the reality of a backyard wedding

I received a phone call recently from a bride who had an excellent question, and one I think a lot of other brides could probably use the answer to as well. She was considering hosting her wedding on a piece of family property, and wanted to know what things she should consider when deciding between her property, and an actual reception venue/building.

The key to creating a tented wedding on your own property (or even a rented space), is keeping in mind all of the rental costs you are going to incur. While a tented wedding may seem like the budget-friendly option, let’s take a look at how the numbers break down in comparison to a local venue that has a flat $2800 rental fee:

Tent Rental (main tent & catering) $1,600 Room Rental $2,800
Tent sides, in case of rain (10) $350
Lighting $200 Lighting included
12×12 Dance Floor $60 Dance floor included
Guest tables (19) $165 Guest tables included
Tables: Cake, gift, food, bar (8) $68 Tables included
Basic white linens for all tables $216 Basic white linens included
Chairs for reception (150) $565 Chairs for reception included
Restrooms $500 Restrooms included
Total $3,724
Total $2,800

I am not by any means saying you shouldn’t get married in a backyard or on a beautiful piece of family property—that can be a very meaningful and beautiful option for your wedding location—the thing you have to consider is if you are choosing that option only because it seems like the cheaper way to go.  Because in most cases, bringing in all of those rental items will cost you much more than renting a venue (not to mention all of the extra work for you and your family), and that’s something you should realistically consider when choosing between a tented wedding on private property, versus a reception venue.

Besides the actual cost, you also need to consider logistical issues like where everyone will park, if your music will effect neighbors or cause the police to be called, and what you will do in the case of inclement weather (ie. renting heaters), etc.! If a tented wedding on private property is something that is definitely the right choice for you, you can take a lot of stress off of yourself and your family, by hiring a wedding planner. A professional and experienced wedding planner will be able to ensure you aren’t forgetting or overlooking any of the key elements needed to make your tented wedding a success, and will help you and your family to actually enjoy your beautiful wedding day!

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This post was written by jessica


  • Michelle@MemorableEvents says:

    Fantastic post, people don’t realize how much work goes into an offsite wedding. I think they believe it will be easier. One thing I’ve heard people mention too is all the yard work that goes into it before the big day too.

  • Lisa Green says:

    Thank you for highlighting the costs of having a backyard / tented wedding! I come across many couples that are fixated on this idea for their day, but who don’t appreciate all the logistics that it takes to produce – you don’t just throw up a tent and call it a day – you bring in bathrooms {since the house doesn’t have plumbing that can’t handle 100+ visits}, generators {since the house doesn’t have electricity to run lighting, a band and a cook tent} and you have to build a kitchen for your catering company in order to serve food. There is also alot of wear and tear to the property, which many people don’t think about either. It can be done, but it takes logistics and wherewithall to make it a success. And, it normally costs more than a standard venue space as everything must be brought in and rented.

  • Laura Davis says:

    Wonderful post! We love doing home weddings, but most couples get sticker shock when they see the initial budget. There are so many details that need to come together for a successful home event.

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