How Much Can You Save by Having a Wedding at Home?

A wedding is a symbol of love and togetherness. Today, more and more couples are opting for an intimate wedding celebration. An intimate wedding ceremony includes only closest family members and friends. The estimate number of guests can be around somewhere 50 to 80.

When it comes to a close and personal wedding ceremony, there is no place like home. Whether it is your farmhouse, childhood backyard, or parents’ cottage, planning an at-home wedding is absolutely an amazing idea. Hosting your wedding at home not only allows for more personal touches but also helps you save a lot.

Undoubtedly, having your wedding at home cut down your wedding budget in many ways. Let’s take a look:

Save on the Venue

When you decide to host your wedding ceremony at your own home, your partner’s residence or even a family’s estate or vacation property, you automatically cut down your wedding budget. This is because you don’t have to pay for your wedding venue, per-person fees, security deposit, and other hidden costs that go along with it.

Since venue rentals can often cost anywhere from ~$2,000 – $13,000 and up from there for luxury venues, this amounts to big savings.

Save on Decorations

An elegant indoor space, massive oak trees in the backyard, and a spectacular view make your home look unique for hosting a wedding ceremony. Since you have the natural elements, you can save a big amount on décor as well. If you want you can add a canopy, some fairy lights, garden lamps, and other décor pieces to your backyard to create a perfect backdrop for your wedding.

Renting décor items and buying fresh floral arrangements can add up fast. Depending on how elaborate a design plan you have, you could easily rack up a bill that’s as little as $300 to as much as $5,000 or more! By doing it all yourself through handmade crafts, low cost bulk online buying and even borrowing from friends and family, you can cut your wedding budget by a lot!

Save on Transportation

When you choose a wedding venue far away from your hometown, it’s usually good etiquette to at least provide transportation from the reception to the hotel or resort where guests are staying, especially when spiked beverages are involved. However, this added cost can be eliminated when you go for a more personal wedding celebration at your home because your guests will not likely expect you to transport them. In this case, you don’t have to plan for your guests’ transportation.

A typical party bus in the U.S. is going to cost $100 – $300 per hour. And since you’ll likely need to reserve that bus for several hours to account for multiple round trips from the hotel to the reception hall and back again, you’re looking at at least $300-$900 for transporting guests. That can go a long way to helping you get new furniture for your starter home together!

Save on Catering

The money you spend on catering is one of the most expensive parts of your wedding budget. Catering is typically charged per person. Costs are going to range drastically depending upon whether you opt for buffet, family style or plated meal service. It will also be impacted by the menu itself; obviously a surf & turf dinner is drastically more than a simple chicken dish. And then there is other courses to consider – will there be appetizers, a salad course, a soup course, dessert?

Catering costs vary widely by region, style of service and type of menu. You could be looking at as little as $25 per person to as much as $150 per person and up. It all depends on your menu choices, location and style of service. For a 50-person wedding, it’s likely you won’t be able to cater for less than $1000 and most likely for a lot more than that.

On the other hand, having a wedding at your own space can help you trim your catering budget and save a big amount. Here are some tips to help you save on wedding catering costs:

  • Plan out your food and beverage budget and share it with different caterers to find an affordable deal.
  • Get an exact guest count and share it with your caterer to prevent over-ordering.
  • Supply your own alcohol and have a very firm event end time so you don’t have to account for drinking until the late hours.
  • Skip the top shelf bar. Whether you’re hiring a bartending service or supplying your own beverages, keep it simple with bulk beer kegs and just 2 selections of house wine, a red and a white.
  • Of all the serving styles, buffets are usually the most affordable with family style coming in second and plated meals being the most pricey. Choose what fits your budget.
  • Choose an off-time date than a prime date for your ceremony.
  • Or, skip the caterer all together, and ask friends and family to coordinate a menu. Baked pasta dishes are easy to prep in advance and serve buffet- style, along with fried chicken or roast beef. Get creative and come up with a menu that a group of strong supporters can manage. You buy the ingredients, they cook it and set it up for self-service.

Save on a Wedding Planner

Another factor that can add up to your wedding budget is the fees of the wedding planner you hire. A wedding planner is someone who assists you with the planning, design, and management of your wedding. But, if you’re planning to have a wedding at your home, this may be less of a necessity for you. A home or private estate wedding tends to be more laid back and likely more family will chip in to make it all come together.

Why spend money on a wedding planner when you can plan this intimate event on your own? The best idea is to choose some people from your family and give them the responsibility to manage everything to make your wedding a dream wedding. Not having a full service wedding planner can save you $2000 – $10,000+ on your budget.

And if you’re worried about having to work on your wedding day, another option is to opt for a wedding coordinator that only works on the day of your wedding with a little prep work leading up to it. This way, both you and your family can relax and enjoy the party while the coordinator tends to the details.

Now, it’s no surprise that at-home weddings are more intimate and sentimental and can help you save more than your expectations. Save a little money by arranging an at-home fabulous wedding ceremony and enter into your new life on the right financial foot.