If you’re thinking about holding your wedding, a bridal shower or any wedding-weekend event such as the rehearsal dinner—know the limitations of the house.
Here are some more helpful hints to hosting an at-home event, and if you’re planning on making a call to an event planner to handle the details for you (this may be the most cost-effective and hassle-free way of handling an at-home party)
Location: First, take a look at your home and property and decide if it’s equipped to handle the size of your party. Are there spacious rooms like a living room and den where people can gather? Will there be enough space for tables and chairs? Will you have to remove furniture to fit the rentals, and if so, do you have a storage space available? Where would a buffet table go? A bar? Have a planner map out your home to see where everything would fit, allowing for plenty of walking space for guests. Remember to allow space for servers to pass through. If you plan on having musicians or entertainment, keep that in mind for space.
Tented: If you’re envisioning an outdoor-tented wedding, be sure your backyard is spacious enough for the tent that covers tables and dance floor. You don’t want to get too small of a tent and have some tables outside of the tent.
Bathrooms: Keep in mind that two or three bathrooms in your house will not be able to handle 150 guests. Renting portable bathrooms is advisable. There are even bathroom trailers that are modeled after household bathrooms. Also make sure you know where the septic system sits and BE SURE to have it pumped right before the event.
Parking: What are the parking restrictions in your neighborhood? Alert the police that an event is taking place, prior to the event.
Permits: Make sure you apply for proper permits, if a tent is being erected.
Sound Restrictions: If you are planning on taking the party outside, make sure you know the sound ordinances in your area, before the police make a surprise visit that evening.
No Access: Mark rooms that you do not want to have guests access with “No Entry” signs on private rooms. For a tented wedding, do not be afraid to put a “No Entry” sign on the entrances to the house if you don’t want anyone entering the house.
Kitchen: Is the kitchen capable of producing an event in a timely manner? Caterer’s trays are often oversized, so they need to have access to ovens and refrigerators that will accommodate them. A hired caterer will want to tour your kitchen ahead of time to be sure he/she can work well there. He/she will want to make sure that there’s plenty of counter space for staging and plating. They may require you to rent a separate tent in the yard where they will work their magic.
If you have a small kitchen, do not worry; a great caterer can produce magic from the garage or a cook tent.
Finally, hire a planner who has the vast experience with at home weddings or events, they will know what questions to ask and allow you actually be a GUEST at your own home.