Summer is here, which means traditionally it should be a time filled with weddings and celebrations. This summer certainly looks different than ever before, but we are still seeing the magic of celebrations at home take shape, albeit with distance and more precautions. Many couples who have pushed 2020 weddings to 2021 and 2022 are choosing to have a lovely soiree at home to mark the occasion this year. Weddings at home are truly some of our favorites (our own July wedding took place at my parents’ island home with 225+ of our favorite people overlooking the Salish Sea), and the added meaning of a special place that holds the family story makes it extra special.
Whether it’s a family cabin, a beautiful pastoral piece of land, or an island estate, having a wedding at home just feels so intimate and special no matter the time of year. We’ve penned a number of blog posts on comforts and logistics of deliveries, tenting styles, and even restrooms, but today we wanted to share thoughts on elevating home or estate weddings right now – during the pandemic and regulation time. If you’re prepping for a wedding at home or a special gathering this summer, consider these tips to make it lively, beautiful, and exceptionally special:
Staging a beautiful petite tent or a long table that allows for staggered seating in an idyllic setting is a perfect way to start painting your canvas. Think of seating guests by family groups – or place a couple at an intimate 36″ low cocktail table with soft seating, a family of 3 or 4 at a 48″ round, or 6′ tables with guests from the same household simply staged 6′ – 12′ apart.
Indicate very clearly on your invitations (whether digital or printed) what guests can expect – from what to wear to mask guidelines, parking details, and any current pandemic-related details you can share. Of course, be sure to follow all CDC and local guidelines to keep your guests safe but allow them to have fun – we suggests making a station of pre-batched cocktails guests can grab in fun jars or containers, and serving up appetizers in individual platters – that way you can still go all out with decadent food but served individually or per group.
Things like monogrammed masks for guests (check out Oatmeal Lace!), big galvanized buckets with personal comfort kits (which we really do anyhow at our events!) with the added component of hand sanitizers will give guests that added level of feeling well taken care of while celebrating you! Details are key in elevating your special moment – from enhanced chair flowers to specialty cocktail tastings and individual decadent cheese boards or food boxes, the possibilities are really endless for creating impact moment throughout your wedding at home. Consider amplifying décor and flowers for your ceremony and for a distanced lounge area(s) where guests will still feel comfortable visiting – filling up a spaced out lounge with flowers, big baskets filled with fruit, or fun things like glass floats can really enhance the space while not feeling empty or too spaced. Think creatively about music– and possibly consider doing something that might surprise you, like having an old Victrola playing and save the 9-piece band for a larger celebration…or not!
Finally, talk with your caterer or chef about what options are within guidelines for food and bar service. As mentioned above, tableside drop service for each group of guests, opting for cute pre-plated or pre-boxed happy hour food and late night snacks can fit the bill for safe service but all while keeping things delicious, elevated, and beautiful!
What really matters, and always has, is that your wedding is about you and it should be a reflection of your story – truly the start of your new chapter. Having to shift gears and change locations, guest count size, or date is unfortunate and can be difficult for everyone, but at the end of the day, a beautiful wedding at home now (or later!) is a wonderful mark of happiness that everyone can look forward to. If you have questions about planning your wedding now, next year, and beyond and navigating pandemic-related changes, please message us on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org @valleyandco – we are here to help!