The stuff everyone should know….. Look for more to follow
Work out your budget/ guest list
Set yourself a realistic budget based on your guest list. This will help you not only concentrate your thoughts but it will also help you to know where you can save and areas where you can splurge a little. Things that are variable per guest affect the total price of the event differently than costs that are a bit more fixed. A rough guest list will allow you to begin to plan sizing needs for both ceremony and reception as well as help you to focus on the overall differences in costs on different catering options (ie. Sit down vs. buffet, or a full bar vs wine/beer and perhaps a specialty cocktail). A good rule of thumb is to figure on about 80% of the people invited will be able to make your event for one reason or another. That number tends to be higher with larger families and the closer people live, likewise less if many people are traveling a great distance.
Find a venue for your ceremony and reception
Backyard weddings are a great way to save money on the venue space. First do you or your family/friends have an area big enough for your wedding? You must think about your guest list and about what type of reception you would like to have. Plated dinner or a buffet? Informal barbeque food or Passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktail bar? Each type of reception comes with different capacities. Will you also be hosting your ceremony at the same location as well, or just the reception? Generally more space is needed if you’re hosting both at the same spot. Talk to a rental company or a catering company—yes, we can help answer these questions!—before you make this decision. We can make suggestions as to how much space you will need to set up tables, booths and a dance floor to accommodate your guest count, and will try to give you different options that best meet your visions and space.
Getting your team lined up
Getting a strong good working team is a key part of any successful endeavor, whether it’s a run at the final four or planning your big day. Make sure that whoever you choose is knowledgeable in not only what they do, but doing it in your set of circumstances and within your budget. More than once I have seen great restaurants struggle with off site events because they find themselves outside of their normal operating environment. So whether it’s a caterer, photographer, or your DJ/band make sure they know what they have to do in your situation and that you’re comfortable that they can manage it.
-Photographer / Videographer
Arrange hotel room blocks for out-of- town guests
If you have numerous people coming from out of town it’s always a good idea to try to arrange a block of rooms at a local hotel you are comfortable with for out of town guests. Or at a minimum give them a list of reputable area options. Unfortunately options in the northwest corner of Connecticut are limited and early planning on certain weekends can help immensely.
Rehearsal dinner / Brunch following
With a backyard wedding, the possibilities for your event are endless. Remember that our rentals are priced by the event, not by the day. Consider planning your rehearsal dinner at the reception site the evening before. Use the tables and chairs, tenting and more for no extra cost! Many of the people that will be invited to your rehearsal have helped in many ways to make the next day special. Take this opportunity to not only say thank you for their hard work and support but to be able to enjoy their company in a relaxed setting. Many area caterers and restaurants offer people the ability to pickup pre-cooked items in serving trays that make an easy and economical way for you to host this event in a relaxing manner. You might also consider having close friends or family back the next day to relax together before going home with a quick brunch or cookout. We will schedule our deliveries and pick up schedule to work with your plans.
One of the nicest parts of having an event like this is that you can truly make it your own. In over 25 years of working in the event rental industry I have never done two outdoor weddings that were exactly the same. From simple things like location or linen coloring to expansive décor or lighting, the ability to put our personality into an event makes for a lasting impression that everyone in attendance will remember for years to come. Visit our website, Pintrest, and other wedding planning sources and see what moves you. Is it a Victorian Garden wedding, a country western theme, or an elegant budget friendly event, there are so many things you can do to make the day your own.