Home Wedding Advice: Generators and Restroom Trailers

Not all wedding planning can be cake tastings and dress shopping. When you are hosting a wedding at home, there will be a ton of logistical planning. Two items you will need to think a lot about are your power

Home Wedding Advice: Lighting

I recently shared a bunch of advice about wedding lighting when you are hosting an at home wedding over on the awesome DC wedding blog, United With Love. I talked about lighting for your guests, lighting for your vendors, and

Home Weddings: Stationery Ideas

This month on United With Love I shared my advice on how to customize your wedding stationery to reflect the home you’ll be marrying at. In previous months, I talked about wedding tent floor plans, an introduction to wedding tents,

Home Weddings: Tent Floor Plans

Over on United With Love I recently shared lots of advice and tips on how to plan your wedding tent floor plan.  There is a great free program called All Seated that can also help you with this as well! I’m sharing

Advice for tenting your wedding

As I mentioned last week, I’ve partnered with United With Love to bring you a monthly blog series about  planning your home wedding! My first installment was all about your backyard space and wedding budgets – super sexy, right? I

Wedding Advice Series: Home Weddings

I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered with DC wedding blog United With Love on a monthly blog series discussing at-home wedding tips. I’ve mapped out 12 months of topics, ranging from wedding tents to lighting to permits as well

Wedding Planning Infographic: How to Schedule Your Wedding Morning

I hope by now you have discovered my wedding budget infographic and my wedding planning infographic, and I hope you found them to be useful! I’ve had this new wedding infographic in the works for a long time now, because

The advice my real clients appreciate the most – a video

I’m super excited to share with you this video, made by Bowen Films, in conjunction with The Dandelion Patch. In it I talk about what my past clients felt was the best advice or tip I shared with them during

At Home Wedding Tent Timelapse Video

Today I am sharing something that I’ve been wanting to create for my wedding clients for years – a time-lapse video of a wedding tent set up! I really wanted to show people how much work goes into these set ups

Clear Top Frame Tent

Featuring another gorgeous clear top frame tent used for a wedding ceremony and dinner reception in Alexandria, Virginia. Not at a private home, but at the Hotel Monaco, yet still a really pretty set up. This tent came from Classic 

Clear Top Tent!

How gorgeous is this clear top tent from Select Event Rental?! It was not installed at a private home, but it is still stunning. It just glows at night, and takes my breath away. You really can appreciate being outdoors

Backyard Barn Wedding Reception in Virginia

After their river bank wedding ceremony, Samantha and Mark’s guests gathered around the barn for a casual celebration. Design Cuisine set up a tasty lemonade stand to complement the troughs of canned drinks on ice. Guests played lawn games and

A Family Farm Wedding in Virginia

Samantha and Mark married at her mom’s farm in Front Royal, Virginia. The nuptials were on the river bank, with a sweet, personal ceremony filled with the participation of adorable nieces and nephews. Lynnvale Studio created gorgeous blue and white

A Purcellville, Virginia At-Home Wedding Ceremony

Kristyn and Eric debated about whether to host both their wedding ceremony and reception at Eric’ family property in Purcellville, Virginia. Ultimately they decided to host the ceremony there, and to celebrate afterwards at a local vineyard. Laura Ashbrook Photography

A Tented Middleburg Wedding Reception for Merritt and Sean

Welcome back to Merritt and Sean’s at-home tented wedding in Upperville, Virginia, which is just outside of Middleburg. If you missed part 1 and part 2, please check them out. So much gorgeousness from Katie Stoops Photography. Today I am

Real At-Home Wedding: Merritt and Sean’s Ceremony

I am back, as promised, with my second post about Merritt and Sean’s backyard wedding in Upperville, Virginia.Today we are looking at the ceremony, which was on the lawn right behind the main house. Skyline Tent Company provided the natural

