Recently I had the opportunity to photograph an extremely special day for my family. I was able to document my momma and her husband Mike’s at home elopement. It was a relaxing day filled with love, loved ones and all of their favorite things. This day was SO special and intimate that I want other people to be able to use this as inspiration to create their own day. So we will be going over the bare necessities today on how to plan an intimate wedding day at your home.
So you’re ready to tie the knot, but you’re not quite into doing something elaborate for your wedding day. You’re looking for something low key, you’re looking for something special, you’re looking for something just for you. Even if you want to do things your own way though there are a handful of things you will need to plan no matter how simple your at home wedding is. Here are some tips for how to plan your wedding at home and make sure that you have everything that you want.
If you’re having a more intimate wedding day at home, your guest list is more than likely on the smaller side. Your guest list will also be filled with some of the most important people in your life so you will want to make sure that they can be there. Choose a date or two and make sure to check with the people you love the most. If you’re taking your time planning, you’re more than likely going to be able to let them plan for it, but if you’re wanting to get married next week, you’ll need to make sure they’re free! Try to be as proactive with this as possible when you start your wedding planning so you can make sure all your favorite people can make it.
With your wedding day on the smaller side, you can pack it full with some of your favorite things. For my mom’s wedding day she made cupcakes for her and Mike’s handful of guests, and then Mike made venison ready for everyone for lunch.
Things to include could be some of your favorite foods like your top bakery or your favorite bar for drinks. You can include some of your favorite activities like painting with your guests, or maybe you LOVE to roller skate with your spouse, so you might go for a quick skate in your wedding gear. You might be on the adventurous side and want to have your group go on a small hike after your wedding ceremony or the next day depending on where you live. There are so many unique ways to include your favorite things in your at home wedding so don’t be afraid to get creative when planning and put together something cool and something you’ll love.
There are regulations for each state in terms of guidelines for wedding ceremonies, so it is important to check with the county you plan to get married in. Generally you can expect to have to apply for a marriage license, a short waiting period to obtain your license and then you’ll have to find someone to marry you on your wedding day. In most states you will need an ordained minister or religious figure to marry you. If you want to have someone close to you in your life marry the two of you, you can have them become ordained through the Universal Life Church, or get married legally prior to your wedding day and have anyone perform your ceremony. In some states you can even self-solemnize (marry yourselves without a minister) if you want to keep things extremely intimate!
Whether you’re planning an intimate elopement of just the two of you in your backyard or having a handful of people over for dinner, food is definitely something you’ll want to prioritize on your wedding day. Everyone has to eat! Think about how you want to spend your day. If you LOVE cooking, grab some of your favorite ingredients and spend the afternoon preparing a meal for the people you love the most.
If cooking isn’t really your thing, opt for a caterer, a personal chef for the evening, or order takeout from your favorite restaurant. There is no wrong way to celebrate your day.
For my mom and Mike, they kept their day simple. We woke up and took the morning slow, my mom made cupcakes and Mike made us all lunch. By planning their wedding day at home we were able to take our time, enjoy eachothers company and really be present for all the best moments throughout their wedding day.
Though you might not feel the need to hire a photographer for a smaller affair, I can assure you, I have never heard anyone regret hiring someone to document their wedding day. Believe it or not, there is SO much more to your wedding story than the kiss at the end of your ceremony. Hiring an elopement photographer to capture your day ensures that you will be able to relive your wedding day for years to come, and all of your guests will be able to relax and be present throughout your day without worrying about documenting the whole thing.
If you only make one investment when planning your at home wedding day, make sure it’s a photographer.
If you plan to have some sort of reception with a handful of family and friends, it is important to make sure you’re prepared for all types of scenarios on your wedding day. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding day, especially in the midwest, make sure to have a backup plan in case of unruly weather. This can look like a tent, a reservation at your favorite restaurant, or even a set up in your garage, just to make sure you and your guests are dry and ready for some fun.
Outside of the weather, you’ll want to think about what you want to serve your guests (see the paragraph above for more ideas on food) and if you want any wedding day festivities included such as first dances or cake cutting or any other traditions you would like to include.
When it comes to planning your wedding day at home the bottom line you need to remember is that this day is about you and the love of your life. You both should be able to enjoy a day filled with the people and things you love most. Add in a photographer to capture all the moments throughout your day and you’ll be sure to have an amazing home wedding with photos and memories to last a lifetime. Already have your wedding day in mind and now you’re looking for a photographer? Head to my contact page and let’s plan out your day!
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