THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A BACKYARD WEDDING

June 1st, 2022 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration

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Image by Chelsea Reece

How to Plan a Backyard Wedding - Dresses, Decor & More

When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, a backyard could be the perfect location for your special day. An intimate and low key location will make the planning process easier and you won't have to worry about venue availability or restrictions. If you’re thinking that a backyard wedding is only for boho or casual affairs, that’s certainly not the case. There are endless ideas that can transform your spot into anything you want it to be. And, by having your own home or a family member’s home be the stage of such a monumental day, it will only make your ceremony that much more memorable.


There are many advantages to using this location versus a traditional venue, including the freedom to create. You’re able to take a sentimental space and make it even more beautiful. “The ability to build the venue the way you want it, or envision it, is a gift,” says luxury event planner, Alicia Fritz. You can let your wildest wedding dreams and fantasies come true, all while being in the comfort of your own home!

From decor to food to finding your dream dress, we put together backyard wedding ideas, including DIY ideas, to help you plan your dream day!

BACKYARD WEDDING DRESS IDEAS

Just because you’ve chosen a more intimate and possibly casual location, doesn’t mean you should settle for anything less than the dress you’ve always envisioned for yourself! From boho casual to glamorous sparkle, we’ve gathered a few wedding dresses to consider for a backyard wedding.

For a more relaxed look, meet style Sunset, a casual lace bridal dress from our Simply Val Stefani line. This design is for the laid back bride that loves something a little flirty but still wants to include traditional bridal details. Outdoor weddings are beautiful, but if you’re planning on tying the knot during the summer heat then you’ll love the thin straps and lightweight A-line skirt this style features. It also includes flowy swag sleeves that come together in the back of the gown. The small sweep train means you’ll be able to dance the night away. Floral lace appliques with sequins and beading give this gown a hint of sparkle. 


If you’re envisioning yourself in a boho style gown, style Alora may be a match made in heaven. The long illusion bishop sleeves will catch eyes from each angle while the fitted bodice with a v-neckline is effortlessly beautiful. Whether you’re planning for a summer or winter wedding day, the long illusion sleeves are fit for all seasons! Dreamy embroidered lace fabric trails from top to bottom on this gown, offering a fresh and elegant style. Lightweight and comfortable, the tulle skirt trails down to a short sweep train letting you move easily and effortlessly throughout the day!

Don’t be afraid to wear something with a little more sparkle and shine! Style Opal is a mermaid wedding dress crafted with sequin fabric that will have you shimmering down the aisle. The gown also includes thin beaded straps, a dramatic illusion scoop back, and a sweep train that makes it easy to walk in. This dress is lightweight and comfortable to wear making it a great option for a backyard wedding. 

BACKYARD WEDDING DECOR 

Decorating for this type of event starts with embracing the uniqueness of your surroundings. Utilize the landscaping that you’ve worked hard to create! If you have luscious greenery - trees, plants, or grass - you’re going to want to note what color tones you want to pair with it and how you can center your backyard event around it. Are you leaning toward pastel colors, warm romantic colors, or sophisticated cool color tones? Tying together the decor, wedding colors and placement of the ceremony and reception is a first step to make your event come to life!


  • Backdrops - A decor piece that’s currently trending is a creative DIY wedding backdrop. From floral grids to layered greenery to floral hoops to hanging floral, there are many different options to consider for your nuptials. Serving as the stage where you’ll recite your vows with your partner, the backdrop is a vital piece of the ceremony and marks the beginning of a new journey. Use seasonal flowers and greenery to tie your backdrop into the rest of your yard. If you’re not the crafty type, feel free to use these DIY ideas as inspiration to find your perfect decor to purchase!

  • Seating - Now that you’ve set the stage for your ceremony, it’s time to think about seating for your guests. Something you’ll absolutely need is an aisle way for you to walk down. You can center this to lead down to the backdrop and organize chairs to be on either side of the aisle to ensure that each of your guests are able to get a clear view. If you’re planning on renting chairs, you’ll need a firm guest count so you know exactly how many to rent. You can use the same chairs later during the reception, saving you the hassle of having to order two sets from the rental company. 

