The Stress-Free Checklist for Getting Married At Home (Part 3)
This is part 3 of a 3-part series. Click here to read part 1 and part 2, or download the ebook, The Stress-Free Checklist for Getting Married At Home.
✖ Identify electrical
Make sure in advance that you will have access to the electrical outlets and extension cords that you and your vendors will need, and that the amount of electricity required isn’t going to blow a fuse. If that does happen, make sure you and your wedding planner are aware of where the electrical box is and know what needs to be done to restore power.
✖ Think about air conditioner usage
Imagine this: it’s a hot day, and you and your bridal party are inside prepping for the ceremony. Your guests are starting to gather outside, and are being seated right next to your air conditioning unit, which is screamingly loud and drowning out the beautiful live music you paid so much for. Have someone keep an eye out for the A/C being too loud – you might need to temporarily forego using it inside and use fans instead, or at least turn it off right before the ceremony begins.
✖ Turn off the sprinklers
If you’re getting married in a yard area, make sure you turn off the automatic sprinklers timer as soon as the wedding furniture and décor are set up. No one wants to see their beautiful displays showered with water, much less their guests.
✖ Think through your outdoor lighting
Once night falls, if you are outside, lighting may become an issue depending on what the existing setup is at the home. People often string market lights above a space for a romantic look and feel. The light setup can be hired out as a service, but can also be done yourself if you have the lights, a ladder, and multiple stable anchor points for them to attach to. Just keep in mind what they will look like during the daytime, and if that will detract from the overall appearance you are going for. There are lots of other ways to keep the space bright in the evening (candles, lanterns, freestanding lampposts, etc.) but just make sure you’ve thought about your options so you can keep the party twinkling late into the night. (Also think about insects that might be attracted to the lights and plan for some citronella candles or spray).
✖ Mentally prepare for the unknowable factors
Since you’re getting married in a home, in a neighborhood presumably teeming with life, you will need to be mentally prepared for circumstances to occur that are outside of your control. A neighbor started loudly mowing his lawn in the middle of our vows. Your neighbor might have a bouncy house party planned for their kid’s birthday, or a backyard summer kegger, or they might have a problem with your loud music and complain. Some of these situations can be smoothed out with conversations had with neighbors ahead of time, but you also need to realistically be mentally prepared for things to happen that are neighborhood-related and outside of your control.
✖ Know who you would call for various emergencies
On the note of unknowable factors, work with your wedding planner to have a back-up plan for who you will call and what you will do if there are any number of home-related emergencies, including a plumbing issue, electrical issue, air conditioning issue, a neighbor complaint, a rainstorm, or a vendor canceling last-minute.
✖ End in time to avoid noise restrictions
Most cities have cutoff times in the evening for noise restrictions, or even allow neighbors to make complaints at any time of the day for disturbing the peace. Having a defined exit point like a sparkler exit (make sure your city allows sparklers!) is a great way to formally end the night, turn off the music, and hint to your guests that it is time to go home.
✖ Plan for getting yourselves out of there
Once you and your brand new spouse have made your vows and celebrated the night away at the reception, there will be a moment when it is time for the party to end – in which case, even if it is your house, I recommend that the two of you physically leave. Book a hotel room nearby and just head straight there. The message of a wonderful party being over doesn’t quite resonate as well at a private home as it does at a formal venue, so if ending at a certain time is important to you, then just remove yourselves from the equation.