21 Backyard Wedding Ideas That’ll Make You Break Up With That Expensive Venue

Couples who elope are all too familiar with the high ticket price that comes with a traditional wedding. In fact, traditional weddings cost about $30,000 on average. This high ticketed price doesn’t even include your honeymoon adventure together! It’s no surprise then that so many couples are looking to elope or plan a more intimate wedding experience to save. Elopements can cost between $2,000 to $15,000, depending on how fancy you want to make your day. We may be experts of all things elopements, but we are also experts on micro weddings. We have put together 21 backyard wedding ideas that’ll make you ditch the idea of having your wedding day at an expensive venue.

Backyard weddings allow couples and their families to get creative and experience one of the most intimate moments without having to worry about the time on the clock. Since so many private venues come with time constraints and other limitations, small backyard weddings are ideal for couples who are seeking not just to save some money, but also to be more creative.

Backyard weddings don’t have to be casual either. You can still hire awesome elopement vendors who will help you document and plan your wedding day, even if it’s in a backyard!

21 Backyard Wedding Ideas To Inspire You

Is a backyard wedding less expensive than a traditional wedding venue? The answer to this question lies in how detailed you go with your backyard wedding. For the most part, it is less expensive because you don’t have the service fees and other upcharges you normally pay for bigger wedding venues. However, you also have to keep in mind what you’ll need for your backyard wedding.

Here are some questions to consider if you’re thinking about turning your backyard into your ideal wedding venue:

  • How many people are you inviting?
  • What vendors are you including?
  • Do you need to rent multiple furniture and decor pieces, including tents?
  • How much are you wanting to DIY?
  • Do you plan on hiring a crew to help set up and clean up?

Check out these small wedding ideas below, perfect to help you plan your wedding this year in your backyard:

Transform Your Own Backyard or Family Member’s Backyard Into Your Ideal Venue

We love backyard weddings because they are intimate and personal. You’re able to plan one of the most special days of your life somewhere meaningful to you. Think about how you can transform your own backyard into your dream wedding venue. If your backyard is too small or non-existent, then consider reaching out to family and friends to see who would be down to offering their own backyard to get a wedding makeover.

Limited on Space? Stay at a Rental Property and Use Their Backyard

If you’re trying to get a certain look from your wedding, or if you’re planning an adventure elopement away from home, then an Airbnb or Vrbo wedding is a perfect option. A lot of these rental properties are near the beach or national parks. You can easily use the property from the rental property to host your ceremony and/or reception.

We just recommend having clear communication with the property owner with your wedding plans and how many guests you plan on inviting. This backyard wedding idea is ideal for smaller wedding events.

Utilize The Greenary Your Backyard Has

Look at your backyard and think about how you can utilize the greenery and plants in the area. Can you make one of the big trees in your backyard the focal point for the ceremony? Are some of your plants moveable to use as centerpieces? Can you make your bouquet and bridesmaids’ bouquets from flowers in your garden? When you’re planning your backyard wedding, just remember anything in and around your house is fair game to use for wedding decor.

Have Everyone Stand Around You for the Ceremony

If you have a small enough wedding guest list, then you can opt for a standing ceremony. You’ll be able to save on the extra chairs, have a unique setup, and not worry about picking everything up afterward. This can also help make this area a perfect spot for portraits after too.

Have a Backup Plan in Case it Rains

When it comes to planning your wedding outdoors, you have to consider mother nature and its unpredictability. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, then consider renting a tent, bringing umbrellas for you and your guests. If you’re planning your reception outdoors and it rains, it’s smart to have a plan B in place.

Transform Your Pool Into a Unique Reception or Ceremony Space

Does your backyard have a pool? You can use your pool area by transforming it into a dance floor, putting some floating decorations with lights inside, or you can make a walkable aisle for your ceremony. Having a pool for your backyard wedding can actually give your photos a unique and special look. If you’re struggling with how to transform your pool for your wedding day, then bring this up to your wedding planner to bounce around ideas together.

Create a Lounge Area From Home or Rental Furniture

Do you want to have a cocktail area or an area for you and your guests to relax and take some pictures? Creating a unique lounge area is perfect to tie in a homey and relaxing vibe. You can rent some furniture for this, or you can even use your own furniture from home. Don’t be afraid to mix and max your furniture for a unique look!

Use Your Own Decorations

Similarly, you can also use your own decorations or silverware from your house. If you’re hosting a small backyard wedding, then you’ll probably have enough silverware, plates, and cups laying around. This will help you save even more money, bring a unique look for your photos, and allow you to personalize your wedding even further.

