Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Wedding Planning

Home is where the wedding is

Having a small guest list? Why not have an at-home wedding?

By Christina Friedrichsen, Author of Intimate Weddings: Planning a Small Wedding that Fits Your Budget and Style, www.intimate-weddings.com

When it comes to choosing a venue for your wedding, you might not have to look any further than your own backyard.

Photo by
Captivation Photo Studio

At-home weddings are becoming increasingly popular, especially for couples who want to add a personal touch to their weddings.

With 60 percent of couples living together, many already own homes and love the idea of tying the knot there. Others couples may choose to get married at the home of a relative or friend.

For many couples, an at-home wedding means a small guest list. Stephanie and Mark, for instance, had only 25 people at their wedding, which was held at a friend's farm: "They live in a great heritage farmhouse. An artist lived there in the 1940's and painted spectacular murals on the walls in the living room and dining room, so it is quite a backdrop for a wedding, especially combined with all of the flowers we had," says Stephanie.

Julie and Mike got married in the home Julie grew up in, surrounded by only eight guests: "I had lived my entire life there until I was 21, when I bought my own house an hour away. My dad was the original owner of the house, and I remember how proud he was when he made the last house payment. To be married there made me feel closer to my dad," says Julie. "It added to the intimacy that there were few guests and the house is somewhat small. It just felt right."

Although at-home weddings can be intimate and charming, they are not for everyone. Depending on how elaborate the wedding is, they can be more costly and stressful than a wedding elsewhere.

If you are having your wedding outdoors at your home or the home of a friend or relative, chances are you will have to rent a tent, as well as tables, chairs, and linens which can - add quite a bit to your costs. Even if you are having the wedding indoors, there's a chance you won't have enough tables and chairs to accommodate everyone. Unless you are making dinner yourselves or having family do it, you will also have to hire an outside caterer.

There's also the stress of getting your home ready for the Big Day. (Trust me. I know all about this one. We had our outdoor wedding at our home and it was a lot of work getting our digs ready!) To reduce your workload, enlist friends and family (we sure did!) to help get your house ready. Also, have them help decorate, which can reduce your costs.

Last, but not least - make sure your bathroom facilities can handle the wear and tear of frequent use. If not, consider renting portable restrooms. The last thing you want on your wedding day is an overflowing toilet!

Find tips on creating your wedding guest list. | Find party rentals in Rhode Island.