  • Rugs - A trendy accent piece to consider is a boho vintage carpet for the wedding ceremony. Not only do these rugs add a charming hue of color to your big day, but if you opt for a larger cut of the rug, this can also be used as the dance floor at your reception.

  • Trees - Whether the yard is small or wide, you’ll want to pay attention to how to set up your backyard wedding reception. If you have large trees in the yard, place chairs and tables underneath for a more intimate vibe. If your celebration is in the summertime, placing the seating beneath the trees will be a great way to block out the blazing sun. The trees can also give you a way to hang string lights (great for the currently trending cottagecore theme) or floral installations that will make the space uniquely romantic.

  • Tent - If you need more coverage you might want to look into renting a tent or drapery to offer you and your wedding guests some additional shelter from the elements. The tent can serve as plan B if the weather ends up being less than ideal or you can plan to have your reception in this area no matter what, and decorate it however you’d like. 

  • Centerpieces and linens - Your tablecloths and centerpieces can either add additional rustic charm to your day or be used to elevate your outdoor space. Some couples use floral or printed linens instead of luxurious table settings for a simpler way to add a pop of color to their big day. Talk to your florist about how to use the flowers that decorate your aisle way to then create centerpieces for the reception. The great thing about having a backyard wedding is that you’re able to rent or purchase one set of items- chairs, tables, flowers, etc. making your budget a little looser while also saving space.

  • Signs - Signage is an important part of a backyard celebration. Let guests know exactly where to go and what to do with DIY signs so there aren’t a bunch of questions being asked throughout the day. 

  • Heaters and fans - Planning a winter reception? You may want to look into outdoor heaters to rent so everyone will stay warm throughout the event. If you’re considering a summer affair, you may consider ordering enough hand fans for your entire guest list. Comfort is essential for all on your big day!

FOOD IDEAS FOR A BACKYARD RECEPTION

We’re firm believers that your special day should be a reflection of your love story - and that includes the food. If you and your partner are total foodies, then this is a great highlight to add to your day. When creating a menu for a backyard wedding, you are in complete control. There are no restrictions on the food, desserts, and cocktails that will be served. We put together a few ideas for inspiration. 

Food Trucks

Made to serve food fresh and hot, food trucks at weddings are becoming more popular. Much different than your traditional dinner, food trucks can give you the ability to offer your guests a variety of your favorite foods. Some popular trucks include burgers, tacos, and also desserts for those late night cravings. You can even choose to go with big burger joints such as IN-N-OUT to be served. And by already being outdoors, these food trucks make it easy for your guests to have access to food all night long, leaving everyone satisfied.

Home-style BBQ

There’s no better meal than a home cooked meal. If you’re having a casual backyard wedding, serving BBQ could be the perfect addition. Serve classic picnic food such as ribs, sliders, chicken, potatoes, etc., to ensure a home-style meal for your guests. You can also add some finger foods and refreshing appetizers for your guests to add to their plates. A home cooked meal will only make your reception more intimate and familiar, creating a fun and welcoming affair for your guests.

Build Your Own Food Station

If you and your partner love a little bit of everything and can’t quite decide on what to serve, then a wedding food station could be the perfect option. Whether it’s sweet or savory, fancy or simple, these food stations are customizable to include both of your favorites and will have your guests impressed with the variety of food offered. You can set up these stations in your yard and allow guests to pick and choose what they like, that way they can try a little of everything and you also won’t be wasting food! This is especially great for picky eaters or guests that have specific food allergies that require separation between different types of food.

Next Steps

Whether you’re planning an extravagant soirée or a casual affair, backyard weddings offer you the freedom to make this day whatever you want. They have an effortless and cozy feeling to them that is irreplaceable. 

If you’re ready to start planning, research and consult with your vendors, figure out if you need any permits, and check with your neighbors to make sure everything will go off without a hitch. If you are hiring a wedding planner or day of coordination, they will also help you to navigate what other areas you might need to consider when having a backyard celebration. If you’re ready to start looking for a bridal gown, start by finding your local bridal boutique or browsing Val Stefani dresses online.

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A BACKYARD WEDDING
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A BACKYARD WEDDING
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A BACKYARD WEDDING
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A BACKYARD WEDDING
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING A BACKYARD WEDDING

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