Celebrating at home gives you a level of flexibility not offered by most restaurants or other event venues: You can go totally informal with a barbecue by the pool, pizza or sandwiches on the patio, or even a pot luck. The relaxed setting may make it easier to accommodate kids, who will enjoy playing yard games like volleyball, badminton or croquet as much as the grownups! And if everyone’s having a blast and you decide to extend the party longer than originally planned, no problem.
This type of casual get-together is not only low-cost and DIY-able, it’s often still affordable even if you bring in a coordinator or caterer to help you pull it all together.
But before you jump on the home rehearsal dinner band wagon, here are a few things to consider:
- Will the home hosting your event comfortably accommodate the number of people invited? Your guest list will determine if you can seat everyone together in one room, or whether the party needs to move into multiple rooms and/or outdoors. If the festivities are going to be outside on a potentially hot or rainy day, you may want to tent the area to protect everyone from the elements.
- If you or your caterer is planning to prepare the meal in the home’s kitchen, is it up to the job? Professional caterers will assess the kitchen facilities in advance to determine whether they need to bring in extra equipment or require additional space to work in like a garage or side yard. But if you’re handling the cooking yourself, you should also check out the kitchen’s appliances and equipment—you don’t want to discover too late that the huge turkey you were going to roast won’t fit in the oven!
- If your event entails a lot of setup with tables, chairs, decorations, etc., and you need to access the home the day before to get it all done, will you be able to do that? This is a question worth asking if the rehearsal dinner is taking place at someone else’s house.
- If you’re thinking DIY, are you comfortable dealing with all the organization, preparation and cleanup involved? The DIY approach can save you money, but don’t forget: the more you do yourself the less time you’ll have to kick back with your guests and enjoy the party.
If you answered YES to the above questions, then hosting your rehearsal dinner at home may be the perfect choice for you. And if you opt to hire professionals (not necessarily the same ones you’re using for your wedding!) or rent equipment, click here to find prescreened vendors in your area.