Deciding on where you want to have your wedding is a huge decision. Rent a venue or plan create your own space in your backyard, at your family farm, or at your childhood summer house.
Your location can designate your date, vendor, guest count, and style. In Omaha there are dozens of venues to choose from. If you expand your search to the areas around Omaha, there are hundreds. But, what if you want a backyard wedding? What is the price difference? Where do you start your planning process? Let's talk about the differences and the benefits of each. I've worked with brides on both types of weddings and there are great things about each option.
The Venue: Pros and Cons
They've done dozens if not hundreds of weddings over the years. A lot of venues cater exclusively to weddings, but even if they don't they're familiar with the process and what works well at their location.
They Have a Manager or Staff
The venue has someone there to communicate with you. They're there to answer your questions, give suggestions, and help you manage your event. If something goes wrong, the manager is usually responsible for those issues.
They have Items Included
Ask a venue as you're walking through what items they include in their contract. Some include tables, chairs, linens, decor, and set up. Some only include the room. But, even if they only include the room they probably include restrooms and heat and air conditioning.
They have Insurance
This is a big one. If something goes wrong or someone gets hurt during your wedding, your venue has insurance to cover anything that would be their fault. If someone were to get hurt on your property, it could turn into a big lawsuit.
They're not as personal
Venues are great, but they're made for weekly events. They're not tailored to your wedding, but what would work the best for multiple events with multiple styles.
They have rules
Those rules that they have, they're probably for a good reason. But, if you've got your heart set on a ceremony framed with candles and they don't allow open frames...or if you want to hang florals from the walls but they don't allow anything hanging from the walls, it might give you reason to consider a ceremony in your own backyard.
The Private Estate or Backyard
If it's your childhood home, your summer cabin, or a family farm, it's special that you're planning your wedding at a familiar location. You can use the location to create a really unique day and you'll be able to return to your wedding location whenever you would like.
You can set your own guidelines
If you want open flames, you're allowed to use them. If you want confetti and glitter, you can use as much as you want. Want real rose petals down your aisle? Yep, you're good! Just remember you're the ones that have to clean it all up!
You're in charge and you have to think of everything
Catering kitchen? A site for your ceremony if it rains? Tables, chairs, bathrooms, generators, heaters or air conditioners? You'll have to bring them all in for your wedding. If you don't have a building that's big enough to fit your guests you'll have to bring in tent. It's a lot of work to bring everything in.
You're at Fault:
I know I listed this as a pro for venues, but it's worth noting again. If someone trips or falls down the stairs or gets bitten by your dog, you can be at fault. If you're providing alcohol and someone gets into or causes an accident you can be at fault. You should order insurance to cover this, but it is an additional cost to add to your wedding.
Either option can be extremely special, meaningful, and beautiful. Talk about your options and consider the pros and cons of each. Be prepared for additional work and vendors to manage if you choose to go with the backyard option, but also remember the outcome. Consider hiring a full wedding planner that can help you with the checklists and logistics if you decide you want to plan a backyard affair!
Check back next week for a backyard wedding checklist!