I get asked all the time what my favorite type of weddings are to plan, and while my favorite couples come from all different types of venues, styles, and socioeconomic backgrounds, the private residence wedding is by far my favorite.
As a lover of design, the idea of having a blank canvas when designing the wedding day makes all of the additional legwork well worth it. With that in mind, I thought I’d line item out some of the things that can most commonly cause stress or anxiety during the planning process when you’re hosting a wedding at home.
NOTE: I would highly suggest hiring a full service planner if you are hoping to execute a private residence wedding.
First off, if you are hoping to plan a wedding at home because you are hoping to save some money— just stop right where you are and start researching wedding venues.
The thing is, if you’re hosting a wedding at home, you are creating a wedding venue where there wasn’t one before. That means that landscaping needs to be maintained, honey do projects that need to be accomplished, and logistics need to be discussed.
Things like “Where will the caterers operate out of?; Where will the bridal party get ready?; Will guests be allowed into the house during the reception?; and What is the rain plan?” will need to be covered before a final decision should be made.
Parking and transportation.
Parking is clearly going to be an issue if you’re hosting at home, unless you are hosting at a family farm. If parking at the house is not an option, transportation is definitely going to be your next step, since you’re going to need to transport your guests to and from the wedding somehow.
While this isn’t something that typically falls so high on the list of priorities when the wedding occurs at a traditional venue, it is absolutely something that needs to take precedence at a private residence.
Bathroom trailers are absolutely something that needs to be brought into the conversation when planning a wedding at home. Even if your home has several bathrooms, the odds are good that your septic system can’t handle 100+ guests at one time.
Another added benefit of bringing in bathroom trailers, is that it keeps guests out of the house during the reception. While there are bound to be exceptions to this, i.e. grandparents, nursing mothers, the bridal party, etc., you’re going to want to be very careful about opening Pandora’s Box— because the last thing you want is 100+ people wandering through the house instead of enjoying your reception.
Lights and power.
Similar to the bathroom situation, It’s highly possible that you will need supplemental lighting and power if you are going to be hosting a tented reception outside.
Things like fryers and lighting for the catering team, power for the DJ/band, specialty lighting, etc. are all things that will need to be considered when essentially creating a wedding venue where your backyard used to be.
I wish I could list this one 15 times, it’s so important, y’all. Please PLEASE keep in mind that at the end of the day, you don’t want your parents and family members to be working on your wedding day.
The average wedding reception has about 20-25 vendors who play a role in the day when all is said and done— probably about 2-3 of which are going to be the venue staff.
With that in mind, we always recommend adding 1-2 additional team members on the wedding weekend, to aid with things like making runs to the store if we are running low on toilet paper, trash bags, or ice— all of which have happened on SEVERAL occasions.
Letting it go.
Most importantly, I think the hardest part of hosting a wedding at home is the element of being able to let things go and enjoy the day.
Our biggest goal on the wedding day is to ensure that family is able to switch over from being in parent mode to wedding guest mode, which is much harder to do when an event for 100+ is being hosted at their home.
All of that aside, private residence weddings are SPECTACULAR when executed correctly. They are highly personal and beautiful occasions and the entire day is hand picked for the couple. The whole ‘high risk, high reward’ mentality is precisely the mindset for a private residence affair.
They require a large amount of trust in your planning team,
but if you are up for the challenge— we know JUST the team to help bring your vision to life!