How to Turn Your Backyard into a Wedding Venue

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Do you have a beautiful home and picturesque outdoor space? Are you looking for a way to make extra money? Turning your backyard into a wedding venue could help you generate extra income. And, depending on what features and landscaping you already have, you could begin with minimal investment.

It’s not as hard as you might think to host weddings, and other events, on your property. First, carefully research the legalities of using your home as a wedding venue in your area. Then, cover the practical bases of hosting hundreds of guests. Add the lighting, infrastructure, and landscaping features your property will need to appeal to clients. Finally, put the hard work into the hands of a venue manager, so you can kick back, relax, and collect your new paychecks.

Cover the Legalities

When it comes to the legal side of renting out your property for events, you’ll want to make sure you’re adhering to local laws, paying your taxes, carrying the right insurance, and protecting yourself with an ironclad contract. Check with your local municipal government regarding noise ordinances and other laws that could affect your ability to host events on your property. If you live in an HOA, check with them about bylaws that could prohibit using your property as a wedding venue. For example, many HOAs prohibit residents from having a large number of cars parked on or near their property.

What about paying taxes? If you rent out your property for fewer than 15 days a year, you don’t need to pay taxes on the proceeds, or report them as income on your tax return. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay taxes on the income, but you can also write off home improvements as a business expense. Whether or not you reach the threshold for paying taxes on your short-term rental income, however, you should check with your insurance agent about carrying the right kind of liability insurance, and your attorney to draw up a contract that protects you and your property and allows you to collect a security deposit.

Consider the Practical Issues

Legal issues aside, there are a ton of practical considerations that come with transforming your home into a wedding venue. For example, do you have space for caterers to prepare meals for 100-plus guests? Do you have enough bathrooms to go around, and will they withstand hours of non-stop use by attendees? Where will everyone park? Where will the bridal party get ready? What if guests need a private area to breastfeed? Will your property’s power grid be able to provide all the juice required for a large event? Are overnight accommodations available? How accessible is your home? Do you have enough outdoor space for a ceremony area, a dance floor, and a reception?

Don’t panic if you only have two bathrooms, limited parking space, or other issues with your property. Just as you can rent folding tables and stackable chairs for an outdoor event, you can bring in additional restroom facilities, transport guests to and from a nearby hotel via shuttle service, or set up a generator to provide more power.

Add Lighting and Infrastructure

While fairy lights, candles, lanterns, and other temporary light sources can help illuminate an outdoor wedding, your property may need more permanent outdoor lighting than just your porch light, especially if it’s a large property and you plan to host events often. You may also want to consider adding additional infrastructure, such as a permanent dance floor; a gazebo, pergola, patio, or pavilion for ceremonies; well-lighted walkways to and from the event area; or a water feature.


If you intend to maintain a natural grass lawn while opening up your home for weddings, you’ll need to do extra work to keep it looking nice. You may want to hire a lawn care provider to regularly aerate, fertilize, and overseed your lawn. You’ll also want to install attractive plantings, including beds of hardy perennials, shrubs, and trees. Remember that plants need time to grow in, so get your landscaping done early in the wedding season so it can be ready in time. Take it easy on the color; white gardens match every bride’s color scheme.

Find a Venue Manager

You probably don’t want to personally deal with the nitty-gritty of renting out your property for weddings. That’s where a venue or event manager comes in. They’ll handle stuff like setting up and taking down tables and chairs, making sure catering has a place to cook, bringing in extra restrooms, setting up auxiliary lighting, and perhaps most importantly, making sure everyone leaves on time. That way, all you have to do is collect the rent money.

Renting out your property as a wedding venue may not be for everyone, but it can be an easy way to supplement your income, sometimes even tax-free. If your property is large, appealing, and in a good location, you might even be able to turn your side business into a substantial income stream, so you can make money while making guests’ dreams come true at the same time.

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