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There’s a lot to think about when you’re planning a wedding — especially when you’re hosting it yourself. From choosing the right chair rental service to helping your guests find overnight accommodations, your to-do list is likely jam-packed, and the last thing you should be worried about is what might happen if something goes wrong — and whether or not your insurance will cover it. We’ve got the answers to your questions to help make sure your big day goes off without a hitch.

Does your home insurance cover a backyard wedding?

As long as you aren’t breaking any laws, selling alcohol, or disobeying the terms outlined in your policy, your home insurance will apply as normal during your backyard wedding. The main parts of your policy that would come into play are third-party liability and personal property coverage.

Liability coverage

Third-party liability coverage, included with most home insurance policies, covers you in the event that you’re sued or held responsible for an injury or damage to someone else’s property. This would apply during your wedding, too. For example, if one of your wedding guests gets injured on your property, you could be covered for costs associated with the incident (like medical bills and legal fees, for example). If you’re planning on serving or selling alcohol, you’ll probably need to purchase some extra liability coverage — read on to learn more.

Personal property coverage

If your property or belongings are damaged or stolen during your at-home wedding, repairs or replacement would fall under the property coverage section of your home insurance policy.

The more people you invite into your home, the more risk you’re taking on — so now is a good time to make sure you have coverage for everything on your property and review your policy limits. Increasing your limits may cost less than you think, and it could save you a financial headache down the road. The best way to make sure your home insurance will have you covered on your big day is to contact your group’s licensed broker ahead of time so they can let you know if there’s anything more you need to do.

Do you need to purchase special insurance coverage if you’re hosting a wedding at home?

To avoid any potential issues, it may be worth looking into purchasing a specific insurance policy to cover your wedding. A wedding insurance policy might cost less than you think (often around the price of a typical wedding gift), and coverage generally includes:

  • A much higher liability limit than the one on a typical home insurance policy
  • Damage to the wedding venue (in this case, your home and yard)
  • Injuries to third-parties (your guests and vendors)
  • Damage to rented equipment
  • Damage to your cake, flowers, decorations, and wedding gifts
  • Costs associated with cancelling your wedding (it’s rare, but it can happen)

Party alcohol liability insurance for weddings

If you’re planning on selling some signature cocktails at your reception, you’ll need to purchase party alcohol liability insurance. This coverage protects you in the event that you’re held responsible for an incident where alcohol was a contributing factor. Even if you’re just serving (not selling) alcohol, it’s still a good idea to consider this coverage for an extra dash of protection. Before you provide alcohol to your wedding guests, contact your group’s licensed insurance broker to get the right coverage.

Do you need a permit to host a backyard wedding?

Every municipality and province has different rules and requirements when it comes to individual residents hosting special events. Chances are, you’ll need at least one permit, especially if you’re planning on:

  • Having a live band or DJ play outside
  • Bringing in portable bathroom facilities
  • Serving or selling alcohol
  • Setting up a tent
  • Having your guests park on the street overnight

Some permits can take upwards of a month to secure, so look into permit requirements as early as possible in your wedding planning process to make sure you don’t wind up stuck without one.

Don’t forget the liquor licence

If you’re planning on selling or serving alcohol, be sure to check with your provincial liquor control board to find out what kind of licence or permit you need well in advance. You might already have a headache the morning after your wedding…but going without a liquor licence when one is required can lead to a different kind of headache a painkiller might not fix.

Once you check permits and insurance off your to-do list, you can get back to planning the more exciting parts of your big day. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your home insurance coverage or you want to look into additional coverages, reach out to your group’s licensed broker today.


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