Weddings are exciting, but planning one can be difficult and expensive. You’re planning for the best day of your life, but you just can’t seem to wrap your head around spending so much money on one day. Or maybe you’re interested in a smaller, more intimate wedding. Regardless of the reason, many couples are increasingly drawn to the idea of an outdoor wedding, and backyard weddings are one way to do that for couples who decide they don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have a beautiful, memorable day.

The list below offers suggestions on ways to keep the cost of your home wedding down without sacrificing beauty and style.

  1. Entertainment. When it comes to wedding entertainment, consider forgoing the band or DJ, and either craft a personalized wedding playlist or take advantage of a streaming service like Pandora.

  2. snacks, fruits, and drinks on table outsideFood. To feed your guests without breaking the bank, skip caterers that charge per person and think about choosing a restaurant where you can order food in large quantities. Alternatively, you can always make the food yourself or enlist friends and family to help in this endeavor. And finally, the easiest way to cut food and beverage costs is to not serve alcohol and instead offer a variety of soda, tea, punch, or water options.

  3. Centerpieces and bouquets. Flowers generally make up a large part of a wedding budget, so forget the florist, order your flowers in bulk, and create your own arrangements. Fake flowers are also an option, and there are many realistic-looking faux flowers out there to choose from.

  4. garden arbor with pink flowersDecorations. Use the landscape. Take advantage of trees or stumps and use them to hang lights or as decorative pieces. Consider having an arbor or arch built. Not only would it be a beautiful place to exchange your vows, but it would also serve as somewhere for you and your spouse to enjoy the shade, and memories, long after your wedding ends.

  5. Venue. You’re getting married at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spruce up the venue a little bit. Hire a landscaping company—perhaps the one building your arbor—to clean up your yard. Landscapers can also put in some new plants and flowers to create the perfect environment for your special day.

When planning your home wedding, just be sure to keep the essentials in mind—you’ll need food, seating, and entertainment.

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