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Planning
Posted by Cayla Capri
Home Is Where The I Do Is
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Home has so many lovely connotations and delightful clichés to its name, the word practically puffs fresh baked cookie scent. If committed love gives you warm, fuzzy feelings akin to those spurred by holiday traditions and childhood photo albums, if you’re a true daddy’s girl or self-described homebody, if you want a wedding that’s vintage in concept without the irony of trend, then a beautiful, intimate wedding ensconced in balmy, familial affection is yours to call home. After all, it’s where the heart’s at, it’s syrupy sweet, and there’s just no place like it.
making yourself at home
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Wherever you set the stage for your at-home wedding, you’re going to want to keep the guest list small and simple. In the end, you want your loved ones close, but not tenth-grade house-party close. However, throwing your bash in the summer months lends itself to the great outdoors and all the space it has to offer. A backyard BBQ or picnic wedding just oozes down-homey goodness, from the comfort foods to the twinkle lights right down to the post-ceremony Frisbee tournament. But as carefree as eating pulled pork sandwiches off paper plates may sound, there’s a lot more to consider than creamy coleslaw vs. grilled mango salad. For one thing, the pending weather forecast. Backup rent-a-tents are a necessity, as there’s no telling whether Mother Nature will get into one of her moods on your special day. Fans for sweltering afternoons and heaters for chilled summer evenings should also be at the top of your list. If it’s in your budget, put down a wooden floor for dancing, or just as a stiletto sanctuary.
somewhere ‘round back
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For those with a garden or courtyard just waiting to be snapped for the cover of Home & Gardens magazine, narrow your guest list to the bare essentials for an intimate affair of Jane Eyre delicacy. Veto the caterer for minimal petunia trampling, and instead outfit an exquisite, finespun cake and punch reception. Gather all friend and family recipes for “famous” banana cream, strawberry shortbread, upside-down pineapple, black forest and cinnamon swirl coffee cakes. If the architect’s willing to bake his/her own cake, great. Otherwise, recruit a few of your most spatula-apt relatives and pals to help you whip up a sugar-rushed frenzy of the best of the best confectionaries. Finally, set out both alcoholic and virgin juices in traditional crystal punch bowls for the epitome of class, and don’t forget champagne served in plastic flutes for toasts.
reverting to roots
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When choosing a location, convenience can be top priority, placing your own home and that of your parent’s at the head of the list. Space should probably be the final tie breaker, although kitchen equipment and décor durability are definitely up there. You don’t want mum and dad to come away with broken antique figurines and stained cashmere pillows. If you’re going with a catered buffet or sit-down meal, make sure the staff is familiar with the layout and the tools available to them, because if neither of you are fully equipped, the company should be able to recommend a rental business for extra cutlery and dishware.
One final option is crashing a friend’s pad. This one’s tricky because while a long-time pal may own a most idyllic country house complete with horse stables, or historic flat furnished with innate character, asking them to host your wedding is a huge favor. If they say yes, reciprocate the generosity by talking them through every detail, assuring them of clean-up crews (this is one time where such a splurge is non-negotiable), toasting them at the wedding and of course, showering them with gratitude and gifts. Maintain a modest guest list and opt for a cocktail theme, for both elegant simplicity and minimal kitchen puttering or wreckage. Mixed drinks and canapés are darling anyway.
general concerns
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Wherever you get back to basics, there are a number of hazard-deterrents to stir up. Firstly, you must solve the parking crisis either by hiring a valet service, imploring neighbors to lend a square of asphalt for the day, or renting a shuttle bus, nixing the issue altogether. Secondly, you’ll need to consider your home’s electric capabilities and consult caterers and DJs on their power needs, possibly resulting in rental equipment, backup generators and additional outdoor outlets included. Thirdly, you’ll need to organize all the chairs, linens and tables to rent, as well as a potential port-a-loo, if you’re worried about bathroom wear and tear. Finally, be considerate and notify neighbors of your gathering, inquiring about acceptable music levels and cranking times. If they can’t do midnight hoops and hollers on a weeknight, act respectful and inform your guests of these neighbourhood “rules.”