Thinking about hosting your wedding at your own home or the home of a family member? Consider these points.
One of the most stressful parts about planning a wedding is finding that elusive perfect venue. It’s even more difficult when you’re trying to stick within a reasonable budget. Instead of dealing with the hassle and financial hardship of picking a wedding venue, more and more people are choosing at-home weddings. Whether it’s your home or someone else’s, here are eight things you should consider when planning an at-home wedding.
1. Your Budget
Hosting an at-home wedding doesn’t magically take away all of your budgeting woes. It’s essential to create a wedding budget and stick to it throughout the planning process. While the venue is free, you’ll still have to pay for any additional services you decide to use such as catering, a wedding coordinator, special music and more. Try renting the items you know you’ll never use again, or scour your local thrift stores to complete your homey vibe.
2. Both Indoor and Outdoor Options
Nobody wants to sit outside for your ceremony in the pouring-down rain. Even if you have a backyard that rivals a botanical garden, you should still plan for an indoor option or an outdoor covering. You can rent a rain-proof tent for your backyard or plan to have a backup option indoors such as your living room or dining room.
3. Hiring a Cleaning Service
This is helpful for both before and after your ceremony. Before the wedding, you’ll want to give your home a deep cleaning, especially in the rooms and bathrooms you know your guests will use. However, it’s equally helpful afterward to bring in a cleaning crew. Otherwise, you could return from your honeymoon to a sticky, confetti-filled disaster.
4. The Purpose of Each Room
Just like when you first moved into your house, you have to determine the purpose of each room as it relates to your wedding. Will you have the ceremony in your basement? Where will the cocktail hour occur? Design the flow of traffic around the functionality of each room. Additionally, make sure there’s enough space throughout the home for each guest to wander around comfortably.
5. The Day and Time
One of the biggest perks of an at-home wedding is that you control the day and the time. There’s no one else competing for your coveted beginning-of-October date. You can also base the time of the ceremony and reception around who you are as a couple. If you’re breakfast people, shoot for an early ceremony and host a brunch as your reception.
6. That Bathroom Situation
Many older homes have one or two bathrooms at the most. A good rule of thumb is to have one bathroom for every 25 guests at your wedding. If you don’t have enough bathrooms in your home, try renting out luxury portable bathrooms. You can find options that even include little toiletry baskets in each stall, whether it’s hair products for women or cigars for men.
7. Hiring a Landscaping Professional
You usually don’t care what the neighbors think of your lawn, but the stakes are a little higher when you decide to have an at-home wedding. Do you really want your wedding photos set against the backdrop of overgrown shrubs and dying flowers? Talk to a landscape professional or contractor to see how they can revitalize your outdoor space before the big day.
8. Where Everyone Will Park
This is a bit more complicated than you may think. Some areas actually require permits to park cars on the street. If you don’t have enough street parking, check for some lots nearby that you could use for the day. You can even hire a few people to shuttle guests from the parking lot to your home for the ceremony and reception.
Plan Ahead for Your At-Home Wedding
At the heart of all of these considerations is the notion that you should plan ahead. Just because your wedding is at home doesn’t mean you can just show up on the big day without an actionable schedule. Plan early and often to make sure you achieve the wedding of your dreams for a budget that makes the day even sweeter!
Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here.