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Backyard Wedding vs. Garden Wedding

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Backyard weddings and garden weddings share the similarity of being outdoor events. But beyond that, you may find that they can be pretty different.

So, you’d best know what to expect from either wedding location. This way, you can fully prepare for your choice.

Wedding reception outside in the backyard

So, backyard wedding vs. garden wedding, which is better?

There is no outright better option between backyard weddings and garden weddings. The cost, logistics, space, and ambiance for both types of weddings differ. So, typically, the better option is what appeals to you.

Below, we compare backyard weddings and garden weddings. We talk about the differences and similarities between them.

If you’ve been unsure which of them to opt for, you won’t be at the end of this article.

Backyard Wedding vs. Garden Wedding

The Differences

Level of Intimacy

While backyard weddings and garden weddings both happen outdoors, the intimacy of both gatherings is not the same.

Guests with smartphones taking photo of bride and groom at wedding reception outside

Since backyard weddings happen in your space, you have total control.

You decide who gets to be around during the ceremony. There’s a high level of intimacy as you can limit the guests to just a few people you are very close to.

You can also limit your guests when you have a garden wedding.

However, if you do not own the garden, you cannot stop people from being around during the ceremony. There will be onlookers and passersby.

There could also be other events on the same turf that day. So, the intimacy will not be the same as in a backyard wedding.


The logistics are up to you if you opt for a backyard wedding.

You must decide, select, and provide everything – from the seating to catering, drinks, music, and décor. The location is the only thing you may have at the start of everything.

Cardboard box delivery container with truck wheels and bouquet of pink roses.

Having a garden wedding at some wedding venues will reduce the effort you have to put into the planning.

Some garden wedding venues have their own tables and chairs, so that is one less thing to worry about. Some of them – like country clubs – also have catering services. So, you may not have to worry about that either.

While garden wedding venues can reduce your planning burden, they still offer flexibility. In other words, you may still show up with your own vendors if you prefer their services.


If you have to provide most or all you need for your wedding at a garden wedding venue, it will most likely cost more than a backyard wedding. But if you only put a few things in place at the garden venue, the backyard wedding could cost more.

wedding planner in the table with piggy bank

The primary difference in cost between backyard weddings and garden weddings is the cost of the venue.

If you opt for a backyard wedding, you will not pay for the space. But if you opt for a garden wedding, you will pay for the venue.

The payment for the space and the high cost of setting the place up makes a garden wedding more expensive. But if the garden wedding venue is partially or fully set up, a backyard wedding could cost more.

The setup cost of an empty wedding venue is sometimes more than the cost of getting the space. So, if you take that away from a garden wedding, you may spend less.

A complete setup is almost unavoidable for a backyard wedding.


If you choose to have a garden wedding, you may have to make a reservation. But then, garden wedding venues are hotspots, especially during warmer seasons.

Evening wedding ceremony in garden, arch with white branches, brown wooden chairs

Since people cannot use outdoor wedding locations in colder seasons, everyone waits for spring and summer. But then, this means there will be a higher demand for garden wedding locations at such times.

Hence, garden wedding spaces typically get booked quickly. So, getting one for your ceremony can be complicated.

Unlike garden weddings, you do not have to make a reservation for a backyard wedding. You own the space, so it is accessible to you anytime.


Unless you have a spacious compound, the space in your backyard can only contain a limited number of guests. As a result, if you have a large guest list, using your backyard for the wedding may not be ideal.

Rear of wedding couple in garden

Garden wedding venues typically have more space than your backyard. Therefore, they can contain more guests.

So, if you have an extensive guest list, a garden wedding may be better than a backyard wedding.

When It Rains

Backyard weddings and garden weddings expose your guests to rain. In other words, your guests can get wet if it rains at a garden or a backyard wedding.

But then, garden wedding venues typically have backups for such situations. So, if you have a garden wedding, you can avoid a disaster.

Wedding couple walking under rain with umbrella background tower of old castle

On the other hand, if you do not have a tent or a very spacious section inside your house, rain can ruin your backyard wedding.

Getting a tent that protects against the elements can be pretty expensive. You may spend up to $15,000 if you want the best product.


Since both are outdoor weddings, backyard and garden weddings expose your guests to pests. In either case, you and your guests may have to deal with insects and other bugs.

But if you are having a backyard wedding, you can do something to keep the bugs away.

Small insect on green leaf near flower

Contract restrictions might keep you from putting anti-pest measures in place if you have a garden wedding.

Besides, unlike in your backyard, you may be unaware of pests at the garden wedding venue. So, you may not think to prepare for them.


Some types of pets in or around your house can be a disturbance during a backyard wedding. But this is very unlikely if you have a garden wedding.

Dog in a wedding dress

If you know a cat or dog that loves roaming into your backyard, tell the owner to restrain it on your wedding day.

If it is your pet, try to keep it away from where everyone is. But then, if you trust your pet to be good, they could be part of the fun.


If you opt for a garden wedding venue, there may be restrictions on some types of litter.

This may keep you from using some types of confetti. But then, it is understandable because cleaning up some confetti can be daunting. Also, some confetti types are not eco-friendly.

wedding bouquet on the ground

If you have your wedding in your backyard, you can use any type of confetti you want. There’s no litter restriction.

Of course, you also have to deal with the trash yourself if you have a backyard wedding.

The Similarities


One thing common to backyard and garden weddings is the natural lighting.

Sunlight does its wonders, so you won’t have to worry about special lighting (unless you have an evening wedding). Also, the photos come out great when taken in natural light.

Exposure to the Sun’s Heat

gorgeous wedding couple embracing in sunlight

Another thing common to backyard and garden weddings is exposure to the sun’s heat.

In both cases, everyone is outdoors where there is no cooling system. So, when the sun shines, the heat gets to them.

Of course, you could get lucky; the sun could be mild all day.

Minimal Décor

Outdoor weddings generally require less décor. Nature already offers beautiful backdrops; all you have to do is work with them.

You also do not need lighting; the sun already provides that.

Backyard Wedding vs. Garden Wedding Summary

FeaturesBackyard WeddingGarden Wedding
CostIt could be more expensive.More expensive if you have to provide most of the things you need, including seating and music.
IntimacyOffers more intimacy.There may be outsiders around. So, this could be less intimate.
LogisticsThe logistics depend on you.The garden venue may offer services that handle some or all the logistics.
ReservationYou do not need a reservation.You need a reservation, and it can be competitive at times.
SpaceThe space may be limited.Generally offers more space than a backyard.
Provisions for when it rainsMay not have provision for when it rains. Also, making provisions for rain can be expensive.Typically has alternatives for when it rains.
PestsYou can prepare against pests.Not as flexible as your backyard. So, you may not be able to prepare against pests.
PetsWandering pets can be a problem.You are unlikely to come across pets at a garden wedding venue.
LitterThere are no restrictions on litter except those you put in place.There may be restrictions on litter. As a result, you may not be able to use confetti.


A backyard wedding needs no reservation, offers more intimacy, and allows you complete control. But then a garden wedding will have no pet issues, more space, and provisions for rain.

Still, the better choice for you between a backyard wedding and a garden wedding may ultimately depend on your specific situation.

So, consider your options: Weigh the costs, space, logistics, and other factors, then decide.