Hosting your wedding or that of a loved one in your backyard can take on a more personal and special meaning, as well as give you more control over the wedding details. Putting together a small backyard wedding can also cost much less than a traditional wedding, but they typically require more time and energy to put together.
It goes without saying but cleaning up your backyard will help create a more welcoming space for guests. In addition, a spruced-up yard will also photograph better. Even the smallest of flaws are more noticeable in a small yard, as there isn't enough space for distractions. Hide unpleasant areas, such as the air conditioner or garbage cans, with potted plants, screens or lattice. Rent a small stage for dancing if your yard isn't level or you don't have any concrete.
You may have to rent some items, such as tables, chairs, a tent and possibly dishes. A tent can serve as protection from bad weather, such as rain or severe heat. If you prefer not to rent a tent, have a backup plan in case bad weather prevents you from using your backyard. To save space in a small yard, consider seating guests around tables for the ceremony and reception. If your guest list is really small, serve the wedding meal on your own china or that of a loved one.
Build, purchase or rent a small arch, arbor or some sort of focal point to use during the ceremony. Decorate it with balloons, ivy, garlands, lights, flowers or anything that complements the wedding. Hang battery-operated paper lanterns or strings of miniature lights from trees. Use crisp white table linens for a formal wedding, red-and-white checkered tablecloths for a country barbecue or colorful floral patterns for a vibrant garden feel. Keep centerpieces unfussy for a backyard wedding with clear jars or vases filled with simple fresh flowers, stones and candles or even fruit, such as lemons and limes. Use LED candles if you're concerned about fire hazards in the backyard.
Backyard weddings provide an ideal space for a wedding with a garden tea party theme, luau or country. Garden tea parties tend to be formal, yet intimate, which can serve a small backyard wedding well. Host a luau to celebrate a bit of the exotic, or to kick off a Hawaiian honeymoon. Country weddings can include anything from a cowboy and cowgirl twist, old-fashioned hoedown or French countryside vibe.
Bring in catered food if you don't want to worry about it. Keep in mind a caterer can get pricey if your kitchen is not sufficient for their needs, as they will have to bring their own portable kitchen. That can also cut into your limited space. A potluck can take some of the pressure off of you to do everything and include a wider variety of tastes. Barbecues can work for casual, country or luau themes. Keep it really simple by hosting a dessert buffet with tons of cookies, cupcakes, cake and candy.
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