Personalize a Unique Bar Experience For Guests

Since you’re planning a smaller wedding in your backyard, you’ll have more freedom to include fun details you wouldn’t be able to if you planned something bigger. We are sure you heard about a bartender making your favorite drinks outside, but have you seen an expresso bar? How about a gelato bar, taco bar, or dessert bar? Talk to your partner about what your favorite drinks and treats are, and how you can incorporate that into a bar experience to remember.

Find Romantic Spots For Fun Portraits in Your Backyard

When you’re thinking about planning your backyard wedding, ask your photographer to come scout the area before your big day, so you can uncover some gorgeous spots in your own backyard for your portraits together. You will be surprised, areas that may look basic to you can actually make for a beautiful backdrop.

Use String Lights to Brighten Things Up

One of the biggest obstacles we see couples run across when planning a backyard wedding is lighting once the sun starts to set. Good lighting is a must for not only you and your guests but for your wedding photos too! A great idea to incorporate is to hang string lights around your backyard to give your wedding a whimsical vibe.

Focus on Making Your Wedding Arch The Main Viewpoint

Photography by Venture Ever After

If you’re struggling with wedding decorations, or if you don’t want to spend too much time and money, then focus on your wedding arch. Your wedding arch can be the focal point of your special day for not just your ceremony, but for portraits with family and friends too. If you want to make your look a bit different, talk to your wedding vendors about adding a few different elements by your arch after your ceremony is over.

Splurge on Your Favorite Food or Culinary Experience

When it comes to big, traditional weddings, couples are limited to what they can serve for their main meal based on costs per plate or a limited menu. For backyard weddings, you can order from your favorite restaurants (this can even include fast food if you really wanted to), or you can have a home-cooked meal. It all really depends on what you both want to eat, but you have much more flexibility, so don’t feel like you need to automatically hire event caterers.

Set Up a Unique Reception Seating Arrangement

How many people are you inviting to your backyard wedding? If you’re keeping your guest list small, you can always rent some furniture and opt for a unique seating arrangement. Meaning, you don’t have to set your guests at the traditional circle tables. You can opt for one really long table, make a square setting, or a more intimate table arrangement that will allow you and your guests to speak together freely.

Opt For a Cozy Picnic Setup For Your Reception

If you’re planning a smaller wedding, then you can set up a cozy picnic with your close family and friends. We love this option because it’s cozy, unique, and can easily incorporate some of your favorite foods. Check out local popup picnic businesses in your area, or DIY your own with a fancy umbrella or two, a low setting table, some pillows, and decor.

Have a Mini Wedding Cake or Your Favorite Dessert

Photography by Venture Ever After

What’s the best part of your wedding? Cake, right? Instead of opting for a huge wedding cake that could easily set you back over $400, you can get a mini wedding cake or opt for a dessert bar. You’ll get to have your favorite cake and eat it too.

Incorporate Lawn Games and Outdoor Activities

Photo by Seas Mtns Co

Besides dancing the night away, you can also incorporate some fun lawn games into your wedding day. Some of our favorites include giant Jenga, hula hoops, corn hole, or ladder toss. Lawn games are a great way to keep not just the kiddos entertained, but also the adults too! If all else fails, then have a bonfire and roast some marshmallows!

DIY What You Can

If a wedding planner is out of your budget, or if you want to keep things extra simple, then you can DIY literally anything and everything for your backyard wedding. From floral arrangements to centerpieces. There are plenty of hacks to save money on your wedding day, but still, have it look Pinterest-worthy when you’re done.

Utilize Family Talents

Family is huge when it comes to small backyard weddings. Take this opportunity to utilize any talents family and friends may have for your wedding. You may be close to a photographer, a florist, or someone who is really talented at decorating. You’ll never know unless you ask!

Include Pets in Your Backyard Wedding

One of our favorite backyard wedding ideas is including your furry friends. In most traditional wedding venues, pets are not allowed or couples don’t want to include their pets because they don’t want to have to worry about them in a new environment. If you’re planning something at home, then your pets can join in on the fun without a problem.

Shop Second Hand or Vintage For Decor and Attire

Backyard weddings are a great opportunity to not only shop your own home for potential decor pieces but ask family and friends if you can use a couple of items too. This includes asking your family for any family heirlooms to incorporate in special locations for your small wedding. You can also always thrift some second-hand items to help tie your wedding look together.

What ideas are you loving? Explore our blog for more inspiration when planning intimate weddings and elopements. 

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