If you are considering renting out your home, or if you are searching for the perfect venue for your event, there are many things that separate an okay estate venue from a great one.
If you are a client looking for an “out of the box” type venue, and you’ve decided to hold your event at a private house, you will need to be sure that the location has everything you need to produce your ideal event. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the look of the property before going through all the ammenties this particular estate has to offer.
If you are a homeowner looking to rent your property, your home may be best suited for some types of events, but not all. If you are open to making improvements on your property so that you can rent your home for events, you have the ability to increase the value of your home as well as write-off maintenance and improvements. For more perks to renting your home be sure to check out our 5 top advantages to renting your home for events.
Use the following list of criteria to see if the estate is a great fit for events or not:
1. Outdoor Capacity
An okay estate will have enough room to accommodate at least 50 guests seated. A good venue will be able to host between 100 – 150. A great venue will be able to accommodate over 200+ guests. On average, most estate weddings will have between 120-150 guests.
Most estate events will take place outdoors. Very few homes will be able to accommodate guests inside their house for events. Unless it is a loft or a penthouse, chances are if you are having an estate event, your guests will be dining outdoors.
Usually the only indoor event space which could seat all your guests would be a converted garage. So if you aren’t keen on being outdoors, your estate search may eventually lead you back to considering hotel options.
2. Indoor Access
If you have access to the inside of the house, that is a huge plus. Some estates do not allow you to use the interior of the home at all, so make sure you ask if the interior is available. A good venue will have the house open for your guests to walk through and use the restrooms, and a great one will include a “bridal suite” for the bride to get ready in on site (usually the master bedroom).
Some other perks to interior access are possibly the use of the kitchen for your catering team, an indoor cocktail reception, or a place to stay overnight surrounding your event.
3. Covered Patio or Room for a Tent
If the estate has a covered patio or veranda, this is great news. If you aren’t allowed inside the home, but the weather is looking iffy, you will want a back up plan. If your guests can fit under the patio, that is a huge plus. It means you won’t have to worry about constructing a full tent to shelter your guests if it rains.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have a covered patio on the property, you will want to be sure there is ample room for a tent on the property which can cover all your guests.
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked issues that clients forget about, but one of the most important! If you are having any sort of lighting at the property (up-lighting, market lighting, etc.) make sure that there is enough power from the home to supply it. If you are having a stage with a live band, or a DJ with a lot of bells and whistles, a photo booth, and much much more, rent a generator or two.
5. The Ideal Property Layout
Lets say you are looking for a wedding location. You want to have your ceremony, a cocktail hour and your reception all in the same place. A private home can pose a lot of difficulty if the flow of the property isn’t just right.
A good location will have two areas which would be great for a combination of these events. So in event area #1 you can host the ceremony, in area #2 you can have the cocktail hour, and during cocktail hour event area #1 would be transitioned into your reception area.
A great location will have at least three areas for events: a separate ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception location. If you have more than one option for each, you are in really great shape!
Look for an estate with a few great options for each. Don’t forget that if the house has a tennis court, this is also usable event space!
6. Catering Area
If you’re hiring a caterer to cook onsite, you will need an outdoor area or open garage large enough for a field kitchen. This should be in an area separate from all other event spaces.
What exactly is a field kitchen? It is a temporary on-site kitchen. This includes everything from prep tables to stoves/ovens. Depending on what catering services you need and how many guests you are serving, you will need a large open space to serve as a kitchen.
Most homes do not have a commercial kitchen so an on-site temporary kitchen is a must.
7. Luxury Amenities
Why are you booking this venue? There is probably a key feature that initially attracted you, right? Prime selling points include an ocean or mountain view, pool, etc.
Other amenities that make a great venue are overnight accommodations if you’d like to make your one day event into a weekend event.
If your venue already has permanent outdoor lighting installed, lounge seating, tables, that can also be a huge perk!
Don’t forget about restrooms. The estate venue you are considering should have at least 2 or 3 restrooms for 100 guests. If you want to avoid having guests lined up at the restrooms, you’ll want to have room to accommodate a luxury restroom rental trailer too.
Just because the house is amazing doesn’t make it a perfect event location. The perfect venue will be in a prominent and desirable location central to hotels, places of worship, nearby parking lots for shuttle service, and a local airport. Of course some people are looking for a more remote location, but most are looking for a place that is convenient for their guests to travel to, especially if most are coming from out of town.
A great location will also be secluded enough from their neighbors as not to disturb them. It will also have ample street or lot parking for valet service.
9. A Great Management Team & Homeowner
A location isn’t great unless it has a great management team. You’ll want an estate whose management team is dedicated to protecting the home from any damages, helping you understand all the rules of the property and ensuring your event is a success! For more information on venue management, take a peek at our article about what an on-site manager does. To learn more about our team, click here.
A great homeowner is someone who trusts their management team to represent them and take care of their property during each and every event. They are flexible and open to hosting a wide variety of events at their home, and are enthusiastic about the opportunities presented to them. For more information about the advantages of renting out your estate for private events, you’ll want to read this article.
Are you considering a private estate for your event or wedding venue?
If you have any questions or if you would like to share any thoughts/ideas please do so in the comments 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 for crafts to work! You can follow her here Linkedin or Google+.