Primary Residence as a wedding venue

9 Replies

I'm curious if anyone has any insight on hosting a wedding at their primary residence. My backyard has been used for a family members wedding in the past, but I'm not sure about the liability of having someone I don't know that well use my back yard for their wedding.

They could have a huge wedding tent set up, have the mobile bathrooms parked, and have all the caterers operating in my backyard.

Has anyone tried this or have any advice as to if this is practical?

Thank you

I got married in my own back yard, which worked out very well. But in my opinion, suitability for a wedding venue really depends on the specifics of the property. Some considerations:

- How many guests can you comfortably accommodate? There are many "boutique" wedding venues out there that accommodate up to 150 people, so there's a lot of competition there in most metros. But not as many venues can handle larger affairs of 200-300 guests, so there's less competition in that niche. 

- Do you have adequate parking? Or can you set up shuttle service to a nearby lot?

- Regarding liability, definitely consult an attorney and or insurance agent regarding the type of coverage you need. You'd certainly want to have an umbrella policy in place, in case your business insurance policy doesn't cover everything.

- You mentioned mobile bathrooms (hopefully not port-a-johns). If your setting is rustic, this might work, but I'm not sure that most brides (and brides' mothers) are going to be thrilled about this option. 

- Caterers will want/need dedicated kitchen space to heat/prep food. If you don't have dedicated (and out of the way of guests) kitchen space, this can be an issue.

- Your time: most weddings take place on Saturday or Sunday. Are you prepared to spend every weekend either involved in wedding events, or delegating to other folks and making arrangements to be away from your property?

- And the big one: neighbors. They can make or break a wedding venue. Even if you are on a larger property in a rural location, they can still complain if they don't like noise on a Saturday night.

Good luck!

Too true @Gary Ennis , we have wedding pictures showing neighbors leaning out of their 2nd story windows to watch our wedding!!!  Don't worry about it @Ken Nyczaj , it just adds to the ambiance.  Think of the stories the bride and groom can share over the years of "the time the neighbors crashed our wedding"!  Zoning needs to be your first stop at the city offices followed by a visit to the organized event permit office.

@Dave Foster @Gary Ennis Thank you all for the tips! I'm not going through with it, too little time to prepare and too much headache. The money made doesn't make sense for the time involved.

That being said, my buddy had a wedding out in Culpepper, VA recently where the couple bought a foreclosed plantation house, fixed it up, and now all they do is weddings. It was an incredible experience and definitely got my brain thinking about that as an investment in the future.

I'm in that same mode right now. My wife and I are searching for a historic building or a property with acreage in Central Texas, to renovate and operate as a wedding/events venue.

We have a 6-plex on 5 acres & I'm amazed how many kids who rent from us have had their wedding pics etc taken on-site. One couple threw their reception BBQ on the same property & the evening bonfire. These tenants could certainly afford a traditional hall/facility but chose the open space & kept the $$$ down.

Originally posted by @Pat L. :

We have a 6-plex on 5 acres & I'm amazed how many kids who rent from us have had their wedding pics etc taken on-site. One couple threw their reception BBQ on the same property & the evening bonfire. These tenants could certainly afford a traditional hall/facility but chose the open space & kept the $$$ down.

Have you thought about renting it out as a wedding venue?