Weddings are grand events, but you can easily make yours feel more personal and intimate by hosting your reception at home. Everyone will get invited into your space and make memories where you’ll relive them daily. You’ll also save tons of money by not renting a reception venue.
Check out these simple tips if you’re wondering how to host your wedding reception at home. You’ll have your menus and activities planned in no time.
1. Tally Your Guest List
Your guest list decides everything for your wedding. Whether you have a separate guest list for your reception dinner or not, double-check how many people you’ve invited. Your home may fit 10 or 20 guests, but not 50 or 100. Bigger parties will have to move outside unless it’s too cold, hot, or rainy for dancing and drinks.
Estimate how many people can dine and hang out in your home by visualizing seating or reminiscing on past holiday parties. You can spread things between your living room and the backyard as needed.
2. Search for Extra Seating
Everyone will need a place to sit while eating or relaxing. You’ll need extra seating to make that happen. Ask your friends and family if they have extra chairs you can borrow or get quotes from local rental companies. Depending on your wedding theme, you can also opt for non-traditional seating like beanbag chairs or hay bales.
3. Plan a Deep Cleaning
No one feels comfortable walking into a dirty home for a dinner party. Even if you cater your food, your guests won’t appreciate using bathrooms with mildewy toilets or looking through smudged windows.
Deep cleaning your home is essential to hosting a wedding reception at home. Plan on accomplishing that with yourself or a professional team the week before your big day.
Research also shows you’ll reduce your wedding planning stress by deep cleaning your home. A recent study found that 80% of participants were less stressed while spending time in a clean environment. Consider hiring a team to take the work off your hands if you don’t have time between visiting venues and taste-testing cake slices.
4. Find Your Tables
People will want a place to put their food down at your reception. They’ll either want to sit and dine or put their plates down to cut their food while chatting at cocktail tables. A rental company can help you find the best table sizes and shapes for your living space.
It will also make a difference if you plan to spend time outdoors. Outdoor tables need to be waterproof and heavy enough to resist wind. Mention that while getting quotes, as the materials may differ in price.
5. Pick a Dining Style
Your reception dining style determines how you’ll use your space. There are five ways to dine when you’re part of a large group:
Sit-down plated meals
If you like the idea of a casual buffet meal, you’ll need warming trays and lots of counter space for your entrees and sides. Plated meals require servers and cocktail-style dinners need only finger foods.
Talk with your fiance about what you both prefer to find the best dining style and start planning your menus, seating, and table arrangements.
6. Daydream About Decorations
It would feel strange to leave a beautifully decorated ceremony venue and arrive home with nothing special on the walls or tables. You’ll have to decorate your living space to make it a seamless part of your big day. Consider flower arrangements for centerpieces, linen napkins, various types of dinnerware, and any outdoor decor if you’ll hang out in your backyard.
Simple touches like string lights and candles also add ambiance to your evening. The sun will eventually set on your dream day, so don’t forget to plan for romantic lighting around your home. You wouldn’t want the party to end too early just because there are too many people to fit comfortably in your living room.
Enjoy Hosting Your Reception at Home
Now that you know how to host your wedding reception at home, start working with your fiance today. Once you both give your preferences for decorations, dining styles, and the use of your space, you can begin contacting vendors for quotes to make your preparations easier.