Here’s more, continued from the July 19th issue, on the good, the bad, and the ugly of planning for a backyard wedding.
More details, details, details… Parking is also a consideration. Wedding guests often arrive in pairs, so for that 75-guest wedding, about 35 cars would have to be put somewhere. Nothing upsets neighbors more than messing with their parking (or parking on their lawn!). Lack of parking is a deal-breaker, so right now, very early on in the planning process, is a really good time to have some friendly conversations with your neighbors about your intentions.
If it rains – and I assure you, it does – you’ll want to be ready. Perhaps a tent is in order. Once an event grows larger than a couple of dozen guests, the kind of tent you’ll want is best put up and taken down by a professional tent company. You’ll want the canopy, removable sides, and perimeter lights. A liner is a nice touch. If what’s under the tent will be grass, think long and hard about adding a floor, too. Watching guests sink into the mud is fun for only so long!
Many hands make light work – Someone, or more accurately, a group of someones, need to make all of this happen. Few backyards are ready for a wedding without some good attention, so there is yardwork and perhaps some gardening to be done. The same is true of the inside and outside of the house. But that’s not all…
There are things to go get, things to set up, and things to take down and return just before, on, and the day after the wedding. And that’s just the deep behind-the-scenes work. Someone has to prepare and serve the food and drink, manage the trash, and keep the party running smoothly. Anticipate whole days of preparation.
Of course, the people who are likely to be doing all of this work – your parents and siblings and besties – are also the people you’ll want front and center at your wedding, cool, calm and collected, and in their pretty clothes. Of all that’s required to create a great do-it-yourself wedding, getting everything done while not driving everyone you love to exhaustion is the greatest challenge. You’ll want to do some careful planning, especially on the day-of, to ensure that everyone is showered and rested in time for the festivities. You may also want to consider recruiting or hiring some additional help.
The bottom line – There’s more, but you get the idea. There is a lot to think about. If planning is not your strong suit, you’re going to want help from someone who lives an organized life and relishes managing lots of details. Even the smallest of backyard weddings will take a fair amount of planning.
Money is a thing. Depending on the size of your backyard wedding, the costs can be minimal, or as much as or more than using a dedicated event venue.
Are there upsides? Sure! You get to have your wedding in a beautiful outdoor space, one that might be near and dear to your heart. You have complete control over almost every aspect of the experience. You and your guests can celebrate for as long as you want into the night, or into even the next day, providing there isn’t a noise ordinance in your chosen location. And at the end of the night, your bed is just a few steps away!
So, simple? No, hardly ever. But doable, to be sure. It’s all a matter of how you want to spend your time and money to create the perfect wedding for you and your beloved.
- David L. Egan is the proprietor and steward of Chase Court, a wedding and event venue in downtown Baltimore. Visit Chasecourt.com, and follow ChaseCourtWeddingVenue on Instagram and Facebook.