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June 2012
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Having your wedding at home is a chance to make it personal

Associated Press

To make a wedding more personal, many couples opt to tie the knot at home -- their own home or that of a relative or friend. There are plenty of creative ways to make the big event homey, fun and beautiful.And with some careful thought and planning, you can save a lot of money in the process.

The essential thing when planning a DIY wedding at home is to plan as far ahead as possible and carefully consider the whole picture before definitely opting to do it all at home, says Brigitt Earley, senior editor at Real Simple magazine.

"Always consider all of the numbers. Sometimes it seems like it will be less expensive to host your wedding at home, but your home is a blank canvas and you often have to bring in a lot of items -- table and chair rentals, extra bathrooms, kitchen equipment. These costs can add up to more than the fee of renting out a more traditional venue," she warns.

"Also, consider things like space constraints, landscaping and parking."

If a home wedding still seems the way to go, think about where to save and where to splurge, Earley says. "Bathrooms may not sound all that glamorous, but you'll want to consider splurging on a fancy bathroom trailer if your home only has one accessible bathroom. You don't want guests waiting in line all night, but even worse: You could encounter problems if you overload your home's plumbing system," she says.

Make sure your home's electrical system can accommodate all the power needed to run extra kitchen equipment and lighting. Earley suggests getting a professional opinion, and considering bringing in a generator.

"Don't forget to check with the town: Some areas require permits, or have noise ordinances you'll want to be aware of well in advance of the big day," she adds.

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