Congratulations! Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and with that you want to make it a real special day to remember. You’ve already taken the first exciting step and said ‘yes’ but now the real fun starts: the wedding planning.
You may be just starting out on your wedding planning journey and are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of venues, events and styles out there or maybe you’re just looking for something a little different.
Not every couple wants an extravagant wedding with hundreds of guests and instead would prefer to have a more intimate and less formal event, filled with personal touches to make the day truly one to remember.
This is where backyard weddings shine. Many write backyard weddings off as a casual affair that only allows for a rustic vibe but that’s simply not the case. There are so many backyard wedding ideas that you can truly transform your space into anything you want to be.
A backyard wedding is a perfect option for anyone considering a romantic, completely unique and not to mention, more affordable option (which is ideal for anyone on a budget!).
So if complete creative freedom and amazing memories made with your closest friends and family sounds right for you, then read on to see our 23 best backyard wedding ideas.
Because at the end of the day, there’s no place like home.
Hire a backyard tent
Firstly you’re going to need a space to host your guests and none works better for this than an outdoor tent – and no we don’t mean the type you used to use for your camping trips!
With many different styles ranging from simple to luxury, you can be sure to find the perfect tent for your wedding. Not to mention it serves as a great base for all your decorations too!
And whilst we all wish for sunny weather on our special day, that isn’t always going to be the case so a backyard tent is a perfect way to keep your guests, comfortable, safe and dry.
Build a unique wedding arch
An archway is a great addition to any backyard wedding, both beautiful and practical an arch can really help shape up your ceremony. The perfect place to say ‘I do’ an arch will provide not only a focal point for your nuptials but will be a great way to frame those photos that will last you a lifetime.
For an outdoor wedding, consider an archway made of wood or branches which you can choose to decorate with flowers from your own backyard for that really personal touch! Or if that’s not your thing you can drape beautiful flowy fabrics to create added drama and romance to your day.
And if you don’t feel like making your own arch dont worry. There are many different pre-made arches available that you will easily find one to fit your style.
Light up the night with string lights
Nothing says a romantic backyard wedding quite like string lights. Good wedding lighting is up there with flowers and food when it comes to planning the perfect atmosphere for your wedding and string lights can provide a relatively inexpensive way to get the mood just right.
Hanging lights around your tent, between trees or in rows across your backyard is the best way to add a romantic glow to your day, not to mention they’ll keep your wedding perfectly lit once the sun goes down!
With many different styles, bulbs and colors you are guaranteed to find the perfect fit for your big day.
Embrace the local nature
A backyard wedding means that you’re going to be immersed in nature so why not use this to your advantage and incorporate it into your backdrop and decor!.
Depending on where your backyard is you can look to incorporate mountains, waterfalls, trees and native flowers into your wedding day. This will not only look amazing but will add those little personal touches and make you feel more connected to your home.
There’s also the added benefit that every time you see these elements, even for years after, you can be reminded of your special day.
Use trees in your decoration
For any backyard wedding, trees are going to be your best friend. Not only do they provide a beautiful environment for your ceremony but they can also be incorporated into your wedding decor or even be used to hang your decorations off.
For a whimsical and fairytale feel, consider tying white ribbons around trunks or filling branches entirely with your wedding flowers, this is bound to make an impact and will leave your guests in awe.
Streamers are a really simple and effective way to jazz up your backyard space and create a fun and photogenic backdrop for your wedding. With a wide range of different colors, you simply need to hang them from the trees and we can guarantee your backyard space will be transformed into a venue to remember.
Plants, plants and more plants
Plants and flowers are a staple part of any wedding and if you’re getting married outdoors it just makes sense to add them to your decoration.
Dried florals are a gorgeous and affordable way to spruce up your big day. There are countless different styles, so you’ll always be able to find something that fits your theme.
Don’t forget that one of the best things about dried florals is that they last for a very long time. This is great for the cost conscious as you can give them out as party favors or keep some to decorate your home with as newlyweds!
Don’t be afraid to bring plants into the tent either. Potted trees, shrubs or plants can create a magical forest vibe, look to combine this with reception tables covered with candlesticks or greenery and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous backyard wedding for very little effort.
For those looking for a more minimalist approach to their big day, keep it simple with lots of greenery and a hint of baby’s breath or lavender for a subtle injection of color into your day (and not only does lavender look great, it smells great as well).
Make the most out of wooden accents
A backyard wedding emanates a feeling of home, and not much feels more homely than a rustic wedding.
