Wedding Bells are Ringing...

June is a popular time for weddings, but is a home wedding really a good idea? It can be if you keep a few things in mind.

A 2013 survey of 17,500 brides by and makes it easy to see why many couples are choosing an at-home wedding. The survey revealed the average wedding budget is $28,427 – the cost of a new car or down payment on a house.

With the rising cost of nuptials and the shift toward more casual wedding styles, an at-home wedding can be an appealing option. While brides and grooms need to cover the basics like making sure they have enough space, sprucing up the landscaping, and renting tables and chairs, they also need to make sure their insurance coverage is up to the task of handling the big day.

Below are four key insurance issues happy couples should think about when planning an at-home wedding:

Personal property – Your personal property is covered by your homeowners insurance policy. “But you should review your policy’s personal property limit with your Agent,” explains Joe Vahey, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance. “The limit is usually a percentage of the value of your home, so you’ll want to ensure it will cover all those wedding presents you’ll receive along with a potentially expensive, one-of-a-kind gown.”

Liability coverage – Some liability coverage is included on standard homeowners policies to cover the possibility that an injury may occur on your property. So if your uncle falls while doing the chicken dance or your aunt trips while diving to catch the bride’s bouquet, you’re probably covered. Again, review these liability limits with your Agent in order to ensure you have enough coverage.

“It’s always wise to consider adding an inexpensive personal catastrophe liability policy (PCL), sometimes called umbrella insurance, to your policy,” says Vahey. “Having this extra protection will provide you and your future spouse with needed peace of mind on a hectic day.”

Rings – Consider “scheduling” your wedding rings – or adding them to your policy separately – rather than relying on the blanket coverage provided by a standard policy. Blanket coverage in standard policies may have a value limit. A scheduled ring has additional coverage up to the specific value of that ring, so you won’t have to worry if you have to replace a lost or stolen ring.

Food – Your caterer should carry their own insurance, but make sure to ask and confirm it. If you’re providing the food and someone gets sick, your liability coverage may need to kick in. Again, this is where a PCL policy could be worthwhile.

If you have any questions about coverage for your at-home wedding or insurance in general, contact us at Morris Insurance Services. We'll be happy to help make sure you are covered.