Private Estate Weddings
Private Estates can be an ideal option for that unique couple searching for something a little extra special for their wedding venue. One of my favorite parts of my job besides the decor prototype is taking couples out on site searches to help them to find the perfect venue for their wedding. Whenever I take my clients out to site locations, it is always very exciting when I include Private Estates in our itinerary. I love to hear the history behind each Estate and it is such a treat to walk the grounds of such amazing and diverse properties. I love the look on my Bride’s and Groom’s faces when they find it, the one! There is such a look of excitement and relief when they finally find IT!
Or course, I always want to make sure that my clients know all the pros and cons to every situation. I want to make sure that my clients have all the information they need to make good, educated choices that suit them best. Some questions that one should always ask when choosing to have a wedding at a Private Estate are:
Does the rental fee differ depending on how many guests I have attend my wedding? Some Private Estates charge different price points according to total guest count. For example: under 100, over 100-150, over 150, etc. Be sure to ask for the pricing structure so that you are not surprised later when you are charged more because your guest count increased.
What time does the amplified music need to be turned off? At most Private Estates the amplified music needs to be turned off at 10:00PM. This is often the case for venues located in residential areas.
Is there an area to take the party “after hours” so that the celebration can continue? It is always fun to move the party to a late night location where the party can continue as long as the Bride and Groom want. Make sure you ask if there are additional costs to use these areas.
How many guests does the Estate accommodate comfortably? The key word here is comfortably! You do not want your guests to feel crowded and you want to make sure there is still room for a dance floor, lounge furniture and any other special things that you may wish to have at your wedding celebration.
Does the Estate offer a Ceremony Location on the grounds? You want to make sure you see this location, too as many people fall in love with the reception area, but forget to ask to see where the Ceremonies are held.
Where will my guests park? Is there a valet service? Most Private Estates require a valet service. Make sure to find out if you are allowed to bring in your own valet service or if it is mandatory to use theirs, how much it is going to cost. It is usually best to use a valet service that is already familiar with the property.
Are limos and shuttles allowed on the grounds? Some Private Estates do not allow large vehicles on the property or sometimes they just do not fit on the roads leading up to the properties. You need to make sure of this before you book that “party bus” for the Groom and the Groomsmen.
Are there hotels close by for out of town guests? You want to make sure that your out of town guests have options available to them. If the Private Estate is in a remote location then it may be best to encourage your guests to stay at a nearby hotel or provide shuttle service so that they can enjoy the celebration without having to worry about the drive home.
Can we bring in our own caterer? Some Private Estates only allow you to use their exclusive caterer or caterers. Make sure you are happy with the quality of the food and service and pricing before you book the venue. Ask if you may schedule a menu tasting prior to booking the venue. If you are allowed to bring in your own caterer, make sure to ask if there are any additional fees to do this. I always do a walk through with my caterer and floral designer at any property even if they have worked there before, but especially if they have not. You want everyone to know the lay of the land so that they will know what to expect and exactly what is needed to ensure flawless execution of the day.
Can we bring in our own beverages? You want to ask as most Private Estates have their own beverage service and their own bartenders to serve your guests.
Can we have a tent on the grounds? I love decorating a tent. There are so many amazing ways to decorate a tent and make it an enchanting environment. You need to ask if a tent is provided or if you are able to bring in your own tent. Of course you must ask what size tents the venue can accommodate.
Can we have candles? Most venues allow candles as long as the wick is enclosed deep in the glass. Most venues today so not allow open flame candles for good reason. It is always good to ask about candle restrictions and policies.
What is Plan B in the event of inclement weather? No one likes to think about the dreaded Plan B, but you have to. You need to ask if there is an indoor location available for the Ceremony in the event of inclement weather or if you are able to bring in a tent or canopy in this case.
What areas are off limits to my guests? You want to make sure that you know all the rules about what areas your guests are able to enjoy on your Wedding Day and those areas that are off limits to them.
How much is the security deposit? You can always plan on paying a security deposit of some sort. Make sure you ask how soon after the wedding it will be returned to you.
What is the restroom situation? Are there restroom attendants on site? You want to make sure that there are adequate restrooms for your guest count and it is a good idea to have an attendant maintain the restrooms throughout the evening. If a restroom attendant is not provided then you must make sure to allow for this additional cost.
Can we put a dance floor down on the grass? Some venues require a sub floor in addition to the dance floor. Make sure to allow for these costs.
When do the rentals have to be picked up? Most Private Estates will allow the rentals to be piked up the next day, but if not then you may have to pay additional costs for same day pick up from the rental company.
Like any venue, you want to make sure you ask all the right questions just so there are no surprises!
Many of my clients have always dreamed of having an Estate wedding! My friends at Estate Weddings and Events offer a diverse and beautiful selection of Private Estates located in Southern California and beyond. Jamie and their entire staff are always friendly and very informative whenever we partner together to find the perfect Private Estate venue option for my discerning clients. I would like to take the time to thank them for helping to make so many dreams come true!
Special Thanks to: