How are you ending the month of September? Are you counting down the days til the holidays or possibly still trying to hold on to summer?
Our team is quite in between the two seasons! With plenty of weddings still planned for sunny Saturdays, we are still in wedding season turbo mode! This weekend you can find us in Los Altos Hills, CA for a beautiful wedding at The Caballo and in Orange County at the Cairo Estate for a glamorous Great Gatsby 1920′s inspired wedding. As always, stay tuned for photos
This week our blog posts highlight two expansive venues with amazing lawn space large enough for high capacity corporate events. We also have your complete guide to winter menus, a look at interesting men’s wedding bands and a nod to one of our dream events to attend, the Napa Valley Film Festival!
Nancy is Community Manager for Estate Weddings and Events. When not typing away, she enjoys discovering new wedding trends and attending weddings and events to see all the people and private estates get dressed up! You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.
There are many vacation rental websites out there these days, and a lot of brides are going through these websites to find their wedding venue. If you are even contemplating renting out a house you found on a vacation rental site like VRBO, HomeAway, AirBnb, FlipKey, etc. then this article is for you.
My sincere recommendation is to hire a professional management company who specializes in weddings at private homes, instead of using a vacation rental website. I can go on an on about why you need a on site location manager, but the real reason for this post is to ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch.
Too many times I encounter a couple who are just a couple months away from their big day, with a sad story about their vacation rental home debacle. We want your wedding to be just as amazing as you’ve always hoped, so heed my advice below!
Rosaline Estate – Rhinebeck, New York
On vacation rental websites and forums, I always see this question:
Do I have to notify the homeowners that we will be having a wedding at their house?
You may be asking the same question, and here is the answer: Yes, absolutely!
Usually the renter’s concern is mostly monetary. They are concerned that their rental fee will increase significantly, or that the owner may say “no way.” If you take anything out of this article, use this piece of advice: Always ask the homeowner if a wedding or event is allowed. Yes, it may cost more, but wouldn’t you rather pay it upfront instead of getting sued after the fact?
Most homes on these vacation rental websites are not terribly keen on renting out their house for any type of events. Whether or not their contract states if you may have an event/wedding on the property or not, you should always notify them of your intentions when you first contact them. Why? Let me elaborate below.
Why rent through an estate manager vs. a vacation rental website:
Damages & Liability
Events at a property, especially weddings, can be a huge liability. The risks involved with hosting events are so much higher than just renting the property to eat and sleep in. The more guests you have, the more wear and tear will happen to the property. Damages are more likely to occur, especially if guests are intoxicated. Maybe a drunk guest hits another car when they are leaving the property. Or maybe the house uses a septic system that can’t handle the strain of a large event. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, and if you don’t have insurance to cover it, you could be in hot water.
The home may be located in an area that is extremely strict or does not allow events at all. Some locations only allow a handful of event permits per year. Other locations might not allow events due to their homeowner association, or local city regulations. If you aren’t familiar with the city’s laws, you may be in for an unwelcome surprise. Imagine that you are enjoying your wedding reception and the police show up to shut you down because you were playing loud music past the city’s noise ordinance.
Hewitt Hill Farm – Woodstock, Vermont; Photo: Hike Photography
Lack of Management
The owners may allow events, but without any event management you are going into your event blindly. The house might not be able to handle the amount of power you need for your outdoor lighting or DJ. There might not be enough bathrooms for everyone. You might not know what is permitted and what isn’t. Your contract might not cover you the way you hoped and you could be liable for any problems that come up.
Do yourself a favor, and find a house with a manager. They will monitor and handle any property issues, so you or your event coordinator don’t have to! Remember, the management team is there to give you the best event possible, as well as ensuring the homeowners are happy and the rules are obeyed. A win-win situation for all!
A lot goes into a great estate venue. The homeowner might have good intentions and may even allow a wedding to take place without any supervision, but that is not advised. A homeowner is not an event manager, so even the owner might not be aware of all of the logistical matters and city regulations regarding events.
Whatever the reason, if the homeowner has said “no events” you better pay attention and follow the rules. If you violate their contract, you better expect that your deposit and credit card will be charged for any damages, and they might be hefty.
Caballo Estate – Los Altos Hills, California; Photo: This Love of Yours Photography
Pay it Forward:
I’ve read testimonials from homeowners who have been notified by neighbors that someone had their party at the estate when it was explicitly forbidden. While the renter may have gotten away with hosting their party without a hitch, that act of defiance can have a butterfly effect. That single party can have a devastating effect on not only the home/homeowner but also the community.
Depending on what type of person you are, you may or may not be concerned about the venue or any future rentals. If you are the type of person who cares, there is ever more reason to throw your wedding the proper way. If you cut corners, you may prevent the homeowners from ever renting their home again, vacation rental or otherwise. If you don’t follow the rules set forth, the police can shut down the venue, and then no one else will be able to have their wedding at the same house. Wouldn’t that be a shame? I can’t tell you how many calls I get about cancelled wedding venues due to problems with a home they rented from a vacation rental website.
