Essential Backyard Wedding Checklist

There’s something magical about a backyard wedding, the intimacy and the relaxed nature, that makes it an amazing experience for everyone involved. In this blog post, I’ll provide an essential backyard wedding checklist of everything you might need to have in place for a successful and stress-free summer backyard wedding.

Although backyard weddings are often thought of as being more easy-going, there’s still so many things to plan and organize. It can start to feel overwhelming! To help make sure you don’t forget anything, and to help make your special day unforgettable… check out this handy checklist of things to remember / consider:

Manitoba Prairie Wedding Bride & Groom
Summer backyard tent wedding

Seating & Tables

One of the benefits of having a backyard wedding is that you have the freedom to create your own seating arrangements. You can truly do whatever you want. There are many options and if you need some ideas? Take a peek at our recommended vendors list for rental options for chairs and other furniture items. HERE. Confirm the size of your guests list and make sure to have enough chairs and then some.

Wedding Catering and Bar Service

Delicious food and drink are essential to any wedding celebration! Consider the size of your guest list and if you want to hire a caterer or bar service, or get creative and DIY your own. You’re either putting time or money in – like most things. Other things to consider for your food and drink is any storage requirements and workstations. How much space do you need for people to prepare and service everything? Write everything down as your make your backyard wedding checklist.

Additionally, Consider the best place to position the stations in relation to the rest of you wedding. It’s also good to consider the flow of people and where you envision people will line up. Avoid any congestion of people by proving accessible paths of travel throughout the backyard – especially around high traffic areas like the bar!

Is Electricity on your backyard wedding checklist?

Power is essential for a backyard wedding. You’ll need power for lighting, music, and catering. Again, depending on the size of your guest list – you might need to rent a generator. It’s important to ensure that the generator is powerful enough to provide enough energy for all your needs. If extension cords need to be used, make sure there aren’t any tripping hazards for you and your guests and they are properly rated. Confirm if you need any special permits to have equipment like this for your event and plan accordingly.

summer wedding reception in the backyard


Another important consideration is providing enough restrooms for your guests. If your home doesn’t have enough bathrooms (or you just don’t want 60+ people using the same one) it’s best to rent portable restrooms. Take the stress out of your home.

Portable restrooms are convenient, clean, and will ensure that your guests have a comfortable experience throughout the day. It also means less foot traffic through out your home. Check with the rental company for timeline suggestions for when they should install and remove the washrooms and it aligns with your schedule. They can advise you on how far out you should confirm the booking with them.

backyard wedding checklist - parking

Parking Checklist

Make parking a breeze for your guests by planning ahead with your backyard wedding checklist. Arrange for extra parking spots or provide shuttle services if needed. If you have a large lot for parking, provide signs and mark out aisles. Consider if you also need to mark areas where people shouldn’t park.

Additionally, keeping your parking area organized will ensure people can come and go easily and safely throughout the day and evening. If you anticipate your guests staying late, use reflective tape or markers to help guide people through the yard. At busier times like the main arrival time, you might want to have a few people help direct the traffic too.

Insurance for your Wedding

Confirm the details of your home insurance and what it does and does not cover. You’ll also want to confirm what insurance your vendors have in place and top up your coverage protection if necessary. It’s always best to be overly prepared and to make sure everyone is protected incase of any injuries or property damage.

summer backyard wedding checklist

Plan for the Weather

Manitoba weather can be unpredictable, so be ready for anything with this backyard wedding checklist! Have a backup plan in case of rain or extreme sun. Make sure your guests are comfortable and have access to shade and a place to warm up if the weather turns.

You can rent a tent or canopy to protect your guests from the rain or consider moving the ceremony and reception indoors if you have the space. A rain plan will give you peace of mind and ensure that your wedding day can still be a success, even in less than ideal weather conditions. Check out Pembina Valley Tent Rental for a few ideas HERE.

