Small Space, Big Love: Plan Your Perfect Backyard Wedding Step-by-Step

Hey there, lovely readers!

So you’ve fallen head over heels for the idea of a cozy, intimate backyard wedding, huh? Me too! As someone who’s been there and done that (with all the overwhelming Pinterest inspo and the never-ending to-do list), I’m here to guide you through planning your perfect day. Now, let’s toss out those elaborate venue fantasies and dive right into our familiar spaces where love blossoms every day.

As we hop from one thoughtful step to another, we’ll create a wedding that whispers: “Small Space, Big Love.” Together, we’ll tackle everything–from nailing down the guest list while still loving our favorite aunties…to weaving creative marvels when it comes to decorations.

Oh! And get ready for some finger-licking-good catering tips because food is always at the heart of great memories!

Ready to embark on this exciting journey with me? Let’s turn your little oasis into an unforgettable celebration of love! Stick with me, and we’ll have your backyard swooning in no time.

Choosing the Right Location: Indoor or Outdoor?

How To Plan A Small Backyard Wedding

Hey there, decision-maker!

Indoor or outdoor? That’s the question, isn’t it? Now, as someone who has witnessed their fair share of beautiful ceremonies – and a feisty Mother Nature on the loose too – I’ve got some insights for you.

You see, weather can be a real party crasher. So if your place isn’t all that predictable (Oh! The suspense), an outdoor wedding can feel like playing Russian roulette. What you want is a wonderful backup plan to ease those sneaky worries.

Think about setting up an inviting gazebo or snagging one of those stylish covered tents. Shining sun or surprise showers, your lovely guests will thank you for thinking ahead! Plus, let’s admit it; having options makes us feel prepared for any curveball life throws our way.

Just remember: when we dash into the imperfect world of backyard weddings, it’s essential to ask ourselves what kind of celebration matches our dreams best. A beautiful memory is created through love and joy shared with our treasured friends and family—not stopped by a bit of drizzle!

So indoor or outdoor? Your big day will be magnificent either way because “Small Space” surely means “Big Love!”

Crafting the Perfect Guest List

Here’s the tricky part, my lovely wedded-to-be – the guest list. Ah, the balancing act between a super intimate gathering and not breaking Cousin Sally’s heart.

Now, what if I told you that the secret to crafting the perfect guest list lies in your heart? And in your soon-to-be-spouse’s, of course! It’s all about weaving love into every invite decision. Does someone sprinkle joy into your life? Add them in! Notice how much more at ease that feels?

But hey! I get it. We’ve got limited space (Small Space, remember?), so here are some tips to keep things cozy without leaving out our cherished ones.

First, let’s keep children in mind. Deciding whether they’re welcome for hugs or maybe better off with a babysitter is a personal choice each couple has to make–remembering every family’s dynamics are unique.

Secondly, give special consideration to those who may need extra care—wheelchair access or specific dietary arrangements. These little acts of kindness can mean the world to our loved ones.

It might sometimes feel like an emotional rollercoaster–picking between friends and deciding which relatives make the cut–but remind yourselves that you’re creating a one-of-a-kind experience for everyone involved.

So go ahead and craft that dream guest list because Big Love awaits us all right on the other side!

Defining Your Dress Code: Casual or Formal Attire for a Backyard Wedding

Backyard Wedding Dresscode

Oh, the endless conundrum of dress codes! You’d think for a backyard wedding, it’s all flip-flops and sun hats – but let me tell you, there are degrees to this casual game. So let’s dive into fashion land and help your guests avoid the dreaded wardrobe faux pas.

My lovebirds, one thing to consider – the vibe of your day. Are you thinking picnic party or garden soirée? Paint a clear picture for your guests so they have a sense of whether boho maxi dresses or semi-formal summer suits should make an appearance.

Now let’s talk about clarifying expectations with a special note on those invitations. Trust me; folks appreciate not having to second-guess their ensembles.

Do us all a favor and put it in writing: “Cocktail attire welcomed” or “Come in your comfy summer best.” Keep it fun and light-hearted; after all, we’re talking clothes here!

It’s also important to level with them about what practical elements to expect. Is that lush lawn going to swallow their beloved stilettos? Give ‘em fair warning by suggesting wedges or flats instead.

Got twinkly-lit pathways to navigate at night? Don’t leave them stumbling in confusion – spread the word about bringing cozy layers for when temperatures dip.

And finally, dear readers, embrace individuality! Someone might show up rocking suspenders while another swoons in chiffon florals – and really, that unique flair is what gives life its zest!

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Encourage self-expression within your chosen dress code boundaries – who knows, Aunt Mabel’s eclectic hat may end up being a favorite snapshot memory from your reception!

So yes: define what “Sunday best” means for everyone attending your backyard “I do” moment. With some ground rules in place and a healthy dose of creative freedom on-the-side, I promise there’ll be countless happy faces (and feet!) basking in your big day love-fest.

