Getting married right at home seems it would be super simple, right? Not always! There are definitely things to consider when planning a backyard wedding! It isn’t as easy as walking outside, saying “I do”, and turning on some music. There are logistics to coordinate, people to notify, and backup plans to think about. If you’re hoping to turn your yard into a wedding venue, here are some things you must think about!
Is your driveway several miles long? We didn’t think so. In that case, where will your guests park? Is on-street parking allowed in your neighborhood? Will you need to close a street or alleyway to accommodate cars? Will you need to hire a valet service or parking attendants to help maximize space? How close to your home will those with mobility issues be able to park? Is there a nearby parking lot that you can utilize? Whew! It’s A LOT to think about, but these are necessary questions to ask yourself. You can’t invite guests to a wedding at your home and expect them to teleport there!
A Rain Plan
You need a rain plan. Let us repeat: YOU NEED A RAIN PLAN. Yes, even if the Farmer’s Almanac says it hasn’t rained on June 7 in 15 years. Yes, even if you don’t mind getting a little wet on your wedding day. Do not leave this to chance; a tent is 100% necessary at an outdoor wedding. Not only will it keep you and your guests dry, but it can also provide shade, protect AV equipment, and help to elevate the ambiance. A Pittsburgh tent rental company can help determine what type of tent will work best with your yard and will educate you on other considerations.
It may seem odd, but yes, you will have to think about where your guests will go to the bathroom. How many restrooms are in your house? Can they accommodate everyone? Do the doors lock? Are they handicap accessible? Who will refresh the bathroom supplies? Luckily, portable restrooms have come a looooooong way! From fancy trailers with functional sinks and even mirrors, these are not your typical outdoor toilets!
Backyards aren’t built with speaker systems and you’ll want to ensure your guests hear those sweet vows you and your partner exchange. Will your DJ have access to power or do they have a battery-operated solution? On the flip side, think about the party afterwards. Will you be dancing well into the night? Are there noise ordinances or neighborhood quiet hours you’ll need to comply with? Your neighbors may not appreciate hearing loud music at 11 p.m. Speaking of which…
The considerate thing to do is give your neighbors a heads up about the party. Let them know when the festivities will take place and during what hours they can expect increased traffic and noise level. Be cognizant of others’ property and keep everything and everyone on your own turf. Hopefully your neighbors will be happy for you and will be friendly and understanding about one night of possible inconveniences.
A Wedding Planner
If you think planning a wedding is stressful, try planning one that will take place outside in a location not usually used for this purpose. There are A LOT of logistics to coordinate to begin with but even more when you are essentially building a venue from scratch. Most typical wedding venues come with many amenities or capabilities that one might take for granted when trying to replicate a space suitable for a reception at home. Things like a commercial kitchen with multiple ovens, electricity, heating or cooling, running water, and all of the aforementioned points above. THIS is where a wedding planner will be worth (more than) their weight in gold. These logistical gurus have planned events in unique spaces and they know how to think and what questions to ask. Save yourself the stress, the sleepless nights, and the wedding day snafus by investing in a wedding planner who can tackle all the nitty gritty “How is this going to work?” details for you! For the BEST Pittsburgh wedding planners, check out the Burgh Brides Vendor Guide!
Did you get married in your backyard? What lessons did you learn? Any major wedding day faux pas our future newlyweds should be aware of and avoid? Comment below and share a photo of your backyard wedding and tag @burghbrides or use #burghbrides!