Top 15 Outdoor Wedding Ideas on a Budget

When the average wedding venue costs around $10,000, it’s easy to feel discouraged if you’re planning a wedding on a budget. Enter, the backyard wedding. Not only is this venue super affordable (read, free) hosting right at home is also a great way to infuse your wedding with rustic or intimate vibes.

Discover the advantages of a backyard wedding day below, along with 15 low-budget backyard wedding ideas to help transform your yard into a private paradise.

The Advantages of a Backyard Wedding Venue

1. Make Your Gathering More Intimate

Getting married in a familiar place, like a relative’s backyard, can bring a cozy familiarity to your ceremony.

This is the same yard where you grew up catching fireflies in the grass, or snacking on delicious food fresh off the grill. That special family connection can lend your wedding an extra dash of intimacy and help you feel even closer to your loved ones as you begin a new chapter.

Backyard Wedding

Photo by @sarah.brookhart

2. Save on Your Budget

Free spaces like backyards are lifesavers when planning a budget wedding. You can save thousands of dollars on your venue and put your savings to work for other aspects of your special day – like your wardrobe or decorations.

3. Embrace Nature

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, the backyard is a wonderful place to soak up the sun and basque in the beauty of nature. Depending on the season and your outdoor plants, you can also bring organic elegance into your wedding photos with flowers and greenery.

Here are a few ways you can enhance your natural, backyard aesthetic for your special day:

Backyard Wedding Ceremony Decor Ideas

1.  Design Entrance Decor on a Budget

A rustic sign can greet your guests as they enter your wedding. You can upgrade your signage for the occasion with carefully placed sign flowers.

Sign Flowers in Sunset Terracotta

You can set the tone for the rest of your ceremony and reception — and give your guests a taste of the color palette and decorations they’re soon to enjoy.

2. Drape Some Greenery over a Pergola

An elegant arch is the heart of your wedding ceremony. And if your backyard is home to a pergola, you already have the perfect stand-in for a wedding arch.

Check out how Ling’s Moment couple Stephanie and Seth styled a wooden pergola for their outdoor ceremony. With some flowing linens and a terracotta flower garland, this everyday outdoor decoration became a one-of-a-kind wedding arch for their special day.

Wooden Pergola for the Outdoor Ceremny

Photo by @brianneritchiephotography and @joslynmariephotography

Modifying a pergola is also incredibly budget-friendly backyard wedding idea, since you don’t have to purchase a wooden arch.

3. Construct a Rustic Wedding Arch with Ladders

This idea will take your wedding arch to new heights… get it?

Look how adorable this DIY ladder wedding arch is, which uses two outdoor ladders connected with a scrap plank. It only takes a few minutes to recreate this at home.

Beyond using draping fabric and floral accents, this couple also took advantage of their arch’s unique ladder rungs for decorating, using wooden “Mr. & Mrs.” signs and mason jars filled with twinkle lights for a special touch.  It’s a simple backyard wedding decoration idea that couldn’t be more unique.

Rustic Wedding Arch with Ladders

Phpto by @thaliacameraist

4. Decorate Your Chairs with Pew Flowers

You can also spruce up your trip down the aisle by decorating the backs of your chairs.

Check out how adorable these pew flowers are. You can grab 8 of them from Ling’s Moment for under $80, making them a refined outdoor wedding decor idea on a budget. 

Pew Flowers in English Pastel

 5. Create a Path with Aisle Flowers

To upgrade your aisle decor even more, consider paying attention to the base of your chairs. Free-standing floral arrangements can line your way as you walk down the aisle, and add a natural, flowing garden look.

Aisle Decor in White and Sage

Plus, you can repurpose these floor decorations for centerpieces or display tables at your reception. Reusing decorations multiple times is always a smart move when you’re trying to save money. Plus, it keeps your overall design scheme and color palette cohesive and seamless.

6. Break out the Candles

Playing with lighting is an excellent way to immerse yourself and your guests in a beautiful atmosphere. Few lighting schemes are more romantic than candlelight.

If you’re a certified candle fan and have plenty lying around your house, now is the time to light them up and scatter them around your wedding arch, or the aisle. They’re an effortless way to accentuate focal points at your ceremony, or create a magical lighting scheme for your photos.

As you take your place at the arch, your backyard will be totally transformed into a private wonderland just for the occasion.

7. Try Flickering Lanterns

If you want to upgrade your candles even more, try lighting them inside lanterns. Lanterns are a fantastic way to bring a cozy, rustic vibe to your lighting scheme.

