Top 10 essentials for a home wedding

Top 10 essentials for a home wedding
Top 10 essentials for a home wedding

Permission

You may have dreamed of getting wed in your grandparents' country cottage garden since you were a little girl, but the most important consideration to make is your grandparents' opinions. Of course they want you to have your dream wedding, but it's their property and they have the final say. Try dropping hints to get an initial reaction, which, if it isn't a great one, then leave the idea be so as not to put them under any pressure.

Catering

It would be quite the challenge to try to be 100 per cent self-sufficient for your wedding day, so try not to tick every box and instead be realistic. You are allowed to 'cut corners' – there are so many options now that it would be a shame not to utilise some of them. One of the biggest reliefs would be to hire caterers. Let them think about the ingredients, preparing the dishes and supplying the crockery and cutlery, and you can just worry about choosing and devouring the dishes. They will clear up the mess too – phew! A small price to pay for zero stress. Hiring either a wedding planner, professional cleaning service or gardener on top of your wedding entertainment isn't necessarily excessive either – just smart!

Facilities

Do you really want 50+ guests traipsing up and down your stairs and using your bathroom? It may be sparkling at the start of the reception, but come 11pm you'll wish you'd kept the door locked. Consider hiring some 'posh portaloos' instead. Ignore those visions of building sites and music festivals – there's a whole different breed of portaloos more fitting to weddings that look like the facilities you would find inside a hotel, but just happen to be temporary. Other must-haves include a generator for the lights and sound system, chair and table hire and even temporary carpet or flooring to be laid on top of the existing floor surface.

Gazebo

Just because the guests aren't inside the house, it doesn't make your wedding any less personal or special. If your garden is big enough, then hiring a gazebo or tent is the perfect option for a home wedding as it accommodates more guests than you could fit indoors and it is an opportunity to be a tad more creative and free with your wedding decorations and theme as it's a blank canvas. Coloured drapes, fairy lights and a disco floor can all be possible with an outside gazebo. If you have your heart set on the wedding being inside, then you need to trim, trim, trim that guest list so you're not all treading on one another's feet.

Stash the valuables

Of course you trust your guests, but to keep your mind at ease (brides need minimal things to worry about) then safely store away any valuable or irreplaceable house items. Whether it's artwork from your three year old nephew, a vase your grandmother gave to you or your family photographs, it's better to be safe than sorry. Spilling wine or accidentally knocking something over takes just seconds but the mess may never be cleared up.

Prepare the space

If you were having your wedding reception at a hotel, you would expect nothing else but clean and prepared facilities. No dust, no mess and everything in its place. Employ the same rule for your wedding at home by ensuring you give the property a good 'once over' before the big day. Combine your DIY to-do list with the wedding preparations and start ticking off tasks you've been meaning to do for ages, such as staining the garden fences, freshening up your indoor woodwork or redecorating the living room. What an excellent excuse for a home makeover!

Insurance and safety

‘Shoulda, woulda, coulda’... the famous last words. Don't be caught out – plan ahead by re-evaluating your home insurance. What does it currently cover? Do you need to tweak it to cover the events of the wedding? It may cost you a bit more in the meantime, but it will be worth it if something goes wrong. A hefty bill post-wedding will not go down well. You may also need to have the venue checked out by a local authority such as the fire brigade to confirm it's safe for the number of guests. Check the licensing laws on alcohol, road parking and live music restrictions too. It's a good idea to forewarn your neighbours too, out of politeness – if you're not inviting them that is!

Boundaries

We all know that alcohol loosens people up and makes them a bit more lively. Avoid any awkward confrontations by setting boundaries from the start. Create some pretty (yet informative!) signs to display around the house – you could make them witty if you wish to avoid coming across as bossy (even though you have every right to be). Signs such as; 'If it's all the same to you, this is a family loo. Please use toilets outside', or 'Curiosity killed the cat. Nosy parkers keep out.'

Cost

If your reason for having a home wedding is to keep the cost down, then think again. Hosting a wedding at home may not necessarily be any cheaper than an all-inclusive wedding at a venue as you're having to pay for each component separately. If you want your wedding at home for sentimental reasons, then you will be able to justify the cost. But before you start planning, be sure to weigh up the budget and the bills to save any panics when it's too late.

Memories

Most couples who wish to celebrate their wedding in a personal venue have chosen to do so because of sentimentality. Perhaps ever since you saw Father of the Bride when Annie comes down the stairs in her wedding dress after getting ready in her childhood room, that's all you've imagined for your special day. Plan ahead and think of all the ways you can make the day memorable and not let opportunities pass you by. A lot of this will be covered by your professional photographer, who'll be able to capture you in certain areas of your home. But you might want to consider doing extras such as planting a tree on your wedding day in the family garden or naming the house. Read more on getwed.com...
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