If you want to wed in a beautiful backyard but your home doesn’t quite fit the bill, then consider renting a vast private estate to say “I do” at.  Manicured gardens, a home out of a fairy tale, beautiful views, sounds perfect right?!  It is!  But know what you’re getting into before you go – and make sure a private estate wedding is perfect for you!

Typically the most expensive way to wed, a private estate usually comes with a set site fee but allows you to bring in your own food and beverage.  So, what’s the site fee and what does it include?  Most private estates won’t allow the use of the interior of the home.  So what that means is you have to bring everything in.  We mean everything.  From a mobile kitchen to tables and chairs, even trash and restrooms and sometimes a generator for power.  If that site see seemed cost effective, it may not be when you add in all the extras it takes to wed there.

How do guests get there?  Can you valet on the street?  If not, chances are you’ll have to rent a nearby parking lot and hire a valet company to take the cars off property or you’ll need to rent shuttles to bus your party to and from the venue.  Added costs and added time in the timeline to consider.  But if this is the case, then have fun with it!  Put a video or slideshow on loop in the buses and give each guest a little something to nosh on displayed at their seat for the short trip.

Where do you get ready?  Some homeowners will allow use of the home for the bridal party and couple only.  If so, great!  You’ll likely have a beautiful bedroom to take photos and get ready in.  If not, is there a nearby hotel you and your bridal party (and possibly guests) can stay at and get ready in?

And lastly, the curfew.  Most residential homes have a city set curfew for amplified music and you’ll need to shut down the party in time for the neighbors to go to bed.  If staying out late is important to you, ask about the curfew!  And worst case scenario, consider an after party at a local watering hole.

We love, love, love weddings at private estates but there are more moving parts to the planning process so the best piece of advice we can give you is to hire a wedding planner!!  Especially when selecting a site like this!

All Photos by Robert Evans.