Even with the most careful wedding planning, there are many things that can go wrong or be forgotten by the time the big day rolls around. This can be especially true when planning a backyard wedding because brides are usually taking on unique responsibilities that they wouldn’t be if the wedding were taking place at a traditional venue with a staff of professionals. Here are things that are commonly forgotten about when planning an outdoor or backyard wedding.

See the full post after the cut!

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

When you’re planning a wedding in your own backyard, it may seem like you have all of the time in the world since you do not need to deal with some of the hoops that other venues make you jump through, but in fact there are many different challenges that you will need to get on top of early on.

For example, in addition to the standard long list of wedding planning to do’s, you will need to:

  • Find a good rental company that provides all of the things you need
  • Find catering companies that will do outdoor weddings
  • Consider bad weather backup plans
  • Figure out a parking plan for guests and vendors
  • Consider updating plumbing and/or drainage systems in the backyard
  • Start any DIY projects you want to undertake to spruce up the setting


Building a Setting from Scratch

Since you essentially have a blank canvas, you will need to build and/or rent things to transform your backyard. Perhaps one of the most important things to get a start on is the ideal altar for the ceremony. Whether that means building something out of wood or tree branches, tracking down the perfect vintage doors, or designing something beautiful out of plants or fabric, this can take a long time to come together and it will be in all of your ceremony pictures, so do not put this on the backburner.

When planning a backyard wedding, spend time thinking about what it will take to bring that space to life in the way that you want. Some things to consider include:

  • Lighting
  • Tents
  • Gazebos
  • Dance floor
  • Tables and chairs
  • Cake table and other stations
  • Signage
  • Speakers/music equipment
  • Other ways to add ambiance to the space or a cool photo opportunity like a wooden backdrop


As part of this building a setting from scratch process, people often forget about providing bathrooms. You do not want all of your wedding guests trekking into the house to use the bathroom. The best solution for this is renting porta potties. Not only will this help with meeting the needs of your partygoers, but also having lots of people repeatedly flushing the toilets in your home can put a lot of pressure on your sewer system, which can lead to a mess in your yard.

If you are worried about the look of the porta potties, there are trailer options available these days that flush to make it a more pleasant experience for wedding goers. Make sure to get enough of them to accommodate the crowd that you have invited. Other things to consider include a handicapped restroom, hand washing station, and make sure to provide enough toilet paper!

Prepare for Disasters

As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to sit down and think about everything that could possibly go wrong and first, come up with a plan to prevent those things from happening and second, consider a plan in case they do.

  • Get important home systems like plumbing and electrical checked out well in advance to make sure they are in tip-top shape and ready for the big day.
  • You may want to consider a backup generator in case there is a power outage.
  • It’s also important to prepare for all potential weather conditions. If a rainstorm rolls through, you may want to have a tent put up or have a backup location ready to go. If temperatures drastically rise, consider bringing in fans. If temperatures drop, think about heat lamps or passing out pashminas to keep people warm.


Keep It Legal

One of the most important things that people forget when planning a backyard wedding is whether or not they are legally allowed to hold a large party in their yard. If your guest list has more than twenty people or you have a lot of professional trucks coming to and from your house, it might be necessary to have a permit from the city. There may be some legal restrictions on things like parking, entertainment, and noise. You don’t want your special day to be marred by angry neighbors and a visit from your local police department.

Designate a place for people to park their cars, and make sure that no one is blocking driveways at any point. If you are serving alcohol, make sure that you have someone who is not only responsible for pouring drinks but also keeping the younger ones away from the booze.


Backyard weddings can be some of the most beautiful and personal weddings there are. Keep these lessons in mind so that your big day can go off without a hitch.

WeddingLovely and Gold Leaf Partners teamed up to share with couples tips on planning a backyard wedding are with this sponsored list of important items to not forget!