Are you planning a backyard wedding? Whether you're going for an informal, casual BBQ feel or an upscale formal event, you'll want to make sure your backyard is in tip-top shape for guests. Here's a great time line for planning your backyard event:
- A year out: Take a critical look at your backyard and make a list of projects you'll need to complete. Keep in mind that most experts recommend 8 open square feet of space per guests for a seated ceremony and four square feet per guests for a seated one. If you want a dance floor, add another four to five square feet per person. After you complete your project list, start your construction time line and budget.
- 9 to 12 months before: Meet with your local nursery to see which perennial plants will be in season during your wedding. Some plants need to be in the ground a year in advance, while some annuals can be planted just weeks before your event. Some plants can even be rented for the weekend (and these work great for filling in bare areas in the lawn). Think about adding color and texture to the space. Consider adding plants or trees to hide unsightly views (pretty fences work, too!). You may want to also add lighting to create focal points or enhance the ambiance.
- 6 to 8 months before:Book a contractor if you plan to build a patio or a paved aisle. They can also fix cracked cement. Reserve a tent and heaters or fans, plus tables, chairs and linens. Also book your portable toilets. You should have one for every 50 to 75 guests and put them in a shady spot away from food areas.
- 2 to 3 months before: Repair and paint your shed or backdrop (you'll want to have a focal point for your ceremony--bring in an arch if you don't have a good tree, gazebo, etc.). You can also cover the exterior with floral swags, ribbon streamers or banners. If nothing will make it look good, consider moving the shed. You'll need to re-sod the grass that was underneath at this time. You may also want to bring in a lawn care expert to reseed any bare or dry patches in your yard. They can also fix any protruding tree roots, remove low hanging limbs or any trip hazards, and fix holes in the yard.
- 6 to 8 weeks before: Move swing sets, playhouses and old furniture sets into storage. Repair grass underneath.
- 3 to 4 weeks before: Refresh your deck by repairing any lose banisters and slats or steps. Look for cracked boards and protruding nail heads. Consider power-washing or re-staining.
- 3 weeks before: Find a local electrician and plumber whom you can call in an emergency the day of the wedding. Repair any leaky faucets or sticky toilet handles.
- The day before: Mow the lawn. If you fear a bug problem, such as mosquitoes, bring in an exterminator to fog the area.
- Day of: Enjoy!
If you've had a backyard wedding and have additional tips, let us know by leaving a comment on the blog!