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Connecticut

Backyard Wedding

My mother wants me to use her house (she has a beautiful & big backyard) for my wedding.  She thinks everything will be easier for me (get ready there, ceremony there & reception)
I have mix feelings about it. Does anyone here going to have or had a backyard wedding? what are the cons / pros 
thanks.

Re: Backyard Wedding

  • hyechica81hyechica81 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 100 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 2014
    i have been to backyard weddings some elaborate some simple.

    pros its your backyard so people can dress casually
    you dont have a set time you have to be out of the venue so you can stay longer than a traditional venue
     you can do fun activities to keep the party going or have music playing

    pros

    you have to rent tables and chairs for everyone those large indoor tents
    you have to rent linens silverware and plates cups etc   those things along with tables and tents can get pricey,

    hire a caterer to feed everyone and a bartender service, challenging if you don't have a huge kitchen and the catering staff will be limited on what they can cook and do. otherwise they would have to cook off premises and bring the food and keep it warm in warmers
    renting a dance floor and a dj also being aware that if you do hire a dj you have to make sure hes not so loud that the neighbors pitch a fit.
    parking will also be an issue if you are planning on having like 50-100 people or even more how will they all park? is there a parking lot nearby you can get permission to park all those cars within walking distance.
    otherwise you will have to provide some sort of bus or something to pick up your guests.
    bathroom how many bathrooms do you have and would your mom be ok with with people going in and out of the house for the bathroom ( also if you have some snoopy guest they might be tempted to explore the rest of the house and your valuables are in the open
    you will have lots of stuff to worry about the next day like cleaning up any messes that were not cleaned up


    pros to a venue

    all inclusive dinner sit down buffet or stations appitizers open bar and whatever you want to customize for your day. cake, dj tables chairs linens included wedding cordinator to help you plan out the menu and finalize things

    they do all the work for you and about 2 weeks or so before your wedding you bring your final head counts your final payment favors cake cutters toasting glasses to them seating charts etc

    you get the place for a set number of hours between 5 and 6 hours,

    plenty of parking

    cons to a all inclusive hall

    you have to be there at a set time so if you are doing a catholic church wedding in the afternoon its usually 130 is the cut off and evening weddings at most venues start at 6 or 7 unless you pay extra to have the hall earlier but then you have to be out sooner


     the last backyard wedding i went to there were about 50 of us
    very casual laid back they had the pool open yard games for the adults and kids, they had a local place bring in sandwiches salad pasta and chicken, they had appz a tent and some tables and chairs cake and assorted deserts, no music, lasted a few hours they also had a drinks table set up beer wine and soda water in coolers then they had pre mixed spiked lemonade and ice tea in really cool drink containers.

    if you have your heart on a traditional banquet hall then look into those

    i am in central ct and i can give you  a list of places to check out if you are in this area
    katytagle
  • My fiancee's best friend has a backyard wedding at his parents' house. In my opinion: although lovely, they would have been better off having it some place else. Despite being in his parents' backyard, their wedding cost over $50k. It was formal and you can do a really nice job with white glove service, a raw bar, and other premium food and bar options but it was still susceptible to the following:

    - The space was lovely and they really did a beautiful job with the decorating, however the wedding was in August and EXTREMELY hot. They also neglected to rent air conditioners, so you can only imagine how stifling it was inside the tent with tons of candles and 150 people, you didn't even want to move. The bride's makeup started to wear off and her hair went flat, as did everyone else's.
    - They also spent over $5k on portable restroom facilities which malfunctioned within the first hour (I'm talking major overflowing action - NASTY!) However, it was the only place we could go to with air conditioning so we still ventured in, but it was completely unusable and disgusting. 
    -The obvious con of having an outdoor wedding: it rained that day, so the backyard (even under the tent) was very unstable. Your shoes became filthy as you sank into the ground.

    The good things about their wedding:
    - Choice of any vendor you prefer.
    - Freedom to go as long as you want, and no rules on anything you may have rules at other places (I know at our venue (The Lounsbury House in Ridgefield) we have rules regarding alcohol, candles, volume, etc.)
    - Ability to set up most things at their leisure

    Our photographer has a few backyard weddings featured on her blog so I thought I'd pass that long. They are gorgeous!

    Hope this helps :) 
    katytagle
  • to me this sounds like a big headache!  
  • You have to consider the liability as well.  If someone gets injured or property is damaged, who is responsible? Is homeowner's insurance going to pay for that, or will there be wedding insurance that covers this?  What are the liquor permit requirements?  Noise ordinances? What's the parking situation? How are the bathrooms- are there enough bathrooms in the house for guests and can the plumbing handle the traffic, or will you need to rent port-a-potties?

    I have been to backyard weddings, and they do have their perks as pp mentioned, but they come with a ton of things to consider that are less of a concern when you use a venue of some kind.  If you're up to the challenge, I say rent a tent and call a caterer (so long as you've considered all of the above).  If all of that gives you a headache now, I say start calling venues in your price range.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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