Where to Spend and Where to Save When Planning a Backyard Wedding

When planning any wedding, it’s important to pay attention to your budget. Backyard weddings are often selected as a way to save money, and if you do them correctly they can, but if done incorrectly, backyard weddings can easily cost as much—or more—as weddings in other venues. That’s why it’s important when planning a backyard wedding to think carefully about where to spend your money and where to save it.


If you have a beautiful location, décor is often one area you can scrimp a little. Mother nature can provide wonderful natural décor and lends itself to being a gorgeous backdrop for photos. Choose a wedding theme and colors that will lend themselves well to your location so that all you have to do is add a few personal touches to make the area come alive.

When your wedding is outdoors, you can also save money by avoiding expensive floral arrangements. Flowers are used as a way to bring nature into your wedding day. When your wedding is outside, you’re already including nature, so lots of flowers are not a necessity.


Food is another area you can choose to really save money during your backyard wedding. Caterers are expensive, and the moment you tell them that they’re catering a wedding, you can bet they’ll add a 0 to their prices. Instead, consider having a potluck at your wedding, with each of your guests bringing a dish. Potlucks can be great, and not just for financial reasons. If your guests each bring a dish, there’s sure to be something at the wedding that everyone will eat, which leads to happier guests. It also feels more personal, and there’s a sense of blending the two families together when people from both sides of the wedding party are bringing food to share.

You can also do a BYOB backyard wedding, which prevents you from spending a lot of money on alcohol. That said, you may want to consider purchasing a bottle of champagne for each table to toast with if that’s a part of your evening you’re going to want each of your guests to participate in. You’ll also definitely want to have cold water aplenty throughout the day, and you may consider having one other non-alcoholic beverage on offer.


Traditionally, there aren’t a lot of expenses associated with the actual wedding ceremony, but there are a few things you may want to consider, especially with a backyard wedding. For one thing, you’re definitely going to want to have enough seats for each of your guests. This is not an area to scrimp: No one is going to want to stand all evening, and you’ll want your guests seated during the ceremony so that you can get good photos of you and your spouse standing together.

You’ll also want to invest in a microphone so that everyone can hear the ceremony. Many ceremonies have been ruined because only the front row or two can hear the bride, groom, and officiant. Check out microphonegeeks.com for reviews on microphones and to locate an inexpensive microphone that will enhance the audio on your wedding day. Keep in mind that you can use the same microphone during the ceremony and, later, during the reception so that your guests can hear the toasts and other announcements.


Music is a big part of your reception and can make or break whether your guests think of your wedding as a fun wedding or just an okay wedding, so think twice before deciding to just stream your Pandora station through your smartphone. Consider hiring a band or DJ that’s practiced not just at playing music but on getting your guests up on the dance floor.

It’s totally possible to have the wedding of your dreams without emptying your bank account to do it. Considering where to spend your money and where to avoid spending your money can help you make the most out of even the most frugal wedding day budget.