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Should You Have a Backyard Wedding? | Pros + Cons of Backyard Weddings | Alabama Wedding Photographer

Pros and cons of backyard weddings | Alabama wedding photographer

As a longtime Alabama wedding photographer, I've attended nuptials of all shapes and sizes, and backyard weddings are always a favorite. There's something so unique and personal about a backyard wedding, and each is truly one-of-a-kind. If you're a bride-to-be, you might be wondering whether you should plan a backyard wedding. There are significant pros and cons to consider before hosting a backyard wedding, and I'm here to help!

Pros + Cons of Backyard Weddings


Save money: Planning a backyard wedding is an excellent option for budget-conscious couples. Traditional wedding venues can charge a hefty amount for use of their event spaces and resources, not to mention additional fees for setting everything up and breaking it down, staff, facilities, and more. Hosting a backyard wedding cuts venue costs down significantly, so you can prioritize your budget toward other things.

More personal: Since backyard weddings are generally smaller (depending on how much space you're working with), they feel more intimate. Opting for a backyard wedding may require shortening your guest list, which ensures the only people who attend are the ones who matter most! Hosting your wedding in a personally significant space, whether your home or a loved one's property, also adds to the uniqueness and sense of intimacy.

Creative freedom: Backyard weddings are perfect for creative folks who want the ultimate freedom to plan the day of their dreams. You won't have to worry about venue policies or restrictions, allowing your imagination to run wild. Do you want a bouncy house for the reception? How about a fireworks show once you say "I do"? You can do it all! (But please, do your research before doing anything involving fire or the like. Some venues restrict this for a reason 😅😉)

Flexible timeline: Most wedding venues require booking far in advance, which can complicate scheduling and planning. If your heart is set on a specific season or date, there may be limited venue availability. You are also sometimes restricted to certain times for getting ready and ending your night, kind of like a check-in and check-out time for a hotel.

Backyard weddings can usually be organized faster, depending on what all you want included, so you don't have to wait months or years for your special day if you don't want to. Regardless of how quickly you want to get married, hosting a backyard wedding provides more flexibility and control over the timeline.


Finding vendors can be challenging: If you've never planned a wedding, you may be surprised by how much time and work it takes to find vendors. Depending on what you plan to offer at your backyard wedding regarding food, entertainment, and facilities, you may have to research many businesses before finding the perfect fit.

Planning stress: Many engaged couples opt for a traditional wedding venue because they don't want to worry about logistics, which is fair. Unless you hire a wedding planner or enlist the help of friends and family, you're responsible for coordinating the entire wedding day. This can feel overwhelming, especially if you're busy with work, family, and other everyday commitments.

Time commitment: Planning a backyard wedding is a time commitment, especially when you have to set up the space beforehand and break it down afterward. From planning and prep work to clean up, expect to dedicate some hands-on time to bring your backyard wedding to life.

Limited resources: One of the biggest cons for backyard weddings (and biggest pros for established event spaces) is the availability of important resources to meet your event needs. Are there enough bathrooms for your guests? Power, running water, a working kitchen? Is there a place for you to get ready? How about pretty backdrops or scenery for your wedding photos? These are all things to consider when planning a wedding, and may be a cost to examine when deciding on backyard vs venue.

Ultimately, I consider backyard weddings a fantastic option for creative couples wanting a special, intimate day with many personal touches. While planning a backyard wedding takes time and effort, the unique and unforgettable memories make it worthwhile. Either way, remember that your wedding day is about coming together as a couple to start your new journey side-by-side, whatever that may look like.

I hope this backyard wedding pros and cons list helps make your wedding dreams a reality!

xo, Jessi

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Jessi is a lifestyle documentary photographer based in southern Alabama, serving the Gulf Coast from Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL, along with the Nashville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta areas. She specializes in couple, wedding, maternity, newborn and family photography, and also enjoys commercial and creative portraiture. Available for travel worldwide. Find out more at

(c) Jessi Casara Photography


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