At first glance, a house wedding would seem to be the most cost-effective option compared to a restaurant, resort or hotel. Dig a bit deeper, though, and the ledger starts to add up, particularly if you’re having a larger event.
If it’s a rental house, there is likely an additional site fee to compensate for the additional wear and tear on the house, electricity and water usage and additional clean up needed by the house staff.
If it’s a private residence (your’s, friend’s, relative’s), there will likely need to be some additional landscaping, painting, minor repairs done to make the place ‘wedding worthy’. If you’re renting a tent and dance floor, the grass will probably be covered for a few days, causing it to brown or even die. Have some money in the budget for possible lawn first-aid.
Not having the infrastructure that a hotel or restaurant has, you’ll be needing a number of items brought in, such as: tenting, dance floor, heaters or fans, lighting, portable toilets. You may also need to rent a generator, depending on the size of the wedding, power requirements for lighting, cooking, dj or band.
You may need to purchase permits from the City for things such as alcohol consumption, on-street parking, tenting and noise. Check with your local civic office as you may find yourself slapped with a pricey ticket for an infraction otherwise.
Although you’ll save money by bringing in your own alcohol, a caterer’s cost may be higher than a meal at a hotel or restaurant. You may also have to rent everything from forks to plates to chaffing dishes, depending on the caterer’s contract.
If it’s a private home, you may want to consider hiring a cleaning crew to leave the home spic and span the next day.
Having coordinated numerous house weddings over the years, I can say from personal experience that they are always much more work for my crew and I since houses simply don’t have the staffing or infrastructure for events like hotels or restaurants. And more work for us means we have to charge higher fees for our services.
A house wedding is wonderfully intimate but be aware that there are additional costs involved that may not be apparent at the beginning of the planning.
Where are you hosting your wedding celebration?