But watch out: even without the price tag of a reception hall, a wedding reception at home can still hit couples hard in the wallet. We'll help you determine whether having the celebration at home is right for you and what choices to make in order to have a beautiful and memorable reception.
All the Comforts of Home
If you're on the fence as to whether you'd like your wedding reception to take place in the home, determine the following:
* Is your home large enough to accommodate the number of guests you wish to invite?
* Is your home open-plan so that a number of people can congregate in one place, and/or is there open and easy access among rooms where people can mingle?
* Is the location within your guests' driving distance of the wedding ceremony?
* Will there be very young children at your reception?
* Will there be elderly and/or differently abled people at your reception?
* What kind of budget constraints are you under?
The Size of Your Home
Let's consider the first item on the list. You'll need to fit not only your guests, but the same number of rented chairs or other furniture, in your home. If you know someone who has a larger home than yours (typically, this would be your or your fiance's parents' home), this may be a better option.
The Style of Your Home
An open-plan home is ideal for a home wedding, but it's not essential. If you have several connecting rooms where people can mingle, this may work as well.
Distance From the Ceremony
Whether you want to hold your reception in the home or at an outside location, try to have it be no more than a 15-20 minute drive from the wedding ceremony.
Children and The Elderly
Some couples are very particular about their home. If you're afraid of fingerprints that won't come out or broken glass or furniture, and are planning on having children at your reception, an at-home affair may not be for you. On the other hand, there are easy ways to childproof your home. Purchase plastic plugs for all outlets. Put delicate items up and out of reach. If you have a swimming pool, make sure it's closed securely and preferably, gated around the perimeter. If you will have differently-abled attendees, make sure there is plenty of space for them in doorways and easy access to the rest room.
You will automatically be saving money by not having the fee of an outside hall rental. Make sure you save on rental furniture and food as well. Package deals (chairs, dishware, food and perhaps music) can make for a less expensive wedding--but not always. Never go with your first interview; visit at least three and preferably five different coordinators or rental locations and choose among those. Always get references. Do your homework and you're sure to have a lovely reception that's where the heart is.