Tips for Planning a Wedding at Home

Jan 28, 2020

"Thank you so much Jordanna - we love love love love them! You captured the whole day amazingly!! We couldn't be happier."

Sophie & John’s ‘back garden’ wedding in Llancloudy in Herefordshire

Are you planning a Wedding at Home? // When you have a family holiday home as awesome as Sophie’s, why would you not have a wedding at home? Set in rolling countryside, right near the Welsh border the setting had everything they needed for a totally chilled/ brilliant and fun packed party. I thought instead of rambling on about the general guff that normally flows from my furiously fast typing fingers I’d share with you some things to think about if you are thinking about having your wedding at home too. As ever there are pros and cons to consider – I’ve laid out the main points here.

The main pros to Having a Wedding at Home

  • Can you get a more sentimental and nostalgic setting than at home – I don’t think so.
  • You can plan a highly personal day – there are no rules*! (*Well except legality, in this country you can only get married at a licensed venue. Groan. In most cases and in Sophie and John’s case they had got married quickly and quietly a few days before. Hopefully this will change in the near future to match what is permitted in Scotland and USA for instance.)
  • You can go wild with decor and the party with no one (except maybe your parents 🙂 ) saying no. Whooppee!
  • Along similar ‘no rules’ theme you can choose your own caterers, there is no corkage and no stuffy twerp forcing suppliers on you that you aren’t wholly happy with.
  • Being able to wake up in your own bed is pretty appealing to me and just starting the day in a really chilled way.
  • If you have the space, inviting your guests to stay/camp over to make a weekend of it! I always think post wedding breakfasts and perhaps a game of rounders is always a good idea!
  • Bit blinkin’ basic but you save on the cost of hiring a venue.

Things to consider if Planning a Wedding at Home

Having a wedding at home can get really expensive and it’ll be a lot of hard work. Don’t underestimate that. But if you are up for the challenge and willing to accept and hire help then you’ll be well on your way to having a highly unique wedding in a setting that already means so much to you.

I’m just going to summarise the main things you should think about and budget for – then I’ll hand you over to Martha Stewart 😉

Main points to consider before you plan your wedding:

  • You’ll have to rent in everything; catering equipment, loos, a generator is always a good idea and any tent/tipi/ marquee company worth their salt should do a site visit first. Also don’t forget all the other extras like cutlery, table linen, china, lighting, sound systems, chairs etc etc.
  • Consider some sort of security – be that a security guy for the night or just a plan of who has key access.
  • Get wedding insurance – it’s pretty reasonable – you want liability insurance really that will cover personal injury and property damage.
  • If space allows plan different areas for different parts of the day eg ceremony space/ dining space/ cocktail space…you don’t want to have to be turning round ‘rooms’
  • Consider a wet weather plan. Even if it is bring a brolly!
  • Let your neighbours know what you are planning way in advance – they may just lend you a field for parking! Better still invite them to keep them on side!
  • I mentioned lighting earlier but it is really important your guests can see where they are going once it gets dark! Sophie and John opted for festoon lighting to line the paths.

wobbly path with festoon lighting at back garden wedding

Further things to consider if you are having a back garden wedding…

  • Illustrated beautifully by my photo above, make sure you have enough room and that the land is suitable! Sophie and John had plenty of room but the setting did pose challenges I remember caterers jumping over fences in order to get access! You may want to consider planting before the wedding – I’ve seen many a parent prepare for their child’s wedding as if they were preparing for Chelsea Flower Show and even consider getting a landscaper in afterwards for the tidy up – especially if vehicles have been driving over your garden.

Objects on Iranian offering table in preparation for the sugar ceremony Juicy berries and sugar flowers on a tiered naked cake

  • If budget allows, consider hiring a someone to run the day for you. They are skilled in moving large groups of people around, they could help with styling things up and keeping an eye on the details that you put a lot of effort into in the run up. In my opinion it is money very well spent.

deckchairs blowing in the wind at wedding at home in Herefordshire

  • Being able to buy in as much booze and soft drinks as you like served from tin baths and wheel barrows is obviously ace and will save a tonne of money particularly if you had your heart set on an open bar. Consider hiring some waiting staff to keep your guests watered and happy.

Open bar with paper straws at back garden wedding in Llancloudy

So I hope that helps you if you are thinking about planning a wedding at home!

Sophie & John’s wedding was a dream to photograph!

I know I said no guff but I can’t help myself – Sophie and John’s wedding was ace. It encapsulated lots of things that make a wedding great for me – a super chilled couple that wanted 97.5% documentary coverage; a beautiful setting with a real sense of community; a brilliant band to keep people entertained in the evening; beaut details from the colourful flowers to a naturally gorgeous bride in a fab Kate Halfpenny gown paired with converse; lots of loudness and laughing especially through my first Iranian sugar ceremony. Props to the Iranian family for all the shrill yipping throughout which was bonkers and lots of fun! Loved it – didn’t want to leave…that’s a sign of a great wedding!

Here are some of my favourites from Sophie and John’s Wedding at Home in Llancloudy – a place as dreamy as it sounds!

PS If you look through these images and think, “YEAH this is the exact CHILLED & FUN VIBE we want for our wedding photos!” then please do get in touch. I would be thrilled to hear from you! 

Bride greets me on doorstep of family home were her wedding was set Guests gather outside wedding at home in Llancloudy Bridesmaid does her own make up sat on the floor at home Bridal party walk down steep path way to wedding ceremony Bride and Groom walk into wedding together Groom biting his lip to resist crying during wedding reading Musicians get ready to play their instruments in wedding tent Iranian guests yipping during sugar ceremony for Iranian bride Much dancing and hilarity of wedding guests during wedding ceremony at home Beautiful Kate Halfpenny gown for bride as groom touches her back Flowergirl watches wedding ceremony sucking a lollipop Bride and groom sucking honey from each others fingers during sugar ceremony Fun party scenes in marquee in garden at home in Llancloudy Guests enjoying the party at wedding at home in Herefordshire

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I AM HERE

Award Winning London Wedding Photographer. Photographing weddings all over London, UK and Europe for laid back & fun loving couples.

info@jordannamarston.com

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