If unregulated events are overrunning a community, you might even see city or county laws change or even ban events altogether. This has happened in several popular wedding cities in California and can continue to happen if events are not controlled.
Do yourself (and the owner) a favor and tell them that you would like to host your wedding at the estate. Worst case scenario is that they say no, and if so, try searching for a private estate that does cater to weddings and events. Best case scenario is they say “yes” but they require on site management.
Don’t view this as a negative. A manager is great! If they don’t provide one for you, hire one. A location manager is just as important as an event coordinator. Let them take care of the venue so you can have the perfect wedding!
If you are looking for a manager for your private estate wedding, please give us a call and we would be happy to talk to you about our venues and answer any questions you may have.
Let us know about your experience with renting a home for your estate wedding below…
About the Author
Claire is the Director of Client Relations for Estate Weddings and Events and will often be the first person to greet you and answer any questions you may have about planning your estate event. In her free time, she loves to make succulent arrangements, homebrew craft beers and put her love of crafts to work! You can follow her here Linkedin or Google+.
Is it just us, or did October bulldoze it’s way into our lives at a remarkably quick pace? One minute we were daydreaming about strawberry-picking and lemonade stands and the next, we’re tripping over hay stacks and caramel apples in this seasons hottest spot, the pumpkin patch. Before we wrap 2011 up for good, gather your team of hard working employees and take some time getting to know one another before the next chapter begins.
Over the course of a year, a lot can happen to a growing company. New faces flutter in, familiar faces move onward and upward, and somewhere in the middle of all this transitioning, the notion of camaraderie and connectivity may get lost along the way. Let’s not forget, even a business that employs hundreds relies on every member of their company to be truly successful.Whether you’re part of a brand new Internet start-up stationed in Silicon Valley or a notorious film studio filming out of Los Angeles, our properties are the perfect venue to bond with your employees or co-workers. Team bonding doesn’t have to mean forming a Conga line and taking a trust walk; the women of Estate Weddings and Events have loads of creative ideas to keep your day light, fun and effective.
Hoping to get away from the stagnant office air?
Check out the Caballo Estate in Northern California, fully equipped with all the lawn space an energetic desk-mate would want, we can create an afternoon filled with yoga, scavenger hunts, team trivia and the all American favorite, baseball!
Thinking your employees may prefer something a little less, sporty?
Check out the Cairo estate in San Juan Capistrano. With room for hundreds of participants on this amazing Southern California property, there’s space for cross-company Bingo, a night of “Who Done It?” or even a cooking class.
Perhaps your team has a taste for the sophisticated…
…And in that case, gather round the Sebastopol Sanctuary and we’ll take you for a day in wine country. Test your taste buds and truly enjoy a calm afternoon out of the office and away from the city.
No one knows your business better than you so give us a call and let us in on what makes your company unique. We’d be thrilled to provide you with a ton of options that would fit your particular team. From Karaoke Killers to Rock Climbing Adventurers, Estate Weddings and Events can’t wait to help you discover the next office inside joke!
Whether in the office, out on site tours, or working actual events, the staff at Estate Weddings and Events/ Estate Event Group are concerned with everything estates. Given that each of us have our own specific tastes, preferences, and experiences, we thought that we would share what estates are our favorites. Read on (in the multi-part series) to hear from the people behind the estates…
Willa Kroll (Northern California Representative): The Caballo Estate in Los Altos Hills, Santa Clara County
“Being a woman from Northern California, I preface my favoritism for the Caballo Estate with a dash of known bias sprinkled on top. Regardless of this inconsequential fact, I think many would agree the Caballo is quite simply “picture perfect.” The crisp beauty of tan shingles adorning this classic barn-style home allows for quite the variety of events. Whether you feel at home in a Martha’s Vineyard ranch sipping a glass of chilled wine and viewing a rousing game of Cricket or the centerpieces for your family-style dining consist of tin watering cans filled with sunflowers, you’re in the right place. Admittedly jumping the gun, I’ve secretly planned my engagement photos atop a few barrels of hay smiling at the camera with a dozen yellow roses scattered around. ”
Brittany Steele (Central Coast Event Coordinator): The Abbey Estate in Montecito, Santa Barbara
“My favorite estate is the Abbey. I think the ocean views are breathtaking and make for the perfect photo setting for a couple exchanging their vows. Candle lights and vases of flowers around the pool provide for a most romantic landscape against the setting sun. After the sun sets and the party starts, dancing under the stars with the twinkly lights in the trees is extremely enchanting. The Abbey estate is not only impressive and beautiful but it provides you with the privacy you would want for a special intimate event. The entire setting should be described as upscale fairy tale.”