The Logistics of Planning Outdoor Weddings and Celebrations at Home
Planning a wedding or party in your home or garden is a great idea if you want to keep your big day private and personal. Home garden weddings are growing in popularity here in the UK - there’s nothing more magical than marrying somewhere that means a lot to you, whether thats at home or in your family garden.
If you’re planning a home garden wedding or celebration, there are a few important things to consider which you wouldn't have to think about if you were hosting your big day at a venue. We’ve put together 8 of our most important points to discuss together before going ahead.
Have a blessing instead
Temporary wedding licences aren’t a thing here in the UK so you won't be able to marry on your own land; however, a blessing can be so similar to an official ceremony no one will know the difference. A blessing isn’t legally binding, and so you will need to make an appointment at the registry office for all of the official bits beforehand, but can often work out significantly cheaper than a civil ceremony or church wedding.
The amazing thing about a blessing is that you can pick who conducts your ceremony, which you wouldn’t have the option to do with an official ceremony. If you want the blessing to feel official then it can be carried out by a Celebrant, and which one you pick is entirely your choice. Each Celebrant will have a unique style and personality, and so you must do your research before making the final choice to make sure they fit in with the vibe of your big day. If you would like a more relaxed feel for your garden wedding, then the bless could be carried out a family member or friend, which can be special for you both and make for amazing photos and memories.
Stick to easy to implement décor
Make sure you choose décor that is achievable in your garden. Pinterest will flood you with amazing displays of back garden weddings which are all great for inspiration, but most of the eye-catching displays will have been styled, planned and created by experts in the wedding industry.
When you’re deciding on décor, make sure that you pick ideas which aren’t going to cause you so much stress you begin to regret it! Check out our blog all about outside wedding décor that is easy to achieve if you’re setting up with family and friends. Alternatively, if you want your big day to be showstopping, call in the professionals! We have all the logistical knowledge required to transform your garden into something you'll never forget. Looking for more ideas? We have some great Pinterest boards which will inspire you!
Ask suppliers to visit your property before the day
This is perhaps the most important step in ensuring a smooth-running day that is stress-free with no surprises!
The caterers will need to know what space they have available in your kitchen. Equally, any structures such as marquees that you are erecting will need to be compatible with the ground, as things such as uneven surfaces and different soils can require temporary measures to ensure these things are safely in place for the day. No one wants a marquee caving in halfway through the meal or drinks sliding off the tables!
Another reason your suppliers need to visit your property is to understand access into the garden. Suppliers should assess this themselves when they undergo their risk assessments to ensure that the width and length of your entryways are suitable.
Have an electrical plan
This is often one of the most crucial elements of wedding planning that are missed. Your house will only be able to cope with a certain amount of power without tripping, and that’s why it’s really important to work out how much your house can cope with and if you have multiple circuits you can utilise.
If your caterer is bringing their own equipment, then they will likely require the most power out of all your suppliers. You will need to find out how much power they require in advance, along with any other suppliers that require electrical equipment. If you don’t have enough power within your house or outhouses, then you may need to hire in a generator.
When booking your suppliers, you should always make sure each of them has the necessary up-to-date certificate for their electrical equipment. This is essential to ensure the safety of you and your guests.
Luxury toilet trailers
Luxury toilet trailers are a great addition to your outdoor wedding if you want to isolate the wedding to the garden and don’t want people coming in and out of your home and dirtying your carpets.
These have come a long way from your festival trailers and are even nicer than some venue's toilets! Companies such as Just Loos and Loos for Dos do such attractive toilet trailers you’ll be wanting them to become a staple feature in your garden.
Luxury toilets usually come fully stocked with everything you could need (think luxury toiletries and hair products!) and arrive ready to plug in and set up (which they will do for you). You can have the option of an attendant for the duration or having them deliver and collect the day before and after.
Plan your space and draw out a layout
It’s important to plan your space and draw an accurate layout with measurements. Your marquee or table is likely to take up most of the space if you’re opting for one, however, you also need to make sure that also factor space for other elements and space between things so that guests can move around.
Your marquee will likely need to have empty spaces on either side of it to be secured and won’t be able to sit immediately next to fences or trees. Talk to your marquee company about how much space they will need and talk about space solutions. We’ve even put trees through the centre of marquees before, making them a real feature!
If your caterers aren’t using your kitchen, they will need space for their catering equipment and maybe even a small catering tent. You’ll also need to consider space for any games, photos, drinks etc. The best way to ensure you utilise your space and aren’t disappointed on the day is to create an accurate plan with measurements. With years of event management experience, our team are experts at space planning.
Don’t underestimate your budget
If you’re considering a wedding or celebration at home because you want to lower your budget, then you must research your costs properly before going ahead. Garden weddings often misconceived as a 'lower-cost' option to venues, but this is rarely the case (and what you save in budget, you can make up for in extra stress!)
Included in the venue costs are a lot of finer details, such as heating, crockery, catering equipment, clean up fees etc, whereas all of these are costed separately when planning an at-home wedding. These small details can make a huge difference to the atmosphere of your big day, but can also add up. The easiest solution to this is to ensure you do your research in understanding exactly what will be required for a home garden wedding and receive accurate quotes from your suppliers. Always add some contingency into your budget do those little unexpected things that will crop up along the way.
Hire an ‘on the day coordinator’ at the least
Multiple suppliers coming in and out of your home can be stressful, particularly on your wedding day. Suppliers always have questions and requirements on the day when setting up and the last thing that you want to be doing whilst having your hair done is running around trying to organise everyone.
Hiring an ‘on the day coordinator’ means you and your guests will be able to enjoy the day and focus on the important things. A coordinator will keep your suppliers in check and on track so that you don’t have to worry about what time to cake is arriving or when the canapes are making an appearance! It will be well worth the investment and will mean you can relax and enjoy your big day.
We would always recommend hiring a wedding planner that will work with you from the start of the planning process through to the end. By working with a planner the whole way through you will build up a relationship, your coordinator will understand what you want on the day, and plan with you to ensure that nothing is forgotten about and you get the most out of your budget. You might also like: 5 Things You May Not Have Considered When Planning Your Outdoor Wedding
Whilst most people think an at-home wedding will be easy, planning a wedding in your garden can be confusing and it’s difficult to know where to start without missing out crucial information. Our essential advice should make things run smoother and ensure the day is as perfect as you imagined. If you’re planning or considering an outdoor wedding and would like some help and advice, then get in touch and we’ll be happy to arrange a call.