(Closed) Will a backyard wedding reception be more stressful?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
2684 posts
Sugar bee

I had a backyard wedding.  I’ll start by saying that if you do not have the ability to rent a tent or to have some type of backup shelter for the backyard, do not pursue this idea any further.  Just don’t.  It would be way better in the long run to rent a venue for a guaranteed rain plan.  

One of the things I loved about a backyard wedding is the lack of caterer restrictions.  Even though your mom’s offer is very generous, having her cook isn’t the only option out there.  You could look into restaurants and food trucks for inexpensive catering packages.  We hired a food truck – they brought their truck to our house, did all of the set up, brought servers for cocktail hour and the dinner buffet, did cake service, and cleaned up.  They were professionals and the experience was very hands off for me.  All we had to do was purchase disposable plates, and rent the tables, chairs, and linens.  The best part was the price they charged us for this was way below what traditional wedding caterers were charging.  I’m pretty sure that you’d be able to find plenty of caterers just like them in your area who can travel to you and handle the dinner service.  Keep an open mind with catering and vendors if you end up moving forward with the backyard plan.

Post # 3
Member
7471 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Add  to your must-have list: adequate bathroom facilities. Are there at least 3 bathrooms in the house where the wedding would be? If not, then you’ll need to rent a portable one. Bathrooms for 40 people can be a very big deal, and a stressor you would not have to worry about if you opt for a venue instead of back yard.

Post # 5
Member
7897 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

So you’re expecting 40 guests? How big is your backyard? How big is your mom’s kitchen? Does she have experience with large amounts of cooking and prep? Have they had big events at home before?

It could be sweet to have the reception in your backyard. Unless your family has experience with large events at home, I would still try to minimize the extra work on your family if possible. If you did the backyard, you could have an outside caterer that’s more in your price range.You could also get some portapotties if you need. 

Post # 6
Member
9016 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Aside from the logistic issues I would also be mindful of the stress cooking for 40 people for her daughters wedding will put on your mother. I certainly wouldn’t want to stress my mother out like that.

Add to that the stress of setting up and cleaning up will have on you and any family that help out. I think this is something that brides and grooms neglect to think about when having family set up/pack down their wedding. Oh course family are going to say it is no problem but I think it causes them added stress because they are trying to make it perfect for the bride and groom and they may not be able to enjoy the day as much. When someone tells me their mother is cooking for their wedding all I can imagine is their mum slaving over a hot stove and then washing dishes for days after (think about how many dishes 40 people over multiple courses will make).

Is there anyway to get catering in? That way there won’t be the need to cook, serve and clean up for family members. That would at least lessen the stress and burden. 

Post # 8
Member
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

What does the venue include as far as tables and chairs.  These are going to add costs, which could even out your catering cost to do so on your own.   Everyone I have known who had a backyard wedding spent at least a months worth of weekends leading up to their wedding on their backyards making the yard look good. 

Post # 9
Member
7171 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
tigerlil:  Tenting is very expensive. Not only do you need a tent but you need lighting for it, table rentals, chair rentals, and basically rentals for everything. I’m all for a backyard wedding, but most people find it to be more expensive than a venue when they price out all the things they have to do for it. 

Post # 10
Member
784 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

View original reply
tigerlil:  We are having a more laid back reception. Not in our backyard but at a private club on the lake. That cuts the costs for added shelters, bathroom, facilities and even cuts down on us trying to come up with some activities as most people will be swimming afterwards. I am not even worrying about music and dancing, so our biggest expense will be the decorations (still minimal) and the food. 

Maybe a local park with picnic shelters and little to no rental fee is something to consider…??

Post # 12
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2015

A backyard wedding is the most expensive way to have a wedding if you are trying to do it like a regular wedding.  If you are thinking BBQ and just a few chairs and hanging around then great, but otherwise, yes you need to rent everything and it is expensive.  

Have you asked the venue if it is cheaper during the week?   Would you consider getting married on a Thursday if it saved you $2,000?  Or, could you do the ceremony there and have the reception somewhere else that is cheaper to rent and will let you bring in cheaper catering options?  There’s lots of options for cheaper weddings, and a wedding planner will actually save you money creating that event for you, as they know how to save you money and know all the tricks to get a cheaper wedding (believe it or not).  $100 per head seems rather expensive when you only get appetizers and a bit of champagne … it must be a rather ritzy venue or perhaps you live somewhere quite expensive?

Post # 13
Member
9524 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

$100 for just snacks and champange? That is way to high. You could have a bbq place cater the backyard wedding, usually they are pretty inexpensive and people love it. You should think of the bathroom situation. what options will people have? Renting would be expensive. 

Post # 14
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Maybe you should look for a different venue. $900 for a ceremony. We are only being charge for chairs for our ceremony. 

Post # 15
Member
7171 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
tigerlil:  Not all caterers provide linens and cutlery, in fact most don’t. In my area that stuff is all a seperate rental through an event rental company. We have a few caterers that include plates, but even for most they don’t do that. You’ll want to check with each catering company and then also price out what it would cost to rent it. And ALWAYS order more than you think you need. 

The fee for ceremony only seems really high. However, the fee for ceremony + reception is very reasonable…and I’m sure it’s priced like that to entice people to use it for both rather than just the ceremeony. 

I can tell you as a wedding photographer, never rely on things to just work out…..especially with the weather. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding a rain backup plan is a MUST.

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