At-Home Wedding Checklist

If you're planning an outdoor wedding, consider these 18 questions.

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Planning an at-home wedding? Even a simple do requires lots of planning. This list is just for starters. Use it for inspiration and jot down your other ideas and questions as you go along.

Are you organized?
You’re engaged? Get out a notebook and start collecting wedding ideas, vendors, dreams. It’s never too early to start planning.

Are you money smart?
Start with a budget that matches your dream. Be realistic. Research what your money can buy. A tent with electricity and a dance floor can run as high as $50,000, and that’s not including food, drink and entertainment. Know what you want and what you can afford.

Is your dream defined?
How to you want your guests to feel? What words describe your dream wedding: a romantic intimate gathering at dusk? A rowdy party that goes on all night? A hip happening brunch? Let your vision and must-haves define your list, from food to format.

Will you have enough help?
If you’re not going to hire a wedding planner (and even if you are), identify what kind of helpers you need (getting the bride’s dress on, parking cars, etc.) and ask friends and family well in advance. Even though you might want an intimate affair, you don’t want the bride to be serving the food or the groom manning the bar.

Will your location really work?
Is the house or yard big enough? Have a good flow for lots of guests? Have spots for various activities from signing the guest book to cutting the cake, walking down the aisle to hanging up coats? Is the yard level?

Is the location legal?
Is there a limit to how many people you can cram into the house? How many cars can park in the street? How much noise you can make at night? How much electricity can be pumped into a tent? How many portable toilets you can park on the lawn? Find out what your town requires and what permits and inspections are needed in advance.

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