“Remember the little things”
Check with your local law enforcement agency about the noise ordinance applicable to your area. By doing so early enough in advanced you will be able to get a head start on your wedding schedule to comply with sound restrictions. In most communities, the party has to quiet down at 11pm. You should also determine if you need to file for a permit to park cars along your street the last thing you need is the cops crashing your party.
“Respect thy neighbour”
If your neighbours didn’t receive an invite, go beyond the basic courtesy of notifying them by dropping off a bottle of wine or a box of chocolate. Depending on the day and what time of year it is, they may be planning to host a party the same night. Be sure to give them a heads up on the ceremony time so nobody is mowing their lawn during your vows, and perhaps ask if they would be willing to offer their driveways for extra parking space. However, make sure there is enough street space or property of your own to arrange guest parking. If you want valet parking you do have the option of hiring a reputable company to avoid spending your whole evening away from the wedding. (remember Father Of The Bride)
Regardless if your childhood home is on a sprawling estate, you still have to consider how much indoor space is available. If the rain decides to add itself to the guest list, there has to be somewhere for your guests to take shelter. Tent rental is almost a must with a backyard wedding, it’s a great way to create “zones” in your space... like a traditional wedding venue. You can have the tent space for dining/dancing, an outdoor space for guests to hangout, lawn games, photo booth, guestbook table, destination boards... etc. Renting a dance floor is another essential, dancing on uneven lawn could create some cool new dance style, but save your guests and get them a levelled stable space to dance the night away!
No matter how many bathrooms are inside, outdoor weddings require extra toilets. You have to take into account that at least one bathroom for every 35 guests, your company will also need a place to freshen up as well. Upscale portable bathrooms are now available that have lighting, sinks, heated water, and even air-conditioning. Adding an amenity basket in the ladies’ room can make your girls feel even more special and possibly help in a personal emergency situation, stock your baskets with hair spray, tampons, band-aids and breath mints
“Crunching the Numbers”
Don’t be afraid to adjust your guest list, if you want to have all the traditional items at your event (full dinner, ability to pay for at least some drinks, photo booth, etc). Realistically a small budget equals a smaller guest list. Every bride dislikes the idea of trimming loved ones off the wedding guest list. It becomes even more of a difficult situation when both the bride and the groom come from large families and are blessed to have a big group of friends. Most couples start their guest lists off by divining them into 3 tiers ... A, B and C. For a small wedding, stick solely to the “A” group to ensure those you would really love to see at your celebration receive an invitation.
Choosing to do an at home wedding means you have a private residence that is unique with beautiful trees or a gorgeous lawn, maybe a spectacular view. You can use those elements to your advantage... by creating a homey feel by using different centrepieces and mix-and-match vases. The idea is to look like you have cleared out grandma’s china cabinet of all of its unique and delicate pieces. Playing with outdoor lighting possibilities with garden lamps, paper lanterns and tiny white lights strung on branches will create a stunning fairy-like atmosphere.
Getting that lawn freshly cut and pristinely green is an essential for hosting an event where your yard is on display. Another good rule of thumb is to get your planting done early, any shrubs or flower beds that need to be added to complete your space should be done well in advanced. If you’re planning on a spring wedding, you should start preparing in the fall. You can do research about reseeding, replanting, and sodding or ask any professional landscaper. Most perennials need a winter to take hold, and it takes some time for annuals to fill out. Be sure to find out the appropriate planting times for the flowers you like, so they will be in full bloom on your wedding day.
“You Can’t DIY Everything”
Although brides and their parents can be superhero’s who complete the impossible in a small window of time... you can’t do everything on your own. When planning an at home wedding sometimes a wedding coordinator will give you a fresh perspective on the property and what you can and cannot do. You will also need services to help cover all the basics such as: setting up, cooking, serving, parking cars, and cleaning up.
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