Measuring and Organizing Available Space

Permits And Legalities

Raise your hand if you’ve ever daydreamed about your big day but suddenly thought, “Yikes! Where do I even start with organizing the space?” Well, fear not because I am here to help!

First up: Measuring time – it’s quite the adventure! Go ahead and get those stylish (or let’s be real, maybe less-than-stylish) measuring tapes ready! Things are about to look a bit like the ultimate DIY crescendo. We’ll figure out exactly how much space we have for everyone and everything.

And hey, don’t forget to consider every part of your special day. We’ll need room for the vows (the “I Do” magic), dining (oh, that delicious food), and partying (dance floor, anyone?). No crammed spaces on our watch!

Next step: A sense of flow. You know how it feels when things just connect seamlessly? Just like in a dance where each movement glides into the next–your wedding should feel like that too! With careful planning and smart furniture arrangement (maybe even multitasking pieces!), everything will come together like a beautiful choreography.

So there you have it: Measure up, plan thoughtfully, and create an intimate haven for your guests. Let them enjoy every moment while they revel in your “Small Space,” which effortlessly beams with “Big Love!”

Flooring Options for Various Surfaces

So you’re probably wondering, “What about the actual surface we’ll walk and dance on during our special day?” Great catch!

The flooring at your backyard wedding is not just about aesthetics; it’s a safety decision too. Let’s keep Aunt Rosa from struggling with her heels sinking into the grass or Cousin Adam slipping on his shoes–no incidents to interrupt our Big Love, right?

We’ve got a world of options: hardwood floors (elegant and sleek), faux-carpet (for that plush underfoot feeling), or maybe embracing natural grass with some alterations to make it more event-friendly. Trust me; I’ve seen all kinds of gorgeous arrangements that don’t compromise style or safety.

How about adding a personal touch? A beautiful custom-designed rug to adorn the aisle as you make your way towards forever could be quite the statement.

Take some time to think which option resonates with your vision while keeping everyone comfortably dancing and mingling at your Small Space, Big Love wedding. Whichever road you choose, love will guide every step of the way!

Ensuring Adequate Facilities

Alright, my backyard wedding visionaries, let’s talk about something often overlooked: Adequate facilities. You know, those little details we need to make sure everyone feels cared for throughout the big day.

Lighting Considerations

The sun might think it’s time to call it a day, but we’ll be just getting started! So let’s make sure our DIY venue is beautifully illuminated. Twinkling fairy lights? Gorgeous lanterns? Picture-perfect candles? Get creative! But remember, safety first: make sure pathways are well-lit and flammable materials stay away from open flames.

Power Outlets and Electrical Safety

Okay friends, this one’s supersized important – electricity. We want a backdrop of enchanting music and twinkling decor without sparking danger (not that kind). Double-check your cords and outlets can handle all devices without overloading circuits or creating tripping hazards (those dance moves should be the only thing sweeping people off their feet).

Restroom and Washroom Arrangements

Ah yes, nature calls for every guest–even in the most romantic moments! Provide accessible restrooms that are squeaky clean with ample supplies like soap and tissues. Remember folks with mobility challenges too; everyone should freshen up with ease at your love-fest.

Water Supply Management

Hydration heroes unite! Make sure there’s plenty of drinking water available for thirsty guests. Whether you have outdoor faucets up for the task or decide on bottled water stations is entirely up to you – just ensure everyone can quench their thirst as they toast to your happiness!

Climate Control: Providing Heaters or Shade

Let’s now talk climate control–how do we keep our guests feeling cozy (and not as a popsicle) or comfortably cool while basking in the glow of your backyard wedding?

Well, remember that Mother Nature loves to play her games, but guess what? We’ve got strategies to make sure she doesn’t crash the party.

For those chilly evenings when you can see your breath dance in the air, imagine heaters sprinkled around your backyard haven like little pockets of warmth. Your guests will thank you as they wrap themselves in the embrace of heat (sweater weather? Make it heater weather!).

On the flip side, if intense sunshine and scorching heat are uninvited guests at your summer soirée, let’s get creative with shade! From lovely umbrellas protectively looming over seating areas to inviting tents casting sunlight-blocking shadows—keeping everyone fresh and ready for celebratory laughter is key!

So whether it’s bundling up against cold winds or escaping a blazing sun’s reach, with a little foresight and planning we’ll ensure all hearts warm up with love while staying comfortably cool at your “Small Space, Big Love” wedding affair!

Obtaining Necessary Permits, Legalities, and Insurance Coverage

How To Plan A Small Backyard Wedding

Planning your Small Space, Big Love celebration also means staying on the right side of fun little things called permits, legalities, and insurance. But worry not – let’s tackle these pretzel-like tasks together!

