You have decided that Cape Cod is your perfect location for your fairytale wedding, the location is booked, the scene is set, but now it is time to find your vendors. From florists and photographers, to DJs and caterers - everything is available to you right here on Cape Cod. Cape Cod is a destination wedding location and a majority of the couples that get married here are not residents, but have a history of coming to the Cape with their families for years. And because of the destination value, many businesses have started on Cape Cod to work with these couples on their dream wedding. So today, I am going to give you the top reasons why you should hire Cape Cod vendors, instead of considering those who may have to come over the bridge.
1. In the Know
If you hire a Cape Cod vendor 9 times out of 10 they are going to be in the know about your venue. Local photographers can recommend places near by to take photos, local caterers will know the ins and outs of certain venues - like what you can and cannot do on site - and other vendors will most likely have best practices at that location. Cape vendors also know about, and how to deal with, traffic and how to get around it! And that can be a big deal!
2. Bridge Traffic
If I have to pick a number one, this would be it. Cape vendors do not have to deal with bridge traffic! Most weddings are on weekends and most of the traffic coming to the Cape is on weekends - so if you hire local vendors, they do not have to worry about how early they have to leave so that they won’t be sitting in traffic trying to get over the bridge to your wedding!
3. Keep it Local
If you haven’t heard it before, Cape Codders are big believers in shopping locally to support our economy here on our little slice of heaven. So when it is possible, locals shop local and we all love when visitors shop local as well. It just means that the more that comes back into our community, the more we can keep the Cape striving and a fabulous place for couples to come to get married every year!
4. Locals know Locals
It is always so refreshing for any vendor to work a wedding and know most of the other vendors you have selected for your event, especially when they are all from Cape Cod. When you are working with your planner or catering manager, ask them about locals they they recommend and who they have had great experiences with. This will help you to narrow down those in the community that will fit your style, budget and needs.
As a planner on Cape Cod, I do try my best to stay local as often as I can. From time to time, my couples have already booked their photographer, band, or other vendor from off Cape and it is my job to be sure the vendors are educated on how to get to the locations and warn them about possible traffic. So if you do end up booking someone from off Cape, be sure that they are well aware of the travel time to your venue and that they leave at least 2 extra hours in the summer on a weekend to ensure they get to where they need to be on time! I can’t tell you how many times I have had a vendor stuck in traffic!
So you have decided to take the leap and have the perfect reception location in mind - only thing is...it is a blank canvas. An open space in your parent’s/grandparent’s/friend’s backyard on Cape Cod that needs tents, tables, chairs, bathrooms, you name it. You are not alone. Many Cape Cod weddings take place in beautiful, private locations that need many things brought in to make it happen, so that is why we have compiled a list of the top 5 things to consider when planning an at home event.
When you get the idea to have your wedding in a backyard, your first step will be to make sure you have the space to hold all of your guests. I recommend starting by calling a tent company and having them come out to see the space and measure for you. This way they can give you all of the options. It helps to have your guest list close to final so that you can let them know how many seats you will need for dinner. You also need to have an idea of what kind of food you want to have - buffet or plated - and if you want round or rectangular tables. This all helps to map out if you would have enough space for your dream wedding.
One word: Rentals. When you have a backyard event on Cape Cod, or anywhere for that matter, you have to bring in EVERYTHING. Tables, chairs, flatware, china, glassware, tent, bathrooms, dance floor, caterer, ovens, generators, and the list goes on. I don’t mean give you this list and use all CAPS to scare you, but to make sure you know that this is a big portion of having an event at home. Sometimes it makes sense to hire a professional to assist you in managing all of these vendors, take the stress off of everything and to probably even help you save some money!
3. Plan B
If any of your backyard wedding is scheduled to take place outside of a tent, be sure you have a plan B. Nine times out of ten, you will not like plan B at all, but if you don’t have plan B, you will be stuck in the rain! Ask your tent company about last minute options for a backup tent. Sometimes you can pay a deposit to have the tent on your order and then cancel that week if the forecast says you are in the clear. Paying for that peace of mind may just be worth it!
4. Insurance, Permits & Noise Ordinances
Ok, so I am making #4 really 4, 5, & 6, but they all relate. These are all legally related items that you need to look into when having a backyard event. Usually you can get insurance easily by adding on a one day rider onto your homeowner’s insurance. Also, make sure you know what kind of permitting you need to have a tent in your town. Most tent companies will actually cover this for you. And last but not least, call your town to ask about noise ordinances. Most towns on Cape are 10pm, but some differ. I also always recommend killing your neighbors with kindness and visiting them in the weeks leading up to the event with a bottle of wine and letting them know about the wedding, especially if they are not invited. This way you can possibly avoid the cops being called due to noise.
Parking is something that seems to be overlooked a lot for backyard events and always needs to be taken into consideration. Do you have ample parking on site or do you need to shuttle in all of your guests from their hotels? Do you have street parking, but want to hire a valet service to make sure that your guests can easily park? There are many different options to ensure a smooth parking situation, but be sure you have it under control.
Did I talk you out of it yet? Don’t let me do it! Backyard events are totally worth every second of the planning process! Yes it can be stressful at times, but the outcome is always so beautiful, original and fun! There are definitely other aspects you will need to consider when planning a backyard event, but these top five are the best ones to start with before you sign on the dotted line. And if you feel you need more assistance, always ask for help!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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