Backyard Weddings Do’s and Do Not’s

You’re planning your dream-day wedding and you’ve picked out your dress, picked out the bridesmaid’s dresses, and now for the hard part: the seating chart! Seriously, though, there are other things that you need to consider so that you can keep your wedding day safe and legal – especially if you are having a backyard wedding, in Virginia.

If you are doing all the organizing, catering and decorating, the backyard wedding can be more stressful than a wedding venue and a wedding planner, but a home wedding is certainly cheaper. And, let’s be honest, nothing is as intimate as your home. If you are lucky enough to have a fabulous backyard, you should take advantage of it by adding lanterns and string lights to create a natural and fabulous backdrop for your special day. Here are some other things to consider, while you are in the planning stages:

  • You’ll need to consider the size of the guest list and how you’ll accommodate the cars and the people, should the weather turn foul. Consider a tent right now in the planning stages – as it automatically adds a ‘ceiling’ to decorate if the stars aren’t cooperating and shade if the sun is just too hot! And if you add a little greenery to the ceiling or tables, you’ll bring the outside in.
  • Don’t skimp on seating – get plenty. And not just for the ceremony seating – have extra scattered about to help guests be able to truly relax, enjoy the moment and the backyard ambiance.
  • Games help guests wait for photos or food – consider corn hole, horse shoes or even croquet.
  • You’ll also need to be careful that your kitchen and electrical setup won’t pose food-prep problems, so plan to have help in food preparation and off-site storage.
  • If you are having open fires or live music, you’ll  need to check with your municipality about night-time noise ordnances, open fire permits and even parking concerns. A permit or two might be necessary – so get that out of the way, right now! You might even have to have a fire marshal do a walk through your home or tent to make sure that exits are marked, there’s a fire extinguisher on the premises, candles are all enclosed, etc. 
  • If you are bringing in portable restrooms, make sure the company that you are renting from is taking care of any health-department permits.
  • Signature cocktails are ‘in,’ this year – so offer a garden cocktail with edible flowers or an assorted whiskey-tasting station.
  • While we’re talking cocktails, study ABC Consulting’s handy infographic to find out if you need to have a one-day alcohol license. There are certain circumstances where you wouldn’t need a one-day license, at all, but now is the time to make sure of what the requirements are.
Do you need an alcohol license for your backyard wedding

If you find you do need an alcohol license, you can simply apply online, right here.

*Disclaimer: This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only and are not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private consulting firm; in way do we represent the VA Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice based upon your situation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *