The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There's No Place Like HOME for Celebrating


A home, whether it is your own or a spacious vacation rental, is a great option for celebrating a special milestone.

Here in Florida, many out-of-state couples use their weddings as destination / honeymoon options. In many cases the rental of a home offers wedding week or "weekend" accommodations for the bridal party or close family members.

When you consider the high room rate of staying a waterfront beach resort, a vacation rental is a cost-effective alternative especially when you consider you can have all the privacy you want.

If your own home has a nice open space or large outdoor setting, there's nothing more personalized than a birthday, anniversary, or wedding celebrated right there.

If you decide to explore a "home" wedding or party, consider the many challenges that come with this option. Since most weddings are 50 or more people, you should be aware of the higher costs of hosting a home party vs. an event hall.

Time of Year

If decide on an all outdoor event, make certain you choose a less windy, less humid, and less "wet" time period. Even if you are not on the beach, be mindful of the aggravation wind can ensue. This can be problematic for place cards, bar napkins, taller centerpieces, and even all tablecloths.

Don't wait until the last minute to acquire butane heaters or fans/air units. Put them into your basic budget. The same goes for a tent. These are not just items you can have a rental company provide an hour before your party.

Open Spaces

Having a spacious natural setting amid tall trees may be picturesque, Unless you are prepared, you may find that nature has other plans. Seagulls and other birds can add some unwanted "white garnish" to your tables and food presentations. Avoid placing any open food items in the area two or three hours prior to the start of an event.

Keep guest table settings simple and consider placing flatware on top of napkins. Centerpieces that are low offer better resistance to wisps of wind. If you do go with pieces that are taller, make certain your decorator weighs them well with water and rocks. Avoid flower holders that are tall and skinny with all weight at the top.

In the spring, tree droppings and plant pollen, can ruin the tops of displayed tables and chairs. If you have access to a "blower" at least an hour prior, use it to "shake down" overhanging branches and foliage to prevent spillage. If you are in an area with a number of trees, you might at least consider small canopies or overhang area for food and beverage displays.

Instead of open flame candles, you may want to invest in floating candles or submersible LED lights inside of glass containers. This offers some assurance the wind will not tamper with your flickering light source.

The Kitchen Inside is Still YOUR Kitchen

Most modern homes boast open kitchens connected to entertaining spaces that are likely popular nesting areas for some guests. Avoid having your caterer do any preparation or clean up work in this space. Suggest the use of a garage or laundry room to keep mess contained. This area should be easily accessed from guest tables for clearing purposes.

There also should be some water source available. When ordering rental items, consider "back of the house" long tables for event staff.

Hidden Expenses

If your home is in major residential neighborhood, you may need to consider shuttle transportation to and from a remote parking area. In some cases, if there is street parking, a valet service should be considered to avoid neighbors' driveways from getting blocked.

Besides a contingency tent, consider any and all rentals you may need. This can include a dance floor, dj table or elevated platform for a live band, serving tables and bar. If the vacation rental home you have secured for your wedding weekend has limited or non-indoor use of the home for non-staying guests, you may need to budget in a portable restroom unit. This is ususally a trailer that requires close access to water and electric.

And don't forget any special permitting for beach ceremonies and tent installation.

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