Backyard weddings are very popular in southeastern North Carolina, and with good reason! With balmy weather nine months out of the year, gorgeous flowers booming three out of four seasons, and a plethora of historic homes, hosting a wedding in your own backyard can be a beautiful (not mention budget-friendly!) choice.

While the cost of a backyard celebration may be lower than renting out a church, restaurant, or ballroom, there are some unique things to consider when it comes to planning your backyard bash. The following tips offer suggestions and ideas. Follow them, and you’ll be well on your way to saying, “I do!”

Plan for the Space You Have

Most of us don’t live in sprawling mansions, which means your backyard wedding will likely have to be on the smaller side. When you craft your guest list, think of indoor and outdoor space, where the ceremony will be held, and how your guests will eat, drink, and dance. If you don’t want to trim your guest list too much, you can also get creative. Instead of a sit down dinner, hire one of Wilmington’s many food trucks to cater your reception. If the inside of your home is small, rent a tent in case of bad weather.

Give Your Yard Some Love

Your yard will be the main attraction (well, the happy couple will be the main attraction, but you know what we mean!). When you get married at home, your house, lawn, and gardens become the backdrop and add to the ambiance. Make sure everything is manicured, healthy, and cared for in the weeks leading up to the big day. Since you’re saving money on renting a venue, put it towards a professional landscaper and give your yard the makeover you’ve been dreaming about. Your excuse will be that it’s for the wedding, but the bonus will be that you’ll get to enjoy it for years to come. It can even raise your property value, helping you sell your home when you’re ready. Not bad for one day!

Be Prepared to Rent Everything

Very few of us own plates, silverware, chairs, or wine glasses for 50. You’ll probably also need tables, chairs, tablecloths, napkins, outdoor heaters and lighting… you get the idea. While traditional wedding venues often have these things on hand, the average home will not. Basically, if it will make your guests comfortable and your wedding beautiful, you’ll have to rent it. Oftentimes caterers can help you obtain everything related to cocktail hour and dinner; at the very least, they’ll know which local vendors are the easiest to work with!

Find Home-Friendly Vendors

Speaking of vendors, make sure you let them know that your wedding will be taking place in your backyard. Due to logistics, permits, and experience, some vendors maybe wary of or even unwilling to take on a backyard wedding, while others will embrace the challenge. Be upfront and you’ll find the right match quickly and painlessly!

Splurge on a Few Big Things

What are big things? Well, a tent, a dance floor, and restrooms, to name just a few! If it rains, you’re probably not going to be able to cram everyone inside your home. Lawns, no matter how nice, are not ideal for dancing. And portable restrooms have come a long way—many of the options are likely to be nicer than your own! These items will help you relax, enjoy yourself, and celebrate your big day free of worries—exactly how a wedding, no matter where it’s located, should be.

We hope these tips help you plan a great celebration! For more ideas on how to enjoy your home in every season, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Happy wedding planning!