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Hosting a Backyard Wedding

How to host a wedding in your own backyard

By Shealyn Angus

Exchanging vows in your own backyard can be overwhelming, but it can also be quite rewarding. Tying the knot close to home is a reflection of the couple's willingness to be creative and to keep their big day personal. It also allows the bride and groom the opportunity to customize details regarding décor and food that may not be possible with a public venue. And while homegrown weddings may not have as many restrictions and rules as say, a hotel or hall, there is still a lot of planning, negotiating, and measuring to do, not to mention, making a high-stakes deal with Mother Nature.

First steps to organizing your backyard wedding
The first task in organizing a beautiful backyard bash is to decide what kind of a wedding you want. Is this going to be a one-venue celebration, where the ceremony and reception take place in the same area? What kind of reception do you envision? A cocktail soirée, where guests are invited to walk around, socialize, and snack on foods from stations or passed hors d'oeuvres? Or is a seated dinner more your style? The overall vision for the fete is an important place to start, as it will factor into table and chair rentals.

Now that you've decided what type of event want, Mother Nature should be the next detail on your list. In short, a tent is a must if you're planning a backyard wedding. Whether you decide to tent the entire event space or simply the reception area, it is important to have some shelter from the elements. In order to install a tent, however, the ground must be level. Whether you decide to bring in flooring or not, rental companies will insist on level ground to guarantee the tent is stable. They will also need to ensure your space has the capacity for tent installation and tear down. A tent not only gives you peace of mind, it can also introduce ambience-creating décor options like lanterns to the event. In addition, lighting and sound equipment can be incorporated into tented structures, and your DJ or band will love the fact they don't have to perform exposed to the elements.

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