Planning your wedding in your childhood home? Your grandparents’ farm? A private estate owned by your elusive, rich aunt who loves gazebos? Great! As wedding planners, we love the ‘built in sentimentality’ of a venue that means something to our clients. But the logistics can be nightmarish. And hosting a wedding at your house may not save you money-- contrary to popular belief. You may even be shocked to learn that you may end up spending more! It’s a game of hidden costs, y’all.
A wedding at a private home is harder to plan than a wedding at a wedding venue. Boom. There are lots of things to think about, consider, spend money on, and to just plain figure out. Here’s a short list of ‘private home’ expenses that will add up:
Restrooms / PortoPotties
Generators / Power / X Cords / Outlets
Valet Parking or shuttles running
We go into detail about all of the above!
How much space is necessary? 7 sq ft per guest. 6’ for an aisle. These are the norms, every wedding varies…
Before you decide for sure that you are going to host your wedding in your private home - bring a wedding planner, a rentals person and a caterer out to your home and see what they think. Chances are, they are going to bring things up that you haven’t considered and you don’t know what you don’t know! Hire professionals, take their advice. A catering staff needs prep space and depending on what they have to load in - you could be paying A LOT that you wouldn’t pay at a traditional venue...like for counter space, and portable heaters, a refrigerated truck and a generator for the kitchen set-up alone.
Get Event Insurance! Call your homeowner’s insurance agent to see how best to plan for a big ol party on your property.
You better have a plan B if you are planning to do any celebrating outside!
What about food trucks? We love food trucks! But if you do dinner this way, you have to think about the timeline...and again, the space. You need extra staffing, roving bussers, well-placed trashes...and you may need 2-3 trucks. Maybe stagger them!
Links we referenced
“It is twice as hard and twice as much work, logistically, to do a wedding in a place that is NOT a venue. And also, for the record, any time clients use the word ‘just’ on the front end...we know you’re up to something.” - Christy, you can’t trick a trickster!
“Power and space and land. Flat land. Those are important. And then there’s parking and bathrooms and kitchen.” - Michelle (lions and tigers and bears)
“You can’t expect guests to just stand next to each other and hold their tacos in their hands. Where are they going to put their drinks?” - Christy, thinking about the important parts
“Go into this with your eyes open and your budget flexible.” - Christy, some jedi advice for wedding planning in general
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