There are those who skip the church or halls in favor of having a more intimate wedding at home. It can typically be easier and more convenient, but a home wedding can cost the same amount if not more than a location wedding. Don’t underestimate the amount of work it’s going to take, especially if you’re taking it on without the help of a wedding planner. However, with effort and organization, it can still be one of the best experiences of your life. So how do you go about properly hosting a wedding at home?
Find the space
Chances are if you’re hosting a wedding at home, you’re going to have it in the backyard. However, that doesn’t mean you can accommodate hundreds of people. Consider the space, take the measurements, and estimate about how many people you can fit comfortably, especially while they’re seated in chairs for the ceremony as well as for the reception.
Consult with a landscaper
If you’re having the wedding outdoors, a landscaper is going to be one of your biggest assets in helping you plan out all the greenery. You may need to plant flowers ahead of time and figure out what flowers would work best in the space for the type and theme of wedding you want to have. Should your ground be a bit uneven, landscapers can either even out the yard or help you figure out the seating so the chairs won’t be lopsided making it uncomfortable for your guests.
Pick sleeping quarters for guests
Unless you live in a mansion, you probably don’t have enough sleeping spots for the guests who are going to need a place to stay after attending the wedding. In which case, you’re going to have to do research for hotels or inns in the area that can accommodate your guests. When you send out your invitations, make sure to include a list of those spots so guests won’t ask to stay at your place or hound you for the information. The last thing you want is 50 emails asking you the same question.
Plan for transportation
One way to make your neighbors incredibly unhappy is by having your guests take up all the parking spots on your block and on the surrounding streets. If you live near an airport, train station, or bus station, you may want to consider suggesting that your guests take public transportation. You can hire a party bus or another mode of transportation to pick them up and drop them off at your house to make things more convenient.
Talk to the town
Pay a visit to the town hall and find out what type of permits you’re going to need to host a wedding at your home, especially when it comes to noise ordinances. They’ll give you everything you need to file all the proper paperwork.
Choose the proper officiant
Not all officiants are willing to preside over a home wedding as they won’t or can’t perform weddings out of their place of worship. Make sure you explain to the officiant that the ceremony will be at a private home to ensure they’re able to do it.
Consider the bathroom situation
Depending on how many guests you have attending the wedding, you may want to rent portable bathrooms. It’s also an option if you don’t feel comfortable having a bunch of people traipse through your home. All portable bathrooms are not created equal, some are more luxurious than others so you have a variety to choose from.
Talk to your neighbors
If there are neighbors who are not invited to your wedding, write a letter to them or approach them personally and let them know the date and time you’re hosting the wedding. The earlier you let them know, the better so they can plan accordingly. For example, if they have a young child, they may choose to have the baby stay with a sitter that night. Giving them a head’s up will show that you have respect for them and their living situation.
Make a list of rentals
From chairs to cloth napkins, you’re going to have to rent quite a few items for the wedding. Make a list of what you need, write down cost for each item, and total it up. If it doesn’t match your budget, then you can plan for cutbacks or try to find less expensive ways to get what you need.
Plan for weather problems
Unfortunately, not every outdoor wedding is going to have perfect weather. It may rain, snow or be extremely hot, in which case, you need to be prepared. Your best bet is to rent a tent for the wedding just in case so it offers shade as well as protection from any precipitation. Make sure the tent is properly secured so it doesn’t get taken away by winds.
When it comes to hosting a wedding at home, a wedding planner will be extremely useful, especially since you’ll essentially be doing everything on your own. At the end of the day, you’ll be thankful for all the extra help and the ability to just enjoy your special day rather than stress the small stuff that the planner can handle. It’ll certainly be a wedding to remember in a place you love.
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