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Backyard decorated with flowers and chairs
What to do before saying “I do”!

You’re in love! And now that you’ve decided to tie the knot, there’s so much to consider—including where you’ll host your nuptials. If you’re like many people these days, a backyard wedding is appealing for many reasons. While cost, privacy and convenience top the list, perhaps the most important reason of all is it’s the place you call home and has special significance for you. With all that in mind, planning the ceremony and reception is still a big project and can take months to pull together, so we’ve created this handy guide to help you. Here’s a look at the top things to consider when planning your backyard wedding:

1. Intimate or extravagant?

Unless you live in a mansion that sits on a sprawling estate, chances are you don’t have acres and acres of room. So the first consideration is how many people you’ll be inviting and where they will all fit. Keep in mind that for at least every two people (if not every one) there will also be a car, so be sure to consider parking logistics as well.

2. Creating a picturesque setting

Depending on the time of year you plan to wed, you may want to consider planting a variety of flowers that will bloom just in time for your momentous event. Visit a local nursery or garden shop for advice on which flowers bloom and when—that way you can make your selections and plant them in time so they all blossom beautifully by your wedding day.

3. Hire an officiant

Some wedding officiants will not perform ceremonies outside of their venue (church, synagogue) so be sure to find one that will be agreeable to your backyard plan. Book early, especially if you’re planning a wedding during the more popular times of the year like summer and fall, that way you can get the date you want.

4. Tables and chairs and tents—oh my!

Do your research and find party and event rental places that are close by and serve your area. Make a list of the items you’ll need to rent because nothing is worse than forgetting silverware for 150 people! Among the things you’ll need to include are tables, chairs, and dinnerware as well as place settings, tablecloths, and wine and champagne glasses. Optional items include a tent, wedding canopy, portable restrooms and a dance floor.

5. Decorations and flowers

You can go big or keep it low key, but even the smallest backyard weddings have flowers and decorations. Check out some of the choices your local florist offers and do some searching online for inspiration. If nothing else, a bouquet for the bride and boutonniere for the groom are usually in order.

6. Music and merriment

A wedding isn’t quite the same without music, so explore your options and make a choice between a live band and a DJ. Check out some of the local bands playing around town and see if their style suits yours. DJs can be directed as to which type of music you’d like best and will often bring a large selection to choose from.

7. Don’t forget the food (and drink)!

Appetizers and hors-d’oeuvres or a full sit down meal? When you host in your own space you can serve whatever you want, so feel free to make it as fancy or casual as you wish. Check out the cost of catering or even consider enlisting the culinary services of your family—often family members are delighted to be part of the ceremony. And don’t forget to include beverage options, you can save a lot by just providing a few bottles of champagne for the toast and then later just serving water, tea and soft drinks.

8. Prep the yard

Be sure to inspect the yard ahead of time. Things like holes, hidden sprinklers, areas with lots of dirt or dead patches of grass should all be addressed in a timely manner. The ground needs to be level for the dance floor and tables—and to ensure things (and people) don’t fall. Also, make sure there’s no chance of your guests getting bitten by mosquitos and other biting insects by installing an automatic misting system that will eliminate these party poopers for good.

9. Invite and/or alert the neighbors

Whether you’re close with your neighbors or not, it’s important to at least alert them of your backyard wedding plans. If you’re not close enough to invite them, letting them know will at least ensure that they don’t get miffed by the noise and if you’re lucky, may even consent to allow your guests park in their driveway.

10. Rain or shine?

It goes without saying that you probably don’t want to plan your backyard wedding during the frigid winter months (if you live anywhere else but Florida and Hawaii). But also keep in mind the times of year when you get the most rain. Choosing the season that offers the mildest temperatures and the least amount of rain is always advisable.

As you head into what promises to be one of the most exciting times of your life, we want to extend our most heartfelt congratulations! We’d love to make sure that the only guests arriving are the ones you’ve invited, so contact us today about making your special day completely mosquito-free!

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