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Weddings Redefined

Using Your Home for the Wedding


In theory, there are some nice advantages to planning a wedding at your home or another private residence. The home could have a special meaning to you. You could save on a venue rental fee. You are not limited by an eight hour rental period and can set up and break down at your leisure. The party could go all night if you want. 

But don’t be blinded by the advantages and think through these potential obstacles before making your final decision:

  • How is your septic system? Can it handle 50 or more guests? Do you have 2 or more restrooms that guests can use? Will you have to rent portapotties or a luxury potatpotty trailer? 

  • How is your parking situation? Is there enough parking for all of the vendors in the driveway. What about the guests? Will you have to hire a valet or rent a lot and provide shuttle service? 

  • Is the home big enough for everyone to be inside for dinner and dancing? Or will you require a tent? Are you prepared to deal with the damage that tents (and the tent delivery truck) cause to the lawn? 

  • Is there a good spot on the property for a wedding ceremony? What if it rains? 

  • Are there any noise ordinances in the city or town where the wedding would be held? Are there nosey neighbors or neighbors who would call the cops to complain about noise? 

  • Is there a large kitchen onsite? The caterer will have a lot of food to warm up or prepare and will need plenty of counter space and ovens. If you can’t offer that, the caterer may have to set up a catering tent and/or rent convection ovens. 

  • How many amps of electricity does the home have? Are there some circuits with available power? If you are bringing in a tent, the lighting and heating of the tent requires significant power. If you are bringing in a DJ or band, they require significant power. So does a nice portapotty. Find out if you have enough power to provide or whether you will need to rent a generator. 

  • Is the home in an area known to have poor drainage in the event or rain? Is it especially buggy in the summer and if so, can the property be sprayed? 

In general, unless it’s a very well equipped property or a wedding smaller than 50 guests, I advise against holding a wedding in someone’s home or on their property. The logistics can get very complicated and I would definitely suggest that you hire a wedding planner to make sure that all of these details are covered. 

Please use a caterer for your wedding in a private residence. Don’t rely on your friends, family or let alone, yourself to prepare food. If you need to, you can prepare the food in advance and rent wait staff and bartenders to serve it – but please outsource at least some of this for your own sanity! 

Are you planning to get married in a private home?

Bernadette Smith