Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An At-Home Wedding

For some couples there is no place like home when it comes to the perfect wedding celebration. Just remember that everything that is normally taken care of at a rented wedding venue - like a hotel, function hall or even specialty location - is now your responsibility.

Here are some tips if to help you along if you're having an at-home wedding...

Figure out your maximum guest count. Determine if that number will fit comfortably in your home or yard. If you are holding the reception outdoors and have the room for it, call in a tent professional to determine how the wedding could flow from indoors to an outdoor "room" such as a tent. See what your options are for adding this structure. Most tent companies will provide a complimentary consultation - and it will give you a good idea of how many people you can actually invite.

Check your power. Make sure that you will have enough power for live music or extra lighting. Don't blow a fuse at the wedding -- have a professional electrician check it out first and let you know where you stand.

Check with your city regarding live music, assembly, garbage disposal, tent erection and other ordinances. Call your local departments and make sure you are in compliance with all laws and regulations. Know what time noise becomes a nuisance. You don't want a police raid just as you are about to throw the bouquet.

Ensure that there is enough parking! Check with the neighbors to see if your guests may use their driveways or consider a valet service. The valet can keep track of the cars, and where they are parked, and be able to bring them for the guests when they are ready to leave. At one at-home wedding I attended, the couple had arranged with a small van service to shuttle guests back and forth between a public parking lot two blocks away and the home.

Another good point here is that if you have neighbors who might be annoyed about your wedding celebration, invite them to the wedding. This way they are part of the event and won't be bothered. Even if they don't attend, you've made the gesture and created goodwill so that you can relax and celebrate.

Just remember that although you are holding the wedding at home, doesn’t mean that you have to provide homemade everything – or even anything. Decide what you want your level of involvement to be as far as preparation, set-up and service and then make plans to suit your budget, your wishes and your time. The point of this type of wedding is to keep it easy and relaxed.

Tomorrow, we will talk about more at home tips that you can use for your wedding celebrations!

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