Deciding to get married is one of the biggest and most important decisions many people will ever make. According to The Knot and WeddingChannel.com, the average wedding costing more than $28,000 - the cost of a new car or a down payment on a home, so your next biggest decision may be figuring out how to pay for it. With that in mind, many couples are opting to tie the knot at home. Although hosting your special day in your own backyard can cut costs and give you more flexibility, you must address some critical details before you walk down the aisle.
First things first - make sure you have enough space to accommodate everyone. If you need to make extra space, get creative. Did you know you can fit more guests at round tables than rectangular or square ones? You can also invest in a short-term storage locker, which can temporarily house excess furniture as well as valuables you don’t want left out among wandering and rowdy guests. You’ll also want to check into local noise ordinances, which might require a permit to host a loud party. You might need a permit to park cars along your street, too.
Prepared and protected
In addition to these important basic details, couples need to make sure they are protected if anything goes wrong on their big day. Joe Vahey, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance, suggests happy couples think about the following three key insurance issues when planning a wedding at their home or someone else’s to make sure they’re prepared for the unexpected:
Keep valuable wedding gifts protected. Depending on how many guests attend your event, you could end up with thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts. Since personal property like this is covered by your homeowners insurance policy, make sure to talk to your agent. They’ll look into your policy’s personal property limit – it’s usually a percentage of the value of your home – to ensure everything is covered.
It’s important to make sure you’re protected from liability, too. If your uncle falls while doing the chicken dance or your cousin trips while diving to catch the bouquet, you could end up in trouble. While some liability coverage is included on standard homeowners policies, you’ll want to review the liability limits with your agent in order to assure you have enough coverage. Additionally, it’s always wise to consider adding an inexpensive personal catastrophe liability policy (sometimes called an umbrella policy) to your insurance. Having this extra protection will provide you and your future spouse with needed peace of mind on a hectic day.
Wedding rings are an important part of the ceremony, a symbol of your special bond. Consider “scheduling” the rings rather than relying on the blanket coverage provided by a standard policy, which may have a value limit. A scheduled ring has additional coverage up to the specific value of that ring, so you won’t have to worry about replacing a lost or stolen ring.
Once the behind-the-scenes details have been addressed, it’s time to pull back the curtain and focus on putting on a spectacular show. Properly welcome guests by getting your landscape in tip-top shape and making sure to clean your house top to bottom a week before the wedding. Consider hiring professionals to lessen your responsibilities leading up to the big day. Keep wedding decor and flowers in line with the look and feel of the home. Getting married at a beach house on the lake? Then, stick to a more casual, understated feel. If you’re hosting a black-tie gala at a friend’s mansion, don’t be afraid to embrace elegance and opulence.
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your big day, planning ahead to ensure you’re prepared and protected is one way to enjoy it worry-free, with the one you love.