A home wedding is a great choice for many reasons. It saves money, wedding DIY projects provide you with a sense of pride and personalization, and the home you choose is likely already packed with memories of friends and family.
Whatever your motivation, hosting a wedding at home requires planning and inspiration, and that’s why we’re here.
Tips On Planning A Home Wedding
Although you can save tons of money on DIY decor like home made wedding favor and seating charts, some of the other expenses may add up above and beyond your expectations.
Just like any other wedding, planning a wedding at home starts with settling on a firm budget and guest list so that you know what you’re working with.
The next most critical thing is the spaces you’ll need:
- Multiple bathrooms
- A dedicated changing space
- Food prep area
- A ceremony area
- A reception area
- Entertainment space
- A lounge area
It’s unreasonably stressful to use the same room for more than one function. Flipping the ceremony area over to a reception area may seem simple in your mind, but it would be a disaster if you actually attempted it.
Your best bet is to take stock of the available – inside and out – space and determine which spaces work best for each scenario. The reception area needs easy access to food prep. Entertainment needs access to electricity. The lounge area should serve as a retreat from the hustle and bustle. The photography area(s) should leverage the memory-evoking aspects of your home.
Be Like Santa
If you’re planning an at home wedding, it’s essential that you make a list of what you need to do, and make sure you check it twice (just like Santa!) because there are bound to be things that fall through the cracks. Here are a few things you need to make sure you do while planning your at home wedding.
1. Place a call to your city’s town hall and find out if there are any street improvements or other construction projects planned in your area just before or on your big day. If there are, you should think twice about your planned date (or location); the last things you want intruding on your wedding day are a bunch of loud construction noises or muddy, messy roads.
2. Your neighbors need to know what you’re planning so they’re not surprised by excessive noise and traffic on your wedding day. A bit of notice will go a long way toward minimizing intrusive things like leaf blowers and wood chippers being run on a neighbour’s property while you’re trying to say “I do.”
3. This isn’t romantic at all, but you really need to make sure you have enough “facilities” for your at home wedding. Having a lot of guests trying to use the single bathroom in your home won’t work very well, and you’ll end up with unhappy guests and unhappy bladders.
Along with these, you also need to check details regarding renting tables and chairs, a tent (for protection from the elements) and whether or not your caterer will be able to use your kitchen for their preparations.
Home Wedding Ideas
There are plenty of home wedding ideas that you can plunge into to make your wedding memorable. If you have space, consider hosting the ceremony indoors and then transitioning outdoors for the celebration.
Keeping the ceremony indoors allows all of your guests to stay comfortable and hear your tear-triggering vows. Once outside, there are plenty of options for the reception meal.
- BBQ – This is our favorite. Home weddings often come with healthy doses of help from friends and family. You’ll be able to rely on them to contribute to the meal with sides and starters. Even if you’re entirely on your own, we’ve yet to meet someone that doesn’t love a good BBQ.
- Garden Party – If your outdoor space is open, you can keep things super classy with rental tents and string lights. The outcome will be gorgeous and the tents will keep the weather at bay.
- Barn Wedding – One of the great things about home weddings is the intimate atmosphere they provide. Put your wedding home decoration skills to the test and set up a dance floor that none of your guests will be able to resist.
- Home Wedding Themes – Many themes (such as Rustic, Boho, vintage, whimsical, and alternative) that go extremely well with a home wedding setting. You can decorate everything to your exact taste with the added benefit of saving on cost with a few DIY ideas.
Wedding Home Decoration
Another great benefit of hosting a home wedding is the amount of control you have with each and every space. You can choose specific spaces that you love, and dress them up for the occasion. Or, you can choose to completely transform a space so that it serves a new function.
For example, you can pick out a sentimental space and dress it up as a DIY photobooth. Your guests will love recreating childhood memories.
Another great idea we loving seeing is a DIY repurposed wedding bar. Add comfy couches and pool table as a great foundation for a lounge area, allowing your guests to step away from the crowd when needed. Above and beyond transforming your day-to-day spaces in gorgeous photo ops, you can also indulge in some DIY to cut down on costs.
Take it upon yourself to craft centerpieces, home wedding invitations, seating charts, and maybe even an archway.
However, it’s wise to do a little research before you get started. Print at home wedding invitations, for example, could wind up being more expensive than a full-service designer after you add up the costs of paper and ink.
Home Wedding Pros And Cons
There are a few concerns that come with home weddings that you wouldn’t encounter at other venues. Make sure that you plan ahead for:
- A bad weather plan
- Permits (and ideally the cooperation of neighbors)
- Transportation and parking
- Rental furniture like seating and tents
- Photography areas
- Catering (access to the kitchen, ability to move through the home)
- Clean up (will you do this yourself or hire a team?)
- Drunk Guests
The last one is a con that you may not see coming. Home weddings present a very casual setting for some of your guests. They may not have the same sense of ‘professionalism’ that they would at the formal venue and wind up indulging at the bar a little too much. It happens more often than you think.
That being said, the pros far outweigh the cons.
- Childhood memories
- Total control and customization
- Comfort with your surroundings
- Cost savings (if you are mindful of expenses and solicit help)
- More theme flexibility
- You’ll get to walk by the exact spot where “I Do” happened on a daily basis
- As long as you give yourself enough time and plan ahead, those “cons” can be virtually nonexistent
Keep these small home wedding ideas in mind while you plan your wedding, plan ahead, and don’t be scared to go overboard with bathroom accommodations and tent rentals to protect your guests from unwanted weather and you have the recipe for a beautiful ceremony and reception.