Discover expert tips on building an event from the ground up.
Photo by Jerry Hayes Photography; Planning & Design by DFW Events
Perhaps the inspiration began with Father of Bride and that unforgettable reception. Remember those perfect string lights draped throughout the tent and the gorgeous garland framing the doorway? Many couples have ideas just like these in mind when hatching plans for their own at-home wedding.
Before enlisting a professional event planner to help develop those dreams into a production schedule, however, there’s one more Father of the Bride scene worth mentioning. It’s a quick shot at the end of the film, and what it showcases – hardwood floors covered with uneaten cake slices, used napkins, and empty glasses – is very real. The good news: with a strong vendor team in place, building a site that’s custom-tailored to suit your tastes and preferences can be an extremely rewarding experience!
Here are some things to consider before moving forward with plans to create an event space from the ground up.
Consider the Cost
It’s a common misconception that hosting a backyard wedding is more budget friendly than booking a pre-existing venue. In reality, selecting any site that’s not already in use as an event facility will necessitate bringing in everything from butter knives to bathrooms. This also includes back-of-house catering rentals, a trucking service, and clean-up crews, just to name a few. You will also need to secure an air-conditioned tent in case of rain or extreme temperatures on your wedding day. Don’t let this scare you, though. A seasoned event planner is more than capable of managing the additional details and staffing needs that a custom build requires, ensuring the process is as enjoyable as the final production.
Plan a Realistic Timeline
Creating an event space is like building a home. Design renderings will be produced, foundations laid, support systems put in place, flooring, and so on. It also requires a great deal of time and energy. From breaking ground to tearing down, you can expect a custom site build to take about three weeks to complete. While choosing your own home as a venue can be romantic and sentimental, keep in mind that the choice can also cut into your wedding week with a symphony of construction days before walking down the aisle. If an at-home wedding might not be for you, perhaps a family ranch or vacation home could work better – these sites pack the same sentimental punch without requiring an invasion of your actual living space.
Think Big Picture
If you’ve ever built a house, then you know how easy it is for add-ons and upgrades to begin to snowball. Granite becomes marble; a patio becomes a screened-in porch… You get the idea. Similarly, when constructing an event space – particularly on the grounds of a private residence – you may begin to notice other things (such as lighting fixtures or landscaping) that could be improved or updated to complement your perfectly designed wedding day. By anticipating “big picture” details like these in advance, you’ll save yourself from a budget crisis further down the line.
Dive Into Design
Design and décor are the subjects most brides have in mind when considering a custom location. Do you envision a sparkling reception tent dripping with crystals? Or a pool covered with Plexiglas, so that it looks like you’re dancing on water? How about surprising the groom with a putting green? Starting from scratch gives you the opportunity to be as hands-on as possible with the layout of your event space, resulting in an environment that’s 100 percent unique to you.
Whether you’ve been engaged for five months or five minutes, you’ve probably noticed that “turning dreams into reality” is one of the wedding industry’s most favored phrases. By electing to create your own celebration site and assembling a trustworthy vendor team to help execute your vision, we’re happy to share that your dreams really can become reality.