Turning Your Property into a Wedding Venue (Complete Guide)

Sometimes finding the perfect wedding venue isn’t easy…

You’ve probably already looked at a bunch of different locations and venues, but none of them have that intimate feel that you were looking for.
If you have a large backyard, your house could be a possible venue contender.  If you don’t, you aren’t out of luck just yet. You can reach out to family members or friends that may have the perfect backyard and, of course, there is always the option of renting someone else’s home for your wedding.

Once you find the perfect backyard, how do you transform it into a wedding venue?

Here are some great ideas on how to turn a house into a the perfect venue for your nuptials:

Maximise Space 

If you have a pool taking up a lot of space, you may think that you are out of luck, but a common trick of the trade is to use a temporary platform pool cover.  While this isn’t exactly cheap, if you aren’t paying for the venue, you’ll have more room in the budget for it. You can use this space for the ceremony, reception dining, lounge furniture, dance floor, or really anything.

If your outdoor space is limited, you may have to narrow down your guest list quite a bit.  Even so, you may have to seat your guests wherever tables may fit.  There is a chance that not all guests will be seated in the same area.

If you do have some indoor space that would be large enough to host a ceremony or reception, you may want to find out the cost for putting some furniture into temporary storage.  That way you may be able to convert your living room into additional event space.

tara-jason-the-official-photographers__MG_3338Customise your Ceremony Location 

If you’re trying to distinguish your reception area from your ceremony location, here are a few tips.  Create a backdrop, line the aisle with flowers, or add an archway.  Get creative!  Remember, you don’t have to have seating for everyone, but you should provide some seating for older guests.


Provide Proper Lighting 

If you have an outdoor light, it might not provide enough light for everyone.  Plus, it isn’t the most wedding appropriate lighting.  You might want to consider market lighting or uplighting.  It will create a better event atmosphere.

If you’re going for a more romantic vibe, use lots of candles for each table.  Just remember that your guests will want to see what they are eating and who they are talking to.  Do a trial run of the lighting well in advance so you can make adjustments as needed.

Otahuna Lodge


3-6 months prior to your wedding would be the time to get any projects done on your property, including the ones you may have put off for years.  Re-sod the lawn if you have some dead patches, fix your broken fence, waterblast your deck, and most importantly, plant flowers that will bloom the month of your wedding (or buy already blooming flowers to plant right before the big day).

Indoor Prep 

Just because the event may be outdoors, doesn’t mean that guests won’t be using the interior.  A thorough cleaning will be needed throughout the house, including bedrooms.  Guests may need to use a bedroom for nursing their young one, or maybe just to store their coats and purses.

Your restrooms will be used non-stop, so you should make sure they can withstand the abuse, otherwise you’ll need to rent some additional restrooms.

Once again, if there are any home improvement projects on your list, this is the time to make them happen.



Having a buffet can make things a lot easier on you and your guests.  A plated, seated dinner can be overwhelming if you’re working out of a small space for a lot of guests.  In fact, it may be best to have the food prepared off site and then delivered to the house.  Unless you have a lot of ample space to create a field kitchen in the garage, or you have a commercial kitchen, chances are you won’t want the caterer using the kitchen while your guests are walking through the house.


Other Things to Consider 

So many things go into a great backyard venue.  Don’t forget about these important details!

    • Tent in case of rain
    • Power Limits – Can your house power your lighting, DJ, and more?  Or will you need a generator?
    • Local Laws – Can you host parties at the house?  What time can you play music until?
    • Insurance – Does your insurance cover damages to the house as well as your guests?
    • Transportation – Can guests park at the house?  Will you need to hire a shuttle service?
    • Hiring a wedding coordinator – Let someone else take the reigns.  Use their recommended vendors.  They’re experts!
    • Notify all neighbors – The last thing you want is an angry neighbor.  Let them know about the party, and hopefully they’ll be understanding.

After all is said and done, if you think that your home is perfect for weddings, you may want to considering listing with us here.  Renting out your home for private events can have a lot of advantages, and we can help you maximize your opportunity.

Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below or feel free to give us a call, or shoot us an email anytime.


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