4 Major Tips on Getting Married at Home
Are you and your loved one a little more low key and is the idea of having a grand wedding trauma-inducing? Whether it's your home together, or your parents home, consider getting married on the property! The amazing team of Emily Wren Photography, and stylist Clover Event Co. are here today to let us know the low-down on how REALLY you can plan and execute a wedding at home. From keeping the carpets clean to planning your vendors' expectations, read on for their expertise....
1. ORGANIZING VENDORS IN YOUR HOME
When hosting vendors in your home for an at home wedding, it’s important to make sure they understand what the home has to offer along with its possible limitations compared to a traditional wedding venue. For instance, for a caterer, a venue may have a full service industrial kitchen onsite, while for a home wedding, the kitchen might be limited to a standard refrigerator and oven. It’s important that key vendors like caterers, rental companies, bands and photographers visit the home in advance so that topics like equipment, electric needs, access points, parking and other details can be discussed. Since homes don’t typically have what would be considered “back of house” spaces at venues, it’s also important to talk through set-up locations, prep locations and breakdown details including plans for garbage removal. For some home weddings, an onsite garage, basement space or additionally rented tent can be a great location to use for back of house operations. Overall, making sure your vendors are familiar with the property in advance is key to navigating a successful at-home wedding.
2. GUEST ACCESS AND PARKING
An average home is designed to house 4-6 people throughout the year and of course additional guests at holidays, but it does not have the infrastructure in place to accommodate a larger group for a long wedding day. The biggest infrastructure pieces to consider are restrooms, parking, and climate control.
Even if there are several onsite restrooms in the home, most are not designed to handle large usage throughout one day and plumbing can often fail or get backed up, not to mention having guests use in-home bathrooms could mean they need to access more personal spaces such as bedrooms and outdoor dirt can often be dragged in easily as well. Fortunately, there are a number of restroom trailer options available. The thought of portable restrooms may conjure images of uncomfortable blue plastic cells with questionable levels of cleanliness, however there are actually quite a few companies that offer more refined options with a full restroom feel.
Parking can also be a challenge for at home weddings. Even if street parking is available near the venue, it’s typically not enough to accommodate all of your guests and can become problematic for neighbors. We often recommend hiring valet services or working with a nearby school, community center or church to see if you can rent out their parking lot for the day and provide shuttle services to and from the lot to the home. If you have friendly neighbors, you may even ask them to use their driveways for vendors or additional guest parking.
HVAC can also be a concern for at home weddings. A private home is designed to handle heating or cooling for normal occupancy, but with 100 people inside a home, sometimes systems, especially those in old homes, cannot keep up. Looking into additional cooling or heating units is a great option if your wedding is being held in the heat of the summer or cool of the winter.
3. KEEPING YOUR HOME CLEAN
Practical Ways to Keep your Home Clean (carpet coverings, clearing away ornaments etc)
For those getting married at home, we always recommend hiring a cleaning service to be scheduled just before your wedding and immediately after to take care of deeper cleaning before and after the wedding. Removing items that could easily be damaged with large foot traffic, such as accent rugs, is an easy way to ensure those items won’t be distrubed during the wedding. We also recommend removing any valuables, memorable items or ornamental decor that could get easily damaged with additional guests in the home. And, of course, given that your home will be open to more people than usual, we do also recommend placing any valuables in a safe location so as to avoid any mishaps.
One great thing about at home weddings is that there are not the typical time regulations that often come along with a more traditional wedding venue. You may choose to start your wedding earlier or later in the day and while we recommend most weddings still follow a six hour time frame (that’s about how long the average wedding guests focus can last), you may choose to continue the party with an after party onsite. With that said, don’t forget to familiarize yourself with your local noise ordinances and regulations to ensure that your event complies with these requirements. We also recommend reaching out to your neighbors ahead of time to let them know what to expect. Recently, we helped one of our clients craft a letter to their neighbors which they delivered with home-baked treats and an open invitation to stop by for a drink during the reception - personal approaches like this go a long way when it comes to planning an at-home event! Since your home also has full availability, many couples getting married at home are able to plan their wedding with a quicker turnaround time because venue availability is not a concern.
Photographer: Emily Wren Photography | Film Lab: The Find Lab | Stylist / Planner: Clover Event Co. | Floral Designer: Kateri Jude de Valencia | Dress Designer: True North Bridal | Rentals: Foxfire Mountain House | Accessories: Bario-Neal | Venue: Foxfire Mountain House | Cake Designer: Cake & Catering: Chef Nazie, Foxfire Mountain House | Hair & Make-up Artist: ONLO | Ceramics: Suga Pottery | Paper & Signage: Shindig Bespoke | Groom’s Attire: ASOS | Bride’s Shoes: Michael Kors | Groom’s Shoes: Clarks | Videography: Emily Wren Photography, Gregg Cornish