Stun on your big day with these DIY outdoor wedding planning tips 

Key takeaways: 

  • Create your guest list based on the size of your backyard
  • Hope for sunshine, but make sure you have a plan in case it rains.
  • Use foliage, DIY arbors, and string lights to create a festive feel 
  • Consider long banquet tables to enhance conversation and optimize seating
  • Help your guests relax and have fun with lawn games, a bar, and a lounge area
  • Work with a professional caterer to provide delicious food

A backyard wedding lets you say “I do” in the great outdoors. It might be the backyard you played in as a child, shared countless BBQs with friends in, or created other sweet memories. Getting married in your backyard, your parent’s backyard, or renting an outdoor space benefits from a DIY spirit. You can strike a rustic tone, set up an enchanting tent, or embrace your own eclectic style. 

There are no limits to what you can do with backyard weddings, as the outdoor space is a perfect canvas to customize your big day. 

Planning your own or someone else’s backyard wedding and looking for ideas? Keep reading for 10 DIY tips for backyard nuptials. 

1. Size your guest list correctly

The size of your yard will indicate how many people you can have at your affair. Don’t overstuff your space or people might feel uncomfortable. Be realistic about how many people you can comfortably fit in your yard.  

Take the rough size of your backyard and identify how much space you need for the ceremony, the dance floor, the buffet table, or whatever else you’d like. Leave a good portion of space for the dining tables if you plan to have a sit-down dinner, and decide how many guests you can invite based on the number of tables and chairs you can fit in your designated dining area. You can be a bit more flexible if you skip the sit-down meal and opt for lots of hors d’oeuvres.

2. Hope for sunshine, plan for rain

You want your day to be as perfect as possible and that means planning for unwanted issues like rain. Try to shoot for a time of year when the weather is likely to be nice, but also make a plan in case the rain blows in. Have a backup indoor venue (your living room perhaps), invest in a rain tent or a weather-resistant marquee, and consider having ponchos handy. 

3. Pump up the foliage

Plants will help give your backyard wedding a lush and luxurious feel. Use small plants as table centerpieces, rent potted fruit trees for your tent, or add interesting plants and flowers around the dance floor. 

Make the most of your outdoor space by decorating everything from garden sheds to kiddie pools to decks to fences. It’s really up to you. Have an old clothesline, for example? Hang pots of flowers on the poles or wind flowering vines around the lines. 

4. Make a grand entrance

Welcome your guests to your backyard wedding by creating a grand entrance for them to walk through. Hang curtains from a metal frame, wind fabric and greenery around trellises, or create a rustic arbor with fallen branches and wildflowers. You can also walk through this entrance on your way up the aisle or use it as a backdrop to capture photos of your guests

5. Illuminate your backyard wedding with string lights

The right lighting is critical for a beautiful ambiance and string lights are gorgeous and affordable. Grab some umbrella stands or put metal poles into buckets full of concrete to support the lights. Then, place them strategically around your yard or use them to define different areas.

6. Utilize long banquet tables

Long banquet tables help you optimize the available space you have. They are great for conversation and you can customize them to create any look you want. Direct guests to their tables with an escort card display that complements the rest of your space. Use wood and wire to create a rustic look, for example, or integrate antique paper and baby’s breath flowers for a more elegant feel. 

7. Create a lounge area

Give your guests an area where they can sit, chat, and enjoy a beverage. Use patio furniture, plants, and hanging lights to create a lounge area. Alternatively, set up a glamping tent with comfortable upholstered furniture and a working chandelier if you would prefer a more luxurious space. 

8. Have lawn games

Create a fun vibe at your wedding with lawn games. Customize cornhole boards with your wedding date or special photographs. Take a note from a 1920s garden party and set up a fancy 2020s croquet game. You may even want to consider giant Jenga in your wedding’s colors.

9. Set up a backyard bar

Every backyard wedding needs a bar – even if you don’t plan to serve alcohol, you still need a stand for drinks. Opt for a traditional bar with a bartender or embrace the backyard vibe by turning an old fruit cart or antique pick-up into a bar. Complete the rustic feel by filling metal troughs with ice and canned or bottled drinks. 

10. Make the food spectacular

One of the biggest things people enjoy at a wedding is the food. Being outside doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice quality at all. Reach out to caterers in advance to talk about what kind of food you’d like. Caterers have a lot of experience with backyard weddings. They can let you know the ideal amount of food you need to keep your guests happy and walk you through the logistics of keeping buffet platters hot, organizing wait staff to pass out hors d’oeuvres, and dealing with other dining essentials.

Let TooJay’s Catering make your backyard wedding spectacular

We can help you make your backyard wedding into a spectacularly memorable occasion. TooJay’s offers a host of menu options including hot entrees, hors d’oeuvres, cakes, and more. We can customize the perfect menu for your big day whether you want a sit-down dinner, light snacks, decadent desserts, or something else. We offer full-service catering, as well as pickup and drop-off. 

Ready to start planning your wedding’s menu? Contact us today.