It’s a given that one of the biggest days in a man or woman’s life is when they get married. It’s also true that so much planning and time and emotion goes into something that, considering both the ceremony and reception, probably lasts less than three hours. And sometimes that planning starts, ideally, nine months before the actual wedding day.
Apparently, finding the perfect venue for your reception (and ceremony, too, if that’s in your plans) is probably the most difficult part of wedding planning. In fact, TheConfusedMillennial.com states that finding a venue “can make or break your planning experience.” So, now it seems as if the venue dictates so much of what a wedding reception is all about: the food and drinks you’ll serve, the overall party atmosphere, and the total wedding experience your guests will have.
One way to cut costs, save time, and reduce a lot of stress is to have your wedding and reception at your house. With some thought and a little extra planning, you can configure your house and backyard to stage a truly special, personal wedding and reception venue.
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Decide How Big the You Want the Ceremony and Reception to Be
Not all homes are big enough to accommodate a total of 100 guests. At the same time, you don’t want to leave friends or family off your invitation list simply because you don’t think you have enough room. In either case, consider having a private ceremony, with only immediate family and close friends, then open the reception up to more people. That way, you don’t have to worry about having enough chairs or other seating arrangements; plus, the ceremony itself will be more intimate and personal.
Prepare Your Backyard
If the ceremony and reception are going to be in your backyard, you’ll need to make sure that you cut and trim the lawn, cut back any foliage, and that you minimize the threat of any pests. You should consider using an arbor or pergola for your backdrop. In addition, consider renting a tent to keep the reception area dry if it rains or shielded from bright sunlight. Also, if you have a dog, you must make sure your yard is clean of any waste.
Prepare Your House to Stage the Wedding and Reception
Take the time to really give your house a good clean before the big day. Don’t forget to clean the furniture, too! If you lack the time, hire some professionals to handle the cleaning for you. Search for top furniture cleaners near me on a database like Angi, and before hiring a service, look at the reviews they’ve earned from past clients. You should also ask what equipment they use to see if they’ll do an efficient job.
Not only will you want to make sure your house is clean before the ceremony, but you’ll also want to consider what you need to do to stage the wedding and the reception, including rearranging furniture and removing and temporarily storing items that might make the space look cramped. You should also avoid decorating too heavily so that everyone at the wedding is comfortable being in a smaller space. You should also consider in which rooms guests will be greeted and where gifts will be stored. Those areas will need to be cleared of any furniture and other objects that would get in the way.
Make Room for Food (and Drink)
If you’re using a catering company for your reception, discuss with them the easiest way to keep the food and drinks ready for the reception — either in the kitchen or someplace outside. You can probably save money on your food budget if you have a potluck reception, where you ask friends or close family to provide a side dish (or beer or a bottle of liquor or some soft drinks) if you provide the meat, sturdy paper plates, and utensils.
Throughout all of this, be considerate and inform your neighbors about your plans for a wedding at home, and how there will be parking on the street and, of course, sounds from the celebration in your yard. But, of course, you could invite them as well.
Having a wedding at your home not only saves money, but it also provides an intimate memory of the big day. It’s your special day — enjoy it!
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