Merritt and Sean: A Horse-Country At-Home Wedding in Virginia

In early 2011 I was so lucky to work with Merritt and Sean on their June at-home wedding. Merritt’s parents have a large farm in Upperville, Virginia, which is one town west of Middleburg, Virginia, and even though Merritt and

A Backyard Wedding Reception in Fairfax, Virginia

For my third and final post on Courtney and Cameron’s at-home wedding (you can see the first and second here) we are looking at their clear top frame tent. Something I haven’t mentioned yet is that this couple was expecting

A Fairfax, VA Backyard Wedding Reception

Welcome back for the second of three posts I am writing on Courtney and Cameron’s at-home wedding in Northern Virginia. If you missed yesterday’s post about the poolside reception, please check it out. Today I am focusing on the awesome

A Real At-Home Fairfax, Virginia Wedding

Courtney and Cameron had an at-home wedding that I will never forget.The night before their wedding, an incredible storm called a derecho (a fast-moving thunderstorm with hurricane-force winds) ripped through the area, damaging their wedding tents set up and knocking

A Real Backyard Wedding from Roberts & Co. Events

I am so happy to share this gorgeous at-home wedding with you today. Planned by Roberts & Co. Events, and documented by Sweet Tea Photography, it was originally featured on Southern Weddings. I love this sweet color palette, and all

An At-Home Wedding with Tabitha Roberts from Roberts & Co. Events

This morning I am thrilled to have Tabitha Roberts from Roberts & Co. Events here to share her advice and expertise on at-home weddings. Roberts & Co. Events serves no only Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland, but also will

An At-Home Wedding with Vicky Choy of Event Accomplished

Today we welcome thoughts and advice on backyard weddings from Vicky Choy, founder of Event Accomplished, an event and wedding planning company serving the metro Washington DC area. Here is how you can reach Vicky and her team, so that

A Real At-Home Wedding Film by Zinnia Films

Today I am delighted to share the film from the wedding we’ve been looking at this week on the blog. The wedding was planned by Katie Martin of Elegance and Simplicity, and this video was made by Zinnia Films, one

A Real At-Home Wedding with Katie Martin of Elegance and Simplicity

Today we are taking a look at a gorgeous at-home wedding in Dickerson, Maryland, planned by Katie Martin of Elegance & Simplicity. Katie tells us more about the event…   Having an at-home wedding at a farm with a large

An At-Home Wedding with Katie Martin of Elegance & Simplicity

I am back with more at-home wedding advice for you from wedding guru Katie Martin of Elegance & Simplicity, Inc. Elegance & Simplicity just celebrated it’s 15 year anniversary, so its safe to say that Katie has seen a lot

A Real At Home Wedding in Purcellville, Virginia

I wanted to give you all a sneak peek of what I have been up to these past few weeks while I was neglecting this blog. This Fall I had/have 8 weddings in 8 weeks (5 to go) and that

An At-Home Wedding with Laura Weatherly of Engaging Affairs

Today I am so very thrilled to welcome DC wedding planning icon Laura Weatherly of Engaging Affairs to the blog. Serving the DC area and beyond for many years, Laura leads a team of exceptional event planners who have each

A Real At-Home Wedding with Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings

We are back today with a gorgeous at-home Virginia wedding from Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings, as documented by Sam Stroud Photography. You can see the full wedding over on Southern Weddings, where it was recently featured. I picked

An At-Home Wedding with Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings

I am so thrilled to be back with this series and today you get the pleasure of meeting my friend Amanda Gray of Ashley Baber Weddings.  Amanda works with weddings in the Charlottesville and Central Virginia region, but you can

An At-Home Wedding with Teresa Lee of Rex and Regina

Teresa Lee, founder of Rex and Regina joins us today to share her top tips when planning a backyard wedding. Rex and Regina serves the Washington DC area and Teresa is known as an expert in entertaining and hospitality –

