Okay, so we gave you all of the fun parts of an at-home wedding in PART 1. Now let’s make sure that you’ve got your bases covered. First things first, what is your contingency plan if you have poor weather and no plan to tent?
In the unfortunate event of a sudden downpour, you will need to accommodate your guests inside the house. Have these plans drawn up way in advance of the wedding day and make sure everything is set, just in case. Think of it as planning two weddings. One if the weather is behaving, the other if it refusing to hold it’s peace.
If you have a nice garage, we would highly recommend emptying it out, power cleaning it and erecting a marquee tent between the house and the garage as a pass through for people to utilize both areas. In the garage we would give a nod of approval in draping the ceiling and draping or at least freshening up the walls by re-painting. If you are striving for a contemporary look, utilize a flat panel draping. This is an inexpensive way to transform this large (and usually unsightly area).
If not utilizing the garage for any part of the social functions, consider this a great staging kitchen for your caterer. Once cleaned, it will give them a great space that they can use in preparing and plating your dinner.
With plans for bad weather in place, dream of what you want to do if your weather is terrific. Consider using the driveway as the ceremony aisle and the front of the garage or your home as the chapel. This is very common in the South. At the conclusion of the ceremony, you can enter the house or the garage for your cocktail or refreshment reception. Utilize these areas for a relaxing lounge area as you accept congratulations from your guests in a receiving line as they are greeted with butler passed sparkling water or champagne.
Next transition to the backyard, which has been set for your reception dinner. Following the ceremony as guests enter the relaxation lounge strike the ceremony seating in the front of the yard and install a croquet set or other fun outdoor activities.
Remember lawn gardens are beautiful and so are a great pair of heals, but if the lawn in soft you are going to have a problem so constructing a temporary floor may be in order. This is definitely a consideration if you are having a tented reception. Take a close look at the surfaces guests will be standing on and inform them of the appropriate shoes for the occasion, if necessary.
Although clear top tents are beautiful at night you may want to consider how warm they will be if it’s very sunny and warm. An air conditioning unit and generator or ample power may also be in order. The other source of power you don’t want to forget about that will deliver great atmospheric drama will be in up-lighting for the trees. This is a great idea for a reception that will be going into the wee hours of the night. Your caterer will also likely need additional power, so consider all of the needs for the event before ordering a generator.
Almost last, but not least, consider how many guests will be attending. This will be a major consideration in determining what to do about rest room facilities. With a small wedding you may be able to just use the bathrooms in your house. If you are planning a large wedding consider portable rest rooms.
The final piece that usually causes complications is parking. Determine if your home and surrounding neighborhood can comfortably handle the large number of cars that will arrive at your event. How convenient will it be for your guests to arrive? Do you need to provide valet parking?
Considering all of these elements will help ensure you have a perfect at-home wedding!
Photos by Meghan Doll Photography. Over the last couple of years we have worked increasingly with alternative reception...