How to Host a Backyard Wedding

By  |  0 Comments

Lefebvre Photography

A lot of couples are scaling back their weddings in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, replacing gala affairs with backyard weddings. But a garden wedding brings its own set of challenges — and costs. — By Fred Albert / Newport Wedding 2021

“Always have a rain plan,” says Stephanie Noel of Exquisite Events Planning in Newport. Unless you can fit all your guests inside the house for the ceremony and reception, have a tent ready in case of rain (or intense sun). At the very least, ask a tent rental company for a quote on a contingency plan, which lets you delay a decision until the week of the wedding.

Hire a licensed caterer, which will give you more leeway in group size and allow you to adhere to COVID-imposed regulations regarding food and beverage service (For more info about how the pandemic is changing weddings, read Weddings in the Age of COVID-19).

Provide amplification for the officiant and couple. You can rent wireless mics and speakers, or buy them online for a few hundred dollars.

Rent a portable restroom, which comes on a trailer and is much nicer than a Porta Potty (or having guests traipse through your home). Hire an attendant to keep bathrooms disinfected.

If street parking is limited, ask neighbors if you may use their driveways, and hire a parking attendant or valet to oversee things. Or approach a nearby business about using its lot, and provide a shuttle van. “Ladies in heels don’t like to walk far,” notes Noel.

Make sure there’s sufficient yard and street lighting to prevent accidents. And check with your insurance agent to see if you need to add a rider to your policy to cover the wedding.

Lastly, don’t assume that a backyard wedding is going to save you money, cautions Pamela D’Orsi of PDR Events in Jamestown. When you book a commercial venue, you know exactly what the price will be. But a home wedding has more hidden costs, because you’re creating a wedding venue from scratch.

The results can be joyful and intimate. But like marriage itself, a backyard wedding should be approached with eyes wide open. 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login