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10 Tips for an Intimate Backyard Wedding

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

 1. Insurance

Even though it is on your own property or a family member's property, it is always a good idea to arrange for a 1-day insurance policy for your event.  You never know what accident might happen and could lead to a bigger problem. Maybe the caterer's flame from the food trays catch some decor on fire, maybe someone injuries themself tripping over a cord or slips on the dance floor maybe some glass is broken.  The point is, don't leave this to chance. 

 2. The Noise

Consider the volume of your event and how it may disrupt the neighbors.  Prior to the big day let them know there will be a wedding, or better yet, invite them to it. Be sure your DJ knows of any volume regulations.  Most residential areas have a 10pm noise ordinance law.  After that time take the volume down a notch. Nothing like having the cops show up.  That will be a nice addition to the wedding album.

3. The Dance Floor

When it comes to planning out your reception, chances are there will be dancing!  Now to plan where.  Whether it is a patio, under a porch on the cement, or even a level driveway, be sure to look over the area for any potential tripping hazards.  There are things we may let go of for our own use, but put 40 people in the space and suddenly you think more of anything that could go wrong.  Look boards on the deck, a loose stone sticking up, and really in general if it is level and flat.  If you are considering a dance floor on the grass, it must be completely flat.  

4. Electricity

Nothing kills a party than having the fuse go out and suddenly the music and lights are gone.  Know your cords, power usage, and watts to prevent this from happening.  Communicate with your DJ and decorator to know what you need to provide and from what source.

5. The Staging Area

Whether a professional caterer is coming in or those ladies from the church with their cooking skills, they will need somewhere accessible to the reception area to refresh and restock the food.   Refills and keeping food warm.  So whether that is the kitchen as well as a basement room set up with tables off the patio.  Consider an empty table and large trash setup with industrial dishwashing bins to collect dishes and cups etc.  Create a sanitary system to follow.

6. The Helpers

That teen neighbor and her friend next door.  A friend of a friend's daughter willing to help out. Hiring helpers to clear the dirty dishes after guests are done helps to manage the mess.  Have your helpers keep the guests refreshed.  Have them participate in the theme to make it fun. 


7. The Permits

Chances are that the residential area you live in may require a permit for your event.  This includes for parking and a permit for the size of your event.  This is especially an issue during Covid times when numbers are being more regulated.


8. The Ceremony

Just as you need to scout out an area for your dance floor, the same needs done for your ceremony.  Consider the view, where the bride will walk to the ceremony from, will there be enough space for the photographer and videographer to maneuver around and setup behind, is the area large enough for the guests, is the structure, such as a deck, stable enough to hold the weight of that many people.  These are all questions to consider.  Also, consider the time of day and which light the sun will be coming from for the ceremony.  Communicate and inquire advice from your photographer.





9. The Comfort of your Guests

Since this will be outside, consider the temperature of that time of year.  Will the ceremony be in the heat of the day and you have grandma to keep in mind.  Will there be a chill at night and heat lamps will be a needed addition.  Simply consider the elements.







10. The Quality of Light

Are you planning to hang lights across the dance floor or hiring professional lighting to come in?  Is your event going to be lit mostly by candlelight and that one exterior porch light that only comes on with movement?  Prioritize quality light.  And if you are skirting this one, be sure your photographer knows and has the portfolio to show it, that they can work in low light situations including an off-camera flash or video lights they provide.   While photographers and videographers can work magic with what they bring, do not rely on their light alone to light your event.





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