A Real At-Home Wedding by Pearls Events

As promised, I am back today with real wedding photos by Jen Kroll of a backyard wedding planned by my good friend Aletha VanderMaas of Pearls Events. This lovely wedding was on Lake Michigan last year, and hands down it

An At Home Wedding with Pearls Events

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

A Real At-Home Wedding by Events In The City

As promised, I am back with a preppy, pink and navy real wedding by Laura Ritchie at Events In The City, as documented by by  Timmester Photography. You can see the original publication of this wedding on Southern Weddings. This

An At-Home Wedding with Laura Ritchie of Events In The City

I am so excited for my third installment of this new series, “An At-Home Wedding With…” because one of my favorite DC area event planners, Laura Ritchie of Events In The City, is here to share some great advice with

A Real Texas At-Home Wedding by Sweet Pea Events

Yesterday we got some great at-home wedding planning advice from Kelly Simants of Sweet Pea Events. Today we feature a stunning backyard wedding in Dallas planned by Kelly and her team. This gorgeous wedding was documented by Matthew Moore Photography.

An At-Home Wedding with Kelly Simants of Sweet Pea Events

I am back with another feature in my new series ” An At-Home Wedding with…” this time bringing you expert advice from Kelly Simants of Sweet Pea Events, who is based in Texas but has offices all over the country

An At-Home Wedding with Howerton+Wooten Events

I am beginning a new series on the blog today! I’ve asked my wedding planner friends from around the country to share some photos and offer their expert advice for your at-home wedding. I hope you enjoy this new feature,

Real Wedding: Restroom Trailer

Over the weekend I had a barn wedding in Leesburg, Virginia where we had to bring in a restroom trailer. I wanted to show you that they aren’t as hideous as you think. You can’t see them here, but we

Real At-Home Wedding Save-The-Date

I might be a bit biased, since this real save-the-date is from one of my clients, but I think it is perfect for their at-home wedding. This is a scan of an original painting of the country home that has

Real Tent: Flooring, AC and more…

I was recently doing a walk through at Strathmore Mansion, which is a venue that I love, and I stumbled upon the skeleton of a big tent that was in the process of being taken down. I couldn’t help but

Weather Week Redux: Installing Your Tent

Hello friends, I am back to briefly discuss weather week, as I wanted to remind you who is setting up your tent in the rain so that you and your guests have an awesome and dry party! Much love to

Weather Week Legalese: Force Majeure

While we are on the topic of extreme weather, let’s talk about force majeure. French for superior force, force majeure is a standard clause found in many service contracts that addresses things like acts of God that could interfere with

Weather Week: Extreme Weather Scenarios

What if the weather forecast holds something more serious than a simple rain shower? I am talking about strong winds, heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Most tents are rated for up to 70 mph winds, but there are no guarantees. If

Weather Week: Rain is Not the Only Concern

Rain is not the only kind of poor weather to consider when making plans for your at-home wedding. If it looks like it will be terribly hot on your wedding day, for example, make sure that your caterer is prepared

Weather Week: What Happens When it Rains

If you have to implement a rain plan, I still recommend having at least two distinct places for your three wedding day events. You can double up the reception space with either the ceremony or the cocktail hour, but it

Weather Week: Making a Plan for Your Rain Plan

While preparing for inclement weather will likely be the least fun part of the at-home wedding planning process, you need to be aware of, and assume responsibility for, your options if faced with unfavorable weather. If you are facing poor

Real At-Home Wedding in Virginia

This beautiful backyard wedding was featured in United with Love this week. The photos are courtesy of Ever After Visuals. The original post about the ceremony can be found here. Here are the guests gathering by the in-ground pool. The

Setting Up on Your Wedding Day

With the exception of the things I mentioned yesterday, (tent, lighting, flooring and generator and bathroom trailers), your wedding vendors will generally load in and set up on the wedding day. The arrival of these professionals needs to be scheduled

Installations for Your Backyard Wedding

You need to have an in depth conversation with your tent company about the installation of your tent or tents. It will take at least a day and possibly up to a week to install everything, depending on a number

