If your heart is set on a home wedding in the sunny East Bay, then follow your dream. The wedding will be a beautiful event when you use ample planning to ensure everything goes smoothly. An in-home or backyard wedding requires attention to matters beyond the obvious. Here are five tips to help set you on course in planning for the special day.

1. Plan Within A Budget

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Discuss as a couple and with family how much you can spend on the wedding. Will family members contribute to your available funds? Knowing how much you can spend will dictate how you spend it. Consider which items and services you need to purchase, and which ones family will help with. If the going gets rough, a versatile wedding planner may be a better cost option.

2. Put It In Park

Is street parking convenient in the neighborhood, or is driving around awhile for parking pretty typical? Consider a valet or shuttle service for your guests, so they can forget parking worries or even driving, and safely toast to your happiness. A shuttle pick up at a BART station might be a good option.

3. Food For Love

Catered, homemade, potluck or food trucks? The options are virtually endless when you take control. To keep it simple, have great variety and keep costs under control, consider having one or more buffet tables of finger foods. Cookbooks and Internet food sites are chock full of recipes perfect for wedding fare. Choose a cuisine such as Asian, Italian or Latin or center the food around a fun theme like an island luau. Be sure to have plenty of water pitchers and ice around if the party is outdoors.

4. Photography

A photo album to commemorate your special day is one of the most important elements of your wedding. Make it picture perfect with services of a professional photographer. Today’s couples prefer a more natural approach, with less formally posed shots as the photographer follows the couple and wedding guests for spontaneous poses showing the smiles, laughter, tenderness, and fun spirit of the party. Capturing shots of moments that simply happen during the day are the essence of happy memories for the future.

5. Flowers

Flowers are an integral part of any wedding, adding color and delicacy along with tradition. You do not need to overspend on flowers; the right bridal bouquet adds something special to the bride’s dress, and some fragrant flowers as centerpieces or scattered around the room or backyard should be enough as colorful decorating touches.

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The following local businesses may be able to help you get started:

East Bay Flower
1200 E. 14th St.
San Leandro, CA 94577
(510) 895-2269; (800) 446-4648

East Bay Flowers is a family owned business, serving all East Bay locations plus San Francisco. They carry a large variety of fresh flowers and offer a wide selection of bridal bouquets and wedding flowers and  floral cake decorations.

Karine Brighten Events
Eco-Conscious Event Planning
(510) 269-7252

Karine is an event and wedding planner who does eco-conscious event planning. Karine is dedicated to creating green weddings, and has developed relationships with top Bay Area green vendors, helping you obtain the best prices and services around.

Lancaster Photography

Clay Lancaster takes a novel approach to wedding photography, and brings his artistic eye to each wedding shoot. Clay’s varied and creative background in music and photography combine to bring a fresh style to his work.

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For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSSanFrancisco.com/YourHome.

Melanie Graysmith is a freelance writer and artist based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Melanie is a member of an independent filmmaking group and aims to spin her stories into film. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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