Backyard Weddings -Pros and Cons

I have been talking a bit about having a backyard wedding, so I wanted to bring my pro's and con's over to the blog to get some feedback!

Pros: There would be no site fee! The other place we were looking at doing the wedding would be $2650 in site fees. Instead, we could spend some of that money decking out my mom's backyard by planting flowers, repairing pool tiles, and generally making improvements to my mom's house. I know that sounds incredibly boring, but I would love nothing more than eliminating site fees and letting my parents make home improvements.

Con: The space is not set up for a wedding. Some things included in the site fee would still have to be purchased - chairs, tables, dance floor, etc. All these things will have to be brought in, which will cost some money, but not $2650. Since the space is not set up for weddings, the placement of things can become awkward. It will definitely be more challenging for me to plan.

Pro: More flexibility with everything! We could bring our own wine, find our own caterer, etc etc. This cuts costs quite a bit. Also, there are no time constraints or guest minimum and maximums. The money that I save getting a cheaper caterer can go toward inviting more guests, which I would love to do.

Con: We are much more on our own. No site personnel would be there to offer suggestions and help with planning. It is entirely up to us! This basically means a lot more work for all of us which can add much more stress.

Pro: my parent's bathroom is pretty awesome. We could get some extremely amazing pictures if us getting ready in that bathroom, I would even get one of those velvet Victorian chairs.

Con: I wanted our wedding to be a 3 day trip for some of the wedding guests, and this is just not that. I did however find gorgeous villas not too far away that we could all stay at which would still create a 3 day trip experience. There is also a nice hotel right by the house for out-of-town guests. I want to do a day-after brunch, but going to an area we are semi-familiar with just doesn't sound like that much fun! It's all about exploring :)

As you can tell- I have been thinking about this a lot! I am beyond stressed about finding a venue as I have wasted so much time already :( I will post pictures of all these places soon, but rest assured they are all gorgeous so the main issue is with the logstics, not with what I could do with these spaces.

So, Do I put tons of time and effort and planning into my parent's backyard to create a gorgeous DIY amazing wedding that is incredibly personalized???

Or do I go with some structure and build my wedding around what they already have, which would still be just as DIY and personalized but would be a little bit more "normal wedding"???

Or do I just forget about it and elope?? (believe me-I've thought about it once or twice!)