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St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | Would You…Could You…In a House?
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Would You…Could You…In a House?



A lot of luxelings luck out by having a fantastic home to marry in– or they know of a friend or relatively who will lovingly donate the use of their home.  In fact many brides come to the St. Simons and Jekyll Island area to rent villas for the sole purpose of having their wedding.  At first appearance, it seems to be a real cost saving choice– not having to shell out thousands of dollars in just the rental fees for a venue, being one of them.  However, there are some other cost-heavy purchases that will be absolutely mandatory if you want to pull of a fête that is worthy of reflecting of everything in your dreams.


Having a house wedding is just so personal.  It adds personality that can’t be obtained from a traditional venue.  Imagine saying your vows in front of the tree where your tire swing brought you many smiles or dancing with your dad in the same yard where he taught you to ride your bike. It offers more for your guests as well– guests will feel more at home and will be more willing to interact with each other because of the atmosphere.  If the home is on a large grounds, the surrounding area could add to the ambience and theme of your event. 


  • Provides a warm, relaxing atmosphere that is sometimes lacking at traditional venues
  • Costs nothing to rent
  • Allows maximum control and leeway (a little less if it is not your house)
  • The celebration can last as long as you want (this may vary depending on your locality and noise ordinances)
  • No booking difficulties!


Let’s talk about some of these pros.  Atmosphere is everything for an event; you need to touch on all five senses and do it well.  When your site has personality built in, it really means that’s less you have to bring in and add to it.  The fact that the home is free to use for your wedding is another perk.  Of course, there are other expenses, which we will get into in a moment– and there may be some other things you might need to do (change lightbulbs, fix broken fixtures, etc.).  But overall, the cost initially is pretty minimum. If the home is on a vast property, you really don’t have to worry about the noise level or cut off time, unless your host has the “Y’all ain’t gotta go home, but you gotta get out of here” stance at midnight.  Even neighbors are willing to concede in honor of your wedding if you let them know ahead of time…just don’t push it.  Finally, you can almost bet your bottom dollar that your date is available at your place 🙂



  • Space. Space. Space.  
  • Vendors will need to be recruited
  • Parking may be sparse or non existent
  • Restrooms may need to be rented
  • May have to apply for exemption from noise curfews and traffic regulations from the local police department or municipality.

If your home is not very large and doesn’t have a large yard, you can nix the idea of having a large guest list.   You need enough space for your guests to mingle, eat, dance and relax.  You will need top notch vendors in order to pull your event off successfully.  Make sure that your home can handle all the power being used for music, lighting, etc.  Your caterer will need enough space to cook or have a portable kitchen.  If you have a family friend who will do the cooking, make sure they do the brunt of it somewhere else.  Remember, your space is small, with possibly, no enclosed kitchen. You do not want the aroma of a melange of foods greeting your guests as they come in.  You may have to consider having a valet to a near by lot if your street does not accommodate parking. It might also be helpful to have a police officer to assist with the influx of 100+ cars slowing and stopping.  This is something you do not want to overlook!  You could also arrange for mass transportation– rent vans or hire a trolley to cart guests to and from their cars every hour to a central location (this works well if your ceremony occurs somewhere else). 


Then consider the restroom situation–you don’t want 100+ people traipsing through your house.  So, this means you will need portable toilets, but port-a-potties just aren’t fabulous.  Enter:  Royal Restrooms.  These posh lavatories will extend the luxurious experience for your guests, without compromising your home.  But what about space?  Simply, be prepared to tent the property as well rent other necessary items to transform your home from “Home Sweet Home” to “Fabuluxe Wedding Venue”.  Be sure to price extra lighting, any extra cooling devices for refrigeration, dishes, flatware and barware (if not supplied by your caterer), tables, and linens.  You can really have a good time at this because you can plan the entire design without being restrained by space (if in a yard) or venue rules.  Remember to get lighting as well– this will be necessary when dusk emerges.  One thing you will want to make clear is who will be responsible for cleanup– will you hire a caterer or a cleanup crew?  Also, check with your county or city if you will have to make arrangements for the extra trash pickup if any is left over.

Also, check with your homeowner’s insurance about any possible increases or additions you can get for your account to make sure that your event is covered.  However, most importantly, be respective of your neighbors.  Give them a heads up on to your plans and keep them updated with anything that could interfere with their enjoyment of their own property.  Imagine your neighbor’s delight to find several people parked or loitering on their property…that’s a sure fire way to get the cops to shut your party down!


Talk it over with all interested parties and weigh the pros and cons. Also weigh the costs of renting the above items versus having everything taken care of by a venue.  What you pay for in fees and location, you will make up for in convenience.   

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  • You are so right about having to purchase or arrange for event essentials that are “absolutely manatory.” I am sooooooo glad you posted this! 🙂 More times than not, clients do not realize how much money will go into planning a home or an “off-site” wedding. They go into it thinking it will save them money because they don’t have to pay for venue costs.

    Another thing, I highly suggest renting a tent with air condition units and generators (and flooring). The last thing guests want to be is dressed up and hot. Your vision may be to have an extravagant, romantic, or garden theme wedding, but if it is hot (and humid) you can be sure guests will be leaving your event early and want enjoy the ambience your intended.

    Recently, I had an outdoor wedding ceremony and cocktail-reception (no tent) and we had a couple of guests to faint. It was 100 degrees outside, who knows what the heat index was? The heat was unbearable for a lot of guests, especially the elderly guests and so they left well before it was scheduled to be over.

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