Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weddings at Home

We recently attended a final walk-through with the caterer for Liz and Greig’s at-home wedding with Andrea, our wonderful catering contact at Biscuits and Berries catering. It’s going to be a great event, and we’ll be sure to post pictures when it’s over.

Having your wedding at a private home can be wonderful and intimate. But it also will require some additional planning to work with logistical issues. Before deciding to host your event at home, make sure you consider the following:

Space. Do you have room for a ceremony, guest seating, buffet tables, bar, dance floor and band/DJ?

Local ordinances and sound regulations. Make sure to find out if you will need a special permit to host a large event at home. Is there a sound curfew in your neighborhood? You don’t want the police showing up at your event. Be sure you notify your neighbors well in advance.

Parking. Where will guests park? Do you need to provide a parking valet? Consider seeking permission from a local church or school to allow guests to park in their lot, then offer a shuttle service between your home and the lot.

Liability and security. Speak with your homeowner’s insurance agent to see if you need to add a special home event rider to your insurance plan. While you trust your guests, you will also have catering staff and other strangers in your home. Be sure to lock away any special valuables.

Guest access. Lock bedrooms and rooms that you want your guests to avoid. Hang directional signs to help guests find the restroom. Consider the traffic pattern and traffic flow, and remove and store any furniture that might impede guest movement.

Rentals. You will need to consider the cost of renting tents, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, silverware, flatware, dance floor, etc. If you rent a tent, will you need special lighting, flooring, or heating/cooling?

Catering. Where will your caterer work? Your kitchen will most likely not be big enough for the caterer to work from, and you don’t want the dirty dishes to pile up in view of your guests. Is your garage large enough to serve as a staging station? Does it have easy access to your event area? Will your caterer need to bring in ovens and refrigerators? Are there sufficient electrical outlets? Do you have enough garbage and recycling bins?

Restrooms: If you have having under 50 guests, 2 restrooms are sufficient. If you have more guests than that, you will probably need to rent portable restrooms. Do you have space for portapotties well away from the center of the festivities? Is there adequate lighting for guests to make their way to and from the portapotties? You should also rent a hand-washing station.

Pets. If you have a pet, consider taking it to a kennel for the event. Pets are easily stressed out by large crowds in their territory, and guests may be allergic.

Cleaning. Considering hiring a cleaning service to come both before and after the event, so you don’t need to worry about cleaning the day before the wedding or cleaning up the mess afterwards.

Back-up plan. What happens if it is raining or too hot to be outside. What is your plan B?

With advanced planning, you can make an at-home wedding a wonderful experience!

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