important to make sure you have everything in check such as fire codes, health regulations, and other city ordinances you might not know of.

If there’s another reason to consider hiring a wedding planner, it’s also for the legal work. They can do wonders in planning and making sure your day goes smoothly. But they are also experts in coordinating everything including permits and other legalities for a stress-free day.

Other Considerations

Parking Space

While on the subject of permits, you must make sure you have enough parking space for the number of guests you want to invite. Street parking may or may not be allowed. In this case, finding a parking spot ahead of time is important. Or, you can hire a valet service for convenience.


Since you’re having your wedding in your neighborhood, it’s only fitting that you inform them of this event. You can let them know ahead of time what to expect in order to avoid hiccups on the day itself.

Cleaning up

Any celebration or party will produce a certain amount of trash. Your caterer and stylist will take care of their ingress and egress, but there will still be a large amount of cleaning up to do. You can talk to your vendors about this during the planning stage so you can decide on hiring a designated clean-up team to avoid any problems with trash later on.


Daniel et Daniel
Photo by: Daniel et Daniel

You can have the best wedding planner beside you but you can never tell what will happen on the day itself. Just in case, a plan B is always A MUST.

  • The weather. It may be rain, it may be the scorching summer sun, whatever it is, you must have a place for you and your guests to stay comfortably in. This is where a tent comes in handy. Tents are must-haves for outdoor weddings. They are true lifesavers that you can count on regardless of the weather. You can also make sure your house or indoor space is ready just in case you don’t have the area for a tent or you simply don’t want to have one on your wedding day.

Your wedding is going to be one of your life highlights and we can’t be more excited for you and your partner. Having a backyard wedding not only makes it more sentimental and intimate, but it also allows you to have a whole lot of say with how you want your wedding to be. Plan in advance. Don’t limit yourself and hire vendors if you need it. Your love is special and it deserves only the best.

Backyard Wedding Toronto
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