How Much Does A Backyard Wedding Cost?

The problem with putting an exact price on how much a backyard wedding costs is that this will depend on the type of wedding you’re looking to have!

How Much Does A Backyard Wedding Cost?

Depending on the event you’re planning and the number of guests you’re looking to accommodate, prices can vary! Budgeting for a wedding is one of the most stressful and difficult aspects.

How can you be sure how much the catering will cost? Or the ceremony? What about clothing and organizing music or a band? Sometimes it can feel overwhelming.

If you find yourself in this position, don’t worry! We’ve created this article to help you!

In the sections below, we’re going to be outlining everything you’ll need to know in order to work out how much your specific backyard wedding will cost.

We’re going to break down common prices for different sizes of weddings, setting common budgets depending on the kind of day you’re looking to create!

Essentials For A Wedding

This is the first thing we’re going to look at. These are the parts of a wedding that you can’t cut out – the parts that make a wedding a wedding!

We’re going to break each one down and give you some estimates of prices. 


This is the first thing to consider. If you’re lucky enough to have a large outdoor space that is big enough for all the guests you’re looking to invite, then this one isn’t going to cost you a thing!

However, if you need to rent out a place, the pricing can vary! 

Marriage License

This is one that you won’t be able to cut out, as it’s the legal form that will bind you and your partner. A typical wedding license will range from as little as $20 all the way up to $100.

Sorry we can’t give you an exact number – but this depends on where it is that you’re getting married. Different states and countries have different fees! 


An officiant is a person that will lead the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately, you can’t get just anyone to do this, and they need to be ordained in some way to make your marriage legally binding.

This can also vary massively in price depending on who you choose. 

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Sample Budgets For Backyard Weddings

How Much Does A Backyard Wedding Cost?

We want to get right into specific budgets and how you can stretch them to make the most of your backyard weddings.

With the essentials out of the way, we can show you the way your money can be divided to get everything you’ll need for a fantastic celebration.

Starting from a low budget of $2500, we’ll go all the way up to $15,000 to show you the different ways in which you can create an incredible backyard wedding.

Budget Of $2500

With a budget of this size, you’re going to want to have a smaller, more intimate wedding.

There are a few features that you’ll have to sacrifice, but that’s not to say you or your guests will be missing out on anything.


Venue: if it’s your backyard, then nothing!

Ceremony: expect to pay up to $100 for the License and up to 250 for the Officiant bringing the total to $350. 

Rings: up to $300.

Chairs and Gazebo: expect to pay up to $200 for these.

Food Table:  $100

Small Buffet Items: up to $500

Drinks: up to $230


Invitation: if you send these out digitally then $0, but if you’re looking for physicals you can get these done for around $70 depending on your guest list.

Decorations: up to $100

Wedding Clothes: this is one of the more expensive aspects and will cost up to $600.

Grand Total: $2500

Budget Of $7500

Next up we have a budget of $7500 which gives you a lot more breathing room. With this budget, you’ll be able to add a wedding photographer and perhaps a band or musician to play.

You’ll also be able to afford a more extensive food and drink selection too. Let’s break it down for you here:


Venue: if it’s your backyard, then nothing!

Ceremony: Same as before, pay up to $100 for the License and up to 350 for the Officiant. Total: $450.

Rings: up to $500

Chairs and Gazebo: you can extend this up to $700 for more space. 

Food Table:  Still $100.

Small Buffet Items: up to $1000, with much more variety. 

Drinks: up to $750!

Wedding Cake: you can spend up to $250 on this. 

Flowers: Up to $250. 


Invitation: With a budget of $7500 you can spend a lot more on these, so consider getting proper invitations for up to $150.

Decorations: up to $500

Wedding Clothes: consider getting some nicer outfits for up to $500. It’s important to look your best! 

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Wedding Photographer: Photographers can be super expensive, but they’re worth it for the great photos. Budget up to $1500 for this. 


DJ and Equipment: This will cost you up to $500

Dance Floor: Up to $250

Lighting: Up to $100

Grand Total: $7500

Ways To Cut Down On Costs

One of the main things you can do to cut down on costsis to get friends to help you out with various partsof the wedding.

For example, if you know an officiant, then they will be able to conduct the ceremony without a charge (providing you ask nicely). 

Or let’s say that you have a friend who is a DJ. This means that you won’t have to pay anyone to DJ for you. They can do it free of charge!

You might even be lucky enough to know someone who plays in a band. Often, the chance to play and attend a wedding is enough to get them interested.

It is however important to note that you shouldn’t expect this from musicians you don’t know, and should treat them  the same as anyone else you’d need to hire. 

Another way you can cut down on costs is ask for food items and drink instead of wedding (see also: How Much Does It Cost To Cater A Wedding?)gifts. You can add this onto invitations.

Instead of an extensive gift list, you can simply ask people to bring a bottle or two. This means you’ll miss out on gifts, but it also means that your wedding will be a lot cheaper. 

Is A Backyard Wedding Cheaper?

How Much Does A Backyard Wedding Cost?

As mentioned before, this really depends on the kind of wedding you’re going to create.

Backyard Weddings give you one strong advantage over other kinds – and that’s the fact you don’t have to fork out any money for a venue.

A venue is often the most expensive part of a wedding budget and can cost anywhere from $4000 to $8000 (and possibly even more than that depending on the place you’re looking at). 

There are other benefits of hosting your wedding in your backyard. It means that you can set up everything exactly as you want.

You can make your backyard your own sanctuary for what is sure to be one of the best days of your life.

With a bit of help, you’re likely to find things will run smoother, especially if you plan effectively. 

Another thing worth noting is that if you organize your wedding with a specific venue, there are likely to be many limitations on the kinds of caterers, musicians and photographers that they will allow to work within their complex.

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This means that you might run into some troubles if there are specific things you want at your wedding.

A backyard wedding means that you can add all of this, providing you have the budget available to do so. 

So let’s finally answer the question – Is a backyard wedding cheaper?

In short, it probably will be, though there is going to be an additional cost for time that you will have to spend in planning for everything.

If you want a small, budget wedding, then a backyard wedding (see also: How To Plan A Small Backyard Wedding)is going to be the perfect setup for you.

It means that you can limit the amount of guests and plan down to the smallest details.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! We hope that this article has given you some idea of how much a backyard wedding might cost you.

With the two smaller budget sizes we listed above, hopefully you can see that you can do quite a lot with not that large of a budget.

When it comes to larger budgets, you’ll really be able to pull out all of the stops and add additional dream features that will make your wedding even more memorable.

The most important thing to remember when planning a backyard wedding is to set proper expectations.

Not having a paid venue means that you’ll have to organise more aspects of the day yourself, but it also means that you get extra control. 

We wish you the best of luck with your wedding, and hope that the day is truly as magical as you’ve planned it to be!

Jodie Messines