Corporate and Special Event Planning

The Truth About Backyard Weddings

The Truth About Backyard Weddings

Our Backyard Wedding. Will it really cost us less?

The truth about your backyard wedding…

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard, “oh we’re just having an inexpensive backyard wedding” really? Let’s breakdown the truth of a backyard wedding budget.

This is not meant to scare you off of your dream wedding! But to assist in the planning, logistics, and budget process of a backyard wedding. I planned and had the backyard wedding of my dreams, that was 15 years ago and yes it still cost me $10,000 way back then.

So most reception venues you choose will have flexible rental rates depending on peak season, and day of the week, obviously with Saturday being at a premium. However venue prices are all inclusive meaning you get tables, chairs, dance floor, electricity, a/v equipment, heating, cooling(usually), washrooms, and kitchen facilities, onsite catering, bar services, and they setup and teardown tables and chairs in the space, and get rid of all the garbage! Rental rates vary but your local community hall can be as little as $250.00 per day, with specialty venues running up to $2000 for 2 day rentals.

Let’s compare a backyard wedding: we know you can’t control mother nature, so this means renting a tent($2800), and then there are all the other rentals, tables($95), chairs, dance floor($800), lighting($150), generator, linens($400), dishes, cutlery, glassware($1050), portable toilets($600). Finding a caterer to work off site, and of course putting your family into high stress mode for months of prepping the gardens and property for the big day, arranging site tours for the service providers that are arriving, like the tent company, and setting everything up and cleanup. There will be miscellaneous expenses that add up here, like delivery costs, etc ($400). The average 150 person backyard wedding is around $7500, before food and beverage, décor, Dj, wardrobe, flowers, accommodations, etc. This does not account for the number of hours it takes to source, price compare, meet with and confirm all your vendor bookings. I read an article about a bride bragging that her backyard wedding only cost her $5000.00 total – seems awesome right? Then I read she quit her job 6 months prior so she could plan it full time…um, not sure I now see the cost benefit there.

Insurance – venues carry general liability insurance policy, you will need to accommodate for this cost for your backyard wedding, and contact your home insurance provider. Venues generally also carry a liquor license, otherwise you will be responsible for an SOP and alcohol liability insurance as well.

Bugs and weather – cold, hot, wet, dry, windy – be prepared for anything in your backyard!

Oh and parking…venues have a lighted parking lot to accommodate the number of people onsite, can you accommodate parking at your private property?

Ok so you are asking how can I have an inexpensive backyard wedding? Keep it simple, limit your guest list so you do not have to rent a large tent, and other large amounts of rentals. Keep the food simple – can your favourite restaurant deliver and you eat off paper plates? Can family and friends all bring a dish to share? Limit the bar selection to beer and wine only. Write out what is truly important to each of you, ensure those details are met.

If you are still set on your backyard wedding but would like some help don’t hesitate to ask. We are experts at the outdoor wedding and we’d love to help.

Angela VanWingerden is a focused logistics dynamo with nearly 20 years of experience in the events industry. Since obtaining her BA of Commerce in Hospitality from the University of Guelph in 1998, she has built an impressive portfolio of weddings, corporate events and fundraisers for hundreds of satisfied clients. Angela enjoys the entire event planning process from chaos to order and back again. An avid trouble-shooter, Angela has her finger on the pulse of every event she manages. When on-site, she constantly monitors every element of the event to ensure client satisfaction. Angela works closely with staff and volunteers to ensure that they know what their duties are and she provides oversight at the event itself to ensure that all responsibilities and expectations are met. When she isn’t designing and coordinating awe-inspiring events, Angela loves spending time with her family.


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