My first experience with a private estate wedding was unforgettable. I felt like I was stepping into a world that was entirely this couple’s own. I could see their personalities in the custom printed draping. I could see pieces of the home they had built together in the scattered lounge vignettes. There was nothing cookie cutter about it. After all, everything there was built from the ground up! There was no A, B, or C choice for the tabletop pieces, where all the options had already been done by thousands of couples before them. Every single component of their day had a purpose + place, and every single component joined together to form a true reflection of them. It was in that moment that I was hooked on the idea of private estate weddings and the limitless possibilities for personalization and transformation they presented.
If you’re hanging out with me in this post, I bet you had a similar experience too – a moment that led you to look outside the traditional wedding venues in your area. A moment that urged you to dream about your own sky-is-the-limit celebration where your story could be told in exactly the way you want to tell it. I’ll be honest, along with the incredible benefits of private estate weddings comes a lot of considerations. And that’s what I wanted to share today. These considerations aren’t necessarily obstacles, but it’s crucial that you go into this type of wedding knowing what they are. Ultimately, these 10 considerations for private estate weddings will help you clarify your wedding vision, determine your top priorities and understand the most important steps to take to move forward with this wedding style if it’s right for you. Let’s get to it!
You need a solid foundation
Those private estate weddings you see with the larger-than-life floral installations hanging from the tented ceiling, the carpeted flooring + custom dance floors and the late night dance parties with lighting production that rivals a Beyonce concert? They all have one thing in common: a solid foundation. Many couples make the mistake of assuming a tented wedding is easier to plan + design for since you have so much more flexibility with layouts, but choosing the tent style is just one piece of the puzzle. There are hundreds of logistical questions to answer before you even arrive at that decision. Is the ground completely level? Are there sprinkler or irrigation systems underground that might affect location? Will you have noise restrictions to be aware of? The answers to these questions will ultimately shape your wedding blueprint from the shape + size of your wedding tent to the flooring or stage needs and all the financial implications in between.
Not only do you need a strong foundation literally, it’s important to have a rock solid vendor team guiding you through these questions along the way. A seasoned pro will help you consider those details you would never think to ask and most importantly, help you stretch your budget based on comfort, functionality, priority and design. When all is said + done, the one are you don’t want to skimp on is the foundations of your wedding, from both a literal perspective but a vendor support one too!
Most likely, everything needs to be outsourced
While traditional wedding venues may not give you as much flexibility as private estate weddings, they do often include a number of things you may not miss until it’s gone. I’m not just talking about rentals either. Everything needs to be outsourced for a private estate weddings. Cue pop-up kitchens for the Catering Team, transportation or a team of parking attendants for your guests, A/C units, heaters, generators, flooring and yes, even portable restroom trailers. Don’t worry about this last one – there’s no shortage of companies these days that offer restroom trailers with more perks than you’d find anywhere else.
So on the one hand, you have an incredible opportunity to customize every little piece of your wedding design with this approach. But on the other, there’s a price tag to go along with it. These elements might seem boring or insignificant at face value, at least next to something like florals, but they’re absolutely necessary for a private estate wedding. And ultimately, they are why tented weddings are more expensive than weddings at traditional venues.
You’ll still need a rain backup
A common misconception about private estate weddings is that the tent itself acts as a rain backup, but consider what it might look like if a gust of sideways rain decides to make an entrance in the middle of dinner service? Not only do you need a covered walkway in place for the Catering Team from the pop-up kitchen to the wedding tent, you’ll want to have side walls/paneling on reserve as an extra measure for inclement weather. This is another reason why flooring is absolutely essential for a tented wedding. When the grass is dry + lush, it’s good. But when the grass is soppy + muddy, it’s very, very bad. Muddy tracks carry quickly and leave room for all sorts of liabilities for servers to slip during service or guests to crash on the dance floor with glass in hand. You can predict the rest… Rest assured that this can be avoided with the simple inclusion of walls for your wedding tent though!
You may face restrictions + need permits
As low key as tented weddings seem, depending on the private estate where it’s taking place, you may still need to keep certain guidelines in mind. Perhaps it’s noise restrictions, parking limits, hard end times or even a rule that all beauty services must take place off-site. Even if you’re hosting the wedding on your own property, it’s important to check any neighborhood or city guidelines for rules and permit/special insurance requirements. Ultimately, you may decide that the limitations are not worth it and choose to book a wedding venue that fits your guest count + wedding style instead, allowing you to stretch your budget in other areas too.
Is a private estate wedding right for you?
Now that you know exactly what to be on the lookout for with private estate wedding venues, here are the next steps we’d recommend you take in the process:
- Secure a planner that guide you from the get-go
- Visualize your money-is-no-object day + think about how you want your guests to feel, how you envision each moment unfolding, what kind of photo opps you imagine, what big design moments you see, etc.
- Work with your planner to scout potential private estate venues
- Tour each venue in person with your planner to look for all opportunities + challenges
- Imagine how the event will unfold chronologically + consider how each moment of the day will build upon the next from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception
- Make a list of all logistical concerns, such as where the pop-up kitchen will need to go in relation to the reception tent, where the restrooms can be placed so that guests know where to find them but they don’t interfere with the aesthetic or experience, etc.
- Visualize your money-is-no-object day –
- Work with your planner to determine the pros and cons of each and discuss your biggest priorities to arrive at your ultimate decisions
- Book the venue + have your planner guide you in selecting the best vendor team based on your style, personality and budget
- The rest will fall into place!
There ya have it! The most important considerations to keep in mind for a private estate wedding where your wedding vision and top priorities play an equally important role in determining where you’ll get married as the logistical and financial possibilities + challenges. I hope you walk away from this feeling confident, excited and ready to explore exactly what it might look like to have a wedding that feels entirely your own.
If you’re interested in learning more about our full-service design + planning process, drop us a line here to start the conversation and tell us all about your dream wedding experience! And just as an added perk, we’re pampering couples who book by August 30th, 2020 with at least 4 complimentary bridal gift boxes during their engagement season.
’Til we meet again!