Hiring Your Caterer: Tips and Advice

I previously wrote general tips about hiring your wedding professionals. This post is more specifically about hiring a professional catering company. No other vendor has as much impact on the wedding day and your guests’ experiences than the caterer. You

End of Night Treats for Your Guests

A huge trend right now is serving your guests a late night snack after the dinner has come and gone, and dancing is in full swing. This can be sweet, to compliment the cake or other dessert you h ave

Wedding Reception Hospitality

Time for dinner — the main event! I previously wrote about ceremony and cocktail hour hospitality, so check it out. You should consider sprucing up the entrance to the reception tent as this will be your guests’ first impression. Some

Wedding Reception: Dinner and Dancing

When planning your backyard wedding, most important location to consider is the dinner and dancing site, because this is where you and your guests will spend the majority of time – probably three to four hours — during the celebration.

Clean Up Your Backyard Wedding

After your wedding celebration has ended, the last thing you will want to do is stick around to clean up. Make a plan in advance for what will happen so that you and your new spouse can (hopefully) be whisked

Property Investments and Repairs

There is nothing like an at-home party, with the prospect of all one’s friends and family coming to visit, to inspire homeowners to complete all those nagging projects they’ve always meant to, from new landscaping or hardscaping in the yard

Your At-Home Wedding: Don’t Use the Home!

Let’s talk about the house on the property where your wedding will be. As you know, I recommend renting bathrooms, and establishing an outside source of power and water for your event. In general, I take a hardline approach and

Parking at Your Backyard Wedding

If you decide to do on-site parking, you need to plan exactly where your guests will park their cars. If you have 150 guests, and no shuttle buses, you can expect that about 75 cars will need to be parked,

Using Shuttles and Buses for Your At-Home Wedding

If you have a large number of guests staying at a nearby hotel, it would be courteous to set up a shuttle bus to take them to the residence – and one to take them back again at the end

Making a Smart Transportation Plan

Your guests’ first experience of your wedding day will be your plan for your transportation and parking. Having guests arrive late, grumpy or muddy is not ideal, so you’ll want to be sure you have a smart and efficient plan

Post-Wedding Brunch Gatherings

Weddings are no longer drive by events – they are now weekend-long functions designed to maximize quality time with your loved ones. It’s become a new tradition to plan a morning-after brunch for you to see your guests one final

Wedding Day First Impressions

Your guests’ first interactions with your plans on your wedding day will likely will be to either take your shuttle bus, arrive at your valet station, or self-park their car in the designated area. You can easily take a little

Hotel Welcome Bag Tips

Once all of the major logistical details of your wedding are attended to, you should focus on the hospitality aspect of the wedding weekend. The first thing many of your guests will do when at the start of your wedding

Work Space for Your Wedding Vendor Team

Not only will you need to consider where all your guests will be during the wedding ceremony and reception, you must also plan for your wedding professionals. The caterer is the vendor bringing the largest number of staff members on

Heating and Cooling Options for Your At-Home Wedding

When planning any outdoor event, you simply have to consider the weather. Assuming you live somewhere seasonal, there’s no escaping the fact that it will be hot in August and cold in January. So, short of changing your wedding date,

Utilities for Your Backyard Wedding

If your event is going to be outside, you need to be prepared to provide electricity, which means you will require a generator. Check with your catering, lighting, restroom and entertainment providers to see exactly how many amps they will

Do You Need a Tent for Your At-Home Wedding?

