As a homeowner, you've probably had your share of outdoor parties. Maybe it's been an intimate cookout or a big graduation party. The ultimate test is when your backyard is the chosen location for a wedding reception. A new caliber of expectations and challenges present themselves. Follow our guide to avoid major mishaps and honor the bride and groom with the venue of their dreams.
1. Bye Bye, Bugs
If you're looking to chase the guests off your property on the early side, you can skip this step. Nothing ruins a romantic wedding reception like allowing mosquitos to come in for a buffet of unsuspecting guests. Especially with a wooded or wet property, this is a must!
While the several highly reviewed consumer fogger sprays that connect to hoses are worth a look, for the most thorough and lasting effect we recommend hiring a professional to sweep the yard and foliage 24-48 hours before the big day.
2. Backyard Facelift
The most exciting part about hosting a backyard wedding reception is getting to perfect your backyard. The money not spent on a commercial hall can now be reallocated to beautifying your own space. You can begin months out by laying fertilizer in your lawn and knocking out the rest of the yard step-by-step.
When was the last time you laid new mulch in your flowerbeds or meticulously trimmed your trees? Maybe your driveway could use a fresh layer of stones or coating of blacktop. The manicure on the beach or pond better match what the bride is sporting.
While these landscaping projects can seem subtle, all together they make a show stopping impression. If you love your yard, this is what it's all about.
3. Prevent the Potty Dance
Once the seal is broken, you'll be glad we went here. During an average wedding reception, you can count on each guest using the bathroom 2-3 times…and probably more when alcohol is flowing.
To keep hundreds of strangers from wandering around your house doing the potty dance while waiting in a 5-person line, consider bringing in portable restrooms. If you have a septic, this is more than just a convenient suggestion, but one that could save you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Don't think Mr. Porta-John is the kind of guest you were hoping to have at your wedding? Step it up with rentable restroom trailers. Elegant and clean, your guests will feel like they are using the bathroom at an upscale hall.
4. Hired Hand
Once the big day comes, you'll have spent months primping and prepping everything in the yard! After the hours upon hours you have put into the perfect landscape, you deserve to relax and enjoy the day.
In addition to the caterers who will be serving the dinner, who will be emptying trash cans throughout the night? If you're setting out tubs of drinks…who will be refilling? If there is any work for setting up or cleaning up during the reception, it should not fall on you, the guests, the bride, or the groom. Hire someone for the day to keep everything looking perfect as you relax without a worry!
5. Time is Money
What's the best part of using a backyard instead of a commercial hall? Time is on your side. Hang the lights weeks out, set up the tent and tables days before, and come and go as you please. As some halls burden brides to set up the day before or (worse yet) the day of, the freedom to finalize decorations on your time is one of the most valuable perks.
Not satisfied with the rental company's drop-off date? Some companies will drop off sooner for a small additional fee. Depending on your schedules, the flexibility might be worth it.
6. Parking Spots
Make sure you think ahead for parking. Where do you foresee this tsunami of cars parking? Make sure it is clear for guests too, last thing you need is the groom's grandpa parking VIP on the dance floor. To offer a less intrusive VIP experience, rent a golf cart to shuttle guests from their cars to the reception especially if it's a bit of a hike.
7. Catering to the Caterer
While the bride and groom are front and center, it's best to keep the caterers out of the spotlight. Do you have a place for them to prep the meal, clear the dishes, and essentially disappear? Caterers appreciate a home base that allows them to get organized to do their job and relax without all eyes on them.
8. Plan B
No matter how hard you work in your yard or plan every detail, you can't control the weather. Do you have a Plan B? Maybe the ideal day doesn't include a tent, but with a deposit, you can have one on backup. Think through the final touches and big event – if there's anything the weather can throw off course, how can you prepare ahead of time?
May you amaze yourself with the fresh look in your backyard and create an environment the bride and groom will never forget! Anything we missed? Tell us on twitter @kujoyardwear!
CMO - Kujo Yardwear