wedding ideas

Backyard Wedding Ideas


For budget brides wanting a backyard wedding reception, check out these backyard wedding ideas. To find the perfect backyard, now is the time to "borrow, beg and steal." Or, if you happen to have a lush backyard, by all means, use it! Another option is to rent a house for the weekend in an upscale part of town--you'd definitely have to clear it with the owners and make sure you're abiding by noise ordinances, but if the yard is out in the country it could be perfect.

Here are the benefits to having a backyard wedding reception:
1) You can bring your own food and alcohol
2) It's way cheaper as a venue space
3) You can feel right at home and not the least bit awkward
4) No preferred caterer list, DJ, etc
5) The accessibility to things like a computer, kitchen, bathroom, changing room, are already built in.

I'm going to stretch the idea a little farther, now... some great backyard wedding ideas can be for apartments, too. Many apartments have clubhouses or a gathering space that could be perfect for a wedding. Some high-rises have great rooftop spaces that could afford incredible views.

Similarly, if you want a small elopement ceremony elsewhere, think about renting a large villa in Italy, Mexico, or wherever, and hosting the wedding in their backyard. Again, you'd need clearance but most places will happily accomodate... especially if guests stay there for a night or two. So, you get a primo backyard wedding reception with great views and a fraction of the cost of a hotel or golf course.

A last backyard wedding idea is to use an old historic site. These sites, usually owned by the state and have few rules. Below is a picture of Montpelier mansion in Maryland, great as one of many backyard wedding ideas, just 15 mins outside DC. Best yet, it only costs $1,150 to rent for the evening!

backyard wedding ideas

Okay, so I know this isn't technically a "free" backyard, and I'll likely dedicate a whole page to the practicality of using historic wedding sites, but they do make for great wedding venues.

Backyard Garden Wedding Ideas

For illustration purposes, I'll stick with a home with a garden as a backyard. The theme is casual and quirky.

Think about using white table cloths, but using many different colors and prints for the centerpieces, lanterns and candles. Think of your wedding like a dinner party that is laid back and classy at the same time.

backyard wedding ideas

The paper lanterns are from the Paper Lantern Store.

The butterfly candles are from Top Wedding Favors, though you could just as easily raid an antique store or dollar store to get multi-colored candles. Use common patio decorations like tiki torches or wrought iron candleholders.

I think this simple dress from Alix and Kelly is charming.

The shoes are from Steve Madden for just $30.

For food, I'd use Fondu makers and chocolate fountains. They're a ton of fun, each person can have their own individualized meal if you lay out assorted meats, vegetables, cheese, tofu, etc... you might have to get several of the fondu makers, but it could be a really fun, interesting idea. Plus, it would be unforgettable.

Some good flowers are tulips--bright, colorful, and often inexpensive.

For further ideas of how to transform a backyard into a beautiful wedding venue, see the gallery below:

I hope these backyard wedding ideas will make the day a bit more special. Way to go on saving money by opting for a free or inexpensive resource for your wedding venue!

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Some pictures of a back yard to consider:


For a destination elopement wedding, this is a Tuscan 2bd 1ba for about $120 a night on

rooftop wedding

Or, think about rooftops for a backyard idea.

For your backyard garden wedding idea, think about using potted plants or tall shrubs to make the yard greener. Plus, it would be a nice thank-you gift to whoever loaned you their yard!


Luminarias can easily be made from tea candles and brown paper bags. If you want something fancier, Martha Steward weddings gives some great how-to tips to make more elaborate ones.

wedding luminarias

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