Intimate Home Weddings
Having your wedding in your own home can be a wonderful way to transition from your former role as a daughter into your new role as a wife. Being surrounded by childhood memories and mementos on your wedding day provides a wonderful sense of nostalgia. At-home weddings are perfect for small guest lists, or larger ones if you have a large home, but there are also many challenges that may arise along the way. If you are considering having a home wedding, carefully consider the benefits and problems presented here before making a decision.
Location, Location, Location
A home wedding does not necessarily have to be at your parent’s home. It could be at your grandparent’s farm, your best friend’s house, or you and your groom’s place. Each location has its own special atmosphere, and you should choose the one that appeals to you the most. While having your wedding at your parent’s home would provide a transition for a young bride, a cohabitating couple may want to have their wedding at their own home. Either way is fine, and no matter what you decide, you’ll have the same logistics to consider. Just make sure that the size of your guest list is appropriate to the size of the home or the grounds.
Having a home wedding indoors will make even the best homemaker second-guess the look of her home. Furniture, wall colors, and other decorations will be heavily scrutinized by the family, and many choose to redecorate before the wedding. If you feel you must make changes, you should plan to finish them at least a month before the wedding, so that you will have time to focus on the wedding plans themselves. You may also want to hire a cleaning crew to come in a few days before the wedding to make sure everything sparkles. For indoor weddings, you need to consider:
- Protection for valuables
- Available seating
- Floor space
- Furniture arrangement
- Protection for carpet
- Sections of the home that are off-limits
- An intimate gathering of close friends and family will have less problems, but a larger guest list requires careful consideration so that your guests can be comfortable without invading your privacy.
An outdoor wedding can be more beautiful, but also more costly than an indoor one. Renting tents, chairs, walkways, dance floors, etc. can get very expensive. You will also need accessible bathrooms for your guests, which may mean renting portable bathrooms. Most people think of rain when anticipating weather problems, but you should also think about an unexpected cold front, sweltering heat, or other disasters depending on the season of your wedding. For your guests’ comfort, keep in mind that walking in grass destroys both the landscape and women’s high heels. Outdoor weddings also require water and electricity if they are far from a house, so that food can be stored properly. Lighting may also have to be provided, depending on the time of day the ceremony is planned for.
Whether you plan an indoor or an outdoor wedding, you will have to provide things that a venue normally would do for you. You should hire an outside caterer if you have more than 30 guests or if no one in your family cooks, but you will still have to deal with:
Another problem with home weddings is the cleanup involved. From dishes that need to be washed to trampled grass to spilled drinks, there will be a lot to do the day after the wedding. It might be a good idea to hire a maid service or to ask friends and family to pitch in to help you clean.
Keep in mind that your friends and family have probably been to your house before, so don’t be too worried about what they will think, but try to make everything as comfortable as possible, from access to bathroom facilities to the temperature of the room. For an outdoor wedding, you may want to provide shawls or fans in case of bad weather.
Depending on your guest list, a home wedding can be as expensive or more expensive than one at a different location, but it can provide a level of intimacy and comfort that an unfamiliar venue cannot. A few more things you need to keep in mind are:
- Your neighbors – let them know ahead of time
- Fire inspection
- Noise ordinances
- Portable bathroom regulations
- Parking permits and access
- Storage Space
- Pets – do you want to deal with them the day of the wedding?
Planning an at-home wedding may start to seem overwhelming, but very few people who choose this type of wedding regret it. Just make sure you plan ahead, think things through, and above all – have fun!