Wedding Guest Dress-Code

While your backyard wedding may have a more casual or rustic feel, it’s still important to communicate a dress code to your guests. You can include the recommended dress code in your invitations or on your wedding website. A dress code will help your guests feel comfortable and confident in what they’re wearing, and also create a cohesive look for your wedding photos. Want to see an example of a Manitoba summer wedding gallery? See Pam & Ryan’s big day over here!

guests at summer wedding

Music & Entertainment for Your Wedding

Set the tone for a fun and festive atmosphere by hiring a DJ, live band, or creating your own playlist. Other entertainment options like lawn games or photo booths can also keep your guests amused. And hey, it is a backyard wedding right? Bonfires are also an excellent option if you have the space for them! 

Backyard Wedding Decorations

Another thing to add to the list? Decorations can transform a backyard into a beautiful wedding venue. Have you added this to your backyard wedding checklist yet? From floral arrangements and table runners to hanging lanterns or twinkly lights, there are so many ways to decorate your backyard for your special day. You can DIY your decorations or hire a wedding planner or decorator to create a cohesive and stunning look. If you need ideas, Pinterest can be a fun place to start for some inspiration!

Additionally, you might also want to plan for landscaping updates, including planting new flowers or bushes in spring so that the yard is looking its very best!

Insect Repellent

While pesky bugs can be a real party-pooper during Manitoba summers, make a plan to keep everyone comfortable. Set up citronella candles or provide individual insect repellent. Depending on the time of year, wasps can also be a nuisance on your day. Consider the placement of trash / recycle bins to help keep the bugs away.

Wedding Lighting

Another important aspect to consider is lighting. Depending on the time of day and the type of atmosphere you want to create, different types of lighting can be used. Consider the mood you want to create. If the wedding is in the evening, it’s important to have enough lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

You can use string lights, lanterns, or even chandeliers to create a magical ambiance. Consider any areas you may need additional lighting as well for safety concerns & convenience around any tripping hazards like tent lines or cables.

DIY wedding lanterns

Notify Your Neighbours

Equally important, depending on your location and how close you are to any neighbours – it’s always best to give them as much notice as possible about your upcoming event, especially if it has a larger guest list. Let them know the anticipated start and end times and a way to contact someone on the day if needed. This way, your neighbours can also make plans to be away if they’d prefer.

Wedding Permits

Additional, check with your local authorities if you require permits for the event and be aware of any regulations like excessive noise after hours etc, to make sure your party doesn’t get shut down before the party gets going. You will need to check that your event complies with noise ordinances, fire codes, and all health department regulations.

backyard weddings in Manitoba
cutting the wedding cake

Wedding Clean-Up

Next, be sure to add this item to your backyard wedding checklist! After the wedding is over, it’s important to plan for clean-up. You can hire a cleaning service to take care of the post-wedding mess or ask your friends and family to help out… it’s always good for them to know and agree well in advance! It’s also a good idea to have trash and recycling bins available throughout the wedding to minimize the clean-up work.

Detailed Backyard Wedding Checklist

Looking for a bit more details? Check out our list of recommended vendors HERE. Plus – here’s an abbreviated list of common rental items & services you might for your backyard wedding:

  • chairs for ceremony & reception
  • tables
  • tents / canopies
  • portable restrooms
  • generators / extensions cords
  • caterers / bar service
  • bar
  • microphones / sound system
  • music / entertainment
  • decorations / centre pieces
  • table linens
  • table ware / glass ware
  • flowers
  • dance floor
  • lighting / string lights
  • gifts / cards table
  • cocktail areas / tables
  • serving tables
  • food prep / storage
  • recycling & trash bins
  • ceremony backdrop
  • parking area setup
  • safety items like fire extinguishers & first aid
  • insurance & permits

Lastly, a backyard wedding can be a beautiful and intimate setting for your special day – keep it stress-free by having a good plan in place! Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to creating a magical and memorable backyard wedding!

Leave a Reply

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


© 2024 NEW COPPER PHOTOGRAPHY  |  Jenn Yablonowski 

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. New Copper Photography is based in Winnipeg, located within Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, and is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland.
Join the List

Join the mailing list and get access to all of our photography session planning resources & goodies exclusive to NCP's mailing list.

join here