How to throw the perfect home wedding reception

Written by in Lifestyle

A warm afternoon on a freshly-mown lawn with spring flowers dancing in the wind – is there a more delightful way to celebrate a marriage with family and friends than in the comfort and beauty of familiar surroundings? Practical, flexible and affordable – a home wedding reception is all of these.

More couples are choosing a home wedding reception as it enables them to tailor a celebration which suits their tastes and budget. Unlike formal reception centres, with their mandatory cutting off of drinks and polite shuffling out of guests when the clock strikes 12; the couple, along with their family and guests, can relax and enjoy their celebrations till the wee hours of the morning.

Nowadays many wedding hire companies and catering businesses are offering multiple products and services along with advice and support, to provide couples with a stress-free, one-stop shop to plan their big day.

If you are considering the delightful elegance of a home wedding reception, read on for a few suggestions to make the day both beautiful and memorable.

Equipment Hire

No matter what the weather, a spectacular marquee is a must for any wedding reception. Wedding marquee hire in Melbourne can create an affordable yet stunningly beautiful focal point where guests can dine, dance and mingle.  Unlike formal reception venues, no-shows or extra ‘ring-ins’ are not a cause for alarm!

Companies specialising in marquee hire may also offer a range of other services and packages; tailoring and customising your function to suit your guest list requirements.

These services include:

  • Furniture
  • Flooring
  • Catering equipment
  • Design and layout services

Even better, they will come in and clean up without leaving a trace that they were ever there – perfect!



The cost savings accrued by holding a home wedding reception also extends to the catering. Traditional reception venues charge a ‘per head’ price for guests which would bring a tear to anyone’s eyes. They generally will also tie you to a limited menu selection.

Catering from home allows you to shop around for the type of food and catering you want and provides transparency in your budget.

Garden receptions lend themselves to a buffet or smorgasbord style of eating, where food is presented in bain-maries and guests are able to serve themselves in their own time. This means catering to guest food preferences and issues such as food allergies, can be easily addressed.

Find a caterer who can provide ingredient notations on food and cater to specific dietary requirements such as:

  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Lactose-free
  • Nut-free


Elegant floral centrepieces and superb flower arrangements can be the ‘wow’ factor which adds dramatic colour and life to your function. Experiment with an array of lush, stunning flower combinations which complement the garden surrounds.

Below are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

  • Drape ivy or garlands of maidenhair fern or amaranthus flower spray from the marquee ceiling
  • Decorate fountains and swimming pools with swathes of flowers and floating candles
  • Line paths with potted topiaries accented with brightly, coloured flowers to create a wonderland feel
  • Use fewer traditional table decor, such as black table cloths, to contrast with brilliantly coloured flower centrepieces.



Local artists or bands can be a great addition to a home reception or alternatively, arrange for a DJ so you can tailor the music to your tastes. It is wise to advise neighbours to expect some noise and extra cars in the street and give them a set time when it will conclude.


Unless you live in a mansion, it may be an idea to do a deal with a local hotel or motel to secure a discount for guests wishing to stay close-by. This may mean guaranteeing a set number of bookings, so begin enquiries early.

Your wedding day should be a time where you can relax and enjoy celebrating with family and friends. By holding your reception at home, you can tailor the perfect function to make your wedding day an event that you and your guests will remember with fond delight for years to come.