Wood accents are a simple yet really effective way to bring those little rustic touches into your day. And if rustic isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Wood can also be used in much more elegant ways to create whatever style you’re looking for.
Old wooden tables and chairs look beautiful dressed up with elegant table cloths or down with simple greenery and wooden cake stands or displays can really highlight any natural elements of your big day.
Another great way to incorporate wood into your wedding is picnic tables. This is a really fun and informal way to seat your guests whilst also being cheap and easy to set up. Add some comfy seat cushions or blankets and you’re good to go.
Go green with these environmentally friendly confetti swaps
A backyard wedding means that you (or your family) are going to be tasked with the post wedding clean up so you should think carefully about what you want to use before you decide to throw your typical confetti or you may just find you’ll be picking up tiny bits of paper and rice for weeks!
Not only this but these types of confetti are known to be harmful to the environment and local wildlife.
Instead opt for some eco-friendly alternative like flower petals, leaves, coconut shavings, herbs or even bird seed! All of these alternatives can be left on the ground once the party is over and will decompose naturally over time, not to mention lots of these eco-friendly alternatives smell amazing too!
Create a personal photograph display
As backyard weddings are all about those personal touches there’s simply nothing more intimate and special than displaying photographs of you and your loved ones around the venue. For an added sense of sentimentality you could even look to display family wedding photos that span back generations!
There are lots of fun and unique ways you can choose to display your photographs. You could stack crates to make a small gallery and fill them with photos, plants and lanterns.
Or perhaps a family member has from old framed wire lying about that could be easily transformed into a gorgeous photo display with clothespins and foliage.
The only limit is your imagination and whether you choose to simply display the pictures on tables or look to get more creative, this is something that everyone on your wedding day can enjoy.
Don’t hide them away, use your backyard’s existing features
A great way to save some money is to use some of the features already present in your backyard.
Does your dad have an empty shed or garage that’s not in use? Turn it into a chill out area for your guests! All you need are some beanbags, rugs and some throw pillows and you have a quiet area where your guests can relax or get out of the heat.
Perhaps there’s an old bathtub that’s been lying in your garden for years? Simply fill it up with ice and you’ve got yourself a makeshift drinks cooler that will be the talk of all your guests.
Are your flower beds looking old and tired? Then use this as an excuse to do them up! Not only will it liven up your wedding but it will be a good investment in the long run.
If you’ve got a pool, flaunt it
If your backyard has a pool this is another great feature to incorporate into your big day. If the weather is set to be looking hot, you could theme the day around a pool party (swimsuits optional).
If you’d rather your guests stayed out of the pool however this doesn’t mean it can’t still make a great addition to your wedding.
By building a bridge or partial cover, some couples have transformed their pools into romantic photo opportunities, or you can fill the pool with flower petals or miniature floating candles to create something straight out of a Hollywood romance movie.
Just always make sure to keep children (and intoxicated adults) supervised around the pool or you may end up with some very wet guests!
Bring the inside, out
If something cool and stylish is what you’re looking for then a great idea is to bring some of your indoor furniture outside! As long as the weather is dry there is no harm in bringing out a cozy couch or armchair, it makes for some comfortable seating and will definitely get your guests talking.
Lay down some rugs and grab some throw pillows in order to create a comfy and relaxed space and maybe even consider some velvet couches to tie the area together. No one said things have to match either!
If your style is more eclectic then feel free to really let your hair down with this and consider using mismatching furniture, patterns, textures and tones.
Create your own outdoor bar
A really fun way to jazz up your backyard wedding is by having a creative drink station or outdoor bar. All you need are some drink receptacles and an imagination and you can come up with some really fun ways to serve your drinks.
Ranging from elegant glass drink dispensers to the quirkier wheelbarrows topped with ice,it’s easy to find a wide array of different receptacles that will fit your theme.
Another fun thing to incorporate into your bar is a signature cocktail (or mocktail) for the newlyweds! This could be their favourite drinks reimagined with a cute or funny name or perhaps a brand new drink altogether. There’s nothing more personal or unique than a cocktail made especially for you.
Upcycle your old mason jars
There’s a very good chance that you have some old mason jars lying around your home, and if you don’t your friends and family probably do. If your wedding is leaning into the rustic or outdoors theme then mason jars have many, many uses.
They can make unique cocktail glasses for any kind of beverage, become beautiful vases or even be used as candle holders! You can suspend them off trees as little lanterns and you can choose to decorate them in lace or string to change up their look.
A great wedding hack is to even fill them with treats and send them off with your guests as wedding favors.
