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Home -- Blogs -- How Much Does a Backyard Wedding Cost?

How Much Does a Backyard Wedding Cost?


Executive Manager: Plays a crucial role in strategic decisions and business growth.

Updated: May 24, 2024
Published: March 11, 2024

Cost of Hosting a Backyard Wedding: What to Expect

A backyard wedding can be a gorgeous, intimate way to celebrate your nuptials without breaking the bank. With the right planning, you can create a beautiful event in your own outdoor space. But how much does it actually cost to host a backyard wedding? The price can vary widely based on factors like location, number of guests, décor, catering, and more. This article will break down the typical costs associated with backyard weddings and provide tips for staying within your budget.

Cost of Hosting a Backyard Wedding What to Expect

Venue Costs

Venue Costs

One of the biggest advantages of having a backyard wedding is avoiding venue rental fees, which often run thousands of dollars. However, that doesn't mean there are no venue-related expenses. Elements like lighting, restrooms, power, parking, and weather backup need consideration.

If your home's backyard lacks restrooms for guests, you may need to rent portable toilets for the event. Prices range from $75-$150 per toilet. Ensure there are enough units based on your guest count. Parking can also be an issue if you don't have sufficient space on your property. You may need to arrange offsite parking and shuttle guests over. Lighting typically needs to be added for evening events. String lights are a popular option and cost around $200 for a basic setup. Access to power is necessary for catering, music, lighting, etc. You may need to bring in generators if your yard lacks outlets. And it's wise to have a backup rain plan, which could mean renting tents or moving the wedding indoors at the last minute.

When factoring in these items, budget $1,000-$3,000 for potential backyard wedding venue costs. Carefully evaluate your space ahead of time to anticipate and prepare for any needs.

Catering Costs

Providing food and drinks for guests makes up a significant portion of most wedding budgets. Backyard weddings are no exception. How much you'll spend on catering depends on elements like:

  • Type of menu (buffet, stations, seated, food trucks, etc.)
  • Number of courses and options
  • Type of cuisine (formal, casual, dietary preferences)
  • Bar service (beer/wine only or full bar with liquor)
  • Number of guests
  • Service fees like rentals, staffing, insurance

A formal, plated dinner may cost $80-$150 per guest, including food, service, and rentals. Having a more casual buffet menu can lower per-head costs to $20-$60 per person. Food trucks offer a flexible, budget-friendly catering option with simplified logistics for about $15-$35 per guest. Providing beer and wine only at the bar typically costs $15-$35 per guest compared to a full open bar at $20-$60 a head.

For a backyard wedding with 100 guests, expect to spend $2,000-$15,000+ on catering based on your menu and features. Obtain quotes from several caterers to compare pricing. And look for ways to cut costs like limiting bar service, simplifying the menu, or having a cake and punch-style reception.


From chairs and tables to linens and glassware, you'll likely need to rent various items to host guests comfortably in your backyard. Rental fees often make up 10-15% of a wedding budget. For a tent alone, prices typically range from $500-$5,000+ depending on the size and features.

To furnish a backyard wedding for 100 people, plan to spend:

  • $300-$1,000 on tables and chairs
  • $200-$500 on linens and overlays
  • $100-$300 on plates, glassware and flatware
  • $100-$500 on lighting
  • $100-$300 on restroom trailers
  • $100-$500 on tents or canopies if needed

Look for ways to save on rentals, like borrowing items from family and friends, finding used equipment, or purchasing items you can resell or reuse rather than rent.

Decor Costs

From florals and signage to altar backdrops and dance floors, décor is key for transforming an everyday backyard into a wedding venue. Work with your tastes and backyard features to create a cohesive aesthetic. Budget approximately 10%-15% of total wedding costs on décor.

For a 100-person backyard wedding, expect to spend:

  • $300-$3,000 on florals (bouquets, centerpieces, ceremony arch, etc.)
  • $200-$1,000 on signage (welcome, bar, buffet, escort cards)
  • $100-$500 on lighting (string lights, lanterns, pathways)
  • $100-$600 on ceremony décor (altar, arch, aisle runner, chairs, programs)
  • $100-$500 on reception décor (linens, centerpieces, chargers, napkins)
  • $100-$300 on a dance floor

Shop sales, local farms, and bulk online retailers to save on floral arrangements. Make signs using affordable materials like wood and paint. Style the space with items you already own as well to keep décor budgets down.

Attire Costs

Your wedding attire and accessories make up one of the more significant personal expenses. But you can control costs in this category with budget-savvy choices.

For the bride's dress, $1,000-$2,000 is typical, though backyard brides can find gorgeous gowns for under $500. Consider casual styles like tea-length and beach dresses rather than elaborate ballgowns. Shop sample sales and bridal resale sites for big discounts off retail pricing.

The groom can wear a more casual suit or trousers paired with a button-up shirt and tie/bowtie for $200-$600 total. Bridesmaid dresses average $100-$250 each, depending on fabric and formality. Simplify accessories like shoes and jewelry to save money. The wedding party can even wear outfits they already own if appropriate.

Limit your guest attire requirements to control their costs as well. “Garden chic” or “cocktail casual” are great backyard wedding dress code options. Let guests interpret that through their own wardrobe rather than demanding formal attire.

Other Costs

Additional expenses like photography, flowers, gifts, and more should factor into your backyard wedding budget. Allow approximately 5-10% of total costs for these items:

  • Photography: $1,500-$5,000+ depending on hours, products, number of photographers
  • Videography: $1,000-$3,500+ based on hours, highlight film length, number of videographers
  • Wedding cake: $300-$700+ depending on servings, design details
  • Stationery (invitations, signs, programs): $300-$1,000
  • Wedding planner: $1,500-$5,000+ for partial or full-service planning
  • Marriage license: $50-$150+ depending on location
  • Wedding insurance: $200-$500+ for liability coverage
  • Hair/makeup: $100-$150 per service
  • Wedding bands: $300-$5,000+ per ring
  • Gifts for wedding party, family, etc.: $300-$3,000
  • Rehearsal dinner: $1,500-$5,000+ depending on formality and group size

Research rates for local vendors and service providers when estimating these expenses. Opting for minimal stationery printing and buying wedding bands online can help slash costs in these areas.

rent a tent for event

The Bottom Line

It's entirely possible to have an exquisite backyard wedding on a budget of $10,000-$30,000 for 50-100 guests. With an intimate guest list of under 50 people, costs often come in between $5,000-$15,000. Your specific expenses depend on factors like location, formality, rentals required, menu, and more. Manage backyard wedding costs by taking advantage of what your property already offers, keeping the guest list targeted, and focusing spending on your true wedding priorities.

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Contact Us

Make On-Demand Space Solutions Easier, Faster

SHELTER has a great team of skilled architects ready to support your project or Event at any time.

When you’re ready to start your next business, get in touch with us now, and our architects will get back to you with a quote as soon as possible.

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      [email protected]

Phone Number

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No.1 Huanghe Section,Songshan Road, Chao Tian Industrial Zone,Shilou Town Panyu District,Guangzhou