Mission: Backyard Wedding. Objective: To Have A Good Time.

After ten years as a wedding planner, I’ve met with hundreds of couples planning weddings of all shapes and sizes. And I’ve noticed something interesting. When I begin the planning process, I ask what their wedding day priority is. And the answer, invariably, is always the same: brides and grooms say they want to bring their friends and family together and have a good time.

When hosting an at-home wedding, the stakes for “having a good time” are especially high. Because you are now not only the bride or groom, host, or guest of honor: You are now a representation of the venue itself. When you take on the task of transforming a private home into a wedding venue, you are completely in charge, and will have to make a many decisions about the amenities which will impact the experiences your guests’ have and the memories they make.

It is so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of wedding planning: the color of your flowers or the sauce on the beef entree. But if your ultimate goal really is to have a good time, and create a memorable and enjoyable experience for your guests, it’s not the flowers and sauce that will prove most important. Rather, while they are hardly glamorous, it is the big picture, big money decisions – timeline management, logistics and rentals like bathrooms and flooring — that will have the greatest impact on whether or not your guests  enjoy your backyard wedding.

What I ask clients repeatedly throughout the planning process is this: will the idea or item you are considering enhance your guests’ experience or hinder it? There are many choices that will no doubt matter more to you than to your guests: the color of your flowers, for instance. But this blog and my ebook are primarily dedicated to those choices that will have more impact upon your guests’ comfort, like tents and generators.

Photo made by Katie Stoops Photography.