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Opting for a wedding on a property or at home? Your must read checklist is here!

One of the things I love about being a Wedding Celebrant is the opportunity to visit so many amazing wedding venues. The Scenic Rim in QLD. where I call home, is bursting with venue options and there really is something for everyone. It goes without saying that there are several advantages to booking a venue for your big day. The number one being that the wedding team at your chosen venue are there to work with you on the logistics to pull together your dream day. They will probably even be there on the day to make sure things go off without a hitch, or they will recommend you bring in a Wedding Day Coordinator.

Despite these advantages I am finding many of the couples I am working with are opting to create a unique wedding experience on a property (either their own or their family/friends) or at home. With that in mind I have put together a checklist of things to think about when you are planning your property/home wedding.

Take a walk through your property/home and take advantage of what you already have when it comes to planning where to hold the ceremony and reception:

  • A beautiful tree or garden can be the perfect backdrop for your ceremony and require little styling. Check out Pinterest or Instagram for inspiration.

  • If you are planning an outdoor ceremony/reception, consider your wet weather back up plan – will you need to hire a marquee or do you have a deck or inside area that could work in case a storm rolls in on the day?

  • What about seating? Consider the style of your ceremony and reception. Do you want everyone to have the option to sit, or does a stand-up cocktail style work well?

Think about the logistics:

  • How many guests will you invite? Are kids included or will it be an adult only wedding?

  • Where will guests stay? Is camping an option or will you look to recommend local accommodation?

  • Transport options. Do you have enough parking? If not consider whether you will need to put on a bus to and from the nearest accommodation

  • Do you have pets? If so, do you want to include them in your ceremony (it’s a big yes from me if you want to!!). Consider the option of a pet-sitter if required.

  • Based on the number of guests, what about toilets? Will you allow guests into the house? If not do you need to hire in portaloo options? (There are some really fancy options available!!)

  • Consider hiring in cleaners – a good clean prior to the wedding and then the day after is so worth it.

  • Think about where you and your partner will get dressed. Consider lighting and room for your bridal party to get ready also.

Choose your suppliers carefully:

  • Think about the tasks you do yourself and the ones you want to outsource? Consider things like styling; catering; bar; entertainment.

  • If you want to outsource the lot, look at hiring a Wedding Planner and secure them first!

  • A Wedding Planner will often also be your Wedding Day Coordinator, working to ensure all of everything goes to plan as your key contact on the day for suppliers and your guests.

  • Talk to your planner about your vision for the day, your budget and work together to plan all the details.

  • Whether you go down the path of hiring a Wedding Planner or not, once you have your date locked in, lock in your Celebrant and your Photographer.

  • Both will work with you (and together) to assist you to create a realistic timeframe and run sheet for your day based on your vision.

  • When choosing caterers, consider the type of food you want to serve (ie: cocktail Vs a sit-down meal or buffet style) and look for vendors who are experienced in off site catering.

  • Ask them what they need when it comes to power and water and consider the space they need to set up, serve and clean up.

  • Talking about food, think about your cake. Will that be dessert? Will your caterer cut and serve your wedding cake? Is there an extra fee for this?

  • You could also consider fun ideas like adding in a dessert buffet, lolly buffet or Gelato cart as a dessert option.

  • What about coffee/tea? Generally speaking, it is rare that much coffee/tea is actually consumed at a wedding, but it is worth considering providing it, especially if you have older guests.

  • Think about the bar and whether you will hire a bar service or buy your own. Talk to different bar hire companies to be clear on their offering and how it all works.

  • When it comes to styling and creating your vision, consider whether you need to bring in an external stylist (your Wedding Planner will be able to give you good advice in this area also) and whether you need to hire in any furniture.

  • Don’t underestimate the time and effort that goes into choosing to DIY your styling, and if you choose to do it yourself, ensure all the bits and pieces are ready to go well in advance of the day.

  • Look for a Hair and Make Up Artist who is mobile and will come to you. It will save you so much time and effort on the day if you don’t have to go out.

  • Consider music. Do you want a DJ to set the tone for the day or is live music more your thing? Look for suppliers you have seen in action and who come recommended. Consider their needs in terms of power and set up.

  • Don’t forget the fun additions like:

In summary there is a lot to think about when you plan to have your wedding on a property or at home. I hope this little checklist provides you with a starting point.

If you are looking for a Wedding Celebrant who can support you with wedding industry expertise, recommendations and bring tons of ideas to create the day of your dreams, please reach out to me via my contact form


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