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Everything You Need for a Backyard Wedding


Photo: ruslanshramko/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Backyard weddings aren’t simply a great option for your budget; they also tend to feel more intimate and relaxed. They don’t have a cutoff time, so you can hang out with your loved ones for as long as you want, and you get all the conveniences of being close to home. Plus most of your guests won’t need to travel, you can get ready at home and step right into your venue, and you’ll know exactly where to order 2 a.m. pizza from.

Regardless, you still need to plan, somewhat, what goes into one. We’ve researched and channeled our inner hostesses, and below, we divided everything you might need to keep your backyard wedding simple but still make it one for the books.

So what do you need for your backyard wedding?

➼ For the ceremony
➼ For the reception

For the ceremony

Go the bench route

Long benches are your best and most cost-effective bet for seating. You can set them up in rows and even rearrange and repurpose them later for dinner seating during the reception.

Decorate that seating

Spruce up the bench situation by grabbing some pillows, and embroider the pillowcases with your monogram — it could be a fun DIY project or a fairly affordable service from a tailor. Plus you can reuse them to decorate your reception seating (more on that below!).

Make sure your guests can hear you

As silly as it might feel to have a microphone/speaker setup, outdoor soundscapes can be unpredictable, and your guests’ hearing abilities will likely vary. Craning to hear what’s being said at the ceremony is no fun for anyone, so amplify it with some powerful speakers and Bluetooth-connecting microphones. Plus you can use the setup for karaoke later …

All you really need is an arch

You’ll be outside, surrounded by nature, so there’s no need for elaborate floral arrangements unless you really want them. But you should probably mark the altar with a simple arch like the ones below. You could even DIY one with some wire and flexible tree branches to weave around it.

For the reception

Minimize your headaches

Unless you have a caterer handling it, you do not want to deal with hundreds of breakable dishes to wash. You’ll be so grateful at the end of the night when you can sweep everything into the trash, recycling, and hopefully the compost.

Invest in tablecloths over tables

Plastic folding tables are the most sensible option here — you can line them up and use them for appetizers or a grazing board and a buffet-style setup for the meal, and also pair them with the benches from your ceremony as dinner seating. Just cover them with nice tablecloths (and top the tablecloths with protective clear coverings).

Twinkly lights are a classic for a reason

Yes, they’re cliché. But they’re also cute and provide the perfect low light levels when the sun starts to go down. Plus there are tons of unique options now, like the grape ones below.

A really good speaker is all you need to get the party going

Don’t get me wrong, I love a live band. But no band can play every song you and your guests will want to hear. Whether you’re going to have a DJ or just a playlist, it’s essential to use a high-quality speaker that will play all night. This one from Bang & Olufsen lasts for up to 12 hours and can be paired with multiple speakers, and the brand has an even longer-lasting and nearly as powerful portable speaker you can use as a backup if you’re not ready to stop the party yet.

Give your guests a fun place to sit

Good seating options are essential at any good party, especially a wedding. Have a few cute places to sit scattered about, such as a fire pit, an outdoor couch, or a porch swing.

Make memories

Document the success of your backyard wedding by making sure your guests have multiple disposable or instant cameras so you can see how your big day played out from their POV.


Katja Vujić , 2024-05-24 20:23:53

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