So you are considering having a wedding either at home or at the home of someone you know. Great, so what’s my advice for you. Well, once again I have to pull upon my experience with home weddings from the great state of Texas. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a lot of friends and family in Texas so even though this is a blog for Florida, the same info applies. Also, Texas is warm most of the year as well as Florida so you will have outdoor weddings throughout most of the seasons just like here.
Of course there may be many reasons that you are doing a wedding at a private home but I am just going to speculate that one of the reasons is cost. If it’s not, this advice is still valid. Remember in a wedding, the setting is everything and obviously you want the best that you can get given the budget that you have to work with. So, optimizing your setting should be first and foremost in your mind.
How can we do this? Well, one of the things that my cousin did for her home wedding was to hire a local Waco landscaping company (L&L Specialties) to do the flowerbeds, lawn decorations, and some of the lighting. The wedding was in Waco and if you aren’t familiar there is quite a popular show HGTV about a couple that rehab houses. Well, this landscaping company had been hired for the show several times so my cousin knew they were good. The great thing is that they were also pretty inexpensive despite being on TV a couple times.
Now, most people wouldn’t think to hire a landscaper to decorate their wedding but this is precisely why you should. These guys know how to make lawns look good on a budget whereas a wedding planner or decorator will work with your budget too but you usually won’t get the same great look with the setting (lawn, flowerbeds, yard lighting, etc.). Also, because they work with flowers all the time they really can help with any of the flowers that you might use to decorate the rest of the house and/or reception area.
Next you want to consider your seating, your sound system (or lack of), and other logistics. Now, you may or may not be having your reception at the home. If you do you will want to also figure out the seating and arrangements for food, drinks, and entertainment. Adding all that can get a bit complicated so let’s stick to just the wedding and the setting for this article. Maybe I’ll do a follow up for home receptions later on.
The seating usually is going to be arranged with a brides side and a grooms side but since this is a non-traditional wedding of sorts already, you can even play with semi-circle seating as well. I’ve experienced both and have to say it is kind of nice to have the couple in the center with everyone around. The main thing is to make sure that your seating is symmetrical as it appeals to the eye and will add to the overall feel of the wedding.
Now, you may also want to consider which type of seating you are going to use based upon what type of sound system you will have or not. If you are going to have a relatively small wedding you can do the seating however you want no matter what type of sound you have. If you have a medium to large wedding planned and limited or no sound system, then the semi-circle is best (think concert rooms). The sound will travel out and if you have the option of having an incline then you might need to test which way the sound is better. Either the bride/groom at the bottom of the incline or at the top. Each property will affect the acoustics differently.
Finally, you will want to have you entry and exits routes planned depending on your other factors like pictures, reception location, rice throwing, etc. You want to give people the option to take plenty of pictures and videos so make sure you can make the best of the room you have so as many guests as possible can have a view of the new couple once the ceremony is over.
As far as decorations are concerned, once you have the landscaping, lighting, seating done, there is really only small things to put up. Perhaps a banner or two congratulating the new couple, streamers, and other wedding related decorations. These can all be done nowadays for very little money other than the price of the items. We usually have the women in the family put up the decorations while the men arrange the seating and take care of any of the other heavy lifting. I know but we are traditional in that respect. Besides, if you’ve ever seen the men in my family try to decorate for a party you would pay them to carry out the garbage instead.
Well, I hope that helps and really, if you want to see what can be done for pennies on the dollar I would check out some of the home makeover shows out there. Even though they are for homes and not weddings, you will see how creative people are and will get tons of ideas of how to make things look fantastic on a shoestring budget.