Portions of this post originally appeared here, and we felt we needed to share some of these planning notes and tips for our clients who are planning their private estate or backyard weddings: Having a wedding in a backyard or at a private estate is a great idea—think of it as a blank canvas—there is so much you can do here. However, there are a many more aesthetic and logistical details that need to be considered when planning your backyard wedding and here are a few things we like to discuss with our clients.
Every house has that awkward area that may be hard to coordinate with the look of the wedding. This could be the area where you keep your rubbish bins, or an area that lost its color and appeal. A great way to cover this up is by using wedding décor such as candles, larger plants, potted trees, decorative wooden gates or flowers (think hydrangeas, hibiscus, peonies, etc.). The possibilities are endless here; don’t be afraid to get creative. We're happy to help brainstorm ideas with our clients for ways to conceal some of these trouble spots.
If our couple has chosen a color scheme, we recommend hiring a landscape company to spruce up their backyard with flowers and plants that match their wedding colors. If possible, have these flowers planted the week of the wedding to avoid any potential weather mishaps that would destroy the plants.
Don’t forget the front of the house either; have flowers planted along the walkways of the house, leading to the backyard.
Nothing is worse than yellow grass or no grass at all! Make sure the grass is being cared for months before the wedding is even supposed to take place. Invest in weed killer, and/or grass food (there are many options here and we know many skilled landscapers who can help select quality products). A weed killer is a must if an outdoor wedding is going to take place; there is nothing worse than a bunch of weeds stealing the scene! Don’t water the grass during the day—this will turn it yellow!
Dancing the Night Away
Because the wedding is in the backyard, it’s very likely that the reception will also take place here. Consider renting a dance floor. Not only does this apply to dancing—but it’s also applicable to all those guests wearing nice shoes and high heels! This will make it easier for everyone. A dance floor can bring an elegant look and that “final touch” to the overall atmosphere to the wedding.
Another issue that may arise is the bathroom situation. There may be more guests than the household bathroom can handle; so it is always a good idea to rent a portable restroom for the wedding.
Now, don’t run away from this idea. You don’t have to rent those port-a-potties that we see on construction sites (ew!). There are actual luxury portable restroom trailers available to rent and we work with many of them on a regular basis. These can be extremely clean, affordable, and classy. Now you don’t have to worry about a long line in the house or possibly dealing with plumbing issues during the wedding.
Unless you are planning to shuttle guests from an offsite parking lot or location, don't forget about parking.One idea is to ask the neighbors if parking could be available around the house; but you can’t rely on the neighbor’s generosity here. Think about the nearby schools or churches, and have the guests park there (with permission from the school or church). Or, you could hire a valet parking service to direct traffic if there is parking near the home. Kai Squared Events is happy to help you calculate the amount of parking you'll need for your weddings and help you come up with some options for guest and vendor parking.
Letting the neighbors know that a wedding will be taking place isn’t only a generous thing to do for them, but it will save your sanity when the wedding day finally arrives. Make sure the neighbors know the date and the time of the wedding, so you won’t have neighbors planning a party the same day (more limited parking), or a neighbor spontaneously mowing the lawn during the vows. Don't forget a thank you note or bottle of wine (when appropriate) for after the wedding, too!
If you're planning a backyard wedding in Sonoma, Marin or Napa, please contact Kai Squared Events for a complimentary consultation. We'd love to help you tackle of all the things you haven't thought of yet!
Happy Planning! Xx Danielle