How to plan & style your at-home wedding
The world has changed and so has the world of weddings. We appreciate everything lot more and surely appreciate each other a lot more. Planning a wedding from lockdown has its own challenges. One of them being on how to plan the wedding in this new order and with new social distancing guidance?
A smaller, perhaps even intimate, at-home wedding might be just the answer. And something we can see is still available in 2020 as a short-lead wedding.
Your wedding can not be more personal to you than having it at your own home or home where you grew up. Surrounded by your nearest and dearest in the place you love. Home is where it all begins and where you can certainly look back at fun memories from your wedding day.
Whatever the size of your home and garden, you can arrange a great celebration there! Smaller homes might allow for a long banqueting table, where larger homes can allow for a full set up with round tables. And we can find and create an aisle for a lovely ceremony too. Believe me, as a wedding planner with plenty of experience, we have seen it all ?
How to have your dream wedding at home in 10 simple steps.
Hire a professional wedding planner & coordinator
As a detail and event vision-oriented wedding planner we will see your home differently than you. And we will work out the best layout for your ceremony and reception. We can also help you organise this event within a month or two. So, if you decide to marry in this wedding season, we can ensure a stress-free journey. You can just sit back and make executive decisions from choices we will propose.
We also offer partial wedding planning services in the Cotswolds area, so you don’t have to pay out for the full wedding planning service.
Even a small and intimate wedding is a lot of work. Make sure you hire a coordinator for the day. They will look after your guests and your home.
Talking about professionals, hire a cleaner for the day after, so you can spend your first day as a married couple chilling, not cleaning ?
Your wedding at home will not be necessarily cheaper than it would be at a wedding venue. Cost of wedding flowers, menus, and drinks will remain the same as it would be in any venue. And we would always recommend popping up a tent or a gazebo too for a cover. You might want to consider even popping up the mobile kitchen so the chefs and waiting staff stay out of your home entirely.
Late-night license & Insurance
If you are planning to play music after 9 pm and sell alcohol at your home, you will need temporary event permission from your local council. It is wise to insure your home for the event too.
Plan for repairs and home upgrades
You might want to upgrade your garden, perhaps plant some flowers, and get some painting done before the big day. Please do allow enough time for the finishing touches before the wedding day. Calculate in possible delays with builders so the work is finished at least a month before your wedding day.
Have a walk through your home as your guest. Walk-in their shoes from arriving and parking their car. Possibly leaving the car overnight. Walking through to the ceremony and serving them the first drink. Clearing the glasses away. Mingling after the ceremony and enjoying the canapes. Using the toilet. And moving onto the reception, sit down the order, and speeches. Please consider the lighting throughout your home, especially on at the end of the night. You might want to hire some colourful up-lights and hang festoon lights to add light and atmosphere. Suggest a B&B or a hotel nearby in your invitations so your guests can get organised.
Use your home’s special feature
Every home has a special feature. It might be that big window in the living room, garden overlooking the trees, or a rose arch. Any special features can be included and used as a ceremony or a reception backdrop. You can enhance them with special lighting.
Catering & Menus
As the wedding is at your home you have great flexibility in designing your menus and choosing your catering company. This can be daunting as the choice of caterers is wide and the quality differs massively.
Be careful not to hire some cowboys who cater in their spare time. Your professional caterer must have a Hygiene certificate and liability insurance.
If it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is! The catering company will also provide you with the waiting staff and bar staff who can serve your drinks. And most importantly keep clearing crockery and glassware all day long. So, your home is left clear of broken glass. There are private chefs that will cook for as little as 2 people, some of them with fine dining and even Michelin star experience. So, your menu tasting can be super fun in your own home.
Be creative and go all out!
A catering company can provide all needed crockery, cutlery, linen, and glassware. They can also provide you with tables and chairs. And your kitchen will be left spotless at the end of the night. It is a win-win! A good catering company is a must.
Always let your neighbours know first what you are planning as they can indeed put a stop to it all via your local council! And as thanks, you might want to invite them for an evening drink. Strengthen your neighbourly relationship.
Always be prepared for the rainy weather. If your indoors is not suitable for the wedding party that is taking part in your garden, then think about hiring a town hall or a village hall as a backup. Your wedding suppliers will be flexible and create a perfect celebration in your alternative venue.
End of the night
As your wedding is taking place at your home your guests might feel that they can stay until early morning hours. If that is not the case, include the end time on your invitations, book taxis or a minibus for a certain time, and inform your DJ when the last song will be played. Perhaps have an end of the night dance with everyone. Say your goodnights and head upstairs as new Mr & Mrs!
We understand the times have changed hugely in the last couple of months around the world. However, this does not mean you could not have your relaxed, classy, and elegant wedding celebration at home or anywhere else.
We as wedding suppliers, are working towards your dream wedding with you and we are available to support you and consultations only too.
It is just a new and modern way to plan your wedding!
Photography: Dave Perry
Photography: Esme Fletcher
Bar: RK Vodka