Planning back yard weddings | The Pros and Cons
It’s that time of the year…Engagement season is in full swing. For many brides, they will be wearing a new diamond after Christmas and will start planning the day they have been dreaming about for years.
The first thing to do is pick your venue… Most people elect to find a wedding venue but some like to think outside the box and have a destination or backyard weddings. If you read the bridal forums online, you’ll see lots of different ideas for your wedding. But let’s talk about this for a moment.
There are pros and cons to both.
The Wedding Venue
Convenience. Everything that you need is in one place. You have your catering, in some cases a bakery, a top shelf bar, ample restrooms, tables & chairs, linens, a dancefloor, electricity, and last but certainly not least, service. Your wedding venue will protect your special day from any inclement weather and is climate controlled for you and your guests comfort. There is ample parking for all of your guests. From start to finish, everything is taken care of so all you have to do is enjoy your special day.
Wedding venues come with a premium. You pay for those conveniences. You may also be limited to certain dates and times depending on the time of the year, day of the week, etc. You are also limited to the menu of the caterer at the venue. Decorating the venue depending on your choices may be challenging depending on the ambiance of the room. For example, if you want a country wedding, it’s hard to emulate that against an imported marble backdrop.
Back yard Weddings or Tent Wedding
You have a unique setting for you and your guests to enjoy. Because it’s ‘home’ for you, you have that sense of familiarity and can enjoy the comforts of home on your special day. If you are going for a more casual affair, the swimming pool is always a blast during a reception along with some tasty barbecue. Fun picnic games are always an option at an backyard wedding and it’s typically not as stuffy as a formal wedding. Depending on where you live and the noise ordinance in your area, the dates and times aren’t as much of a limitation as with a venue. Instead of the option of a top shelf bar, you can order a few kegs and some wine and keep it simple. Backyard weddings are exceptionally great for weddings with children as they have the ability to run and play and be kids.
You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather. Although a tent may keep your heads dry, there is always the possibility for high wind, ground soaking downpours, lightning, humidity, snow or any other kind of soggy weather. Because the majority of weddings happen in the late spring/early summer, it can get quite sticky, and smelly. Unless you have a closed tent with a rented air conditioner for the tent, you’re really at the mercy of the elements.
The cost of renting tables, chairs, linens, tents, etc is quite expensive. In addition to that, you or your family would have to set up and tear down which is very labor intensive.
Restrooms for guests is also tricky. A home septic system was never intended to handle 100 guests worth of waste in a short period of time. If you decide to rent chemical toilets, those are also an added expense and can be a messy and smelly endeavor.
Electricity. Your caterer will need a lot of power. Enough for refrigeration, cooking, coffee, microwaves, etc. In addition to that, you’ll need some lighting for under the tent and your climate control if you rent fans or air conditioners. And lastly, your wedding entertainment. If you go with a band, they’ll need about 5 dedicated circuits just for them. If you go with a DJ, it can be 3 circuits or more depending on the options you choose.
All in all, there are pros and cons to both. The important thing to remember when planning your special day is, think about everything as a whole and make informed decisions. There is a wedding for everyone out there. The choice is up to you.