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Backyard Wedding/ Reception Venues, Planning, and Catering

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Recommended Backyard Wedding Menus

Locking Down a Backyard Wedding Venue

Have you locked down the perfect backyard wedding venue? (If not, please give us a call - we have a number of great places we can recommend. Update: this is still true in the era of COVID and they're harder to find so let us help). While many people have a relative or friend with a beautiful location that they can take advantage of, we've seen a rise in wedding venues as well as rental properties on AirBnb and VRBO used for backyard wedding events. There are also some gorgeous public and private mansions outside of the well-publicized ones.

A great outdoor space is generally the centerpiece. Lesser considered items that jump out as the event approaches tend to include things like altars (if ceremony onsite), separate spaces for ceremony and dinner (otherwise you're looking at a flip), bathrooms (here comes the trailer rental), dance floors (lawn + stilettos = funny), kitchen access (else we're building one in the garage), power (for that massive outdoor speaker set for the DJ...no but really we need it for kitchen equipment), parking (yay to the valet), cold/rain backups, and ensuring you've done enough to keep the neighbors at bay (maybe park off street and don't bring the concert speakers?).

Getting Hitched

It's pretty common to combine the wedding ceremony with the reception if you're not holding the ceremony in a church, temple, or other religious facility. It certainly makes it easier to not have to move a number of guests across town (if you do, we often recommend a shuttle or uber over lots of cars in a neighborhood setting + cocktails). You'll want pretty flowers, a charismatic officiant, and a photographer who's mapped out all the right angles.

You'll probably want to greet people with some light food and drink, since it's LA and you'll need to allow for some time where people find their way across town. You'll have your altar set up in the perfect spot and rows of chairs lined up for your guests to watch. Your master of ceremonies will get all the guests to move from up and about to in their seats and music will signal that it's time for the wedding party to make their entrance.

After the Rings

If you've done the ceremony onsite, then you may or may not be dashing off for photos and a change (and watch out for that mascara if one of you is known to get a little teary). If you're doing the flip, now is the time, so make sure guests have some place to go (or want to move furniture). We generally recommend a passed service or display so people can mingle and take group selfies (providing some selfie sticks increase the chance of getting an album-worthy shot of Nanna and the cousins, but the funny ones generally won't come this early.) If you're onsite, then it's a great time to do a reception line and greet everyone. We tend to keep our captain in your vicinity so you get a chance to sneak in some appetizers and drinks.

Dinner Time

This is when your planner/ coordinator earns their keep (if it's a flip, it'll also happen just before on getting the tables laid out and places set...make sure staff is allocated by name between planner and caterer ahead of the event). You need to get everyone to their tables. You may have speeches (hopefully that have been vetted, timed, and practiced). You also have food that's been timed to be just perfectly finished with the planned timing on the schedule. For most cultures (or for any plans involving offsite transportation), wedding timelines aren't something to be strictly adhered to. You want your planner to be able to appropriately communicate schedule changes within the "speak now or forever hold your peace" windows that mean your guests will enjoy the delicious meal you paid for. (Once our chefs start to fire the meal, we will look at attempts to insert anything new into the schedule as an insult to your reputation and hospitality.)

Dancing & Cake

Once dinner's over, it's time to have fun. There will be a first dance. And then more dancing. And maybe a bit of lubrication (we recommend signature drinks over shots to keep people off the rafters). And lots of great photos. And more dancing (for our Jewish friends, there may be chairs involved - hang on tight!). And the slicing of the wedding cake (party trick: you can order a smaller cake and get a backup sheet cake to keep it more manageable). We recommend plenty of water and coffee to let people mix it up, especially if there's a drive involved.

Sendoff

Toward the end of the night, the couple traditionally hops into a car and drives off. Whether your taste is a classic Rolls Royce or a convertible with trailing cans and a big sign, you'll probably want to give people something to throw at you on your way out (BTW - rice has been replaced by most couples with something softer when it hits, but you'll still want to make sure you've got something easy to clean up if you want your deposit back). And then while you bask in the moment, make sure you have appointed someone to be in charge until the last guest leaves the dance floor and we've been able to pack up and sign out our crew.

