Should You Get Married at Home?

Since your ceremony and reception location fees add up to one of the biggest pieces of your wedding budget, it’s natural to wonder if you’d be better off doing everything at home. However, before you jump on the home-wedding bandwagon, you’ll need to consider the following points:

Home Repair

First of all, is your home (or your parent’s house) in good enough condition to host this kind of an event? When you host a wedding at your home, you’ll have dozens of guests tromping through your home, so any structural defects – including broken steps, missing porch boards, etc. – will have to be taken care of. And unless you’ve meticulously maintained your lawn, you may need to put in a little landscaping work to make your home presentable. All of these repairs add up, so don’t assume that using your home for your wedding location will save you money.

Restrooms

On a related note, when you host your wedding at home, you’ll need to provide adequate bathroom facilities for your guests. If you’re inviting 100 people to your wedding, don’t expect them to all share your one toilet! You may need to call in for reinforcements – ie, Port-a-Potties – which can take another chunk out of your wedding budget. Just be sure you make your intentions known to your guests, or the people who are familiar with your home may try to sneak past the rented facilities in search of those inside your home.

Catering Facilities

Most traditional ceremony locations come with professional kitchens, making the job of the caterers much easier. They’re able to use the ovens and warming racks to keep your food at a safe and yummy temperature until you move into the reception. However, I’m guessing it’s pretty unlikely that you’ve got a full professional kitchen at home, so you’ll need to make arrangements for how your food will be delivered and stored before your reception. Be sure to check with your caterer well in advance – many charge extra for this type of service, while others may refuse to do home weddings entirely.

Handicapped Accessibility

Before you commit to hosting your wedding at home, be sure to assess its handicapped accessibility – especially if you have elderly relatives with physical limitations attending your event. If you plan to have the ceremony outdoors, will elderly relatives be able to safely pass to the wedding site, or will they have to navigate tough hills and uneven terrain. And again, take a look at your restroom situation. If you only have one restroom and it’s up a flight of stairs, you may need to rent a Port-a-Potty that’s handicap-accessible.

Despite all these considerations, having your wedding and reception at home can be a great idea. It’s much more personal than a banquet hall, and may wind up being cheaper than traditional wedding location options. However, it’s important to take all these different factors into account before you make your decision – with proper planning, it is possible to host a fun, romantic wedding from your home.

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Filed under: Wedding Planning — vicky at 7:37 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008