While you do not have to have any tents at your at-home wedding, there are a number of different places where they can come in handy. Most people hosting weddings at home choose to have at least one tent. Even

Permits and Ordinances for Your Backyard Wedding

Before holding an event at home, you may be required to get a permit for your tent – and possibly more. These can vary from region to region, so check your local ordinances and make sure all of your bases

Pets at Your Elegant At-Home Wedding

If there are pets in the home where the wedding will be, you will want to make a plan for their care on the wedding day well in advance. Some pets are high strung and the wedding day activities will

Tips for Your Backyard Cocktail Reception

In between your ceremony and dinner reception there is often a cocktail reception or cocktail hour. However, cocktails are not necessarily required nor does the reception need to be exactly sixty minutes. Traditionally, a cocktail hour was needed so that

Hospitality for Your At Home Wedding Ceremony

When you decide to have a backyard wedding, you will want to take extra care to make your guests feel welcome. The easiest way to do this is to really knock their socks off when they arrive for the wedding

Setting the Stage: Your Backyard Wedding Ceremony

I know that many of you will marry in a house of worship, which is a great option to pursue. But some of you will opt to get hitched right in the backyard. The wedding ceremony is the most important

Hiring Your Wedding Professionals

It is important when interviewing wedding professionals to ask them about their past experiences with at-home weddings. It is crucial that you hire someone who is seasoned, not someone who is testing out their backyard wedding skills for the first

Fireworks at Your At-Home Wedding

Depending on the neighborhood, and the size of the property, you might consider having fireworks at the wedding! It’s not as expensive as you might think. A fireworks show of three to five minutes in length is all that you

Managing Your Neighbors at Your Backyard Wedding

Your neighbors should be notified in advance about the wedding – and I don’t just mean with an invitation eight weeks before. Once you have a firm grasp on the scope of your wedding plans, if you think you’ll need

Sample Floor Plans for Your Tented Wedding

You will likely get a tent for your backyard wedding reception area.  Your tent provider or your caterer will be able to help you with your tent floor plan, but I wanted to go over the basics with you. A

The Risk of a Backyard Wedding

I was chatting with my good friend Saundra Hadley recently about at-home weddings, and she made a brilliant point: in order to be comfortable planning a backyard wedding, you have to be a risk taker. And she is absolutely right!

Your First Wedding Planning Steps

The very first step in wedding planning, regardless of the venue, is to nail down your guest list and overall budget. You should not make any plans or sign any contracts until those two things are finalized between you, your

An At-Home Wedding May Not Be Your Most Economical Option

Let’s get one very important thing out of the way. My biggest — and probably most important — piece of advice is this: You cannot go into planning a formal at-home wedding thinking that it will be less expensive than

Mission: Backyard Wedding. Objective: To Have A Good Time.

After ten years as a wedding planner, I’ve met with hundreds of couples planning weddings of all shapes and sizes. And I’ve noticed something interesting. When I begin the planning process, I ask what their wedding day priority is. And

Welcome to The Elegant At Home Wedding Blog!

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you are (or someone very close to you is)  recently engaged and are thinking of planning a backyard wedding. I’ve always believed that at-home weddings are a wonderful idea, providing a private sanctuary for

Professional Lighting for Your At Home Wedding

Lighting is one of the most crucial yet often overlooked pieces of any wedding puzzle. It is the easiest way to make your at home event look elegant and complete, and conversely, foregoing professional lighting is one of the easiest

Protecting Your At Home Wedding with Event Insurance

Event insurance can help protect you, should something go wrong at the wedding. It’s a very small price to pay that will provide you with peace of mind when considering the very large investment you are making in your wedding

Restrooms for Your Backyard Wedding

Brides and grooms always have questions about restrooms early on in their at home wedding planning process. So here is what you need to know. You need to have a minimum of one bathroom stall per fifty guests and staff

An Introduction to Tents for Your Backyard Wedding

I’ll now briefly walk you through the basics of tents available for rental. Becoming familiar with this information will help you communicate with the tent company and better understand the proposals and contracts that you are given. There are five

Flooring for Your Tented At Home Wedding

Above: brown turf looks great in a Sperry Tent Unless the ground in your yard is nearly perfectly level, and your ten-day forecast doesn’t have a drop of rain, I strongly – strongly– recommend putting in a floor sooner rather