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Related Reviews

The food was INCREDIBLEWhen I first started planning my wedding, my fiance and I had NO idea what to expect or where to even start. The moment I spoke with Elizabeth from Bite Catering, not only did my taste buds start watering, but my anxiety level went WAY down. She made both my fiance and I feel reassured, comfortable and confident in her skill, ability and knowledge. We came to her with a ton of disconnected ideas, questions and concerns. She was able to help us construct a plan, theme and amazing menu. We had some unique requests, such as creating a cocktail style wedding with passed and buffet style appetizers, rather than a sit-down dinner. Elizabeth was completely on board with making this work, and was diligent about creating our dream evening. She also made some extremely wise suggestions and recommendations, all which became instrumental in making the evening work. Elizabeth as well as the other members of the team were responsible for the flow, and I truly don't think our event would have worked nearly as well without them. And of course, the food was INCREDIBLE. Everyone was easy to work with, pleasant and professional. We will be forever grateful to Elizabeth and her team for her hard work and patience. We would absolutely refer her to anyone looking for an amazing meal, catered event and overall experience. My husband and I are approaching our one year anniversary next week and have only fond memories of Bite Catering, and are so appreciative we found them!!!! - Melinda S.

Backyard Wedding Inspiration Photos

Mahi Mahi on Platter
Mahi Mahi on black plate
Ahi Tuna Bites on Wonton Crisp
Happy Couple Dancing
Outdoor Wedding Reception
tbd
Lettuce Wrap Bites on Bamboo Spoons
Key Lime Pie Bites with Graham Cracker Crust
Artisan Cheese and Bread Display
Lovely Garden Setting for Dinner Outdoors
Mini Burger Passed on Tree Tray
Outdoor bar set up
Buffet Station @ Wedding
Seared Duck Breast
Shrimp Skewers
New York Strip (plated)
Backyard Wedding Set-Up - Ceremony and Dining Area
Seared Duck with Grilled Vegetables
Beet and Arugula Salad
Green Wedding in Bel Air American Station Chefs
Green Wedding in Bel Air Recessional
Green Wedding in Bel Air Bread Baskets
Malibu Hills Backyard Aisle
Green Wedding in Bel Air Cake and Desserts
Green Wedding in Bel Air Lemonade Sign
Lemonade Station - Summer Wedding
Green Wedding in Bel Air Lemonade Mason Jars
Edamame Hummus Crostini
Venison Tenderloin - Adding Sauce
Malibu Hills Backyard Ceremony Setup
Dinner Lights
Ocean view from backyard wedding in Malibu
Endive Canape
Intimate family-style wedding reception - One long table!
Fall Wedding Cake Top Tier
Ahi Tuna in wonton cone
Backyard Wedding Tent w/ Lanterns
Backyard Wedding Reception with Plated Meal in Malibu
Assorted Breads on Buffet
Green Wedding in Bel Air Country Basket
Intimate home reception wedding cake
Wedding Couple with Bouquet
Mini Cashew-Crusted Key Lime Pies
Asian Display with Individually Boxed Noodles
American Action Station @ International Themed Wedding
Wedding Cake with Sugar Flowers
Wedding Cake Side
Fall themed dessert station for wedding
Mac'n Cheese Croquettes
Vijay Goel and Chef Elizabeth cutting the wedding cake
Malibu Home Backyard Wedding Reception with Ocean View
Staff Setting Tables
Guest Book for Wedding
Pre-Ceremony Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Display Tended by our Knowledgeable Server
Dessert Station Night
A rustic bar with bartender
Intimate family-style wedding reception dinner
Crostini Bar Display
Dinner Setup Under Uplit Tent
Team Hard At Work
Dinner Outdoors
Rustic cheese display
Lighting Candles for Evening Dinner
Plated Poached Scallop
Wedding Cake with Fall Colors
Apple Duo
Reception Table in Backyard
Potato Gratin next to Venison
Lasagna in Mini Cast Iron
Fall Dessert Station
Pecan Tartlets
Taco Bar Station
Mexican Buffet Station @ International-Themed Wedding
Rustic Salad Display @ Wedding
Wedding Dinner under Lights
Mini Lobster Rolls
Market salad display on wedding buffet
Mexican Buffet Station @ Wedding
American Action Station @ Backyard Wedding
Sweet Potato Fries in Newspaper Cone
Green Wedding in Bel Air Sunflowers

Backyard Wedding

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Bite Catering Couture
3380 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Phone: 310-401-3397

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