Backyard weddings require a lot of planning and prep
Q: My daughter is engaged to be married (finally), and we really like her fiance and can't wait to have grandchildren. But the kids want to get married in our backyard, and I am nervous. We have a nice-size yard and good privacy from our hedges, but we only have one bathroom downstairs, and they want to invite and feed 100 guests.
What if it rains, where do I get the chairs, how do I get the backyard and house looking nice and ready for a wedding? Now that I think about it, I am already giving up. Should I persuade her to rent a place?
A: Congratulations! I love beautiful, outdoor weddings but understand your anxiety. First, let's focus on the wedding, not grandkids.
You need a really big yard to accommodate 100 guests, and one bathroom simply is not enough. Three or four would be more appropriate, because you'll have to account for all the servers and other helpers as well. Also, you may not be thinking of space for a dance floor, musicians, a catering tent, lights, all those tables and chairs, not to mention parking for your guests' cars.
It's entirely possible to rent absolutely everything you need, including upscale port-a-potties with sinks, mirrors and room for elegant outfits. You could even arrange a shuttle from an off-site parking area. To be sure, talk with a wedding planner who does outdoor weddings for a second opinion.
You also will need to meet with landscapers. Depending on the season, you may need months, if not a whole year to prep your yard and lawn for the big day.
Another thought is to have just a small ceremony at your house, and hold the reception in a larger location, also outdoors. No matter what, do let me know how it goes, and send pictures.
Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality.