What to Know About Hosting a Wedding at Home
As destination wedding planners and designers, our team has seen our fair share of lovely venues, but there are few settings we've ever loved more than private homes. A family's lawn that overlooks a private lake, a beachfront property, and acres of rustic farmland may not look at all alike, but they all have something wonderful in common: sentimentality.
If you're considering hosting a wedding at your residence or private property, you have such an incredible opportunity to treat your guests to something really special. That said, there's a lot you need to know to pull things off well. At the risk of sounding a little scary, I'm going to be candid here and tell you that there is a lot that can easily go wrong if proper attention isn't paid to some critical logistical considerations.
It's a common myth that hosting a wedding at home will save you money. While there may not be a rental fee - you're going to need to bring in everything to your wedding site and won't be able to rely on typical venue amenities. Friends, I'm not just talking about chairs, tables, and tents. I'm talking about a lot more than that. For example... the three "P"s:
Planning to put a tent out in your backyard? Don't even think about just pulling power from an outlet in your house and running cords through a window. Okay - maybe you have an outlet on the outside of your home and don't need to run cords through windows... but still. You need more power. You'll have to rent generators and prepare to supply multiple circuits for lighting, the catering team, the band, etc. One wrong move or attempt to cut corners here could result in an expensive party in the dark and/or without music.
Can you imagine 100+ people sharing just one or two bathrooms? Talk about a nightmare. At a traditional venue, you'll typically enjoy an abundance of restroom facilities, as well as an onsite venue liaison who can help with maintenance issues. I don't want to get too graphic here, but if you've ever had to snake or plunge a toilet, you know with absolute certainty that you do not want to be worried about that on your wedding day. You need toilets (and sinks!) to properly accommodate your guests. Restroom trailers are a must, and be sure to book an onsite attendant to keep them fresh, clean, and operating correctly.
If you have plenty of land for cars to park, you've crossed one important hurdle. But you need more than land. It needs to be properly lit for safety and managed well to avoid accidents and sloppy parking jobs that result in angry guests. We highly recommend hiring valet attendants whenever possible.
I'm just scratching the surface here, but trust me when I say that these things have to be dealt with first before you can start spending time (or funds!) dreaming up design elements for your wedding.