At-Home Wedding Reception Ideas

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Between the high price tag and the stuffy feeling of a hotel ballroom, a wedding held in a formal location isn't for every couple. Holding your reception at home allows both you and your guests to feel comfortable so you can focus on the reason for the party. You'll also be able to create your own rules rather than following the restrictions of a formal reception site.

Celebrate Early

  • To avoid the mess and noise that comes with a late-night party, throw a reception early in the day instead. Start around noon and you'll be home alone by dinner time. Serve brunch food and mimosas and set up outside using a garden theme. You'll save money on liquor since your guests won't be drinking as much as they would at an evening reception, and your neighbors will thank you for not keeping them up all night.

Throw a Picnic

  • If you're marrying in the warm months, celebrate the weather with a picnic reception. This type of party is casual enough to suit a home wedding, but you can dress it up with a few small touches. Cover picnic tables with fabric table cloths and serve food on real dishes rather than plastic. To create a picnic feeling, set food out in a buffet style so guests can help themselves. Set up some lawn games, such as horseshoes, in a quiet area of the yard.

Stay Inside

  • Home weddings aren't only possible in the height of summer. If your home is large enough and your guest list is short enough, hold the reception indoors. Give each room its own theme. For instance, set up the food in the kitchen, the bar in the dining room and a dance floor in the living room. You'll be able to cut down on decorating costs since your home is already decorated with your personal style. As long as it's not raining or snowing, you can also set up heaters and a small bar on an outdoor patio for guests who want to chat quietly.

Party in the Street

  • This type of reception isn't for everyone, but if you live in a small area such as a cul-de-sac and you're close to all your neighbors, hold your reception in the front of your house rather than the back. You'll need to invite all the neighbors and get permission from them for your plan, then get special permits from your town and permission to close the road to traffic. Set up tables and chairs in the street and a dance floor in your yard. The entire reception will feel like a street fair or carnival.

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