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How Much Does a Backyard Wedding Cost?

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Backyard weddings have always been an excellent option for engaged couples looking to save money. Most backyard weddings are cheaper than commercial venue weddings, but that is not always the case.

How much does a backyard wedding cost?

A backyard wedding can vary in cost depending on the type of wedding you want. The cost can fluctuate from just a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The bottom line is, the more extravagant your backyard wedding is, the more it will cost.  

It is important to understand how much a backyard wedding really costs and how each component adds to the overall cost.

Not every backyard wedding is inexpensive, but with the right planning, yours can be.

backyard Wedding table set up decoration

Is a Backyard Wedding Cheaper?

Backyard weddings, on average, are cheaper than most commercial venue weddings. Usually, the cost of using a backyard for a wedding is free unless you are renting the home for the wedding.  

Just because the backyard venue is often free or extremely low cost does not mean the wedding itself will be free.

Even backyard weddings require extra costs like food, cake, tables, chairs, decorations, and more.

The extra costs of a backyard wedding can add up quickly, but there are many ways to save money.

However, in the end, a backyard wedding is still usually cheaper than most commercial wedding venues.

Cost of a Backyard Wedding

The cost of a backyard wedding can vary dramatically depending on the kind of wedding you intend to have.

The more elaborate the wedding, the more it will inevitably cost.

The following are some of the costs you will have to consider while planning your backyard wedding.


Tables are essential to any wedding, especially if you plan to have the reception in the same backyard.

Fold-out, round, or rectangle tables cost anywhere from $8 to $25 a piece to rent, depending on your location.

If you want a fancier table, like a farmhouse table, expect to pay more than $100 per table to rent.

Chairs and table decoration for backyard wedding


Most backyard weddings require chairs of some kind, unless the wedding guest list is less than ten or so.

Your guests will need a place to sit, and uniform-looking chairs will add a splash of cohesiveness.

Chairs are relatively inexpensive, but the problem is that you will likely need a lot of them.

Most rental companies rent out wedding-quality chairs from $1.60 all the way up to $25 each, depending on how formal you want the chairs to be.


If you want a slightly more formal look for your backyard wedding, you will want tablecloths for your tables.

Luckily, you can also rent these from your local wedding rental shop, and you can expect to spend around $10 each.


Bride and groom with guests at wedding reception outside in the backyard.

Unless you plan your wedding in the middle of the afternoon, your guests will expect a meal or snack of some kind.

If you opt for a caterer, the cost can vary between around $30 to $200 per plate of food, depending on your selected menu.


You may think you do not need a DJ at a backyard wedding, but they are instrumental in keeping the entertainment level up and the whole program running.

The cost of a wedding DJ can vary significantly from a few hundred bucks to a whopping $1,400 or more.  


You can rent an archway from most wedding rental companies, which really adds a “special something” to a backyard wedding.

Archways can range in price from about $110 to $250, depending on the design.

backyard wedding decoration with round arch, pink and white flowers in rustic style.

Celebration Tent

A wedding celebration tent is an essential part of any backyard wedding and can come in handy in the case of bad weather.

Celebration tents can cost around $500 up to $4,000, depending on the size and type of structure.


Wedding decorations are another expense that may cost more than what you expect.

Centerpieces, hanging lights, decorative signs, and more can all cost hundreds of dollars in the end.


All weddings do not need flowers, but they can bring a more feminine feel to a backyard wedding.

Flower bouquets and wedding arrangements cost between $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the type of flowers.

Wedding Cake

Wedding cake on a table surrounded by lights on backyard

With the right baker, wedding cakes can be a work of art. The only problem is the more detailed and decadent, the more they cost.

Wedding cakes average about $350, depending on what you want.  

Horse and Carriage

This may seem a little much for some backyard weddings, but if the backyard is large enough, you may want to hire a horse and carriage to escort the bride to the ceremony.

Renting a horse and carriage for a backyard wedding can cost as low as $250 or as high as $1,500, depending on your location.


Another wedding expense you will encounter, even with a backyard wedding, is the cost of a photographer.

Professional wedding photographers can cost anywhere from just $1,000 up to $10,000, depending on your location.

Photographer taking photo of newly married couple

Portable Bathrooms

Often, the homes for most backyard weddings have only one or two bathrooms for guests. The homeowner may not want 50 to 100 guests going in and out of their home, so you may need to rent a portable restroom.

Portable bathrooms can cost anywhere from $100 to $5,000, depending on the area and the rental time.

Ways to Budget a Backyard Wedding

Just because backyard weddings can cost a lot does not mean they have to break the bank.

There are several ways to help budget for your backyard wedding and save money where you can.

backyard Wedding table decoration
  • Borrow What You Can

Local churches loan out chairs and tables to community members in some areas. You can also borrow tables, chairs, and even wedding decorations from a friend or loved one.

Square hay bales make excellent chairs, and, in most cases, you can take them back to their owner after the wedding is over.

  • Make Homemade Decorations

If you are creative or know someone who is, you can make or help someone make your wedding decorations. Handwritten signs, flower arrangements, and handmade centerpieces can add a personal feel to your backyard wedding and save a lot of money.

  • Ask Family and Friends for Help

I am not talking about monetary donations here, but in lieu of wedding gifts, ask friends and family for help with things like cooking food, making the cake, taking photos, and setting up the decorations.

  • Consider Alternatives for Wedding Cakes
simple Wedding cake

Understandably, wedding cakes can be costly; however, there are alternative options.

You could opt for a large sheet cake instead and buy it from a local grocery store. You could also buy premade cheesecake or other premade cakes if you need to stick to a budget.

  • Shop for Second-Hand Wedding Decorations

Check local online local sales sites for used wedding decorations. You can often find extremely inexpensive yet beautiful wedding decorations that were only used once or a couple of hours.


Final Thoughts

As a couple planning a wedding, you decide whether your backyard wedding will cost a lot or not. It all boils down to what you as a couple prefer, your budget, and what your expectations are.

Remember, the best part about a backyard wedding is that you can spend more money on other aspects of your wedding, not just the venue.  


Along with my own experience having a gorgeous yet low-cost backyard wedding, I used the following sources to write this article.