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Small Backyard Wedding on a Budget

Having a backyard wedding isn’t always the cheapest way to go. Even if you keep your guest list on the small side(up to 30 guests), expenses can quickly add up. That said, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you pull off a small stylish backyard wedding on a budget. Warning: a lot of DIY work is required but hey, you’ll get to handle all the details yourself –or at least hand them over to some very devoted friends & family!

Don’t get discouraged!
Venue costs can be a large part of your wedding budget, so think of the money you’ll save by skipping this all together! Well, sort of. . . wedding venues are designed to host events and they’ve got celebrations down to a tee. They’ve got the experience and expertise of countless events under their belt and a list of professionals they like and trust to get the job done right. Planning and executing your own backyard wedding will require a lot of time and effort, organization, and planning on your part but it can be done. You’ve just got to be committed and willing to do the work. Now, let’s get to it!
Indoor furniture set outdoors done right. Check out more photos from this great blog article "12 ways to bring the indoors out at your wedding."

Beautiful and inexpensive chair swag made from eucalyptus branches that will stay green for a while and also smell great! Find more great chair swag ideas here.

Beautifully mismatched wooden chairs look amazing with the right design and decor to tie them all together. We found this inspiring photo here.

Check out more great photos from this super helpful and inspiring blog article "Theultimate guide to planning a backyard wedding." Seriously this is a great resource for you backyard brides!

Something Borrowed. . .  Something blue . .
OK LOTS borrowed! And we mean lots! You could rent chairs and tables and plates and cups but we recommend borrowing as much of these items as you can and spending your money to rent table linens and/or chairs covers(if you don’t like the eclectic look) to tie things all together. Use the same chairs for the ceremony and reception. Several dining room tables from friends or family and some indoor chairs or even a few benches would work great for ceremony and reception seating(see image above). Tie flowers or drape swags of inexpensive fabric or ribbon from a craft store along chair backs for a united look. Bring a nice sofa(or sofas) outside for comfy seating and dress it/them up with pillows(new or borrowed) in your wedding colors. If done right- this could result in a very chic/posh look-if done wrong it may look like a redneck gathering—eek! As for eating utensils, plates, and glasses you can rent or borrow these too. Tie eclectic tableware together by mixing and matching patterns/colors/textures from different sets and renting napkins in shades of your wedding colors. Also keep in mind transport of the chairs and tables. . . calling all friends with trucks! (We also found this website where you can purchase table linens atwholesale prices-super affordable!)
Super affordable wedding garden arch for ceremony backdrop. Available from Target.

The Setting
By planning your wedding for the spring season you should have lots of natural blooms already sprouting. If your backyard needs a little TLC, choose some inexpensive varieties in 6 packs to plant strategically in areas that will be photographed a lot or where a majority of guests will be facing for the ceremony and reception(do this a few weeks in advance of your event because some plants will need time to perk up-if short on time use hardy varieties of plants like succulents or marigolds). Tidy up your yard by weeding and mulching your flower beds as well. Mulch is inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors, is easy to use, and looks good when you lay it down strategically in your outdoor space. Consider purchasing a simple garden arch to decorate as the backdrop for your ceremony. We found the affordable metal one (pictured above) at Target for just $138.

It would be best to have your backyard wedding in a space that could accommodate a separate ceremony and reception space. That way you can set up as much as possible(the tables and table settings, centerpieces and other table décor) before the wedding guests arrive. This will take a huge load off of you and your wedding helpers, and make the festivities transition smoothly. BTW you will definitely need help coordinating the day of your wedding so make sure to have 2 or more family members/friends (who are not taking part in the ceremony) to manage things such as catering, announcements (“Please take your seats the ceremony is about to begin. . ., etc.”), music, guest questions, and other host-ly duties. If you have the budget, a professional coordinator would work nicely too.

Keep in mind the needs of your guests and show courtesy to your neighbors. Especially if you live on a busy street with little parking. Consider encouraging carpooling or Uber for guests and be specific with parking directions. Let your neighbors know you will be having a party and remind them as the date approaches. It probably wouldn’t hurt to include a candy bar or a flower or gift card with a friendly note if you can. Also, consider renting some heaters if the weather gets cool in your area in the evening, be considerate of noise levels(if you don’t want police to shut down your wedding), and stick with a strict end time for your event.

The Food
I’ve heard of wedding potluck receptions but can’t imagine how one would keep everything hot and ready. Best to spend some of your venue savings on food and drinks and save the hassle of dirty dishes, oven duty, reheating, etc. Have your food delivered or catered by Chick-fil-a (order it in advance and make arrangements to pick it up  so it is hot and ready when you want it). Why Chick-fil-a? I was at a a huge family reunion that served Chick-fil-a and it was soooo good. They had something for everyone! But you decide. . . Have a drink station available for self serve throughout the event and even a small bar if you like (ask your helpers to keep it stocked & tidy). A dessert bar is super fun too, and could be an option for potluck style sharing with guests!
So cute & custom! It's affordable too! Get yours here!
Just 29.99 for a dozen! Great wedding favors. . . get yours here!

The Little Things
Details are what can make your backyard wedding shine, and you can take this step as far as you like(or as far as your budget will allow). Check out our previous blog posts on Affordable Wedding Décor for someinspiration. With a good mix of DIY projects and some online shopping you should be able to have fun with this part of the process. We found great onlineresources for renting flowers (centerpieces are just $20!) and with great craft sites like etsy you can get custom work done like this super cute wood sign for under $100(pictured above)! Save money on invitations by going with an e-vite option or find some low cost options like this one from etsy. Have a play list prepared for the day along with some ample speakers, use white Christmas lights for a little nighttime sparkle, install some nice up-lights, and bake your own cake or cupcakes. Don’t forget an easy wedding favor like a cake pop (you can DIY with your bridal party pals or purchase online-$29/dozen on etsy) and be sure to give a generous gift and recognition in your toast to those who help make your day a success. Much love and success to you as your plan your perfect backyard wedding!

You may also want to check out some of our past articles for DIY ideas, how to save money, and even more backyard wedding advice!

Did you have a backyard wedding? Want to share your wedding ideas and tips? Please do in the comments below! 


  1. Decorating ideas for brides on a budget:

  2. Tips for backyard weddings:

  3. Simple sweet wedding ideas:

  4. DIY wedding photo booth:

  5. Super simple DIY wedding decor:

  6. DIY wedding invitations:


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