17th July, 2019

Celebrating your 'big day' at home

Celebrating your 'big day' at home

There are several reasons why many couples decide to host their wedding reception at their home. It can feel more personal and unique than a hired venue, and they may feel they have more freedom to do what they want with the space. However, before you start to dream about that marquee in the back garden there are several aspects to consider, both practical and legal.

“While having a reception at home may seem easier, the additional considerations could add unnecessary stress,” says Jonathan Handford, Managing Director at Fine & Country Leamington Spa. He provides a few key elements to consider before deciding to celebrate at home:

Hiring a marquee

If you decide to hire a marquee, you will need enough flat lawn area to accommodate it. There is also the matter of hiring all of the other items that go hand-in-hand with a traditional marquee-style wedding, such as hard flooring, a dance floor, lighting, sound equipment, tables and chairs, table linens, tableware, a bar area and catering tent. On average, a marquee, with accompanying trimmings can set you back around £5,000. You may also require a generator and an electrician to set up the power supply to the sound equipment and lighting. Depending on the time of year you decide to get married, there is also the matter of keeping your guests warm inside the marquee with heaters.

The Brook House has the ideal flat lawn for pitching a marquee.

Insurance

“You never know how important insurance is until you need it. I had a friend who had a fire in the marquee the day before the day of his wedding. Fortunately, he was insured,” states Handford. “ “If you have a Bespoke home insurance policy through NFU Mutual they automatically include cover for a marquee up to £50,000 for any one event, for a marquee you have hired to your home address,” says Sarah Carrott from NFU Mutual’s Stoneleigh branch.

The Catering

Unless you have a very small wedding reception, you will need to hire a professional caterer to provide the food. Again, this might become a question of space as a catering company needs a fair amount of it for all of their equipment. If you have a large kitchen that is big enough to accommodate a catering service that alleviates much of the issue. However, if not, you will need a separate catering tent. It is important that the caterers’ area is well out of the way of the wedding guests to avoid any incidents.

Catering

A bar

Every wedding needs a well-stocked bar to get the party in full swing. Whether you decide to create one or hire one, you will need a trained barman who can keep the drinks flowing and the guests in good spirits. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are planning to charge guests for drinks, you will need to get a license.

Bar

Health and safety

After mentioning a well-stocked bar, it is best to consider possible health and safety issues. Based on the number of guests, is there enough space for people to move around freely. Do you have an emergency plan in place and are there enough emergency exits? Always ensure there is clear access to emergency services.

Parking facilities

Does your home have enough space for all the guests to park their cars or will alternative arrangements need to be made? If there is no space on the premises or parking facilities within a walkable distance, you may need to hire a driver to transport people to and from a designated meeting spot where they can park.

Access to bathrooms

Are you prepared to have all your guest walking through your home to go to the bathroom, that’s if you have enough of them in the first place? The average home in the UK has around two bathrooms, which won’t be nearly enough for 60 or more guests. Even if you have more than two bathrooms in the house, you may not want people going in and out of your home to use them. Hiring washrooms with be costly, but it will keep your indoor bathrooms looking pristine.

Accommodation for key guests

Certain key guests may want to stay the night and travel back home the next day. If this is the case, you will need to consider whether there is enough space for them to stay at the house. If not, you might want to provide the guests with a list of local guest houses and hotels in proximity to your home.

This mansion in St Helier features two spacious self-contained two- and three-bedroom units, which would be perfect for guests.

St Helier

The neighbours

If you are lucky enough to live in a remote private location, neighbours will be less of consideration. However, if you have homes within earshot of your property, you will want to alert your neighbours to the date and time of your wedding well ahead of time. It might also mean finishing at a reasonable hour.

The cleanup

Waking up to the aftermath of the reception could kill the mood. You may want to invest in hiring a professional post-wedding cleaning service rather than leaving the clean-up burden to friends and family while you jet off to an exotic honeymoon location.

With planning and a bit of help from the right people, holding your wedding celebrations at home can be the beautiful and memorable experience you hope it to be.

If you are looking for the ideal home to host a wedding or start your new marriage, have a look at some of the other homes we have to offer.

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