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Planning a Backyard Wedding? Here are my tips and tricks

Black and white photograph or bride and groom under a big tree in their backyard on thier wedding day

A lot of people dream of having a backyard wedding in their family home – the place they grew up in, and a place that means so much to them. Or perhaps in their own home – to create wonderful new memories, to reminisce in the years to come. There really are so many reasons to have a backyard wedding, so today we’re covering a few of the things involved, to get you prepared to host the backyard wedding of your dreams!

Backyard weddings are some of my very favourites to shoot. Not only do I get a chance to shoot at a new location (with its own quirks, magic, and, of course, photo spots!) but I’ve found that people are always more relaxed in a space that’s familiar to them. There’s something so special about capturing a couple’s connection to a location too!

It’s important to consider that a backyard wedding often involves a bit more work for you, your family and friends. You’ll need to pop your wedding planner hat on, because you’ll find yourself planning and arranging things you hadn’t considered before (normally wedding venues or vendors will take care of plenty behind the scenes!). Today, I’m breaking down a few of these bits and pieces to add to your backyard wedding to-do list.


First up (and some might say, most importantly), the food! The thing to remember here is that different caterers offer different types of service. My suggestion if you are planning a backyard wedding is find a caterer that offers a full service – including table settings, glasses and a bar. It’ll mean less for you to organise, and less unexpected surprises on the day (like realising you forgot to order glasses for your guests)!

Because, let’s face it – we live in New Zealand, and the weather here can be unpredictable at best! If you are planning a backyard wedding, you need to make sure you have a covered space big enough to accommodate all your guests. If you don’t have an existing sheltered space already but do have a decent bit of land, consider opting for marquees to keep your guests from becoming damp. A bucket of umbrellas for you and your guests to have at hand wouldn’t go amiss either! Otherwise, you might end up getting married in the garage (which I have seen happen!)

Be a good neighbour – if you’re hosting a backyard wedding in the suburbs, let them know to expect a few extra cars parked on the street and a bit of extra noise (telling them with a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine in hand generally makes the news go down a wee bit better!). If you’re friendly with your neighbours, you could also invite them around to join in the festivities in the evening.

On that note – it’s surprising how even ten extra cars can clog up the street, so if you don’t have a spare paddock for people to park in, encourage them to take a taxi, or put on a shuttle or bus for your guests. This also ensures a safe ride home after they’ve had a few drinks! 

Don’t forget the toilets! If you only have one in your house or don’t want people traipsing in and out all the time, hire some loos! Whether you go for an easy portaloo or some fully equipped portable bathrooms – you can’t put a price on having someone else to deal with that sh*t!

 Check out Sam and Ben’s amazing backyard wedding at Sam’s family home for some inspiration – and if you like what you see, keep an eye out, as I believe they are going to be offering it as a wedding venue to the public soon!

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