7 Backyard Wedding Ideas for an Unforgettable Night

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

We all have a vision of what we want our wedding to be …

Some of us dream of getting married in a castle like Posh and Becks.

Other couples — like Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner —  are cool with a quickie wedding in Vegas.

Or maybe you want to say your I dos again in a stunning French chateau … like Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner's second wedding.

Or maybe, just maybe, you want to keep it close to home and throw a bash in your own backyard.

If you’re thinking about saying your vows at home, here are seven backyard wedding ideas for an unforgettable night! 

1. Make a Plan

We don’t care if you plan to wed your beloved in shorts and flip flops while your drunk uncle flips burgers on the grill. If that’s what you want, go for it!

Our point is this:

Even the most casual, DIY, un-weddinglike wedding requires some planning.

Every wedding, regardless of how big, small, casual, or grand, requires forethought. Just because you’re having it in your backyard doesn’t mean you can do it on the fly.

Plan a backyard wedding just like any other wedding.

If you want your backyard bash to rival traditional weddings, hire a wedding planner.

After all, you’re probably saving a lot of money on the venue. Why not put that cash to good use?

Once you find the right planner for you and your day, be sure to meet at the space before they dive into any details. You'll both want to be clear on the vision for decor and formality from the beginning, and they’ll need to know how much room they have to work with.

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2. Hire a Landscaper

Backyard wedding ideas hiring a landscaper

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

Unless you want your marriage to start off in the literal weeds, hire a landscaper to prepare your yard.

Get the biggest projects done at least two months beforehand. That includes pulling out weeds, removing old bushes, and planting any new flora or fauna that you want to be in bloom on the day of.

It’s also a good idea to lay down pavers or install a temporary walkway. At least a few guests will wear heels, and it’s REALLY hard to walk in stilettos on grass.

A day or two before the wedding, have your landscaper come back to do a last-minute mow and clean-up. Just make sure to do that before you start setting up tents or arranging tables. 

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3. Pick a Theme

Backyard wedding ideas picking a theme

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

You can choose a theme based on your backyard or change your yard to match your theme. Either one is doable!

An outdoor backyard wedding offers lots of options. You can make it rustic, boho chic, or super glamorous. The possibilities are endless!

Start looking on Pinterest for cool wedding themes. Depending on the time of year, you might even want to turn it into a Halloween party or a carnival theme, if that’s your thing. 

What's a wedding without your best friend? Read Adorable Dog Ringbearer and Dog Flower Girl Ideas

4. Rent the Must-Haves

Prepare yourself for rentals — you’re going to need a lot of them.

The most important rental is a tent. You can’t allow Mother Nature to ruin your moment! Otherwise, your wedding day may turn out like a sad Alanis Morissette song from the ‘90s (it’s like ra-i-in …).

You’ll also need to rent tables and chairs. You can use the same chairs for your ceremony and your reception, but make sure you have the manpower to move them around during the transition.

Rent a dance floor and put it inside your tent. When dinner is over, you can turn your tent into a major dance party!

Backyard wedding dance floor rentals

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

Don’t forget the dishes, glassware, and cutlery. Unless you’re skipping the cocktail hour in favor of a cocktail reception, you’ll need table settings.

If you think the weather might be too hot or too cold, rent AC or heating units. You want your guests to be comfortable, regardless of what the weather is like.

And don’t forget the portable potties. No, we’re not talking about those nasty blue ones you’re forced to use at outdoor concerts and tailgating parties. We’re talking real-deal portable BATHROOMS that are so nice you’ll forget you’re outside. 

Just add chalkboards as your wedding signage so your guests know where to go! 

5. Create Different Areas

Traditional wedding venues always offer a variety of seating and lounge areas. Your backyard can do the same!

Use your tent for dining and dancing. Create a lounge area outside the tent where people can relax, talk, and take a break from the music.

If you plan to invite children or teenagers who aren’t of legal drinking age, designate a section of your yard for lawn games like cornhole or giant Jenga. It will give the kids something to do!

Seating areas for backyard weddings

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

You can also set up self-serve beverage stations. Think stainless buckets filled with bottles of water and bar stations for serving up Moscow Mules, ice-cold beer, and signature cocktails.

The more drink stations you can have, the better. No one likes waiting in line to get a drink! 

6. Hang Some Lights

When it comes to lighting, you can go as big or as small as you want. But, you definitely want to illuminate the yard.

It may seem romantic to dance under the moonlight, but it’s not exactly practical.

Hang chandeliers inside your tent or from your trees. Cover every tree in white lights. Drape strands of string lights overhead.

Backyard wedding fairy lights

Photo: Real Bella Weddings

Lighting always sets a mood, so make sure yours goes with your theme and captures the vibe you’re seeking!

This is your backyard, so you get to make the rules. Go ahead and set off some sparklers at the end of the night. Shoot off fireworks or send paper lanterns into the night sky.

Little details like these are the ones your wedding guests will remember well beyond your big day. 

Who loves to spin under fairy lights? Flower girls! Check out cute flower girl dresses here!

7. Get Creative With the Food

Like the lighting, your food should align with your theme. If you’re keeping your backyard bash casual, make the food fun as well.

Get a food truck or two. Set up small dessert tables and serve s’mores or ice cream sandwiches. No one will expect you to serve sweetbreads and foie gras at a carnival-themed wedding.

Unless you have a massive kitchen where your chef can cook up fresh steaks for 50 people, you might need to ditch the traditional sit-down meal.

Make sure your caterer knows the limitations of your kitchen so that they can prepare dishes that are easy to serve. For backyard wedding receptions, buffets and stations are usually the way to go!

Read our Wedding Buffet Guide!


Here’s the deal:

We don’t all have the option to jet off and get married in Italy like Kim and Kanye. And you know what? Most of us don’t need all that anyway.

We love backyard weddings. In fact, we love any wedding that feels unique and personal to the couple.

So make a plan, pick a theme, and landscape your yard. Rent a tent, a dance floor, and portable potties. Add some ambient lighting, create a few different seating areas, and put out whatever type of food you want to serve.

We just know that your backyard wedding is going to be amazing! 

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