Lantern Flowers in Emerald and Tawny Beige

Just grab any lanterns you have in your home decor, and set them in your backyard to bring a dreamy glow to your ceremony. You can also make your lanterns feel more special by adorning them with miniature floral arrangements.

Backyard Wedding Reception Ideas

8. Serve up BBQ or Cookout Food

If you want to bring a more casual touch to your wedding, try making firing up the grill for a backyard reception cookout! You can capture the cozy vibes of a family barbeque and enjoy mouthwatering, home-cooked recipes. You can save money over traditional catering while paying homage to your backyard theme – and maybe show off your grill skills, too!

9. Adorn a Sweetheart Table with a Floral Swag

When you sit down to dine at your reception, you’ll need a little something special to set your place apart. So, consider the floral swag.

You can find floral swags for under $100 from Ling’s Moment, When paired with little details like candles, wooden signs, and table linens, you have a wonderful and inexpensive solution for your wedding dining table with your new partner.

Floral Swags in Sunset Terracotta

Plus, if you went with a ladder centerpiece, this is the best time to repurpose the decorations you used to adorn the rungs!

10. Create a Chill Lounge Area with Mismatched Chairs

If you don’t have chair rentals in the budget, that’s totally ok. No one says the chairs at your backyard reception need to match to look beautiful.

Try deliberately mismatching your chairs for a free-spirited look. You can bring chairs from your home outside or borrow them from family, friends, or neighbors.

11. Skip the Tablecloth for a Table Runner

Instead of covering your tables with a solid tablecloth, try opting for only a table runner. By allowing your table’s natural wood grain to shine through, you can capture rustic vibes without completely foregoing formality.

Table Runner in Brugundy

Table Runners are also quite budget-friendly. You can easily find them for under $20 each.

12. Use Wooden Crates for a Cake Display

Wooden crates can create beautifully rustic wedding displays - like dessert tables. They’re wonderful budget-friendly alternatives to cake stands, too. You can easily find wooden crates in varying sizes for free at:

  • Grocery stores 
  •  Hardware stores 
  •  Recycling plants

Just head to a local place, then ask an employee or the owner if there are any leftover crates you can have. Not only will you help a local business clean up shop, you’ll also make wonderful DIY displays.

13. Upgrade Your Photo Decorations

Speaking of repurposing items, if you have an old window frame lying around, why not give it new life as a photo display for your wedding?

While this repurposed frame holds assigned seating cards, you could easily swap in photos of yourself and your partner for a romantic display at your dessert table. Learn how to make and customize this adorable decoration on our DIY tutorial.

Window Frame Holds Assigned Seating Cards

14. Bring the Bar Outside

Who says that bars are for indoor weddings only? Adorn your outdoor bar with lush floral arrangements in clear glass vases and accents of candles in stemmed glassware.

Dusty Rose and Cream Wedding

These tiny finishing touches can bring a more refined touch to an outdoor bar display — and enhance your experience while you sip drinks with your loved ones.

15. Add Color to Your Outdoor Tables with Bridesmaid Bouquets

One last tip for repurposing floral arrangements: instead of buying or making floral centerpieces for all your tables, try repurposing bridesmaid bouquets, just like Ling's couple  Michelle and Jacob did.

All you need is a vase or container to hide the base, and no one will be any the wiser. It’s an excellent way to get double mileage on your floral arrangements.

Bridesmaid Posy

Photo by @marybethhphotography

Bonus: Sit together on a rope swing

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more backyard-focused wedding decoration than a swing. Swings can take you back to the carefree days of your childhood, when you lived to taste the sky with your friends. Now, you can swing with your partner offering a steady support to catch you when you fall.

If your backyard is home to a rope swing, then you have a whimsical and adorable place to snap wedding photos. If you don’t, then you could easily create one with scrap wood and ropes – and a big enough tree.

Bride Sitting on a Rope Swing

Photo by @savannahmichellephotography

Where to find budget-friendly backyard wedding decorations?

If you’re looking for the ultimate budget-friendly outdoor wedding decorations, Ling’s Moment is here for you. 

Faux flowers can be six times more affordable than their counterparts — and they don’t fade or wilt. You can prepare your floral decorations ahead of time and have them ready for your wedding day. And long after you’ve said “I do,” you can keep your flowers and repurpose them for your anniversary, parties, baby showers, or even your home decor.

It’s a smart way to carry the beauty and magic of your wedding throughout other special moments in your life.

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