(Closed) Is having an at-home wedding really cheaper?

posted 11 years ago in Money
Post # 17
Member
5323 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We didn’t have an “at home” wedding, but we had a venue that supplied nothing other than the ground we set up our tent on. Safe to say it was NOT cheaper in any way, our budget actually doubled. I loved our wedding, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going this route if you need to rent everything and don’t have room for your budget to expand!

Post # 18
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

My friend had her wedding at her parents house because they thought it would save money. In the end, I think she said it was a lot more expensive and stressful than if they had just rented a hall or something! 

Post # 19
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think you end up paying as much but the stress is just not worth it.  The clean up after is horrible, rent a venue and enjoy getting dressed at the home.

Post # 20
Member
2294 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We were going to have our reception at home at first, but once we got over 50 people, we started really thinking hard about the prep work involved and logistics, especially the bathroom situation!  We ended up renting a room at our local community center which is gorgeous AND very very very inexpensive!   My wedding with ceremony at a chapel and reception at the community center came to about $6500.

My mom was very worried about how well she would get the yard into shape prior to the wedding and then all the setup/clean up, storage for food and food prep to keep things hot, etc.  SOOOOOOO worth it to just go with a venue instead!  Oh and we ended up with about 76 people all said and done.

Post # 21
Member
3214 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

It really depends on how many people you want to have. We’re having it at my mom’s house, with 60-75 people, and it will DEFINITELY be cheaper than any of the venues we considered.  A lot of the venues we looked at in Massachusetts were, like, $4-5,000, not including food, alcohol, etc.  We’re paying about $11,000 total for the whole wedding, so that would have bumped the price up considerably.

But, since it’s a relatively small wedding, we don’t need to rent port-o-potties, a big tent, lots of big tables and chairs, etc.  We’re doing it as a cocktail/buffet party, so our rentals are just going to be smaller, 4-top cocktail and cafe tables scattered throughout the house and (weather permitting) yard. That also means we don’t need big centerpieces.  Since their backyard is already very pretty, we won’t have to spend much in the way of flowers.  There’s no dancefloor, so no dj/band necessary; we’ll just have ipod music playing for ambience. 

Etc. So basically, having a home wedding certainly CAN save you a lot of money, but it depends on what *kind* of home wedding. If you’re having a big formal wedding, doing it at home definitely won’t be cheaper or easier. If it’s a more casual affair, I think it can be much more inexpensive.

Post # 22
Member
1415 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I had an “at-home” wedding at someone else’s house.  It can be much more expensive, depending on your tastes, but you can manage the expense, especially if you can find a caterer that will include linens and table settings (and salt and pepper shakers and coffee urns and all the stuff that you never think of but really adds up!).  Two big things to remember to budget for:

  1. Extra bathrooms.  You need one bathroom for every 40-ish people, so you can need to rent bathrooms if the house doesn’t have enough.*
  2. Liability Insurance.  Even if it is your home, there are tons of extra worries that come with having so many people at your home, especially if you are serving alcohol.  Slips, falls, etc. can be very costly.  You can buy a $1 million, 1-day policy for a large event through your homeowner’s insurance.  It is usually one about $50-$100, and I think REALLY worth your piece of mind.

*One last about bathrooms… if you have 1-2 bathrooms in your home that are easily accessible to the wedding area, that’s great, but you might want to really think about how much you want people wandering through your home.  One of my friends and her sister got married at their parents’ vacation house and had stuff stolen/gone through/broken both times.  You just don’t want to be in that situation, so it’s better to limit access to your actual home, in my opinion.

Post # 23
Member
4460 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@pumpkinpatch: I think it depends on your area. It’s saving us money because all the hotel ballrooms and other wedding places start out at a min $15k for food and drink. That doesn’t include the site charge, decorations, dress, ect.

It also depends on the size of your event. Break down each cost and really do a side by side. Wehn you are having an outdoor or at home wedding, you do have to look at all the things you have to rent, but realize that some catering companies will include the silverware, glassware, linens, ect.

If I were you, I would call around and ask the price of the wedding places. Take the example above.

Site 1-$15k min for food a drink. Includes tables, their linens, glassware, ect.
vs.
Site 2-at home (call around and ask caterers if they include glassware and stuff) and then just add it up from there.

In my case, our tent is $2000 with all the extras and our catering will be $2500 (and that includes all the linens, glassware, silverware.) Chairs will be $300, banquet tables are $5 a piece or something like that and the wait staff is $150 per person (which makes sense because as a server, you would probably make just that on a Saturday night) So right now with just that I’m a little over $5000 for those items. That’s better than $15k

Post # 24
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2010

@UpstateCait:

Some porta potty companies are actually very nice. I had my wedding at my parents house and we found this company that rents luxury portable toilets in long island and it was actually a big topic of conversation how nice they were. Worth looking into, and decently priced too.

Post # 25
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I think it depends on a number of things.  All of the venues in my budget either I didn’t like their event decorations or I they didn’t provide them plus we are getting a heap of stuff free through friends of DH in certain industries which helps (sound equip, alcohol).  In the end, deciding factor was that we couldn’t agree on any reception venue except that we both love home weddings!

If we’d gone with any of the venues we liked, it would’ve been more expensive.

Post # 26
Member
1617 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

It would have been for me.  BUT I never wanted an outdoor reception, just the ceremony.  Thinking about my yard and how it slopes, parking and the possibilty of rain made me change my mind.

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