No matter what event you’re planning—you have to host it somewhere. And along with managing the RSVPs, communicating with out-of-town guests, and organizing the catering, you may not feel courageous enough to host the event at your own home. There’s nothing wrong with that! There are some good reasons to host at home, and there are equally good reasons to book a venue.
We want to help you choose the right path for your event. If you’re set up for success, your event will be, too. To do this, we’ve compiled some scenarios when you should choose to host at home. There are a lot of benefits to that! But, hosting at home isn’t for everyone or every event. So read all the way through for some reasons to pick a venue instead!
HOST AT HOME IF…
…it’s a small, intimate party
Venues don’t usually feel as warm and welcoming as a home does. This is to be expected, so if you want a comforting feel to the party, host it—you guessed it—at home. An intimate party could mean a short guest list, which doesn’t often require a venue. But an intimate party could also mean low-fuss. Maybe you’re planning a graduation party and the grad doesn’t want to make a big deal of the ordeal. Throwing a party off-site definitely doesn’t feel low key. Keep it casual and keep it at home!
…you want to keep costs low
You can certainly bargain shop for venue space, but it’s always going to cost more than hosting at home. And we don’t just mean with the cost to rent the actual space. Certain venues have additional expenses—they may forbid outside food, and require you work with their caterer for food. Or the space may be bigger than your house, which means more decorations, adding to the final cost. It won’t take much to make your home party-ready, but it will take a lot of time and money to make a venue feel cheery and festive.
…kids are involved
Are there a lot of kids on the guest list? Or more—is the party for a kid? If so, strongly consider hosting the party at your home. Most venues aren’t prepared to host kids, and not all kids do well at a venue. Sophie B., Eventective Account Manager and mom of two, agrees with this sentiment:
“Kids often feel more comfortable at a home—either yours or another’s. They can often handle the event better at a home than at a venue.”
…many guests are from out of town
Not necessarily the next town over, but if guests need to spend the night in a hotel for the event, host it at home. First, out-of-towners will want the comfort of home away from home. Plus, they just traveled to celebrate with you. They’re probably going to be over your house at some point during the visit anyways, and so it’s just one less address for them to worry about.
Bonus Tip: If you can’t swing the at-home party for out-of-towners, try to get a venue within walking distance to their hotel!
…the timeline is short
Most venues require advance notice—and if you don’t book ahead of time, they might not have any availability. Plus, if you’re booking the venue last-minute, chances are there are other details you need to address last-minute as well. Remember when we mentioned venues have their own requirements? Forgoing a venue will keep your to-do list short and manageable. While it’s certainly possible to get a venue that fits your needs last-minute, you’ll definitely (and literally) pay for it.
RENT A VENUE IF…
As promised, we’re here to help your event be the best it can be. We’ve covered some reasons to host at home. But what if that’s not an option? Or you’re still not sure you want the hassle of having to dust under your stove? (You know no one’s going to look under there, but can you really be sure?) Take a look at some situations that would warrant renting a venue.
…your home is smaller than the guest list
This is a very practical reason. You, of course, want your guests to be comfortable. If there isn’t room in your house, there’s nothing wrong with that! Simply find a place where they can all fit comfortably. This applies to short guest lists, but especially to long ones. Maybe extended family from both sides is coming into town. That’s a lot of folks to fit into one house! Renting a venue will give you enough space for all the people—and all the food and presents!
…you stress about cleaning
Did the stove joke send you into panic mode? Consider renting a venue if it did. If you host at home, you’ll definitely want a clean home when everyone comes over. But if it’s going to stress you to the point where you can’t focus on the event—take the event somewhere else! You get cleaning bonus points if you host at a venue, too, because this also helps with post-event clean up! Sophie knows how important a clean house is—and, more importantly, how messy it can be after a party!
“Your house gets messy especially if you have kids! You’ve got to give yourself enough time to not stress about cleaning. BUT it does give you a good reason to clean your house.”
…you are co-hosting the event
If you’re super close with your co-host, it might not matter where you have the party. But oftentimes, having a party at a neutral spot allows for more creativity and freedom. It’s a new spot for both parties, so no one is defaulting to the same old decoration ideas that are stored in the attic. You can plan a totally fresh, inspired event. And if you’re at a venue, there’s no risk of anyone pulling the, “It’s my house,” excuse when you disagree on decorations.
…you’re a schmooze-r
This was another one of Sophie’s expert tips. If you host at home, are you going to be more concerned with cleaning and refilling empty dishes? Or will you delay the refills because you’re busy making the rounds and socializing? If you choose to socialize, plan the event at a venue. That way, you won’t need to focus on refilling the silverware or running out of paper towels. Someone else can do that!
If you host at a venue, you’ll spend less time worrying about cleaning and refilling dishes, etc.Sophie B.
So what’s it going to be? Are you going to host at home and save on costs? Or book a venue and skip the cleaning? There’s no wrong answer—remember, when you succeed so does your event.
We’d love to hear stories of past events! Did you attend a house party that should have been at a venue? Or did you—or someone you know—over-commit with a venue-based event? Share your experiences with us below!