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8 Ways to Prepare Your Space for an At-Home Wedding

From landscaping to lighting, there are a number of things you'll want to add to your to-do list.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Brett Heidebrecht

Depending on your space, hosting an at-home wedding may require a great deal of preparation and foresight in order to get your house and yard ready for a large number of guests. Like you would if you were getting married at any other wedding venue, you've probably started a list of tasks you need to complete before the big day. But with an at-home ceremony and reception, there are a few additional projects you may want (or need!) to add to your to-list. From landscaping to lighting and everything in between, you'll want to look at every last detail from the perspective of a guest so you can properly set up your space.

 

Related: Planning a Wedding in Your Parents' Backyard? Here's What You Need to Know

 

Get your landscaping in check.

While it's probably not necessary to do an overhaul of your entire backyard, you may want to do a visual walkthrough of your property to determine which landscaping bits and pieces need a little extra love. Adding some flowering bushes or boxwood hedging to your property's entrance is often a good starting point, while reviving your potted plants may be necessary, too. Don't have time for all that? Look into local rental companies that'll let you rent plants for the day.

 

Remove anything that's irreplaceable.

If you have any delicate or antique furniture that you're worried about getting damaged or destroyed once dozens of guests start roaming through your home, skip the stress and get these pieces into storage for the weekend. Not having to worry about the state of your most prized possessions is worth the added expense.

 

Make it child-friendly if kids are attending.

If kids are expected to be in attendance at the wedding, you want your space to be safe for them. Let's say, for example, that you have an old treehouse in the backyard and it hasn't been used in years. It's probably smart to either block it off entirely or reinforce the floorboards so it's a safe space for kids to explore. Similarly, if you have a pool, you'll want to make sure it's fenced off or otherwise monitored for everyone's peace of mind.

 

Complete the last of those remaining projects.

Whether it's retiling the bathroom or changing out an ugly light fixture, everyone has a list of things they've been meaning to do around their house. Getting on top of these tasks early will give you that much more time to worry about the finer details of your party.

 

Related: 11 Celebrities Who Got Married at Home

 

Consider what the lighting is like at night.

Your landscape lighting is likely sufficient for your everyday use, but will it cover all your needs for the wedding? Will guests be safe getting from one area to the next after dark? What about getting to and from the restrooms? Be sure to do a walkthrough at night and look at everything from the lens of a wedding guest. You can always add a few pathway lights or rent more extensive lighting if you need to.

 

Give it a fresh coat of paint.

Repainting your entire house in preparation for a wedding is probably overkill, but your front porch, front door, and weathered fence could might benefit from a fresh coat if it's been a few years since they were last cleaned up. Plus, painting is one of the most affordable ways to really upgrade an area.

 

Reinforce hanging art pieces.

Hopefully all the hanging art in your home is attached to the walls sturdily, but if there's a single piece in question, go ahead and reinforce it. No one wants to hear the crashing sound of art falling off the walls during the first dance!

 

Rent what you don't have.

Most people don't have enough seating in their homes to host a party of a hundred or more guests, so bringing in rental furniture is almost always a necessity. Don't forget to do this outdoors as well, as you can rent lounge furniture that complements the overall aesthetic of the wedding. If your budget is tight, simple bistro tables and chairs will serve you well.