Some people dream of getting married in their backyard whether because it’s their
childhood home or their forever home. However hosting a backyard wedding is a lot more intense than your normal backyard BBQ or family get together. No matter if you are planning an event for 50 people or 200 in your home, I highly recommend bringing in a planner/coordinator to “host” your event so that you can be a guest. Most homes can’t host over 100 of your closest family and friends around your personal dining room table so that means you’ve gotta bring in the tables, chairs, linens along with a tent to host them from any potential weather contingency plans. I’ve got over 13 years in tented wedding experience and bringing a full production to your backyard is almost on the scale of a destination wedding because everything had to be brought in for that one weekend.
We typically like meeting with our backyard clients the first time away from their home to really look into their vision and needs. Once we’ve confirmed the in-home event we will set up a site visit with our rental companies to start getting quotes for restroom trailers, generators, lighting, tents, tables, chairs, linens, place settings, and dance floor. You may consider getting some rentals from different companies to get the best deals on your needed items, however I recommend getting your “big ticket” items from one (tents, restrooms, tables & chairs) and the smaller items from another. This will allow one company to deliver and set up a few days prior and then your smaller rentals can arrive the day of or before the event.
Don’t forget you will need to bring in a lighting team to light the tents, parking and pathways. Planning a wedding on the family farm? You definitely want to light the
field where family and friends will be parking so they are safe walking in the dark. Planning an event in the late evening hours and don’t think you need lighting? Don’t’ forget about the clean-up, although your event is ending at sunset; you need to give your vendors light to make sure everything is properly cleaned and secured for overnight. This means you will most likely need to bring in a generator to guarantee enough power for lighting, restrooms, heaters if chilly outside, also for entertainment and catering needs.
We always HIGHLY recommend home weddings with backyard events to bring in restroom trailers. These are not your traditional “porta-johns,” they are usually air conditioned or heated and most have sinks and private stalls for both men and women. Most homes can’t take 50-100 flushes per hour or their septic tanks take that much waste in that short period. Nothing’s worse than a stopped up toilet or calling an emergency plumber during or after your event. Just ask one of our past clients that didn’t adhere to our advice and we were scrambling to find towels to stop the toilet water from doing down the hallway.
Are you a germaphob? Do you like using public restrooms? What do you think your personal restroom is going to look like after 150 guests use your personal toilet for 4 hours straight? Plus what do your cabinets, draws and closets look like? Yep…people are going to open every door and cabinet just to be nosey.
That brings me to my next issue with in home weddings and events…how much do you like your personal belongings and irreplaceable breakables? If we have in home events we recommend a few things:
· Organize and Clean your house from top to bottom
· Simplify your layout (is there any furniture you can remove during the event to give more space for walkways and safety)
· Lock up all valuables and breakables in one room
· We also recommend keeping your house locked during the event. Bring in restroom trailers and add a small 15×15 tent for vendors (catering & decorators) to work from
While this event will give you a reason to “spruce” up your landscape, some projects will need to planned a year out to give time for the vegetation to come in and look healthy. Don’t forget to purchase new cushions and patio furniture for cocktail hour or for guests to use while waiting for ceremony to begin. All landscape and painting projects should be completed at least 2 weeks prior to the event date. This allows time to cut grass and finish weeding flowerbeds the week prior to the event. Note, if you are having a tent delivered and set up on Thursday, grass should be cut and weedeeted by Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s a few other tips for planning an in-home event:
· Provide more trashcans and know what you are doing to do with access trash and recyclables
· Have you spoken with your neighbors? Do they know about your upcoming event; were they even invited?
· Know your city & state (and home owner association) rules and regulations in regards to parking, noise, tent location, etc
· Speaking of parking, where will you put all of the cars? Will you provide a shuttle service from an offsite location (hotel, church, shopping area, or recreation center)?
· Look over your guest counts and make sure you are handicap accessible to all of your guests that may need a little extra TLC
While you won’t need an ABC permit to serve a full bar we do highly encourage hiring
professional bartenders and have a last call thirty minutes prior to the end of the event to let all vendors and guests know the end time and allow them to clean up. Although you have homeowner’s insurance, we still recommend taking out a one day event insurance. This just protects you on another level. You can never be too protected. By having a team of professionals come in, set-up, host and tear down…you’ll get to be a guest that can sit back and relax or cut a rug on the dance floor.
If you thought having a wedding at a professional venue was difficult, try bringing one home.
In home weddings typically end up costing more because you have you import all of the rentals and decorations whereas professional venues may already include those items.
We personally LOVE in-home weddings but we want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into if you are planning one. Remember we offer FREE consultations to discuss these options. Contact us today to learn more about what we can offer you and your family so you can be a guest during your home wedding.