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First things first–check with local authorities for any permits you may need. It’s like getting an unexpected but necessary gym membership: not always a blast, but boy does it make us stronger (or at least more organized).

Next up – marriage registration! Yes, you know where this is going. Ensure that love marathon ends with an official “We did it!” stamp on your papers!

Now onto something we often overlook but can save our day: insurance coverage. We’re talking liability, property damage, and wedding-specific policies too–a cushiony layer to wrap around those unexpected hiccups.

Ready for the silver lining? Learning all these rules and regulations makes you feel like an expert in your own backyard-nuptials universe! By ticking all legalities off our list and bagging the coziest insurance policies, we can focus whole-heartedly on swirling in love under twinkling fairy lights or a starlit sky.

Delightful backyard wedding here we come–certified by legal stamps of approval and cushioned by insurance security blankets!

Decorations that Enhance Your Theme and Vision

backyard wedding decorations

Creative Lighting Ideas for Ambiance

Your backyard wedding is like a canvas, waiting to be splashed with color and dazzled with creative lighting! We can go beyond traditional bulbs and turn ordinary spaces into enchanted wonderlands.

From twinkling fairy lights draped around trees to whimsical lanterns floating above dinner tables, the sky’s the limit! Let’s make sparks fly at your Small Space, Big Love wedding because love always shines bright!

Imaginative Backdrops for Ceremony and Photoshoots

Picture-worthy backdrops are total game-changers for weddings – especially when they’re as cozy as ours! Think Pinterest-level stunners or handcrafted designs you hold close to your heart–every backdrop should whisper stories of love and happiness.

Craft a dreamy environment to exchange vows or fun spots where guests strike poses. From romantic floral arches to lively balloon walls, each backdrop sings our love theme out loud!

Floral Arrangements That Wow

Not just pretty pops of color, flowers are the real MVPs that elevate our wedding’s enchantment. A secret tip? Incorporate your favorite blooms into each setting – bridal bouquet, centerpieces, aisle markers – and weave a tapestry of memories with petals.

Even consider edible flower arrangements as delightful (and sometimes delicious) décor elements. The idea here is simple yet powerful: bloom big with Big Love in every nook and cranny!

Catering Options: Self-Catering vs Professional Caterers 

Backyard Wedding Catering

Now let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects – food! After all, a small backyard wedding deserves a menu as delightful as the love story it celebrates. So let’s dish out your mouth-watering options: self-catering or hiring professional caterers.

Self-catering can be enjoyable if you’re willing to add a personal touch by cooking your own meals. You can either prepare your signature family recipes or try new things in the kitchen. However, be careful not to take on too much cooking that you can’t handle.

Hiring a caterer means having a team of chefs who will manage everything from appetizers to desserts, similar to having a personal chef squad. They will make sure dietary needs are met, whether it is a vegan meal, gluten-free desserts, or a low-carb recipe.

Speaking of sample menus, let’s picture some tasty ideas:

  1. A Sun-Kissed Brunch: Veggie frittatas, savory crepes and a mimosa bar.
  2. Taco Fiesta: Build-your-own taco stations with all the toppings and guac galore!
  3. Rustic Italian Feast: Homemade pasta dishes alongside vegan caprese skewers and tiramisu.

And remember: whether you choose self-catering or hire professionals, your small backyard wedding will be filled with scrumptious bites that speak straight to everyone’s hearts (and bellies!). Food-meets-love has never looked this delectable!

Budget Management Tips for Your Backyard Wedding.

Hey there, budget-savvy lovebirds!

Are you dreaming of a small backyard wedding that doesn’t break the bank? Don’t worry – it’s entirely possible, and I’m here to share my wallet-friendly wisdom.

First off: repurpose and reinvent! Fall in love with upcycling décor items you already own, or rummage through thrift shops for unique accessories. Your backyard oasis may even have some dazzling hidden treasures too–that bird bath can double as an Instagram-worthy prop!

Feeling a bit crafty? DIY is your budget bestie! Create your own invitations or whip up centerpieces that’ll wow everyone without emptying your pockets. Bonus: these personal touches will make everything feel extra special.

Next key player: prioritizing! What’s most important to you? Invest in those pizzazz-filled elements like entertainment or photography, while finding creative ways to save on others – for instance, build a digital playlist instead of hiring a DJ!

Now, think teamwork! Enlist friends and family to contribute talents as wedding gifts. If Aunt Lisa is a floral genius or Cousin Joe rocks the guitar, you’ve got yourself some lovingly handcrafted experiences made from the heart.

So go ahead and master the art of balancing dreams with reality when planning your small backyard wedding. With just a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, those “I Do” moments will be forever etched into everyone’s memory—no hefty price tag required!

Navigating Local Noise Ordinances, Licenses, and Regulations

Hey there, responsible party planners!

