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How Much Will A Backyard Wedding Cost You?

Getting engaged will be one of the most exciting days of your life.

How Much Will a Backyard Wedding Cost You

But the excitement of getting engaged can quickly be overshadowed when you start wedding planning and realize that the average wedding in the USA costs more than $27,000. 

Simply put, a lot of people cannot afford the costs associated with a big, white wedding. So, if you are on a budget, you might be searching for ways to cut the cost of your wedding day.

Hence why you might be considering a backyard wedding, and how much they cost. 

You’re probably going to hate us, but there really isn’t a set cost for a backyard wedding. Ultimately, your backyard wedding will cost however much you want to spend on it.

In this guide, we’ve included some sample budgets to give you an idea of how you can make your backyard wedding suit any budget. 

There are some costs that you will need to pay regardless of where you marry, including your backyard.

Getting married isn’t free, and you will need to pay for an officiant and a wedding license. If you want to get married. 

In this guide, we’re giving you an outline of the options that you have for getting officially married, plus how you can tailor a backyard wedding to your budget. 

Keep on reading to find out more!

Get Married In City Hall First

One of the cheapest ways to get married officially is to head to City Hall.

The cost of tying the knot in City Hall differs depending on where you are getting married, so bear this in mind if you are trying to cut costs.

In some of America’s largest cities, it costs just $60 to get married at City Hall, so it really isn’t that expensive. 

Get Married In Your Place Of Worship First

Alternatively, if you are a very religious person, you should consider getting married in your place of worship before your backyard reception. 

While there isn’t necessarily a set fee associated with this, most religions will require a donation to cover the cost of marriage counseling or marriage classes.

Generally, most places of worship will request a $350 donation for the wedding itself and around $150 for your wedding classes. 

Get Your Ordained Friend To Marry You

If you want to do the entire wedding in your backyard, then this is possible.

Unless you want to pay the hefty fee of hiring an officiant, you should consider getting a friend to marry you and your partner instead. 

Your friend can easily be ordained online by the Universal Life Church.

Once ordained, you will need to pay a $20 fee for the certificate of ordination to be shipped to you before your friend can marry you.

Some areas will also require your friend to register as an officiant which typically costs between $15 and $25. 

For the purpose of the sample budgets we’ll look at shortly, we are budgeting around $200 for the costs of getting your marriage license and an officiant. 

Is a Backyard Wedding Cheaper?

Ultimately, if you are reading this, you want to know if a backyard wedding is cheaper.

In one word, yes, it is. There are a number of things that make your backyard wedding cheaper than a traditional wedding venue, but the main two factors include the following…

No Rental Fees

The most obvious way in which you save money by getting married in your own backyard is through the lack of rental fees.

Rental fees typically make up a substantial portion of the cost of a wedding, but this is something you haven’t got to worry about when it comes to a backyard wedding(see also: Typical Costs Of A Small Wedding)(see also: How Much Will Catering A Wedding Cost?). 

Instead of paying thousands of dollars to rent a room in a wedding venue, plus additional costs to stay overnight the day before your wedding, you can get married in your own backyard and sleep in your own bed for free!

So a backyard wedding definitely is cheaper. 

No Preferred Vendors

The other major way in which you save money by getting married in your own backyard is that there are no preferred vendors for your backyard. 

When you get married in a wedding venue, they will have a list of vendors that you can use, and often you will not be able to use any vendors that are not on the list.

These vendors typically charge a higher price as they capitalize on the guaranteed business from the wedding venue. So you will often end up paying above the odds for your wedding in a wedding venue. 

But in your own backyard, you have total freedom when it comes to what vendors you use. You don’t need to use a set caterer, in fact, you don’t have to use a caterer at all.

If you wanted to, you could blow your food budget on pizzas from Pizza Hut and that would be totally fine. 

In your backyard, you have total freedom, and that in itself is just as good as the money you can save because of this freedom. 

Sample Budgets For Your Backyard Wedding

As promised, here we’ve put together some sample budgets for your backyard wedding.

As you can see, you can spend however much money you want on your backyard wedding, and the amount that you want to spend will impact the decisions you make when it comes to vendors. 

