Creating the Dream of Hosting Your Daughter's Wedding at Home

So, your daughter is getting married—and she wants to have the wedding at your house! That’s exciting, of course, and a dream come true for many mothers. After all, there is nothing quite like home for a beautiful wedding. Just imagine your daughter getting dressed in her childhood bedroom and then floating down the stairs—just like a movie.


Of course, real life isn’t just like a movie and you don’t have production crews, lighting crews and directors!

As mother-of-the-bride, especially in a home wedding, you will play an instrumental role in orchestrating your daughter’s perfect day. So, it is important to realize from the outset that home weddings are sentimental, but rarely simple.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the guest list. Unless you live on an estate or in a mansion, the guest list will need to be fairly small if it’s going to be held at your home. Be sure to take a practical, realistic look at your home to make sure it is suitable for your daughter’s plans.

Here are some logistical questions you’ll want to discuss with your daughter long before the wedding invitations are sent out:

1. Are there hotels and other amenities nearby for out of town guests?

2. Is there sufficient parking for guests?

3. What will you do if there is bad weather? Do you have space for a large rented tent or is there a local venue you can use as a backup?

4. Are there enough restrooms? If not, you will need to consider renting some upscale porta-potties with mirrors and sinks.

5. Do you have a large space for the ceremony?

6. Will you need to get a permit from the city to hold this event?

If, after addressing these issues, you decide to move forward with a home wedding the next thing to consider is the budget. Contrary to popular belief, home weddings can actually be quite expensive. Renting tables, chairs, and and other standard equipment to prepare for your guests can certainly add up. So it’s best to plot your budget out in advance and make sure a big bill doesn’t sneak up on you post-celebration.

Here’s one simple way to save money – rather than trying to recreate an elaborate formal setting in your home, let the style of your home dictate the style of the wedding. Consider themes like simple country, shabby chic, vintage or casual. Decorate with paper lanterns and wild flowers for cottage charm. Remember, if your daughter wanted a formal wedding she would have picked an elegant venue. You want to decorate your home for the event, but it still should feel like a home wedding with all the charm, sentiment and intimacy that goes along with it.

Even though the wedding is at your home, be careful not to take on too much. As mother-of-the-bride, you want to be able enjoy this very important day without worrying about keeping the food hot or directing guests to parking. Just like you would at any other venue you’ll want to hire a caterer, florist, and photographer as well as a set up and clean-up crew. Consider even hiring a wedding planner for a smooth, less stressful event. Hopefully your wedding planner doesn’t end up being like the one from Father of the Bride.

Your daughter’s wedding is undoubtedly going to be one of the most important days of her life–and your life. Plan ahead for success! Even though a home wedding can be challenging, the wonderful memories it creates will make it well worth the effort. What other challenges can you think of for hosting a wedding at home?

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