Today, hotels and traditional ballrooms are not your only choice for wedding venues. But what do you need to consider if you are planning your wedding in a blank space, untraditional venue or even, your backyard?

First things first, you have to get your space set up. Since you are starting with bare bones, you will need literally everything from tables and chairs ,to electrical and lighting. Let’s break it down into categories to help simplify. 


No matter what, you will need tables and chairs for your wedding. Same goes for a dance floor if the ground is grass, and same for the bar. Any typical wedding is going to need these items. Now you don’t have to go with standard folding chairs, round tables, wood dance floor and skirted bar. You can dress things up a bit and upgrade your rental items to go along with your style, but that’s a whole other beast of its own!  


Especially with a backyard wedding, there are tons of unusual rentals you will need to consider aside from the typical furniture. For starters, there are restrooms. You – or whoever’s house you are at – are not going to want 150 people in and out of their house to use the bathroom all night. This means you will need to bring in a bathroom trailer, but don’t worry we aren’t talking a port-a-potty. You can get full heated/air conditioned bathrooms with running water and electricity. We also recommend making sure you have an attendant there to replenish paper goods and keep things tidy! 

Aside from a restroom, there’s also lighting to consider. How do you plan to light the space? If it’s outside, once the sun goes down it is going to get dark very quickly, so you want to be sure you are ready for that. Not just in the reception space, but you want to be sure guests can safely walk to those fancy bathroom trailers you got, as well as any other locations guests might need to walk in between after sunset, like the parking lot. 


Unless you are in just a blank space building, chances are you will also need electricity. This will likely come in the form of a generator. In fact, you probably even want an extra generator just to be on the safe side.

Talk to your vendors and figure out what their electrical needs are because each vendor will be different. Make sure to consider your entertainment, rentals (a.k.a. lighting) and caterer. 


The weather will play a factor in your set up needs if you are planning something outside. The obvious weather related set up to mention is the need for a tent. What happens if it rains? Is there anywhere indoors to go? If the answer to that is no, you should make sure to have at least a tent on hold for the big day.

Aside from a tent, you also want to be mindful of your guests. If it’s the summertime should you provide bug spray and sunscreen? If it’s the wintertime should you provide wraps and blankets? Do you need to go as far as making sure your tent has AC or heat? It all depends on the weather, your location and your preferences!


With a blank space or backyard venue, it’s likely that there is no catering kitchen or even simply a staging kitchen. If you are using a full-service caterer, they are going to need their own prep area for sure. Consider the tables, electricity and lighting they will need in order to sufficiently do their job and ensure your food is top notch! 

Photo Courtesy of Shay Brown Events

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