It is a common assumption that an estate wedding may actually be cheaper than a hotel wedding, but that isn’t quite true.
With an estate wedding, there are many bits and pieces that can add up, and one of the biggest fees is the location itself.
While hotels may throw in the use of their tables and chairs in their venue rental fee, most private estates do not.
Most estate venues will give you the privilege of using the space for the day, but that is about it.
Here is a list of the top 5 reasons why estate fees can be expensive, but totally worth it!
A private estate venue will have a limited amount of dates available for rent each year, so very few have the privilege of renting out the estate. A hotel venue can make a lot of money renting out their ballroom every weekend, but if you choose an estate which only allows 6 events per year, then the price might be a lot higher than a venue that rents frequently.
Instead of choosing a hotel that throws a wedding every weekend (maybe even two or more in a given day), you will be the only bride of the day and one of only 6 that got married there that year. This is the number one reason why paying a little extra for your own private sanctuary for the day is totally worth it!
2. Time of Year
If you are looking to get married during the summer, you are likely to pay more. Since most brides are hoping for that perfect sunny wedding day, there is a lot more competition for the warm weather months.
Winter estate weddings might seem more affordable, but in the end you might be paying for a tent and heaters to keep your guests warm (which might be comparable to the amount you would pay for a spring or summer wedding). If you're unsure which season to get married in, create your own price chart to compare cost between a winter or a summer wedding at the venue you've chosen.
If you’re renting a house in an exclusive or destination location, like Malibu or Cabo San Lucas for example, you should expect to pay a higher price. An estate located in a great climate with an exceptional view of the ocean is rare and highly desired.
There are many things that make a great estate venue, but if you’re centrally located close to hotels, airports, tourist attractions, you will probably pay more for your venue for those conveniences.
Why is it worth it? Travelling guests may want to make a vacation weekend out of your wedding, so nearby amenities and entertainment are a huge plus. Location can also be a huge factor in deciding whether or not your guests will attend. Not that your friends and family don’t love you and want to celebrate your big day with you, but if you’re getting married in a popular destination city versus one in the middle of nowhere, you can count on getting more “yes” RSVPs!
A well-organized wedding requires a lot of staff to make sure you wedding goes off without a hitch. A venue manager and their staff are responsible for the property and everything that goes along with it. Your staffing fee, which is typically a part of the venue fee, covers at least a couple of staff members for each event at the estate. They can be responsible for anything from stocking and maintaining the bathrooms to vendor management.
The last thing you'll want to worry about is doing everything on your own or having some of your friends try to manage everything. Management teams are vital to your wedding's success, and you'll be surprised how much you will need them.
5. Guest Count
If you have a large guest count, you should expect to pay more for your wedding. Not only does your food and beverage cost increase, so does your estate price.
Why is that? The amount of wear and tear on a property can be significantly higher with a large group. That means, your estate fee might increase by a couple of thousand dollars.
Picture this. You are expecting 250 guests. This means the estate bathrooms get used much more frequently than with a small group of 50. If everyone carpooled with at least one other person, you might expect 125 cars to park on the property. The amount of foot traffic throughout the property is much higher as well, which may mean plants get trampled on or the rugs need a thorough cleaning afterward. The more guests = the more risk of damages, and homeowners will want that extra cash to make it worth the trouble.
Why is it worth it for you? Just because it might cost a bit more for your extra guests, don't skimp on your guest list unless you've decided to keep it an intimate celebration. The more the merrier, right?
Each bride will need to make their own decision about what venue fits their needs the most. While an estate fee might be higher than some hotels, you might be saving in other areas (food and beverage, etc.). You'll have to evaluate what is important to you on your big day.
For example, is privacy extremely important to you? Then the exclusivity of a private estate might be the best way to go.
Let us know how you are making your decision, or how you decided on your venue in the comments below!