Planning an At-Home Wedding Reception

If you are planning to tie the knot and celebrate in the comfort of your own home, this endeavor may not be as easy as you think.  But, if your dream is to have an intimate backyard wedding, here are some things to consider.

Maximize Your Space:
  1. First, know how many guests you can comfortably accommodate and plan accordingly.
  2. If you do not have a large enough area for a sit-down meal, set high tables with stools in a variety of rooms and allow guests to roam freely.
  3. Remove furniture and make room to dance. This will help preserve your favorite couch and allow more room to celebrate! Be sure to leave some seating space for guests who need a break, or want to sit and mingle.
  4. Set aside an area for children to play. Include a few games or toys to keep the little ones entertained too!
  5. Rent a restroom trailer, especially if you are hosting outdoors. This will help minimize indoor foot traffic.
  6. Don’t forget Plan B! If you are using the great outdoors, use a tent to eliminate sun exposure or light rain.  But, also prepare enough space inside just in case.
  7. Define your boundaries by locking doors to any rooms you want to keep private.
Get Help:
  1. Use a wedding coordinator to help with the planning. A professional can offer a fresh perspective for making the best use of space, as well as guiding you in food selection, music, and other important details.
  2. Hire a caterer. You have an important job as the bride and the host, so don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on food preparation too.
  3. Hire a cleaning service, before and after the event. This is another important task you don’t want to take on alone.
  4. Hire a handy man to help fix leaky faucets, shaky railings, or anything else you don’t want to interfere.
Consider Parking:

Warn your neighbors that you are hosting a large party, especially if guests will be parking on the street.  You can also ask a local business if you can use or rent their parking lot.  It is worthwhile to hire an attendant to help guide your guests and prevent blocked driveways, mailboxes, crosswalks, etc.


Depending on the size of your wedding, there may be additional insurance or permits you are required to purchase before your event.  Check city, county, and neighborhood restrictions far enough in advance to assure you have the right documentation in place.  You don’t want your wedding reception cut short because of a legal formality.


If you are willing to host the party on your special day, make sure you prepare early to avoid getting overwhelmed.  If handled properly, you can create lasting memories in your very own intimate space!

Tips for Creating a Seating Chart

Have you ever been to a wedding reception where guests walked aimlessly with a plate of food wondering where to sit? Some brides, to prevent the chaos, choose to create a seating chart instead.

Although it can be tricky while waiting for RSVP’s, you will find it is worth the effort to maintain organization on a day you want to be…. well, perfect!  Here are some tips to help you through the process.

First Things First:

It is customary for the bride and groom, along with their wedding party, to sit at a designated table.  Some couples even prefer to dine alone at a “sweetheart table.” Regardless of your preference, start your placements with the wedding party first.  Then prioritize parents of the bride and groom, immediate family and close friends at a table nearby.

Easy Navigation:

When your guests enter the reception area, there are two popular options for guiding them to their table.

  1. Place cards: Typically set at the top of an empty plate or napkin, will allow guests to navigate into the reception hall, locate their table, and take their seat without disorder.
  2. Escort cards: Can be visibly placed on a table before entering the dining area. Cards should simply include the guest’s name along with their table assignment. This option maintains order, but also allows the freedom for people to choose their seat when they arrive at their table. Remember to label your tables clearly to avoid confusion!
Consider Personality:

Put the guy who thinks he is a comedian next to someone who will appreciate his humor. Make sure an elderly guest with health problems is close to a family member who is likely to help. Avoid placing small children close to someone who may not tolerate it well.  Consider seating guests who are the life of the party close to the dance floor, and let those who are less likely to bust a move on the outside. Try your best to match personalities at each table for everyone’s enjoyment!

Designated Kids Table:

Parents will say, “thank you!” especially if you have someone available to help manage the chaos.  A kids table offers a space for them to be loud and silly together, with minimal disruption to the rest of the party.  Don’t forget to have a child friendly menu, which will also keep the little guys happy!


You will find that your guests like the organization table assignments provide at your wedding reception.  And, you will be able to to enjoy your wedding stress free!