Updated: Dec 30, 2020
It has been quite an interesting year, especially for those planning a wedding in Southern California. Earlier this year couples were getting married left and right and celebrating with everyone they knew, but then quarantine hit, and there was an abrupt halt in weddings.
To say that this pandemic affected many weddings in 2020 would be an understatement. Numerous couples have had to make the difficult decision to postpone their weddings to later in the year or move completely to 2021. Surveys estimate that up to 63% of engaged couples in 2020 chose to move their weddings to next year due to all the uncertainty with case numbers and strict rules on social gatherings.
With such a large percentage of couples moving their dates to next year it has put a strain on the supply of wedding venues across Southern California. 2021 now has weddings booked for three groups of people: couples who already had a venue booked pre-pandemic, those postponing their wedding, and couples who got engaged during the pandemic.
As we wind down 2020 and look to next year a problem presents itself: will there be enough venues to host now two years of weddings crammed into one? With such high demand for venues next year it has absolutely stressed couples who have contacted venue after venue only to find that their dream date is booked.
A rise in demand also means an increase in prices as venues will try to recoup financially from the pandemic’s economic downturn. For many couples, their dream venues will become out of their budget. Combined with the new norms of social distancing we’ll start to see a new trend emerge: more backyard weddings.
Backyard weddings are nothing new to Southern California. We are blessed with perfect weather which allows Californians to host outdoor parties pretty much every month of the year, therefore making backyard weddings such a viable option. Heck even celebrities are doing it. Remember Hilary Duff’s trend-setting wedding last December at her LA home? We all swooned over her photos getting ready in her bedroom and as she emerged from her front door carrying her daughter, Banks, as they walked down the aisle together. That just proves backyard weddings can be chic!
If you have been in the thick of venue hunting for next year to no avail and are considering a backyard wedding, then here are five compelling reasons why you should go for it!
Cut Down on Costs
One thing that will save you a large chunk of your wedding budget hosting a backyard wedding is eliminating the venue fee. Wedding venue fees in California can range anywhere from $2,500 to over $10,000. That is a lot of cash that can be used for other expenses such as décor or catering. Hosting a wedding at your home or that of a friend will require renting tables and chairs that might normally come with the venue, but we are talking a couple hundred dollars compared to thousands.
You’re in Control
Most times, traditional wedding venues require couples to abide by very strict rules when it comes to décor. These rules and regulations are necessary for each venue to stay damage fee and safe for all guests, however they can be very limiting to your creative vision for the space. With a backyard wedding, there are no restrictions when it comes to décor and creativity which means all your Pinterest dreams can come to life! Do note that if you are using a family member or friends house to check with them and make sure they are ok with all the décor ideas you have planned.
No Wedding Date Drama
We have lost count of the number of times a couple has had to change their wedding date because of Covid shutdowns or because their date isn’t available at their dream venue. Even without the pandemic, good venues can be booked up for years ahead. When you consider the pandemic and add many postponements to that, you will find even fewer dates available.
However, when you choose to have a backyard wedding, that worry goes right out the door. Every date you want is suddenly open to you. It could be the anniversary of your first date, when you two first met or even a birthday. Regardless, you have the freedom to choose the date that means the most to you and your future spouse.
Venues often have rules that dictate what you are and are not allowed to do such as a sound ordinance or the amount of time you have the venue till. Instead, hosting a wedding at your house allots you the entire day to celebrate instead of the standard five-hour ceremony and reception time block. Another downside to venues is that not all are pet-friendly, so for all you dog lovers out there that want your furry friend to be a part of your day a house wedding has a huge advantage.
There is an intimacy that comes with having family and friends around you in a smaller, homier space. And due to the pandemic, many guest lists have shrunk down to only your very close circle of loved ones and friends. But even with a smaller guest list is provides more time to mingle and spend with each one of them throughout the night. In fact, consider enlisting their help throughout the day whether it be your crazy cousin as the emcee or your friend from college that can play your wedding song on guitar for your first dance. Making your guests feel like an essential part of your wedding day will make precious memories that you will never forget.
Whatever you do with planning your wedding at home know that there is no right or wrong way to do it. It is your day and your rules. At the end of the day all that matters is that you and your spouse tie the knot with your loved ones by your side.