Making sure everything will fit perfectly is key to avoiding mishaps on the actual wedding day- especially if you'll be having a tent! It can be daunting to start a layout from scratch on a private residence property. But when armed with a few tricks and tools of the trade, you'll be sure to have accurately accounted for your space.
A large part of my background is in mortgages and residential lending. With more and more of my weddings becoming blank-canvas, private property parties, I knew I needed to find fast, efficient ways to create layouts. I do have great resource programs that will create room layouts to scale in a matter of minutes, but I found that I still needed an overhead view of the property to make sure I had the lot accurately portrayed. Enter the County Assessor. By going to the website, you can enter the address, retrieve a picture of the house and then view an interactive sky view map. You can create a pdf of the map to email, or even just print it out as-is.
While you'll still have to take measurements of your property, this map will at least serve as a starting point for your layout and a great visual aid to key vendors such as your party rental manager. Google your county assessor's webpage for help with property addresses in each county. Be sure to take note if there have been any major additions or changes to the lot, however, as the assessor will not always have the most up to date lot and parcel information.