Paradis Photography
top of page
  • Writer's pictureChantal Paradis


Updated: Feb 8, 2019

back yard wedding portland maine wedding

Have you contemplated the idea of having your wedding in a backyard? If so, this post is for you!

You can invite your furry friends

Kids smiling and a man with a dog sitting in his lap and a woman petting the dog's head

No deposits, no breed restrictions. If you want Fido to be your ring bearer you can totally do that! Just keep in mind someone will have to tend to and clean up after them should there be any #2s!

You will save money

Having your wedding in a back yard means you'll likely need to rent things for the event. But the good news is even these costs are less than most wedding venues.

You can choose any date

You might not have thought about this, but when you're the only bride at the venue you have your choice of any date! So, if you want that prime Saturday in June and only 6 months to plan, you can totally do it!

You can keep the guest list small

Because a backyard wedding tends to be more intimate than a wedding at a traditional venue, this is the perfect reason to keep your guest list small. Unless you’re getting married in the backyard of a multi-acre mansion or a giant farm field, there simply won’t be enough space to accommodate a large guest list.

The sentimental factor

I love the idea of saying "I do" in a field you used to play in as a kid, on family property, or even the lawn of the house you two just bought. This reason is totally priceless!

Just married bride and groom happily walking down the aisle at back yard wedding in maine



Food prep, sound, lighting, and other aspects require a certain amount of power that may not be easily accessed in a back yard. Check with your caterer to find out what equipment they’ll be using and DJ to find out how much power their setup needs, then ask your wedding planner and the generator rental company for help in choosing the power sources that will fit your needs.

Lit wedding tent in the night full of people


For a guest list greater than say, 20 people you're going to want to provide additional toilet facilities. There are so many options for upscale portable toilet trailers that provide a comfortable experience, including lighting, mirrors, sinks, and — most importantly — more space than traditional port-o-potties! Putting out a nice "emergency" kit with mints, hand sanitizer, band-aids, kleenex, and other toiletries will help guests feel at ease. Plus, this will save a lot of headaches on the day-of because you won’t have everyone walking through the house and you won’t have to fix an over-used bathroom system.

maine backyard Wedding ceremony in a field

Yard Maintenance & Setup

You might consider hiring a landscaper to take care of all the design and maintenance so it’s one less thing on your to-do list. At the very least, you need to cut the grass a few days before the wedding. One thing you absolutely can’t forget to check is that the ground is level enough for chairs, tables, and a dance floor. If you’re renting a tent, their professional team will be able to check and let you know if they need to lay a foundation so the dance floor is level.

Adirondack chairs in a backyard wedding reception


As much as you don’t want to think about anything bad happening on your special day, it’s best to be safe than to be sorry if an accident does happen. Contact your homeowner’s insurance to see what is covered, such property damage outside or inside the house. Then contact your vendors to find out what insurance they carry. You might have to purchase supplemental insurance, but your vendors’ insurance might also provide enough coverage for certain areas, such as bartenders.

His vows blue notebook in groom's hands


Before you get too far into booking vendors, you must check with your city officials to find out if you need permits to host a large part at your home. There might be noise ordinances, fire codes, health department regulations, and zoning issues that you don’t want to violate. In some cases, your vendors might need to file additional paperwork, so be sure to include your wedding planner on any meetings with or emails from the city clerk’s office. Your planner should either be able to coordinate with the vendors to file the paperwork themselves (usually for an additional fee) or file the paperwork for you.

Bride, groom, and guests dancing at reception


A month or two before your wedding, notify your neighbors of your backyard wedding plans. This will give them plenty of time to plan ahead, rearrange any plans that might conflict, or plan a night away. Give them as many details as possible, such as the exact time of your ceremony, so they know when you’ll need some extra quiet and let them know where your guests plan to park in case they have concerns about street parking. If you’re going to tell your neighbors in person, we recommend also giving them a written schedule so they have all the details for the day-of. You could even include a small gift, such as a pair of earplugs, as a token of appreciation for their patience. A little consideration will go a long way in keeping everyone happy!


While you're checking on permits with your city, see if there are ordinances for parking at certain times or places.

Gold Mr * Mrs wooden signs at head table at wedding


This is one of the most important details to keep in mind when planning your space and your rentals. A group of 20+ people will produce a lot of trash over an entire day, so you’ll need to rent plenty of trash and recycling bins to collect it all. Your caterer might even take care of emptying the bins throughout the day, so ask if that’s a service they offer. If not, you might want to designate or hire someone to monitor the bins so they don’t get too full and cause an unpleasant sight or smell.

Groom lifting bride while dancing in their backyard wedding

Plan B

Weather happens. It’s best to have a Plan B just in case it rains or even if it’s unseasonably hot or cold. With enough planning, your Plan B can be just as incredible as Plan A. If your house is large enough, move the party inside. If you’d rather keep it outdoors, put a hold on a tent early so that it’s ready to be picked up in case you need it. If you do go the tent route, ensure that the sides are completely covered to protect against the rain, bring in small fans to beat the heat, or rent propane heaters to keep your guests warm. The hope is that you don’t have to go to Plan B, but it’s best to have a plan in place ahead of time so you’re not scrambling at the last minute.

bride and groom in maine woods


First, and most importantly, you want to work around the light. Try to avoid having your ceremony during the harshest light to ensure you get beautiful photos. Second, You might consider doing all your photos before the ceremony so you can go straight to cocktails with everyone else because guests won’t be traveling between events, you want to ensure there is no downtime.

You'll want to be considerate of your neighbors. You might need to cut your party short, or ask everyone to head out to an after-party at a bar or restaurant, so you’re not keeping your neighbors awake until the early morning hours.

Mr & Mrs red Adirondack chairs with pillows


You might not have to rent all of these depending on your vision, maybe some can be DIY or donated! This will be in addition to the essentials like wardrobe, rings, and the marriage license.

Here are the rentals you’ll need for a backyard wedding:

Ceremony Chairs

Ceremony Backdrop

Ceremony Decor


Reception Chairs

Dinner Tables

Cocktail Tables

Serving Tables

Gifts Table

Guest Book Table

Dessert Table

BarPlace Settings


Centerpiece Vases

Table Decor

Dance Floor


Overhead Decor

Photo Booth

Food Prep/Storage Equipment


Portable Restrooms

Trash and recycling bins

19 views0 comments


bottom of page