Backyard Weddings

04/05/2016

 
Spring is finally here and that may have you thinking that a backyard wedding is perfect for you! There is a lot of planning involved, much more than just having a party at your house. Here are some tips for planning the backyard wedding of your dreams!

Budget

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Just because you are not paying a venue doesn't mean that a backyard wedding will be less expensive. There are a lot of rentals and incidental costs to consider which can actually make it more expensive. Keep in mind things like refrigeration and caterer friendly kitchen equipment (typically your home kitchen will not suffice), tables and chairs, decorations, portable restrooms, electrical power (usually the outdoor outlets cannot provide enough and a typical generator is not safe or quiet enough), dance floor, protection from the sun or rain, guest parking, etc.

We may sound like a broken record in our newsletters but we cannot recommend enough hiring a professional wedding planner, especially with something like an outdoor wedding.

Unpredictable St. Louis Weather

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Everyone knows to just wait an hour if you don't like the weather in St. Louis, it will change; sometimes dramatically.

Renting a tent with sides that can be quickly deployed is a must. DO NOT rely on pop-up canopies from the local store! Those are not safe in even moderate winds. They also are not very tall and can feel claustrophobic with a lot of people in them. A professional tent will be installed safely and provide plenty of room for your guests. Don't forget to give the caterers someplace protected to prepare the meals!

Not only will a tent protect your guests from the rain it will also shade them from the sun. Tents can even be heated or air conditioned if needed!

A nice touch is to provide plastic heel covers, hand fans, and bug spray for your guests to keep them comfortable.

Choosing the Right Food and Decor

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The decor and food should reflect your personal tastes and the vibe of an outdoor wedding.

It is easier for your caterer to provide grilled food at an outdoor reception, plus the smell of the grill will add to the ambiance!

Flowers should be hardy enough to take the St. Louis heat. Work with your florist to choose flowers that won't wilt quickly. Orchids and potted plants are ideal.

The decor should be heavy enough to not blow away in the wind. Napkins, menus, and place cards should be secured with tape or a weight to keep them in place. Anything hanging should be heavy enough to not blow around and be secure enough to not get knocked down by the wind.

Keeping the Neighbors Happy

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Keeping the neighbors happy can be as much of a challenge as the rest of the planning combined! Invite them over for lunch or dinner and drinks let them know you are planning to have a wedding at your home. If you can, invite them! If you can't invite them, giving them notice that allows them to plan accordingly.

Parking will be problematic. Contact City Hall about parking regulations so you know exactly where you can and cannot park cars. One solution is to hire a valet company. This will ensure cars are parked legally and your guests will not have to walk very far in an unfamiliar neighborhood. A second option is to work with a local business to use their lot and hire a shuttle limo bus to bring guests to the house.

Noise will be a concern for your neighbors. Work with your entertainment vendor to make sure it doesn't get too loud outside of the property. The layout of the wedding and the direction the speakers face makes a big difference in how far the sound travels. A professional sound company or DJ will be able to help you figure out the best layout. They will also have a sound level meter with them to ensure they stay within city and homeowner's association regulations on noise.

 


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    Author

    Josh has been a DJ in the St. Louis area for 22 years. In this blog he offers tips and ideas to help you plan your amazing event!
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