How to Prepare Your Home for a Lakeside Wedding

Living on the lake not only allows for some terrific views and easier access to the water, but also can provide a great setting for entertaining, including hosting special events. Fall and spring seasons are particularly ideal for outdoor events, especially weddings. These seasons offer moderate temperatures and natural beauty, whether it’s the yellows and oranges of fall or the lush fresh growth spring brings.

Preparing a house for a wedding or reception at home requires careful planning and attention to detail to ensure that the event goes smoothly and that your guests have a memorable experience. Of course, the earlier you can start planning, the better. Especially if you want to renovate any areas to better accommodate your event.

If you’re up for the challenge, we’ve put together some steps to help you effectively prep your home for a wedding or reception.

10 Ways to Prep for a Home Wedding

Create a Timeline and Checklist

Start by outlining a timeline leading up to the event, including tasks such as cleaning, decorating, setting up, and arranging for any rentals or services. Make a comprehensive checklist to keep track of everything that needs to be done. Take care to ensure you have proper prep/staging space for the vendors you select. Ensure there is easy access to the kitchen or a designated area for caterers to prepare and serve food.

Declutter and Touch-up

Having “company” over is always a great excuse to clean the house. Even more so for a wedding or reception, no matter how small. Begin by decluttering your home to create a clean and spacious environment in all areas that will be accessible to your guests, including bathrooms, the kitchen, and common spaces. Consider hiring professional cleaners to ensure everything is spotless. Depending on how far out the event date is, you might consider touching up paint or making handyman or more extensive repairs where necessary.

Outdoor Space Preparation

If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding or reception, ensure that the outdoor space is well-maintained. Trim the lawn, bushes, and trees for removal of any major deadwood. Make sure outdoor furniture is clean and in good condition. If you’ve hired a photographer or videographer, invite them out to evaluate site lines so you can remove any limbs or brush that might be in the way. Consider providing shade options for guests if the weather is hot. Inspect deck and patio areas to ensure there is no rotten wood or trip hazards and that spaces are safe and easy to navigate.

Indoor Decor

Even if the wedding is outdoors, consider decorating your home according to the chosen wedding theme or color scheme. Fresh flowers, candles, table centerpieces, and other decorative elements help create ambiance. Make sure decorations are safely secured and won’t cause any hazards.

Furniture Arrangement

Rearrange your furniture to create ample space for mingling, dancing, and/or dining. It may be necessary to rent additional tables, chairs, or other furniture to accommodate all your guests comfortably. If the event is planned outside, consider contingencies like using a tent, covered porch or deck dry below system to protect guests from inclement weather or unseasonal temps.

Lighting and Audiovisual

Proper lighting is essential for setting the right mood. Consider string lights, lanterns, or other decorative lighting options, even replacing old fixtures. If you’re planning to have music or speeches and don’t install a sound system, don’t forget to rent one that covers the entire event space.

Parking and Transportation

Most homeowners won’t have enough parking space for lots of guests, and you don’t want people parking in areas that could disrupt landscaping or damage to neighbor’s property. If parking is limited, consider providing information about nearby parking options or arranging shuttle services.

Guest Comfort

Plan for guest comfort by setting up restrooms, providing seating areas, and offering amenities such as fans or heaters depending on the weather. Consider having a designated space for children if there will be little ones in attendance.

Safety Precautions

Ensure that your home is safe for guests by addressing potential hazards such as loose rugs or boards, trip hazards, or uneven surfaces. Keep emergency contacts and a first aid kit handy.


Clearly communicate important information to your guests, such as directions, parking details, and any house rules or guidelines. Of course you want everyone to have a memorable experience, but no one wants damaged property or furniture once all the guests are gone.

By following these steps and putting in the necessary effort, you can create a beautiful and memorable wedding or reception at your own home. Remember to stay organized, anticipate potential challenges, and be prepared to adapt as needed to make the event a success.

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss renovations for an upcoming wedding, give our office a call 678-450-1700 or contact us.

This article originally appeared in Lakeside News October 2023.