Should I Invite My Neighbors to My Backyard Wedding?
Most weddings are noisy, boisterous events, and that certainly remains the case with backyard nuptials. Though you'll hope that your wedding guests will behave with respect towards your property and that of your neighbors, it's also important to remember that this is a happy, celebratory occasion—often fueled by Champagne and cake. In short, your very well-meaning guests may not be their typical, responsible adult selves by the end of the reception. You've no doubt witnessed many a dressed-up wedding party jumping into a freezing cold swimming pool at the end of a backyard wedding. While this is what makes an at-home reception so fun, your neighbors might not think this rowdy behavior is as charming.
So, what's a good neighbor to do? While you absolutely do not have to invite every household on the street to your backyard wedding, you'll probably want to find a way to keep your neighborly relationship positive before, during, and after your big day. Here are some ways to do just that.
Send an invitation for the whole event or part of the event.
In an ideal world, the best thing you can do is invite your neighbors—especially those directly next to and across from your house—to the wedding. They'll feel thought of and included, and noise is less likely to bother someone at the event than someone sitting at home who wasn't invited. If you're not close with your neighbors and feel uncomfortable about asking them to come to your ceremony, feel free to extend an invitation to just a portion of the day, like cocktail hour or dancing. In this case, the invitation is can be a casual so they know they're being included but aren't on the hook to attend.
Drop off a gift.
Between the noise and constant stream of activity from setup until breakdown, weddings are a nuisance to your neighbors. If you don't plan on inviting them to the wedding, consider dropping off a gift and a note explaining what'll be happening and when. At the very least, this gives your neighbors the option to choose not be home for the night. A nice bottle of wine, treats from a local bakery, or a gift card to a local restaurant are all good ideas.
Book a hotel room for them.
If you have elderly neighbors or neighbors with small kids who might be kept up by the noise, it may be worth offering to put them up in a hotel for the night. While you can promise no one will park in their driveway, and that the party will end on time, sometimes it's just easier to know the neighbors are off somewhere else and your party won't be a bother to them.
Provide emergency numbers.
No matter which option you go with, make sure you offer your neighbor a phone number to contact if anything happens on the wedding day. Your wedding planner or catering director would be the best options, as they'll be easy to access and can provide sound judgment with any problems that need to be solved.
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