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Home or Venue: Location, Location, Location

When planning an event, the location can play a big role. Are you going to host at home or rent a venue? There are many factors that contribute to this decision. Below are advantages and disadvantages to each that will help you get an idea of what might be appropriate for your event.

  Venue Home
Cost In many instances, venues come with a hefty rental fee. However, often times you don’t have to rent tables, chairs and other items because most venues come with these items already! Hosting at home is generally less expensive because you’re not paying for room rentals, security deposits, catering, etc.  Keep in mind though, that there could be the expense of renting tables and tents and extra decorations needed for the event.
Cleaning No cleaning!  Most venues are cleaned pre- and post-event for you, so you don’t have to worry about it. There is a lot of cleaning involved when you’re hosting a party at home not only before the event but also afterwards.  You’re also in charge of taking care of spills and accidents and keeping the bathrooms stocked and fresh.
Space Venues are made for parties. They allow for more space and have more versatility when it comes to layout. There are no surprises and no over looked details for accommodating guests. Most houses are made for living, not necessarily for hosting parties.  You probably don’t have large open space for a series of tables—at least not inside—and you probably don’t have all of those built-ins (bar, buffet tables, dance floor, stage) at home either.
Parking Parking shouldn’t be a problem as most venues have onsite parking or access to a parking ramp in close proximity. Some venues even offer valet services. Parking can be difficult to accommodate, especially if the only parking available is on the street.  In many residential areas, this is out of your control or reach, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a concern.
Amenities Most “day-of” party work is handled by the venue and vendors, so you will have less running around and prep work to take care of. Also, the venue will have accommodations for individuals with disabilities. You may find that it is more comfortable for you to have the party at your house.
Liability Many venues will plan for emergency situations for you, such as inclement weather, fire or an accident. Most venues have liability insurance that will cover a certain portion of the costs should something happen.  BUT, you always carry a risk of damages to any venue space.  Some venues will have you give them a safety deposit, and you may incur charges for anything that is damaged, lost or stolen. You have to plan for emergency situations when you host at home. Emergencies or crises could range from someone getting injured to inclement weather to a burst pipe or a clogged toilet. There’s always a risk of damage with any party location, but when you’re hosting at home, your own house is at risk.  From a smaller accident, like spilled red wine on the carpet, to a bigger accident, like broken heirlooms or items with sentimental value, you’re risking your own belongings as opposed to rented belongings. You can get extra liability insurance when throwing a party at home to help cover situations that may occur.
Limitations & Restrictions Most venues have preferred vendor lists and ask that you select all of your outside vendors from this list.  Other restrictions that venues may have are décor restrictions, date and time restrictions, and limited menu or caterer options. Complete control. There are no guest count regulations, time limits or date restrictions.  You can create your own menu and/or select your own caterer, and you can decorate as you please!
Capacity You can select a venue that has the space that your event needs, but keep in mind that capacity is highly enforced, so you’ll want to find a space where you can plan for more, just in case. Your capacity is limited based on the size and layout of your home and/or yard.
Time Many locations have time limits or charge by the hour. At your home there is no time limit to the party. Your guest don’t have to feel rushed, they can stay as long as you will allow. Keep in mind though, that most communities have sound ordinances, so you may need to move the party inside or make sure that music/conversations are quiet by a specified time.