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Planning a Backyard Garden Wedding

There is nothing more intimate than a garden wedding in a well cared backyard.   Over the years Culinary Capers has catered hundreds of weddings in relatives, friends or the wedding couples’ backyards.

Here are my top quick tips to ensure your backyard wedding is a magical day for you and your guests.     Debra Lykkemark, CEO

Rain Plan
Don’t want to put a damper on your planning but in Vancouver it is essential that you have a back-up rain plan.   You’ll  want  to figure this out well in advance so you don’t panic at the last minute if the weather doesn’t cooperate.   The ideal option is to have a marquis  tent*  that is big enough to accommodate all your guests.   Reputable tent companies will often let you book a tent and if you decide it is safe to cancel it 24 to 48 hours before and they have not set it up, they will often deduct  the  25–50% they are saving on labour.  Don’t forget to consider heat and/or air conditioning depending on the season.
*We recommend:  Rental Network.

The other choice is to plan to move the event inside if the weather is bad.   When your caterer comes for a site visit do a walk through of the house and decide if this is a feasible option.

If your wedding reception is in  the evening you will likely need to plan for additional ambient lighting in the backyard.   Plan out where everything will be set up and then figure out which areas  will need extra lighting and how you are going to get the power to the location.   If your caterer requires a tent for the kitchen and bussing area, don’t forget that this will also require some basic lights.

Noise  By-laws
Be sure to review your local noise control by-laws.  You may need to stop the music around 11:00 pm or move the dancing inside.   Another nice touch is to go around the neighbourhood and give your neighbours a bottle of wine with ear plugs tied to it with a note telling them that you will be hosting a wedding in your backyard next Saturday.   It will put a smile on their face and they will be less likely to make a fuss.

Guest Washrooms
If you don’t have enough washrooms in your home or you want to spare yourself the angst of guests traipsing in and out of the house with grass or dirt that could stain the floors and carpets –  consider washroom trailers or VIP portables*.   You can give them a personal touch and add fresh floral, baskets of personal toiletries like hand wipes, hair spray, hand lotion, etc.!
*We recommend:  Full Moon Rentals.


Don’t forget to have your automatic sprinkler system turned off!

Bug Control
Here’s a surefire tip: a week before the wedding cook up some salmon on the barbecue – if  you get a swarm of wasps  you should call pest control.   But even if you don’t have a wasp situation, consider bringing in a professional pest control company to spray the grass and surrounding environment.  Natural mosquito repellent would also be smart to have on hand on the wedding day.   Last thing you need is uninvited ‘guests’ crashing your wedding  reception!

Valet Service
If parking is limited in the neighbourhood hire a valet service*.   They are not very expensive and they can come up with creative solutions for your guests parking.

Meika and Roi’s Backyard Garden Wedding


Photos: Brian Dennehy

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