By Hal Salazar
If you don’t have the space, do your parents? Your fiancee’s parents? Your sister? Your best friend? Wedding spaces are big business, and there’s a lot to do, so don’t ask someone to host who isn’t emotionally invested. It needs to be someone you know you can work with, who will respect your opinion, and who’s also willing to lend you their home.
The home you secure will determine how many guests you can invite. For instance, a four-hour event with approximately 100 guests should have two toilets. If you have more guests than this or if your home has old pipes, you might want to consider renting a port-a-potty.
Designate an area for guests to arrive, sign the guestbook, and drop off gifts and coats. What space makes the most sense for the ceremony? If the weather is questionable, you may need a tent. And the home will need rooms to be used as dressing rooms, not only for the bride and groom, but for the wedding party.
In the yard, a professional landscaper might be necessary. Landscape experts can transform the yard into a beautiful setting for the ceremony, and it’s an investment that will pay off well after the wedding. Look for local landscape professionals to zero in on a reputable contractor. The right landscaping can create a beautiful setting for the wedding photography.
Additionally, Unless you live on a 50-acre farm, it’s wise to check out large parking areas nearby. You can direct guests there and have someone shuttle them to and from the house.
With friends and family coming to town, don’t hesitate to keep house guests. The cleaning and prep you'll have as a host you have to do for the wedding anyway, and most guests will be eager to pitch in and make sure everything’s taken care of for the big day. You don’t have to repaint the house, redo the carpets, or take out a wall, but if you’ve got a running toilet, a dripping faucet in the tub, or a toilet with a tendency to clog, call a pro. Skim ratings and read reviews to find a dependable, affordable plumber.
Balance the necessary repairs and tasks that need to be done, with what will make the most impact, but is also affordable, with some tasks, like landscaping and cleaning, needing to be done within a day or two of the ceremony.
During the evening, you’ll want great mood lighting, whether you hang string lights in your trees or simply use candles throughout the space. With Martha Stewart’s floral ideas, you’ll discover that having beautiful flower arrangements won’t require you to break the bank.
Depending upon your budget, you can buy finger foods at your local grocery store, have an informal barbecue, or hire a caterer. Because cakes can be costly, you’ll want to read these tips for wedding cakes on a budget. To cut down on the cost of alcohol, consider only serving wine, beer, and champagne for toasts. Instead of purchasing everything, renting all your dinnerware and bar ware will probably be the way to go.
Planning any wedding comes with its own unique share of stress, but with an at-home wedding, a lot of this stress is reduced because you are in control. There are no venue fees or time restrictions, and all the yard and home improvements will be yours long after the big day. The biggest perk is creating wonderful memories in an intimate and beloved space.