How Much Will a Backyard Wedding Cost You (1)

Ultimately, your wedding is your special day, so you should have the freedom to do it exactly how you want it.

That is the freedom that you get when hosting your wedding in your own backyard. So check out the information below to see how you can easily throw your backyard wedding party on a tight budget. 

$2,000 Budget

For $2,000 you will easily be able to throw yourself a sweet and charming wedding in your backyard.

To fit this tight budget, you will need to forego the traditional sit-down wedding meal, but you can still throw yourself a super sweet cake and punch wedding party!

The one thing to note about this budget is that you won’t be able to afford a professional photographer.

However, among your family and friends, you will likely have someone who is talented enough to take these photographs for you. So be sure to arrange this before the big day! 

Ceremony Costs

  • License & Officiant – $200
  • Wedding Rings – $200
  • Total = $400


  • Chairs – $250
  • Cocktail Tables – $100
  • Cake Table – $20
  • Tablecloths & Napkins – $130
  • Total = $500

Food And Drink

  • Sparkling Wine for Toasts – $130
  • Alcohol-Free Punch – $30
  • Wedding Cake – $250
  • Single Use Cups & Plates – $70 
  • Total = $480

Additional Costs

  • Decorations – $40
  • Invitations – $50
  • Wedding Dress & Suit – $500
  • Bouquet & Boutonniere – $60
  • Total = $650
Grand Total = $1,940

$7,000 Budget

On a larger budget, you will be able to host a backyard wedding that is a lot more similar to the traditional wedding that you may have in a wedding venue.

While you won’t get a sit-down wedding meal for this price, you can have a high-quality buffet spread. 

This budget works best for a daytime wedding so bear this in mind. But we’re sure you and your guests will have an incredible time on this budget. 

Ceremony Costs

  • License & Officiant – $200
  • Wedding Rings – $200
  • Total = $400


  • Ceremony Chairs – $225
  • Dining Tables & Chairs – $250 
  • Buffet Tables – $25
  • Tablecloths & Napkins – $210 
  • Dance floor – £275
  • Microphone & Speaker – $200
  • Total = $1,185

Food And Drink

  • Catering, Dishes & Beverages – $1900
  • Sparkling Wine – $300
  • Wedding Cake – $250
  • Total = $2,450

Additional Costs

  • Centerpieces – $100
  • Photographer – $1500
  • Favors – $50
  • Invitations – $100
  • Wedding Clothes – $1000
  • Flowers & Boutonniere – $150
  • Total = $2,900
Grand Total = $6,935

$10,000 Budget

Finally, for $10,000 you will be able to throw a backyard wedding with all the extras you’d get in a destination wedding.

No expense needs to be spared when you have a $10,000 budget. So, for ultimate luxury, this is the budget we’d recommend.

Ceremony Costs

  • License & Officiant – $200
  • Wedding Rings – $200
  • Total = $400


  • Ceremony Chairs – $225
  • Dining Tables & Chairs – $250 
  • Buffet Tables – $25
  • Tablecloths & Napkins – $210 
  • Dance floor – £275
  • Microphone & Speaker – $200
  • Lighting – $200
  • Total = $1,385

Food And Drink

  • Catering & Dishes- $2700
  • Bar Package – $1400
  • Wedding Cake – $300
  • Total = $4,400

Additional Costs

  • Centerpieces – $150
  • Photographer – $1500
  • Favors – $100
  • Invitations – $100
  • Wedding Clothes – $1000
  • Flowers & Boutonniere – $150
  • DJ & Equipment – $500
  • Total = $3,500
Grand Total = $9,685


In short, your backyard wedding will ultimately cost you however much you allow it to cost you. 

Once you’ve paid for the official wedding then it is totally up to you how much you spend on the rest of your backyard wedding.

But overall, backyard weddings generally will be cheaper as there is no rental fee and no list of associated vendors that you have to use.

Ultimately, you have a lot more freedom, and this gives you much more wiggle room in terms of cost. 

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Thanks for reading!

Anna Ingham

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