If you’re looking to have an intimate outdoor ceremony, you must have thought about the average cost of a backyard wedding. These informal yet cozy celebrations are becoming trendy, but the expenses involved depend on multiple factors. To plan your dream wedding day, read on for an idea of the average budget to expect.
Average Cost for Backyard Weddings
Truthfully, a backyard wedding can be as expensive as the traditional, standard venue occasion. As you may already know, it all depends on how much you want to spend. If you’re not careful, though, some hidden costs may inflate the overall expense. Fortunately, you and your partner could have the occasion of your life on a budget with proper planning. And if we’re being real, you want to save some money. However, you don’t want to forfeit the immersive experience that could easily be the best day of your life, right?
In the United States, reliable data confirms that the average cost of a wedding is north of $27,000. And while most people dream of that flashy, posh event, the truth is that not
a lot of people can afford this price tag. On the bright side, that’s where the idea of a cheaper alternative comes in.
A backyard wedding can be as cheap as $500, but the cost can inflate to as high as $10,000, more if you go crazy with the trimmings. All the same, how much you spend on your non-traditional outdoor event depends on many factors, including the number of guests, decor, rentals, and more.
Typical Expenses of a Backyard Wedding
As mentioned, how far back your wedding day will set you is subject to multiple variables. And while we’re fully on board with the idea of cutting costs, there are some things you have to spend on. Thankfully, having your backyard as the venue of choice allows you to be as flexible with your expenses as possible. The following are the typical expenses for a backyard wedding.
Attire and Styling
What a couple wears to their wedding is probably one of the most memorable aspects of the occasion. Understandably, there’s the unspoken need to splurge on a luxe gown, suit, accessories; you name it. Moreover, the couple has to attend multiple fitting
sessions for a customized look. The entire venture costs quite a considerable amount, which is the exact opposite of what we’re after.
For a wedding on a budget, you can save a pretty penny by renting your attire instead of buying new stuff. As you’ll find out, most bridal boutiques have breathtaking pocket-friendly rentals that’ll blow your mind. And since we’re being flexible, did you know that you can also opt to wear clothes you already have in your closet? That’s the freedom you get with a non-traditional wedding!
As for styling, you can either DIY or hire professionals. The DIY route is, of course, the most affordable, but there are professional stylists to fit any budget. If you’re looking to spend $10,000 for the entire wedding, attire and styling should cost you around $1,200. For a $15,000 wedding, $2,000 should be more than enough.
For the ultimate wedding experience, you may need rentals like crockery and cutlery, chairs, tables, and decor items. But as is the case with most requirements here, you can substitute some rentals for items you already own. Depending on your number of guests, though, your kitchenware may not be enough. So, how much should you expect to spend on rentals?
Of course, the price of each rental item is subject to its size, design, and function. All the same, $35 per guest should cover it. With a maximum of 30 guests, therefore, expect to part with $1,050. Sounds affordable, doesn’t it? The best part about rented kitchenware is that you don’t have to deal with the mess of cleaning the utensils after the guests leave.
If you’re a couple that likes to be thoroughly prepared, a tent may find its way into your rentals, with the argument that you can’t account for the weather. It definitely pumps up the price. A small tent will have you parting with $500, with the price being directly proportional to the size.
If there’s an expense within which you can save a lot, it has got to be the wedding stationery you go for. There are a lot of DIY options here, and technology is also a great tool to exploit. For your invitations, you can digitize the RSVP process to avoid spending on cards and envelopes. You can also bring your bridal party, friends, and family on board to help with designing menus, programs, seating cards, and more. We promise it’ll be an endearing experience! For wedding invites, expect to spend around $250.
Decorations and Flowers
You can’t possibly have a wedding with no flowers, can you? Decorations are a mainstay of marriage ceremonies, and yours shouldn’t be any different. Again, you can DIY your decorations and flowers or hire a florist to work their magic. Since you don’t want to mess anything up in this department, we recommend the second option. You can find one for as little as $800. The more intricate your theme is, though, the cost may shoot up to $2,500.
Food and Drinks
Depending on whether you want to hold a Sunday brunch wedding or an afternoon cocktail event, food and drinks will set you back anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000, inclusive of the wedding cake. You can choose to skip the cake altogether or substitute it with something small like cupcakes. After all, it’s all about adding a personal touch. Of course, the final amount you spend here depends on the number of guests.
Hiring a DJ or taking a leap of faith with your playlist? The latter option costs $0, while the former may cost up to $2,000. Instead of splurging on this, have your bridal party control the music with some pointers from you. The sound system you already own has got your back in that department. And to spice things up, you can include board games, a mini treasure hunt, anything really, to pump up the entertainment at near-zero cost.
Planners and Coordinators
In our book, a wedding planner is a must-have for any type of wedding. They save the couple from all the stress that comes with crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s where the occasion is concerned. Consider taking on a planner who’ll also double as your day-of coordinator if you can afford it. For these two-in-one services, expect to spend around $2,000-$4,000. On the bright side, you can have your maid of honor serve as the day-of coordinator to avoid spending too much.
Photographers and Videographers
In the absence of venue costs, expect photography and videography to be the most expensive part of your budget. Similar to planners and coordinators, it is best to hire a photographer who’ll include videography in their service fees. Depending on the type of professional you go for, this service will cost you anywhere between $1,500 and $3,000.
Insurance and Permits
While some couples may consider insurance an unnecessary expense, it is advisable to get coverage to avoid liability for any unforeseen occurrences. Depending on the size of your event and the policy you go for, wedding insurance will cost anywhere between $200 and $2,000.
For permits, your municipality determines what you need to pay for. Common ones include a liquor license and fire and noise permits.
Hidden Costs to Consider for a Backyard Wedding
As we agreed earlier, a backyard wedding can be as expensive as a traditional wedding if you’re not careful. To keep things from springing up on you, you need to properly plan your expenses, including those that may not be as obvious. Let’s explain further.
As already mentioned, florists, planners and coordinators, and stylists have their fixed rates. If you tweak things a bit too much, though, they’ll bill you for what they consider extra fees. While these charges may differ per professional, you may find yourself spending an additional average of $700 for each service.
After the event, you’ll need to have your backyard looking spic and span. Garbage removal can set you back $250, while the entire cleanup process may cost $500.
Don’t let a rainy day bring doom! Invest in items that will bring the shine no matter what. These include the tent we already mentioned, umbrellas, boots, and blankets, which may total $2,000
To keep your guests safe throughout the course of your event, security personnel (specifically two guards) will cost you an average of $400. Prioritize this element if you have VIPs attending your big day.
Tips for Budgeting and Planning a Backyard Wedding
If you plan your expenses well, you won’t have to deal with the unpleasant surprise of huge bills. For the perfect backyard wedding, the following tips will come in handy:
- Come up with a must-have list and budget these items appropriately.
- Limit your guests to a number you can comfortably accommodate.
- Choose DIY options as much as possible.
- Hire an affordable wedding planner for their insights.
Having come this far, what do you think is the average cost of a backyard wedding? If you’ve been keeping up with the math, you must have figured out that a budget of between $10,000 and $20,000 is sufficient. You just have to be careful with hidden costs and the size of your guest list. To keep expenses low, exploit DIY options for the perfect big day.