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 do not recommend letting guests inside the house at all. Why? Well, first of all, there will inevitably be busybodies who will wander around on your wedding day, poking into your private things rather than enjoying the party. Secondly, there are always out-of-town guests who will want a tour, taking the homeowner away from celebrating with family and friends. Lastly, by allowing wedding guests into your home, you are quite literally opening it up to dirt and damage.
If you are comfortable letting people into your home during the celebration, or you simply must do so because of space concerns, I recommend having the shortest activity inside the home, which is usually the cocktail reception. The cocktail reception also requires the least amount of equipment and structure, so it will likely work best inside.
My one caveat to this rule is pre-ceremony prep. Often some or most of the wedding party will get ready in the home. This may include bringing in a hair and or make up artists to beautify the ladies (and some men!). They would prefer to use tall chairs or stools, and access to natural light. It is also important that there are plenty of mirrors around. And don’t forget to make a plan for breakfast and lunch!
You may need to open up the home for your wedding vendors. Sometimes the caterer will have to work inside the home. They will often use the garage or walk-out basement for either prep or clean up. Occasionally they will use the home’s kitchen, but not often since residential kitchens are generally not big enough for them. If you are hiring a band for your reception, they will likely require a green room per their contract rider. It is courteous to set up a table and chairs and give them access to a full length mirror.
Photo made by Michelle Lindsay.