So you have just gotten engaged and now the big question still lingers… where do we want to tie the knot? It seems so simple of a question, but with so many different venues available, it can become an overwhelming process very quickly. We are here to try and calm your nerves by sharing our knowledge of Estate Weddings and why they are the venues we prefer and recommend to all newly engaged couples. It’s not just the dozens of estates to choose from that entices us, it’s the ability to choose an estate that fits your personality and what you want your wedding to look like. There are large mansions that boast extravagant columns, chandeliers, and fountains throughout the property and then there are romantic and intimate estates that welcome guests with ease and grace. Whether you are looking to wow your guests with acres of property or have an intimate setting for your closest friends and family, here are a few questions answered on what to expect from any estate wedding.
1. Is it cheaper than a traditional wedding venue?
Because most of the estates are designed and provided for private events, they usually do not come with anything included. This can cause an estate wedding to become expensive very quickly because you must bring in EVERYTHING. From tables, chairs, cutlery, and decorations, every detail must be reviewed and checked off to be sure nothing is left out on your wedding day. As some may see it as a downfall to an estate wedding, we see this as a huge perk. Not only do you get to choose your location, but you get to design every detail for your wedding making it completely unique and personal. Each wedding we get to help plan we think of as a blank canvas just waiting for our ideas and thoughts to fill the canvas with color and beauty. The options are endless and it allows each bride and groom to add their own special touches to the property to make it unique to each couple.
2. Do I need to hire a Wedding Coordinator or can I do it all myself?
Hiring an experienced Estate Wedding Coordinator is highly recommended because they will take care of all the small details of the wedding making sure all contracts and permits are taken care of, allowing you to enjoy the fun parts of planning your wedding. Not only will you have someone to help you find the best caterers, florists, and photographers, but they will be there the day of to help make sure your entire day runs smoothly.
3. Why choose an Estate Wedding? How does it compare to a Traditional Venue?
a. Privacy- With a traditional venue, you do not have the entire place to yourself, therefore you may have unexpected visitors trying to catch a glimpse of the wedding taking place. By choosing an Estate as your wedding location, you have the entire estate to yourself and your guests. Each vicinity is completely yours allowing you to enjoy every corner and room of your estate.
b. Extended Access- Typical venues only allow access the day of your wedding, and even then it may only be a few hours before it is scheduled to begin. With an estate wedding, you are usually allowed a 3-day access to the property. This not only allows your vendors ample amount of time to set up, but there isn’t pressure to have everything cleaned up by the time your last song finishes and guests have cleared the dance floor. Having this extra time allows you to include more detail and add those extra touches to your wedding day making it that much more special.
c. Estate Staff Just For You- What could be better than having an entire staff brought in just for your special day? Each staff member works hard for your wedding making sure every detail is flawless and the day runs just how you envisioned it. By making sure the fountains are on, lights dimmed to a certain degree, wait staff just for your guests, and restroom tenants are all just an overview of what our Estate Staff does for you.
d. Customizable Options- More traditional venues have restrictions as to what type of décor you can have and limits the amount of variety you can have. These are all not an issue because with an estate wedding there are no restrictions so your options really are limitless!
e. Location Convenience- At an estate wedding, there is enough space to have your ceremony and reception at the same place, so your guests don’t need to worry about getting from one venue to the next for your wedding festivities. This allows more time to be spent with your loved ones rather than time spent in the car traveling from ceremony to reception site.
Questions to Ask when looking at Venue Estates
Are there any restrictions we should be aware of prior to our wedding day?
Yes usually. Because most estates are in a neighborhood many of them do come with a music cut off time due to noise ordinance laws. Most times that time is 10pm which for some can be a little early to end the party. Although many take the opportunity to go out afterwards to continue the party with the ones they love.
Those are just a few of our frequently asked questions answered, but don’t be shy to ask questions when looking at an estate for your wedding location!!
Here is what you need to know:
1. Capacity – An estate’s ambiance and amenities are important, but it is imperative to not forget the basics.
Your guests not only have to fit in the event space, they have to fit comfortably, with enough room for dancing, eating, lounging and whatever other activities will be part of your special day.
Would-be brides and grooms should go as far as seeing all the event spaces for themselves so that they can decide whether the capacity quote is accurate.
2. Facilities – Having enough room for guests is one thing, having the proper amenities and facilities is something else entirely.
Good estates will have ample restrooms, handicapped access (if necessary), sufficient parking and spaces for caterers and other vendors who will help put on the wedding.
3. Rules – Estates might have different rules that guests have to abide by.
These could range from things like not allowing candles in certain rooms (for safety reasons or to preserve fragile antiques) to not allowing guests to have access to certain indoor or outdoor areas of the property.
It is best to ask about restrictions upfront, so that any misunderstandings are avoided.
In addition to guest areas, make sure that areas used for food prep and photographs will be accessible on the day of the event.
4. Décor – Many people want to have décor that features a consistent theme and colors.
To achieve the desired look, some decorations may have to be put inside the estate.
Some estates have in-house decorators who can handle this, but others do not.
If an estate doesn’t decorate for you, it is good to make sure that your decorators will be able to have access before the ceremony and reception and, more importantly, that they will not be breaking the estate’s rules by placing the decorations around the property.
5. Fees – Estates might require their renters to use in-house services (for catering, music, etc).
Wedding parties that rely on outside vendors might be charged an additional fee.
This is not always the case (most estates go out of their way to accommodate guests’ desires), but it is better to be sure than to find that the wedding is beyond your budget because of unforeseen fees.
Bringing your own alcohol can be another major source for fees.
Many estates make much of their event money from serving alcohol, so they may charge some sort of corkage fee for weddings that bring their own beverages.
6. Other events – Larger estates may host more than one event during a weekend.
It pays to ask if there will be any other events and where they will be hosted.
While most estates are pretty good at separating their guests, it can be frustrating if noise or crowds from another event interfere with your wedding.
The estate may not have another event scheduled at the time that your wedding will take place, but one could be scheduled at a later date, so it is best to proceed like another event will be taking place (if the estate hosts more than one event) and then making sure that the other event spaces are sufficiently separated from your own.