Tips to plan an awesome Edmonton backyard wedding

Backyard weddings became a big trend for obvious reasons during the pandemic, and it looks like they’re here to stay – hooray! I love to photograph Edmonton backyard weddings! We have the best summers in Edmonton – great weather and super long days – everyone wants to celebrate! If your wedding is in the summer, it will be bright out until well into your reception, which is excellent for photos – and better yet, a great time to party on the dance floor with your loved ones!

If you are considering planning a backyard wedding (or an Edmonton acreage wedding), here are some considerations:

  1. Weather

Cue Alanis – ‘It’s like raaaaaaaain on your wedding day! ” Thankfully we live in Edmonton- usually it doesn’t rain all day long – we get rain showers in the mornings, and we get those glorious prairie storms at night.

If you’re planning an backyard wedding reception, you can rent a tent – most rental companies will put the tent up for you and take it down after the wedding, so that part is hassle free.

If you’re down with braving the rain and having an outdoor ceremony, you can buy an army of umbrellas for your guests and wedding party – they sell awesome clear umbrellas on amazon and other online retailers in multi packs of 12 for this very purpose (and they’re not expensive either.) You could even make them into a cute and practical party favor – an umbrella is an item people appreciate and will use again.

If your wedding isn’t too big, you can always clear a room of furniture inside your home the night before your wedding just in case the dance floor needs to move into your family room.

2. Food and drinks!

The BIGGEST advantage to throwing your own party, in my opinion, is food and drinks. You can do whatever the heck you want! You’re not tied down to using a certain caterer, or food or drink minimums, like you are at a venue or hotel. It’s easy to cater to guests’ dietary restrictions with tasty options. You can hire your fave restaurant to cater – more than one if you’d like!

And your alcohol will cost SO much less – you can hire bartenders if you’d like, a mobile bar service, or have a DIY bar. Low on booze? You can send a sober family member to the liquor store at midnight to stock up! Hosting your own food and drinks is a much more economical option than most venues offer, and you’ll have awesome food and drinks that you’ll love! If you’re a foodie, it’s the way to go!

3. Saving money!

Weddings are expensive! Put the money you’ve saved by not renting an expensive venue towards other wedding must-haves. Want to hire a great photographer? (I know someone! haha!) You can save money to put towards your home together, a dream honeymoon, or other investments in your future.

4. Freedom!

Yes – FREEEEEDOM! Freedom of food and drink options, and getting to decorate however you want.

You can also invest in your home or yard. Build a nice deck for your home/wedding, landscape your yard, plant some perennials, do some renos.

Decor is easy to find – you can rent everything you need, or if you’re ambitious, you can also start looking for things on kijiji or marketplace, or thrift shops. Thoughtful, personal touches like cherished photographs are always awesome, and perfectly suit the vibe of an intimate Edmonton backyard wedding.

If all the set up and tear down work is what’s stopping you from having a backyard wedding, I get it! You can hire a decorator or a day of planner to help you. If you don’t want people parading through your house to use the bathroom, you can also rent bathroom trailers – a bit classier than an outhouse.

5. Dogs and Kids!

Are you a dog person? ME TOO! (Please hire me if your doggo is in your wedding party so I can pet them.) If your wedding is in your backyard, your dog (or even your CAT!) can be your ring bearer. Your friends can bring their dogs too! Backyard weddings are great for those with children as well. Your kids/your friends kids can run around and have a great time in a comfortable, familiar setting.

6. Your guest list

A backyard wedding allows you so much flexibility when it comes to your guest list. Whether you need an easy excuse to pare your wedding guest list down to a reasonable number, or you have too many people for an Edmonton reception venue, a backyard wedding can accomodate your needs. If you’re experiencing family pressure to expand your guestlist, planning a small, intimate backyard wedding might take care of that for you.

7. The vibe

We’re always the most comfortable in our own space. Getting ready in your own bedroom, and collapsing into your own cosy bed in the wee hours when all the fun is done.

Published by Buffy Goodman Photography

Edmonton based wedding and destination wedding, family, and portrait photographer

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