8 Tips for Planning a Dreamy Colorado Backyard Wedding

Are you thinking about throwing a backyard wedding in Colorado? This post has some great planning tips for your special day that you won’t want to miss!

Backyard wedding reception area with tables, place settings, and string lights hung from large trees

Have you been thinking about planning a backyard wedding ceremony or reception in Colorado? Especially during these times with COVID-19, a small, backyard ceremony is a great alternative to a larger, traditional wedding. And it certainly isn’t any less special! You can save on some of the costs of a traditional venue, and put that toward other aspects of your day. You also have a lot of freedom with how you set your day up! You can make your backyard wedding into anything you’d like! Check out these planning tips for making your special day amazing!

1. Don’t underestimate the planning

Your backyard wedding can be as simple as you’d like it to be, but sometimes the planning steps really can add up! From preparing the backyard, to buying and setting up decor, arranging food and a bar, etc., there are almost as many steps (or possibly more!) as a traditional wedding. Of course, don’t forget about things like the clean up afterwards! 

2. Consider an Airbnb or VRBO

Not everyone’s backyard is well suited for a wedding. You could always use a friend or family member’s yard, or instead you could consider a renting an Airbnb or VRBO. Always remember to check the property rules and confirm your plans with the owner before booking

Check out this post with more info on Colorado Airbnb Weddings and Elopements!

3. Set the mood with your decor

How you prepare and decorate your yard will really set the mood for your day! Think about your preferred style (rustic chic, boho, elegant, etc.) and check out Pinterest for inspiration! String lights are always a beautiful touch!

Don’t forget that you can also take advantage of existing features in your backyard for decor. Have a large, beautiful tree in your backyard, or a flowery garden? Find a way to incorporate these areas!

4. Make use of rentals 

When it comes to things like chairs, tables, heaters, tents, decorations, and other items you’ll need, it often is cheaper to rent these things than to buy them. There are plenty of wedding rental companies in Colorado that can provide these items!

Here’s a checklist of items you might need for your Colorado backyard wedding:

  • Tent
  • Chairs
  • Dinner tables
  • Cocktail tables
  • Serving tables to put out food, desserts, and cake
  • Bar
  • Gift and guest book tables
  • Signage
  • Ceremony backdrop
  • Decor and centerpieces
  • Table linens
  • Place settings
  • Lighting
  • Speaker system
  • Photo booth 
  • Lawn games
  • Dance floor
  • Food prep and storage equipment
  • Generators
  • Portable restrooms
  • Trash and recycling

5. Separate ceremony and reception spaces

For your backyard wedding, you’ll likely need a separate space for your ceremony and another for your reception. You may be able to move chairs from the ceremony area to the reception space, but the reception space will probably need to have tables set up already. You may also have things like an outdoor bar area set up in the reception space that you probably won’t want in your ceremony area!

Bride and groom walking down the aisle of their backyard wedding in Colorado

6. Consider the season and potential weather

We all know that here in Colorado the weather is notoriously unpredictable! So there’s no way to know exactly what you’ll get for your wedding day. But depending on the season you should be able to narrow down the possibilities.

It’s important to have a plan in case there is rain or snow. If it could be hot, make sure there are enough fans, and heaters in case of cold. It’s important to keep your guests and vendors comfortable, dry, and safe.

Another thing you’ll want to consider with the seasons is your outdoor lighting. There is obviously much more daylight available in the summer than in the winter. If you’re planning a 4:30 PM ceremony in December, you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient artificial lighting since it will be dark by the time your ceremony ends!

7. Talk to the neighbors ahead of time

Talking to your neighbors in advance about your plans can help prevent unhappy complaints about the noise or parking situation. It can help to give them a day of contact in case they have any issues (but choose someone other than the bride or groom)!

8. Don’t forget…

Planning a backyard wedding instead of using a traditional wedding venue can lead to a few things being overlooked. Don’t forget about these important aspects of hosting a backyard wedding!

Parking

Parking is often one of the most overlooked aspects for a backyard wedding. You’ll want to make sure there is enough parking for your guests and also for all of your vendors! 

You may also encourage people to carpool or take an Uber/Lyft if there won’t be enough parking to accommodate everyone.

If there are certain areas where parking is not allowed, be sure to set up signage!

Bathrooms

Depending on how many guests you have, one bathroom might not be enough! A good rule of thumb is that less than 20 guests are probably okay for one bathroom, but more than that you’ll want to consider your options. You can always rent bathroom trailers or other portable restrooms. 

Also don’t forget to set up signage to point guests in the right direction toward the bathroom, so you’re not answering the question, “Where is your bathroom?” all night long!

Power

Depending on your lighting and speaker setup, the power from your house may not be enough. Make sure to check into this if you’re renting equipment, and get a generator if needed!

Food Preparation

If you’re hiring caterers or a private chef, the staff will need an area to set things up. Talk to your food vendor to make sure they will have adequate space for their needs!

Are you planning a Colorado backyard wedding?

I’m more than just a photographer. Helping couples create their dream day is what I do best!

Get in touch and let’s chat about your vision!

Get more elopement and microwedding info here!

Or check out more elopement planning resources…

A complete guide to Airbnb Weddings and Airbnb Elopements in Colorado
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Elopement Photographer Kim from Wild and Found Photography

Hi I’m Kim, a Denver, Colorado based photographer specializing in Adventure Elopements in Colorado and worldwide! Photographing couples on the most special day of their lives is a true honor for me. But I’ve made it my mission to take it one step further than that. When you work with me, you’re getting more than just a photographer. I’m here to help you with all of the planning resources you need to have the most amazing elopement day ever! That includes everything from assistance with location ideas, timeline planning, and lots more free resources. So you can forget the work, and focus on having fun!

Colorado Backyard wedding planning tips cover photo

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