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Checklist for Private Residence Weddings

With the new world we’re living in these days we’re all looking for ways to continue to celebrate love as planned. If you’re thinking of hosting your wedding at your home or a private residence, we’ve created a checklist below to make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Private residence weddings have been a favorite of ours at RKE since the beginning. My husband and I actually got married at my parents house on the Eastern Shore of MD, which really set the stage for me to start my own planning company. Celebrating your wedding at a place that already has so much meaning and memories for you makes it even more special in our mind! 

Since we’ve started RKE, we also had the pleasure of being a part of a ton of private residence weddings that all hold special places in our hearts. I’ve included some photos after the checklist for your enjoyment. 

No matter if you’re having an intimate celebration or pushing the guest list to the max, remember that with hosting the event at a private residence there is no venue manager to take care of key items. It’s always good to have a planner or person in charge of the space and event, to ensure you’re still able to enjoy your day.

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We’re happy to help!

Private Residence Weddings Checklist:

  • TentingMake sure to rent the sides just in case! It’s also a good idea to have tenting on hold for all areas of the celebration, such as the ceremony site. Think of it as an insurance plan! Additional tip: make sure to mow the lawn the day before or the morning of the tent install.

  • GeneratorEven if you feel the house has adequate power, there is nothing worse than the power going out during an event. Add a generator to your rental order and you’ll be able to relax and not worry about too much power being drawn from the house.

  • RestroomsIt’s always a good idea to rent a restroom trailer instead of having all your guests use the restrooms on your property. Don’t worry, the restroom trailers these days are very pretty and some even allow you to play music in there! At my own wedding, people couldn’t stop commenting on how nice they were =) Also keep in mind power and water access for the trailer. If you don’t have water, you can rent bladders for the trailers. If they can’t be placed near the bigger generator, you can rent a smaller one just for the restrooms. 

  • Catering Tent/Vendor NeedsOutline a good space for the catering prep tent that is close to the main tenting/dinner area. If walking outside is necessary, it might be needed to rent a marquee between the two tents. Make sure the caterer has access to water and the generator for lighting. Also, make sure all other vendors have what they need to do their job perfectly. For example, running power to the location in the tent outlined for the DJ or band, etc. 

  • ParkingA lot of people tend to forget about a parking plan with private residence weddings. Make sure you have a wellplanned area for guests to park and provide adequate signage so they all know how to park correctly. It’s a great idea to hire a valet company if possible to help handle the cars. Also, if your parking plan is on the grass have a plan B in case of rain. Even if it’s beautiful weather on the day of the event, it could have rained the few days before causing the lot to be muddy.  Lastly, remember to outline a separate area for vendor parking!

  • LightingYour rental company will take care of lighting in the tent but make sure to think of key areas that will need lighting after sunset. Things to think about would be the walkway to the restroom trailers and the walkway to the parking lot/shuttle pick-up area. Getting some outdoor solar pathway lighting from Amazon is a great way to solve this problem!

  • Neighbors Remember that you’re not as remote as a venue and your celebration could disturb your neighbors. I’ve found it’s best to write a letter to all neighbors telling them the plan for the event, hours, and mentioning any shuttles. From there, it’s best if the bride and groom personally go from door to door to give the note out. These days, you can also just leave it in their mailbox or at their doorstep since people might not answer the doors as much as before 😉

  • Insurance Since you are at your own home it’s a great idea to get a one-day event insurance package. This can be added to your existing insurance or through companies such as WedSafe.

  • SignageYou’re at your home so if you don’t want anyone entering the actual house, it’s a good idea to provide good signage on all doors that say something as simple as “The [INSERT LAST NAME] Home is closed for the wedding festivities. Thank you for understanding!”. Then post this sign on all doors and make sure they are locked!

  • After-Party It’s a good idea to outline a set end time for the event or have a plan in place to seamlessly transition to more of an after-party. At this point, all vendors will quietly pack up. You can tell your caterers to switch to plastic cups and put out all open alcohol/ a cooler of beer. It’s also good to have a seamless plan to bring out speakers and have a playlist ready on a phone to press play! 

  • Clean-Up Plan Your caterers will be the ones to do a good portion of the cleanup and take the trash with them. It’s important to outline exactly what you want from them and/or your planner, etc. If you’re having an after-party it would be a good idea to set up trash cans for all trash that accumulates after the caterers leave. This would be your responsibility to get rid of in the AM. Planners will normally clean up any decor they have set up and can pull the linens into the bag the rental company provides, or leave them on, depending on your after-party plan.

Burrell + Broadhurst Wedding | Private Residence in Chestertown, MD
photo credit // Storytellers & Co

Anderson + Campbell Wedding | Private Residence in Frederick, MD
photo credit // Kristi Odom Photography

Ignatius + Velazquez Wedding | Private Residence in Washington, D.C
photo credit // Paula B Photography

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