by Celia Mulder
Private residence weddings (the fancier cousin of the traditional backyard affair) are great. They aren't always an option, since not everyone has a cottage on a lake or a huge, flat field to host a party of two hundred. But for those who do, here are some reasons to consider turning your home into your wedding venue:
1. No rules and regulations about set-up. You don't have to have all your rentals in and out in one day. The tent can be set up early in the week and the rentals and decor can trickle in, lessening the Saturday stress.
2. No set end time. Do, of course, check with the noise ordinance in your area and let your neighbors know the wedding is happening so they don't call in an noise complaint (inviting them to the reception is another way to keep the party going late).
3. Just like set-up, clean-up is also more low key. There's no time you have to have everything picked up and removed by and you don't have to be back at the venue first thing the next morning. A word of caution - unless you want a whole lot of clean-up, keep guests out of the house. Use the house as a pre-ceremony getting ready space but then have it off limits to prevent being stuck with a huge mess.
Definitely also rent a restroom trailer or port-a-potties. There are some really nice trailers out there and the benefit of not having all your guests traipsing through the house to use the bathroom will be worth the cost.
4. No venue fees. Yes you will have to rent a tent and tables and chairs but many venues require you to do that anyway, especially outdoor venues in Northern Michigan.
5. There is nothing more unique and memorable than getting married at your private residence. No one has been married there before and maybe no one will after you. If another family member has had their wedding there, that only adds to the significance and meaning of the location.
Private residences make great venues both for people who want a relaxed, casual event and those who want every detail styled. The casual wedding will be a giant family reunion party, where guests can play lawn games and hang out on the dock or relax around the fire pit. Without any venue rules you have the freedom to do what you want with the space. You can build a raised floor under the tent and bring in a twelve piece band. You can have a three hour cocktail reception in the afternoon and put lanterns and tiki torches all along the lakeshore. Some of our favorite weddings are at private residences and it's not hard to see why!