Are you considering hosting your wedding at your – or your parents’ – home? Fantastic! Nothing compares to the sense of belonging, personality and hospitality this offers. However, having your wedding at home, without the facilities of a tailor-made event venue, presents its own challenges. Here I share my 5 top tips to enjoy a wedding at home.
Choose your location wisely
While your home may indeed offer a drawing room or reception room large enough to host your wedding, this comes with the inevitable crux that guests often consider the whole house available to them. So, creating a space where guests can enjoy the celebrations, all together, makes for much easier entertaining.
Such spaces can be existing structures that can be adapted, such as barns or other outbuildings, or the most versatile option, which is a freestanding marquee. The biggest priority when considering these options are:
Access points for guests and vendors. Can vendor vehicles get in and out and reasonably close to the reception space, without disrupting the guest experience?
Level ground. It’s quite the experience to spend a day sitting and standing on sloping ground – the vertigo effect is very real!
Parking. Where can guests leave their cars?
Allocate a sufficient portion of your budget to logistics
Having your wedding at home means that the facilities that comes with dedicated event venues as standard needs to be created for your wedding day, and your wedding day only. Sadly, these are not the things that are particularly thrilling, but essential nonetheless to make your wedding feel easy, enjoyable and flawlessly executed. The most essential items that is worth spending time and money on are:
Everything that is going to give you big wow-factor – lights, music, food, chilling, heating – will rely on a reliable and sufficient source of power. Don’t underestimate the significance of the ideal generator (and make sure it’s located in a space that doesn’t make the noise disrupt the celebrations).
While most caterers will accept a sufficient garden hose, making clean and safe drinking water easily accessible is integral to a good wedding!
So hideously boring to spend money on, but a complete necessity, and will also set the bar for your guests. The nicer the loos, the nicer the wedding. Trust me!
A large enough catering tent, connected to your event space from the back, with ample power sockets, enough trestle tables, sufficient hire equipment and vehicle access, will make for the most seamless food service. Slow service and cold food is often due to corners being cut on the above items – rarely on the caterer’s skill and ability!
Allow enough time for setting up
Working with a planner will take the pressure off you throughout the planning, but it will be a godsend the last few days before the wedding. Nevertheless, if you relish the opportunity to do most everything yourself, then allowing enough time is fundamental. Make, create, print and Etsy all your décor items so they are ready at least 3 weeks before the wedding. Aim to have the marquee or structure finished five days before the wedding, with all hire items delivered three days prior, so that you have two days of setting up, leaving the final day before the wedding to take a breath, perhaps a salon appointment, and enjoy time with your loved ones the day/evening before.
Consider rubbish and waste
I’m really not delivering any fun news here, am I? But having a wedding at home means taking care of all aspects of the wedding, which includes the aftermath. Even without a nod to sustainability, prior thought to recycling, ordinary waste and glass – there will be an awful lot of glass – will make the days after the wedding a whole lot more enjoyable.
This means that bins for all of the above are necessary, in greater quantity than your ordinary household waste. Communicate clearly with your caterer about how waste is handled, and if they can consider taking care of their own waste.
And if you’re wishing to tread lightly environmentally, then hiring rather than purchasing, and using return-dirty glasses instead of plastic, will greatly reduce both the footprint and the waste problem.
Hire a planner or wedding day coordinator
My final top tip is that no matter how you want to approach your wedding at home, making use of a planner will save you significant time, and often money, as their expertise will ensure the essentials are considered, budgeted for properly and ultimately give you a smooth and seamless wedding day.
But, if you get a kick out of the planning and doing it yourself, then on-the-day coordinator services allows you to hand over the reins just before the day, so that you can enjoy all the details, and really immerse yourself in the fabulous wedding you’ve created in your own home!
To find out more on how I can support you with your wedding at home, have a look here: Planning services