By: Nina Hamilton-Wilber
A “Home-Sweet-Home” Wedding
The comfort & convenience of a backyard wedding can be a wonderful, budget-friendly experience. If your thinking of hosting your celebration at home, then keep these things in mind when planning:
- First make sure the home can accommodate your guest list.
- Is there a back-up plan if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
- Decorative mood lighting is a quick & easy way to transform almost any space (indoors & outdoors).
- Hire an event coordinator to relieve the stress on family/homeowner. Also a fresh set of eyes can be helpful to decide on location of ceremony, special moments and the overall flow of the day.
- Hire staff to set up, break down, valet and cleaning service for when the event is over. Don’t be afraid to delegate simple tasks to family & friends. Generally speaking, most people are happy to help and it makes them feel more involved in the event. Pairing up “In-Laws” with a common chore can be a great “ice-breaker” too!
- Adequate space for caterer and staff in the kitchen or outside if they are mobile.
- Start early on the yard. Fall planting can make for beautiful spring colors. Also be sure the ground is level for tables, chairs and dance floor. Turn off water system in plenty of time before the wedding. You don’t want soggy grass for your guests to walk on or chairs to sink into.
- Hire a professional entertainment company. Whether you choose a DJ or a band, your guests will stay longer and have a better time in the hands of an experienced entertainer(s). Although your kooky uncle may indeed play an impressive rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” on the spoons, it’s best to leave those type of parlor tricks for another party.
- Check with your officiant to see if he/she can perform a ceremony outside of their place of worship.
- Rentals of tables, chairs, linens, glassware etc. can be expensive so plan that into your budget.
- Sufficient and steady power is crucial for the entertainment, lighting and catering companies.
- Consider inviting your neighbors to the “after-party”. At least, notify them in advance of the event as a courtesy. You don’t want complaints if the party gets rockin’ and the music is turned up.
- You may need a permit in your area to hold an event. Check noise ordinance, parking restrictions, etc.
- Enough bathrooms? These days you can rent a “luxe” port-a-potty.
These tips are not to discourage you from planning that perfect home wedding but rather to help prepare you for a smooth and rewarding experience for you, your family and guests. With a little extra effort and some clever planning, your familiar living spaces can be transformed into a magical and wondrous wedding-scape!