Upcycled wine and liquor bottles can also make great candle holders or table decorations and can be a really inexpensive way to decorate, especially if your guests can help and donate some before the big day.
Bring out the BBQ
Backyard and barbecue are two things that go hand in hand, so why not choose to have one at your wedding. Guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, you can serve up all the favourites such as burgers, ribs, steak, even hot dogs and corn on the cob!.
Don’t worry about your vegan and vegetarian guests either, there are tons of meat free alternatives out there or if you feel like being more creative it gives you a chance to come up with some exciting bbq themed alternatives!
Just ask your parents if they’re happy firing up the grill or speak to your caterers about creating a barbecue based menu.
The best truck, is a food truck
If a traditional sit down meal isn’t on your wedding agenda, then consider hiring a food truck! A popular new trend for weddings, food trucks are a great and exciting way to cater for your special day.
Choose between one main cuisine or bring in several varieties for your guests to try, either way we know it will be a big hit with your friends and family. Not only this, your food truck can serve as your main meal or simply act as an extra snack for any guests who can’t resist a little extra something.
Make your wedding cake the star of the show
A wedding isn’t complete without dessert, so why not make your wedding cake the centerpiece of your outdoor decorations. Compliment it with your other sweet treats and you can easily make a dessert table that your guests won’t be able to resist!
Cookies and cupcakes also make for great wedding favors, so if this is something you’ve been considering then displaying them next to your cake will definitely get your guests’ mouths watering.
Remember to accessories with cake stands and displays for that full ‘wow’ impact!
Dance the night away on your home made dance floor
Part of the charm of a backyard wedding is having the freedom to do what you want and just because your wedding is outdoors doesn’t mean you have to fall short in the way of entertainment.
Consider creating your own dance floor. This could be as easy as building one out of wooden palettes or, you could simply even designate a space on the grass for your friends and family to break out some dance moves (provided they dont mind getting muddy shoes!).
Bring out some lawn games
It wouldn’t really be a backyard wedding if there weren’t any lawn games. A great way to entertain guests during your reception, games like giant Jenga, ladder ball and even croquet are sure fire ways to keep your guests and kids happy!
If you want a more DIY approach to lawn games you can have a look online at lots of fun and affordable ways to recreate such as milk bottle ring toss or bowling. Even look to fill a tub with water and you can create your own hook a duck!
If you’re planning a fall wedding, pumpkin carving and apple bobbing are great activities to consider.
Keep your guests comfortable
Since you’ve chosen to hold your nuptials outside you will need to prepare for changes in the temperature throughout the day.
If the weather is looking hot, a great way to keep guests comfortable is to provide them with fans or parasols to help keep cool in the midday heat. Providing some areas of shade and plenty of refreshing water is
When the night begins to draw in, blankets and shawls are the best way to help your guests cozy up and keep warm. They also make for lovely, meaningful wedding favors that your guests will treasure for a lifetime.
Make a fire pit and s’mores station
Another great way to keep your guests warm in the evening is by creating a fire pit. Not only will this keep your guests nice and toasty but it will provide an intimate and romantic atmosphere.
Guests can gather around the fire in small groups and laugh and drink the night away. Not to mention you can set up a s’mores station for a cheeky late night snack. Make sure to add a sign so your guests know where they can grab some marshmallows and get toasting!
Include your furry family
For many couples, their pets are like family members and when you’re tying the knot it wouldn’t feel right to not have them there. So if this sounds like you, consider getting your pets involved on your big day.
At home nuptials are the perfect environment for your pets as they are already familiar with the setting and won’t feel anxious or uncomfortable!
If you’re holding your wedding in a family member’s backyard they may be more than happy to let you bring your four legged friends for the whole day but if that’s not possible then consider hiring a dog sitter who doesn’t mind bringing them down for a special family photoshoot.
Say it with sparklers
There’s nothing quite like ending a night with sparklers, but what is it that makes them so magical? Perhaps it’s the look of childlike wonder they ignite within people as they wave their hand into the night or maybe it’s simply because they look so pretty. All we know is, they are a great way to grab your guests hearts and attention.
Sparklers really make for an awesome and exciting way to end the night and a great activity that everyone can enjoy. They also allow for some really cool photo opportunities so make sure you have the cameras ready!
Setting up a station is a fun way to display your sparklers and makes it easy for your guests to spot. Don’t forget about personalised sparkler tags either! These are a really cute idea for wedding favors that help to make the moment feel all the more special.
So whatever the reason for your backyard wedding, make sure to use these ideas to help transform your backyard into a beautiful wedding venue that all your friends and family will remember for years to come.