I am so very thrilled to welcome Aletha VanderMaas from Pearls Events to the blog today to share her wisdom about at-home weddings with you. Aletha lives in Grand Rapids and works all over Michigan. I love hearing what people outside of the DC area have to say, it’s always a different perspective!
What is a real anecdote from an at-home wedding that you would like to share with brides and grooms planning a similar celebration? A few years ago, I had a client wanting to have a beach wedding at her parent’s second home. It sounded perfect until I arrived at the first site visit – there was a huge bluff before their beach!. We looked into renting a barge to load-in lakeside, but unfortunately, the budget didn’t allow for such an expense. We ended up having the tented reception amongst the canopy of trees on the driveway, which proved to be just as magical, but not the initial plan. Being flexible for at-home weddings is an absolute must!
What is your biggest tip or piece of advice for couples planning a backyard wedding? At-home weddings are anything but “cheap and easy”. Unless your home is set up for large, formal parties, be prepared to spend more money than you would on a traditional wedding venue. And know that a planner versed in at-home weddings is an asset it making your day a success.
Don’t forget you’ll need plenty of parking space (or round-trip shuttle service), enough electric to power the band, a catering tent, lighting and the bathrooms (if you splurge for flushing toilets & running water!). And know that the logistics of getting people to/from/around the property can be a bit hectic. Plus, don’t forget the bugs/heat/cold/rain/wind. Over prepare and always, always, always have a rain plan just in case!
Photo credit – Kelly Bramen Photography
Renting a barge for load in? Can you even imagine? Thanks so much for sharing Aletha, you are awesome. And readers – you are in luck because tomorrow I’ll showcase an AMAZING at-home wedding that Aletha planned on Lake Michigan last year. You do not want to miss these tents! They are to die for!