A Backyard Wedding Checklist

In 2016 and 2017 I've coordinated my fair share of outdoor, tented weddings.  These weddings have been at family houses or at venues that don't provide a venue staff.  They've been a lot of work, but have been some of my favorite weddings.  Are you planning a backyard wedding? It doesn't actually have to be in your backyard! But if you're planning a wedding that's not at a venue and you have to bring in all of the items that are needed for a wedding, here's a checklist for you of things to consider. 

Let's start with some questions.  Make sure you have answers to each of these questions before you finalize your plans to have a backyard wedding.

Ceremony Location: Where are you going to have the ceremony at?  Is there enough room for chairs or seating? Is the ground flat enough for seating? Is it easily accessible for the guests?

Reception Location: Do you have enough space for the reception? Do you want to bring in a tent or do you have a barn or large indoor space? 

What happens if the weather is bad? 

Do you have adequate parking for your guests? Or will buses or other transportation be able to easily access the venue? 

Do you have access to electricity? Do you need heating or air conditioning? What will you do for restrooms?

For Your Ceremony:
A sound system
An altar
Decor and Florals

For your Reception:
Sound System (may be through the band or DJ)
Dance Floor
Lighting (for tent and to and from the parking area/bathrooms)
Bathroom access
Kitchen access for catering
Water to the tent
Placesettings (Plates, flatware, glassware, etc.)
A bar
Tables for the buffet, DJ, photobooth, etc. 
Linens for all your tables
Air conditioning or heating
Decor, signage, etc.
Trash or a Dumpster

Some other things to think about:

Who is responsible if someone were to get hurt on property? What kind of insurance do you need?

What will you do about bugs? Can you have the property sprayed before the event?

Who will be setting up the tables, chairs, setting the tables with linens and decor, tearing down everything at the end of the night?

Who will be taking care of the trash throughout the night?

Will you have any issues with sound? Are there neighbors close by that don't want loud music after a certain hour?

Because your family farm, backyard, or public property doesn't have a venue staff, there are a lot of things to think about. But, often times these wedding locations are so much more meaningful to you than a standard venue.  If you need help planning an outdoor, tented wedding, please reach out!  They have been some of my favorite events to plan!

XO Lindsay