Weddings are expensive. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 was $35,329. An increasing awareness of the extravagant cost of the average wedding has prompted a trend toward a more DIY approach to wedding planning, and one of the best ways to save money is to host your wedding at home.
Home events come with their own particular set of stresses and worries, but as long as you keep a cool head and plan carefully, you could have a magical wedding for a fraction of the price, in your own backyard.
1. Evaluate your space
First of all, you need to decide whether the house you plan to use can realistically hold the wedding of your dreams. Check out this excellent guide by Better Homes and Gardens featuring all the questions you should be asking yourself before you start planning.
2. Decide what you want to DIY
You’re already saving on the venue, so don’t feel immediately tempted to DIY everything. Depending on your budget, you may find it easier to pay for things such as catering, a florist, and a planner. If you’re fully committed to the DIY wedding, get inspired by this list of easy things to make for your wedding day.
Bear in mind that things such as tables, chairs and the dance floor will almost invariably have to be rented, so start gathering quotes for these costs as soon as possible to give you a realistic idea of your expenses.
3. Backyard decorating
Flowers can be a huge expense in wedding planning, with the average bride spending over $2,000 on them. You can make a backyard wedding look fresh and beautiful for a fraction of the cost with some simple landscaping. Depending on your garden, you can either skip a few of the floral decorating touches or forego the florist altogether, picking fresh flowers for bouquets and relying on the garden itself to provide decoration.
Take extra care to maintain your flowers properly until the ceremony. If planting flowers specifically for the wedding, make sure to be strategic about your timescale.
4. Prepare the indoors
Even if the wedding is happening outdoors, make sure you give the house a deep clean before the guests are set to arrive. Doing a bit of decluttering isn’t a bad idea to give a better impression of the space, and you should clearly mark any areas you want guests to stay out of – for instance, cordoning off the stairs. The main part of the house your guests will see is the restroom, so consider setting up a bathroom basket for your guests.
5. Arrange the cleanup
The last thing you want to deal with on your first day of married life is clearing up the remains of a party. Think ahead and book a post-party cleaning service to come in and do the bulk of the work to avoid having to ask your friends and family to help clean dishes.
6. Take care of yourself
Planning a wedding can be stressful and organizing a home DIY wedding even more so. Learn some effective stress management techniques to keep you calm when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, such as mindful breathing. You also should make sure you are taking care of your body and mind with healthy eating, regular exercise and enough sleep. Learning to say “no” can also be invaluable, especially when other people’s demands start taking over your plans for the day.
Holding a wedding at home is definitely a challenge. You are taking on a lot of extra responsibility and work, so you have to make sure you have a reliable support network in your friends, family and future spouse. However, if you can embrace the more makeshift atmosphere of a home wedding, it can be a wonderful opportunity to keep the event personal, intimate and only about the people who matter most in your life.
Written by Alice Robertson