With escalating wedding costs, you may wish to consider an at-home reception, which can be just as successful as those held in a hotel function room, and a lot more personal. In order to create and manage the perfect at-home reception, there are specific aspects you will need to consider, in addition to the usual planning checklist.
Although obvious, you’ll need to calculate how much space you’ll actually need to accommodate your guests. If the outdoor space is large enough, a popular choice would be to hire a marquee and host all the activities in that, thus keeping disruption to the house minimal. If, however, both your house and garden are modestly sized, then you could consider a smaller pagoda outside, to give you an extra room to use however you need, such as to house the buffet table or disco. There is a wide variety of temporary outdoor structures for hire, such as those available from Neptunus. Consider putting any clutter or extra furniture into storage, to free up extra space.
For those who don’t come in taxis, you’ll need plenty of parking spaces. Guests will have to park on the street, or you could ask neighbours about renting their driveways or garage space.
Food and Drink
You may want a formal hot luncheon but is it the most practical option? Buffets can work just as well, and caterers can bring everything virtually ready to serve. An experienced firm should advise on wine too. Don’t be tempted to use friends and family for waiting staff. Serving food and wine requires skill, plus they can help clean up afterwards. Budget for it.
Weather needn’t put a damper on the reception, as if you’re hiring from a reputable company, marquees are waterproof, plus some can have doors fitted to keep out the wind. If it’s a particularly cold day, heating can also be arranged. Keep a good supply of umbrellas in stands in both the house and marquee in case it’s raining heavily.
And Don’t Forget
If you’re having 100 or more guests at home, your one or two toilets will not be enough, and do you really want people tramping through your bedroom to use the en-suite? You can hire very pleasant portable toilets that are a world away from those unsightly festival cubicles.
Don’t forget to let the neighbours know what’s happening. If you’re not inviting them, a slice of cake and bottle of fizz afterwards would be a nice gesture. Don’t write off having your reception at home; with a bit of careful planning, it could be the best way to celebrate your big day.