How to Plan an Affordable Backyard Wedding on a Budget

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the wedding industry incredibly hard. The pandemic restrictions closed many marriage license bureaus, houses of worship, and halls. Couples canceled, postponed, or drastically downsized their nuptials. But instead of wallowing in a wine-soaked pity party, many couples turned to backyard weddings with a smaller guest list as an alternative.

My younger sister was forced to postpone her wedding twice in 2020 and when she finally decided to go ahead with it, she had a beautiful backyard wedding at my parent’s house. Not only was it intimate, but it was also affordable and saved her thousands of dollars.

The Benefits of a Backyard Wedding

Here are five reasons why you should choose an outdoor reception:

  1. Cost Savings – Many wedding venues charge you an exorbitant amount for you to use their space. They may even tack on extra costs if you want to use certain decorations or electronics. You may also end up spending more than you budgeted for on flowers or other decorations. Holding an outdoor reception could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  2. You Choose – With a backyard wedding, everything can happen on your terms. You don’t have to worry about the availability of your venue or price increases associated with the most desirable dates.
  3. No restrictions on the guestlist – Many wedding venues make you commit to a minimum number of guests to book the room. With a backyard wedding, it doesn’t matter if you invite two hundred guests or just your closest friends; you’re in control. Still, be mindful of covid restriction and social distancing guidelines in your area.
  4. Comfort – If a formal, stiff wedding reception isn’t for you, you and your guests will feel much more comfortable at an outdoor reception. You could change out of your long flowing gown into a cozy party dress, and your guests could wear more casual clothing, too.
  5. No time Constraints – Indoor wedding venues are booked usually with several different receptions each day, which place restrictions on how long your wedding event may last. You might not even be able to find a reception venue that isn’t already booked on your desired wedding date.

If you are planning a wedding and considering a backyard wedding below are few tips to consider to make the day not only budget-friendly but also special:

Select Your Favorite Backyard Spot

In every backyard, there is a favorite spot. Whether under a huge tree or on a flat lawn, there is a spot that will capture your heart and you would want that to be the perfect place for your wedding. Start with choosing your favorite spot even before planning your décor. Also, pay special attention to any slopes, hills, or uneven areas in the yard. Not only will these areas make it difficult for your guests to navigate the lawn, but they can also prove dangerous. If you have a hilly or uneven backyard, you may want to consult with professionals to discuss leveling the yard or installing a temporary floor for your guests, in addition to a dance floor.

Consider the Season

What time of the year would you hold the wedding? Will you need to hire tents, heaters, blankets or hand fans? Every outdoor wedding needs to be planned with the weather in mind. While we all hope for sunny weather, it’s not always the case. Be sure to plan for the rain in case the heavens decide to bless your nuptials. Arrange for tents and check the ground to see it’s well raised.

Use Nature to Decorate

Take full advantage of the natural beauty, not only is this affordable it is free! And by using your wedding decorations to bring out the nature vibe. Let nature work its magic! The greenery all around you is breathtaking. It provides an outstanding wedding ceremony backdrop. Use plants for your centerpieces and tablescape. Cluster a few plants, baby fruit-bearing trees, and herbs from a local garden. Make outstanding centerpieces that smell as good as they look. 

Food and Beverage

Build-your-own taco station and soda fountain or have pizzas. Make it fun and simple. Here are a few other  fantastic budget-friendly food ideas you or friends can put together:

  • Sliders and BBQ
  • Cheeseboards and picnic spreads
  • Rustic comfort food
  • Warm bread and pastries

Set up Banquet Tables

Enjoy a seated dinner reception that brings everyone together – a family-style dinner. Long banquet tables or slightly narrow King’s tables set a warm family tone. This is a must-have for backyard weddings. And these are more affordable than renting small tables and chairs.


A backyard wedding would be no fun without a few lawn games.

  • Giant Jenga
  • Darts
  • Bean bag toss

Get creative with how to keep your guests entertained. You could also provide music by creating a wedding playlist and renting a small sound system. Be mindful of your neighborhood noise ordinances. 

Keep Your Guests Comfortable

Backyard weddings are quite intimate and comfortable. Help your guests get cozy when the weather changes. You can offer shawls or blankets when the temperature drops in the evening. A bonfire can come in handy if you plan to hold celebrations late into the night. You may consider bringing in heating lamps so they enjoy a warm celebration into the night.

Final Word 

Having a backyard wedding is an amazing idea. One of the best things about having your wedding at home is how personal it can be. Backyard weddings – does take a lot of work as any kind of nuptials. They require careful planning and attention to detail to be perfect. But with the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to an enchanting backyard wedding.