Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now the fun of wedding planning begins. Planning a small wedding with your closest family and friends is a special way to truly celebrate love. An easy way to make your small wedding even more personal is by hosting it in your backyard.
There are countless possibilities when it comes to hosting a backyard wedding in the comfort of your own intimate space. With no venue cost, few rules and little design restrictions, you have the freedom to transform your yard into the wedding of your dreams.
Whether you’re throwing a colorful fiesta, an elegant soiree or an effortless bohemian bash, we put together a list of 36 backyard wedding ideas for any couple. Remember to send out save the dates that are consistent with your wedding theme, so guests can plan for and start the countdown to your big day.
1. Set the Stage
If your backyard is all grass, designate an area to let loose and dance the night away. A dance floor can help to define the space and even out the ground (especially for ladies in heels!).
2. Eclectic Lounge
Designate a vibrant colorful space for guests to relax and enjoy a cocktail. Mix and match couches, vintage chairs and cushions with a big bohemian rug.
3. Natural Ceremony Arch
Create this simple arbor with a few pieces of wood. Try adding on a flower arrangement that matches your wedding colors to create consistency throughout the venue.
4. Let Sparks Fly
Set up a table for guests to grab a sparkler and let them know when the send off starts. Have your cameras ready for this special moment.
5. Rustic Wood Reception Furniture
Incorporate wood tables and chairs for the reception. Pair with white plates or shibori dyed napkins to give the dinner a relaxed feeling.
6. Adorn Your Wedding Cake
For a rustic or natural theme, display your cake on a wooden cake holder. Decorate with flowers and a wooden sign.
7. Entertain with Games
Allow guests and little ones the fun of playing wedding games like cornhole or giant connect four. It gives people an opportunity to interact with others they might not know well.
8. Long Center Table
Make the reception feel welcoming and open with a long banquet-style table. Guests will enjoy the warmth and cheer of celebrating the couple side by side.
9. Open Cabanas
Set up oversized cabanas on the grass to break up the outdoor space. Hang draping curtains for some depth and surround it with hanging potted plants and candle lit lanterns.
10. Potted Plant Favors
Create DIY mini garden-worthy plants for guests to take home. These are the perfect party favor for a spring or summer wedding. Try using custom flower pots for a unique touch.
11. Vintage Car
Take it back to the 1920s with a vintage delivery car. The happy couple can begin their life together by riding away in it after the ceremony.
12. Chalkboard Seating Chart
Map out the table seating with a giant chalkboard. This will be the first thing your guest’s see when they enter the backyard so be sure to include a welcome message.
13. Bring in a Mobile Bar
Convert an old airstream or camper into a whimsical drink station. Have a bartender manage the space and keep the drinks flowing.
14. Snap a Polaroid
Fill your guest book with Polaroid pictures of your guests. Have them write a personal note or word of encouragement to remember your special day.
15. Popcorn Station
Have some fun and set up a flavored popcorn station. Guests can help themselves and fill up their box whenever they please throughout the night.
16. Use a Simple Table Setting
Create an airy and spacious feeling with a dramatic white table runner. Line earthy eucalyptus, vintage bottles or fruit in season along the center.
17. Keep Your Guests Warm
Provide a basket of blankets for guests to wrap around themselves throughout the night. Draw attention to the blankets with a custom sign.
18. Twinkle Light Garland
String a canopy of lights throughout the yard to add a romantic glow. Not only will it make for pretty pictures, but provide ambiance for when the sun goes down.
19. Frame Table Assignments
Put a different spin on displaying guest table placements. Clothespin custom wedding placecards to wire and embellish it with a wood frame or florals.
20. Geometric Floral Arrangements
Are you planning on bold colorful florals? Attach them to fun geometric shapes or structures and hang for a cool design element.
21. Fresh Lemonade
Cool things down with a fresh lemonade, cucumber water or sweet tea drink menu. These choices are ideal for a summer backyard wedding bash.
22. Hanging Ornaments
Glass succulent orbs add a classy touch. Hang them from a structure or even the trees in the backyard.
23. Liven it up with Giant Jenga
Set up giant jenga for adults or kids to play during down time or gaps between the reception and ceremony. You can even personalize the blocks and put the couple’s initials on them.
24. Add a Vintage Cart
Use a old wheeled rustic cart as decor. You can even place bite-size desserts on top for guests to grab and go.
25. S’more Lovin’
A classic and sweet backyard treat guests will love! Set up a s’mores station for people to help themselves. Carry the same theme throughout your other desserts.
26. Create Open Seating
The ceremony seating doesn’t have to be stuffy. Use the open space to your advantage! Line long benches under the shade of big trees. Add aisle runners or flower petals to make the aisle pop.
27. Put Out a Family Style Spread
Display a charcuterie board guests can enjoy during the reception. A long wooden table, mismatched dishes and rustic signage help elevate the look.
28. Decorate the Sweetheart Table
Add a personal touch to the Mr. and Mrs. chairs. Try a custom sign or classy calligraphy to distinguish their seats from the rest.
29. Poolside Paradise
What makes your backyard different? If you have a pool, try setting up a bridge that connects each side of the space. Line it with floral arrangements.
30. Hanging Window Frames
Draw your guests’ eyes upward with pretty vintage window frames. Vary the heights of each and adorn the frames with colorful flowers, vines or even twinkling lights.
31. Eco Friendly Utensils
If you can, why not help the environment? Use eco-friendly or biodegradable utensils and plates for the cocktail party appetizers.
32. Add a Delicious Dessert Wall
Mix things up and add a fun design element to the otherwise classic dessert table. Besides, who doesn’t love donuts?
33. Serve Fun Cocktails
Seasonal cocktails add the perfect touch to any wedding. Use vintage, classy glassware. Guests can enjoy and refill their drinks all night long.
34. Rustic Hoop Decor
Take your favorite quote and turn it into an oversized hanging design. Make it the focal point of the ceremony or reception.
35. Customize Take Home Gifts
Send home guests at the end of the night with a meaningful and personalized gift that matches with your theme. The favors can double as table name place cards.
36. Go Out With a Sparkle
Being in the comfort of your backyard means you can get away with things you wouldn’t at a typical venue. Have guests light their sparklers and surround the couple at the end of the night for a stunning send off.
Backyard weddings are usually more laid-back and casual than other weddings, so why can’t the planning process be? Use this list of ideas to get started!
Plan ahead and order your wedding invites and programs all in one place. Whichever theme you decide on, be consistent with every idea and detail. Your breathtaking backyard wedding will be one that’s remembered for years to come.