With the rise in micro weddings over the last couple of years and the closure of venues due to the global pandemic, more and more couples are opting to wed at home. It’s a wonderfully intimate way to say “I do”, with a sense of familiarity and plenty of sentimental attachment to the space.
But there are also a lot of things to consider when planning an at-home wedding, with almost everything customisable. In this article, we’ll share with you how to plan a dreamy wedding in a space you already love.
Don’t have a home to call your own? You can enjoy all the advantages of an at-home wedding at a rental. A quick look at rental properties will reveal countless properties with the space and logistical capabilities to execute an unforgettable special day.
By having your wedding at home, you aren’t restricted by venue capacities. But that doesn’t mean you can just invite everyone you know. You need to be realistic about the space you have available and how many guests can mingle and move comfortably, without feeling like sardines. Make sure that you have enough seating for the number of people you intend to invite, as well as parking spaces.
When determining where to host your ceremony, reception and everything in between, be sure to set aside rooms in your home for you and your spouse to get ready. If you’re planning a garden ceremony, consider having cocktail hour just a few steps away while you’re signing your marriage license. Maybe your guests will then move indoors where dinner will be served before hitting the dance floor in your outdoor tent. Ideally, you want a natural flow between the various sites, as well as signage so your guests know where to go.
Take the Weather into Account
Most wedding venues are designed so that there is somewhere for guests to go if the skies open up or if the temperatures are swelteringly hot. You need to consider the same when planning an at-home wedding and always have a “Plan B”.
One popular option is hiring a tent that offers protection if it does rain, as well as shade during the heat of the day. If there’s a chance that the evening will be chilly, consider setting up a fire pit or bringing in heaters – nothing kills a party faster than guests feeling frozen cold!
Depending on the size of your guest list, you may opt to cook everything yourself or invest in the services of a catering company. Unless you’re having a micro wedding, we highly recommend going with the latter as it will mean much less stress.
Catering companies offer everything from buffets to grazing platters and canapés, with the option that’s best for you determined by the size and style of your wedding. If you’re having canapés or table service, don’t forget that you will also need to hire a front-of-house team.
Wedding venues often come with a wedding planner who will take care of all the logistics of your special day, ensuring catering is ready to go on time and everything is in its right place. If you’re getting married at home, you can either hire a wedding planner/coordinator independently or assign a close friend (someone with outstanding organisational skills) to take on this role.
Unless you have several bathrooms at your house, it’s worth bringing in additional toilets to ensure no one is left crossing their legs. This doesn’t have to mean cramped portaloos that will be an eyesore on your property as you can find some pretty luxury options available these days.
It’s common courtesy to let your neighbours know when you’re throwing a party and an at-home wedding is no exception. Either chat with them in-person or write them a note to let them know that you will be having a gathering. Include in it what time you expect the music to be turned off and when the event will finish.
It’s a good idea to apologise ahead of time about any inconvenience caused – people are usually much more forgiving of noise if they have been pre-warned and if they know it’s a rare occasion.
When you’re getting married at a venue, the clean up is something that is taken care of while you’re being whisked away as husband and wife. But if you’re getting hitched at home, you have to designate a team to manage this essential task.
Make it clear where guests should leave their dirty glasses, plates and cutlery or have plenty of bins available if you’re using recyclable disposables. If you don’t want to designate a crew of family and friends to manage the clean up, consider paying for external help to get everything looking spick and span.