Hosting your wedding at home is definitely not for the faint hearted. If you’re someone who is interested in the carefree, relaxed affair then you need to think twice, or hire a wedding planner (contact us and I promise we can help). There are so many complexities when it comes to planning your wedding at home. From the smallest gatherings of family and friends to huge marquee events, planning your wedding at home often requires more time, energy and sometimes even money than compared to a restaurant wedding or function centre reception. Still need convincing? We’ll walk you through the finer details.
One of the most overlooked fundamentals if you’re hosting your wedding at home. You absolutely need to mitigate your risk to the possibility of being sued should one of your guests or vendors have an accident on your premises. This means a public liability policy. You should also look in to other insurance policies which will cover you for theft, or damage should something go terribly wrong. And by the way to minimise your risk, insist that any vendors that are working with you on the day have their own public liability policy, and can show you a certificate of currency.
For many smaller at home events, usually power supplied from the home is sufficient. If you are organising an onsite marquee affair however, the game changes completely. You may need to think about arranging electric generators to provide you enough power for everything from power for a temporary kitchen, to music, sound and lighting for your guests. More importantly you’ll need to source a generator which is quiet enough not to detract from the ambience within the venue itself.
Thinking that ice in the laundry sink over half a dozen bottles of soft drink and wine bottles is going to get you through a big event may be really optimistic! Hiring tubs from your local party hire place and buying some ice to throw over your drinks is one solution for a very small party; however it still won’t solve your food refrigeration issues, especially with the Australian heat. Mobile cooling facilities are fabulous and can often be delivered on wheels straight to your door. They work well for larger events and you should speak to your caterer to determine how much refrigeration you’ll need on the day.
Heating and Cooling
You may need to consider heating and cooling depending on the season and temperature. Marquee weddings in winter can become quite difficult to heat. Air-conditioning units can be noisy, and it’s really difficult to evenly distribute heat throughout a large marquee area. Mushroom heaters and so forth can be useful in outdoor spaces (but inside a marquee can be really awkward). Outdoors make sure you have enough so that you don’t have clumps of people not wanting to circulate for fear they’ll lose their space under the warmth. Summertime poses a difficult problem. Make sure there is enough shade (market umbrellas are a great idea – contact us and we can help), especially around areas that you are hosting cocktail hour, or canapé service. Marquees with sides that can easily go up or down are also a good idea. Air-conditioning units can be hit and miss in marquees, however if you are able to hire some large floor fans to circulate the air – these can also be noise but help some.
It seems like the most ridiculous point to consider, but as many of our events tend to be at remote locations in regional areas, water is critical. ESPECIALLY if you run out of it. It’s the one time in the lead up to your wedding that you’ll probably want it to rain, to top your tanks up. Failing that, have some water ordered in advance to save yourself the stress. Be sure to brief your staff – waiters and caterers need to know that you’re on tank water, to save them leaving taps running or just any other plain old wastage.
I’m sure there are plenty of other things that you’d rather spend your money on than the WC. But alas, another one of those fundamental pieces of infrastructure you’ll need on the day. If you intend on using the existing WC at home, then make sure your plumbing is up to scratch. WCs have a knack of failing with use en masse. If you’d like to play it safe (which I always think is a better idea), book some portable bathrooms with your local supplier. If you have a bit of extra cash, consider booking a trailer, rather than single units. Not only will the trailers have better lighting then the independent units, they’ll be more comfortable for your guests who may find the independent units awkward and unpleasant in an evening gown.
Have enough staff, have enough staff, have enough staff. There…do you get the point?! Don’t skimp on your staffing budget. For a sit down event you should consider at least a staff to guest ratio of 1:15 plus bar staff. But staff are no good if you don’t have someone to manage them. A function centre or restaurant hires a floor manager to represent the venue, and run the evening for them. This means managing food and beverage service, managing staff and trouble shooting. A wedding planner is able to take this role on for you (as well as event-manage in the lead up to the day). Not having a wedding planner is just as good as an orchestra without a conductor – it’s unlikely to come together.
You may want to consider having security on hand to keep an eye on the house and its belongings. With so many unknown variables on the wedding day itself, delivery people, vendors, caterers, waitstaff etc it may be a comfort to you to know that security are keeping an eye on things. It will also deter any opportunists who know that there’s a party in the area either from crashing the party, or from stealing any of your belongings (gifts and wishing wells in particular!).
Every event is different – so without the help from your team of professional wedding planners, it’s impossible to cover every unique aspect of your event. At home weddings and bespoke marquee events are the most difficult jobs we manage because there are so many planning aspects to ensuring the day is a success. Trying to do it yourself is not only risky, but a bad investment choice. Spend your time doing the things that you’re good at (and enjoy doing), and leave the event management to the experts. Get in touch and we can help.