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Secrets to at-home weddings

Many couples preparing for their trip down the aisle follow the familiar sentiments expressed by Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Such couples feel “there’s no place like home” when hosting a wedding ceremony or reception. There are many benefits to hosting a wedding at home. Homes often hold couples’ most cherished memories, and hosting a backyard celebration or an intimate indoor ceremony at your own home or the abode of a loved one can be a cost-effective way to have a good time. Here are some tips to help couples navigate hosting an at-home wedding.

Assess the space The average home is not equipped to handle hundreds of guests, wait staff, caterers, and parked cars. Concessions in regard to comfort and safety will have to be made when drawing up the guest list. The wedding resource The Knot advises the general rule is six- to 10 square-feet of floor space per guest for row seating. You’ll probably need even more space for buffet tables, seating and a dance floor. You will likely need to temporarily move furniture to comfortably fit everyone indoors – or rent a large enough tent for a backyard wedding.

Hire a cleaning service It’s important to present a clean, inviting space when hosting a wedding at home. A cleaning service will conduct a thorough cleaning before and after the festivities, freeing up your time for last-minute tasks or to embark on your honeymoon.

Book an officiant early Confirm with an officiant that they can oversee the wedding proceedings at your home. Many religious officials are not able to perform ceremonies outside of a place of worship.

Learn if it’s legal Certain municipalities may require permits for parking on street, noise past a certain hour, closing of streets, and much more. Do your research. You may need to coordinate parking at a nearby lot (like a school closed on the weekend) and shuttle people to your home.

Consult with an insurance carrier Inquire if having such a large party at home is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, particularly if your home is damaged or someone gets injured during the festivities. Supplemental liability insurance or an umbrella policy may offer greater protection.

Weddings at home can be a unique opportunity for couples who love the comfort and familiarity of their homes.

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