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by Robbin Montero            One of the most romantic and memorable locations for your wedding is your home or that of a family member—make that romantic, memorable and potentially stressful. However, with efficient planning, most home wedding hassles can be eliminated.

            A popular myth about home weddings is that they are less expensive than a wedding held at a rented facility. In actuality, home weddings are generally more costly and require added work to pull off. You may save money on site fees, but the cost of renting equipment can exceed such expenses.

            Another misconception is that home weddings are easier to plan. The fact is there are more vendors to deal with and many additional factors to take under consideration, including:


            • Are the grounds large enough to accommodate the event? 

• Is there adequate parking or will you need to hire a valet or shuttle service? 

• Are there adequate restrooms for the expected number of guests or will you need to rent portable toilets?

            • If the event is in the evening, is there enough lighting?

§ Is your kitchen large enough for the caterer?


            Before getting your heart set on having your wedding at home, I strongly encourage you to hire a wedding planner to assess the home’s suitability as a wedding site. The planner will perform a “site inspection” to let you know how your home can be used for this purpose, or whether it is unsuitable for the number of guests and other considerations.

            It is also important to consider how a home wedding will affect neighborhood traffic, noise and your neighbors. If you’ve been a great neighbor, your neighbors aren’t likely to have a problem so long as you let them know what to expect.

            Check your city or county ordinances for restrictions on music if it will be an outdoor event. And don’t forget to check the homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure you will be covered if an unexpected lawsuit should occur.  

            Finally, if the wedding will be at the home of a relative or friend, discuss in advance how the household might be affected and acceptable boundaries. When it is all done, you want the generous soul offering their home for your wedding to be happy with the outcome, too.

            Once you get the green light and feel a home wedding is the best choice, you will need to determine what rental equipment is needed. Equipment rentals can be very costly, so it is always wise to consult your wedding planner or caterer who can draw a schematic (layout) of your home wedding plan. They will help you calculate accurate estimates of equipment rentals, and assist you in determining quantities of items, such as chairs and food service supplies.

            You’ll want to hire a professional bartending service. If the wedding will be outdoors on a warm day, have water or cool drinks available as guests gathering before the wedding. Consult your caterer or wedding planner for the quantity of beverages and for help obtaining quotes. 

            With the assistance of a wedding planner and caterer, a romantic home wedding can be relatively easy to plan. And, pleasant wedding day memories are renewed every time you enter the home.


“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding.  Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” www.a-dreamwedding.com

Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and event planner in Northern California.

©2006 Robbin Montero


This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.