When it comes to organizing the perfect small backyard wedding, being mindful of local noise ordinances, licenses, and regulations is key. After all, we want our shindig to be memorable for all the right reasons!

Time to brush up on those legal knowledge skills! First stop: city or county ordinances. Most neighborhoods have specific rules about noise levels and cut-off times. It’s our job to ensure that electric slide or soul-stirring first dance doesn’t land us in hot water with the neighborhood watch.

What’s next? Music licenses! Yes, that’s right – depending on where you live, you might need a license even if you’re just jamming tunes from your good ol’ Spotify playlist in your backyard. A quick check online will help you stay on Mr. Legal’s good side on your big day.

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Lastly: event permits! Don’t let them sneak up on you like last-minute RSVPs (we’ve all been there!). Think tents, alcohol service or parking arrangements–better safe than sorry with these details that could need approval from local authorities.

By paying close attention to these aspects while planning your small backyard wedding, not only will neighbors sleep soundly but also peace of mind will be another guest at your love-infused celebration! Let the harmonious music begin!

Selecting Memorable Entertainment: Live Bands vs DJs

backyard wedding entertainment

Imagine walking into your backyard wedding reception, the energy is electric as the beat drops. It’s time to hit the dance floor!

Your guests are groovin’, and every single person is having an unforgettable night. The right kind of entertainment sets the atmosphere and can turn your special day into a magical memory.

Now comes the great debate – live band or DJ? Neither choice is wrong, but let me break down some pros and cons for you, my fellow lovebirds.

Live bands bring a certain spice to any event. You feel that passion in every strum of the guitar, each blow of the trumpet – it’s infectious! Plus, there’s bound to be someone in your guest list who’ll get an extra thrill from seeing musicians perform up close.

But I won’t sugarcoat it; great live bands come with a hefty price tag. Not to mention, they require more space – which can be tricky when you’re hosting a backyard wedding.

On the flip side, DJs radiate versatility like no other. Want Pop? Rock? Country? Hip-Hop? They’ve got you covered!

And guess what? You’ll have fewer gear-hauling headaches than with a full-blown band setup (hello again, limited backyard space). But take note: A DJ’s energy relies heavily on their skill and charisma behind the booth.

Here’s a hot tip: Get recommendations from friends or recent newlyweds who’ve worked with local entertainers. Take time to contact references for peace of mind – because sharing Aunt Karen going wild during Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love” moment will make all that research worth it!

Capturing the Moment: Choosing a Professional Wedding Photographer

The Ultimate Guide To The Best Colors For Wedding Photos 2

Imagine if you could bottle up every emotion, heartfelt memory, and tiny detail from your wedding day… Well, spoiler alert: that’s exactly what incredible photographers do!

And when it comes to backyard weddings, capturing the essence of your home as a backdrop does take some finesse. So let’s talk about finding that picture-perfect expert for your big day.

At the top of your list should be an expert in natural light photography. Let’s face it – good outdoor lighting creates a massive difference between washed-out snapshots and Pinterest-worthy masterpieces.

Research portfolios for those magical golden hour shots because you’ll want yours looking just as fabulous!

Another crucial factor – familiarity with backyard weddings. The whole reason you’re saying “I do” in your backyard is because it tugs at your heartstrings; so pick a person who knows how to work those intimate spaces like a charm.

Bonus points for experience in handling surprise weather changes – after all, Mother Nature refuses to RSVP!

Now, consider connection as well. This might sound cheesy, but think of it as speed dating with photographers! Chat them up, get comfortable, laugh together – if they can put you at ease during this pre-wedding dance then rest assured on D-day there won’t be any deer-in-the-headlights moments.

And can we take a moment to dive into details? You’ve filled this space with personal touches and sentimental objects – ask potential candidates if they’re ready to capture grand panoramas while nailing close-up shots of that heirloom tablecloth or vintage napkins. It’s these moments that showcase the love woven through every corner of your backyard.

Take my advice: make “clicking” with the right photographer one of your top priorities (and I don’t just mean camera clicks!). Because having someone present who truly cherishes these emotional glimpses? That’s what turns an album full of photos into a treasure trove of memories worth revisiting for a lifetime.


There you have it, my lovely soon-to-be-wedding-rockstars! Everything you need to bring your backyard wedding dreams to life. Remember, don’t let the size of your space make you feel like it’s any less monumental — this just means everyone will be even closer to your love story unfolding (literally and emotionally)!

Take these savvy tips, trust your gut, and be true to yourselves in every planning decision. Gorgeous photos, dancing under the stars, relaxed-yet-stylish ensembles – it’s all part of painting a heartfelt celebration that mirrors who you are as a couple.

So go forth and conquer that intimate slice of wedded bliss right in the comfort of your own backyard! Cheers to love being not just about grand gestures, but also nestled in those cherished corners we call home. Happy planning!

Carol Chatham