Weddings at home!
There was a time when if you wanted to get married, you had two choices: the church or the registry office.
Yes, you could have a celebration anywhere you wanted, but you would need to hold the actual ceremony in either of these two kinds of establishment.
Since the 1994 Marriage Act, things have changed.
Now people are getting married in all sorts of places, and since 2018, they can now get married outdoors (weather permitting, of course).
And now you can even get married in your own home.
This choice has certain benefits, but also some potential pitfalls.
Why Get Married at Home?
There are several reasons to choose your own home to get married. One is that you have more control since you won’t be liaising with venue staff and you’ll have to provide your own food and drink, should you want to. Then there is the question of cost.
Unless you live in a mansion, the scale with a home-based wedding is likely to be smaller, even if you do stretch to having a marquee in the back garden.
Therefore, a wedding at home is expected to give you more for your money, budget-wise. A wedding at home definitely personalises the event and can give it a very individual character.
If a wedding with quirks is your thing, then holding it at home is worth considering.
If, however, your thoughts are focused on grander things, then attempting to replicate them at home may leave you falling short of your ambitions.
In other words, plan a wedding that is appropriate for your venue. Recognise your limits, work within them, and you could still have your dream wedding, at home.
Are you planning an outdoor or indoor wedding? A marquee-style garden reception will accommodate more guests, but going back to your budget, it won’t be a cheap option.
The price of a marquee can be around £5,000, once you factor in some flooring, a bar, dance area and catering.
You might need some form of heating too, depending on the British weather. If you opt for indoors, it’s then a question of adapting your home to suit and knowing how many people you can realistically invite.
Food and Drink
Catering and managing your bar is crucial to a wedding at home. Assuming you don’t want it to degenerate into some anarchic house party, you will need to be organised from the outset.
You can keep things informal, but know where you’re going to dispense the drinks from, and have a timetable for serving the food.
You don’t want wedding guests overdoing it on the drinks on empty stomachs – remember, it’s your house, and you’ll have to clean up the mess.
Indelicate as it might be to mention it, in connection with this, you should also consider toilet facilities in your home. Will they be adequate for the numbers, or could you benefit from hiring a portaloo?
This is the most crucial bit.
Who is going to perform it, and where in your home?
You can choose anyone to officiate at your wedding, but you will need to validate your marriage at a registry office then.
Legally binding weddings, as such, can only take place in registry offices, registered religious buildings or local authority approved locations.
One option is to have a celebrant officiate at your wedding.
A celebrant is trained to be able to provide a custom-made ceremony, working with you to create something unique to you.
Having a Knees-up
Having a wedding at home means that you and your guests set the tone. The formality, or informality of the occasion is up to you.
It’s best to work to some structure though. If you’re providing your music, set up a playlist in advance, make sure the house is clean beforehand, and be clear about any areas that are off-limits to guests.
You’ll want to decorate it for the occasion, but you don’t have to break the budget to do this with the right kind of flowers, lighting and accessories.
Just because you’re holding your wedding at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t want an impressive record of it.
Don’t rely on people whipping out their mobile phones at crucial moments.
Hire a photographer or even a videographer. Plenty of photographers offer reasonable rates these days, and it’s vital you do your research before booking one.
Once you’ve decided on your wedding photographer or videographer, let them visit your home ahead of the big day to plan where and when they’ll shoot your wedding, and be sure they know the schedule.
A wedding at home can be a truly magical, memorable event. It probably won’t be stress-free, but could be worth it.
Whatever you decided, we hope you have a very happy wedding day. 🙂
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