Private property weddings have been around since the very beginning! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, weddings on private properties have had a huge spike in popularity.
Private property weddings are a wonderful way to add personalization, family history, and charm to a wedding day. Weddings on private estates do require more planning and organization compared to a traditional wedding venue. Traditional wedding venues already have basic things included for larger crowds. Depending on the location, the needs for the wedding setup will vary. A wedding held inside a private home versus in a large field will require different needs and things to think about.
I have compiled an entire list of everything needed to organize in order to plan and execute beautiful private property weddings and to ensure you won’t run into any surprises on the big day.
Legal Documents and Information
Power and Electrical
Trash and Garbage
Ready Rooms or Vendor Green Room
Set Up and Clean Up
Host and Hostess
Legal Documents and Information
The first thing to think about is legal documents. Depending on the location, these documents may take a while to acquire so it’s best to tackle this one first because, without these, there is no party.
As with all weddings, it’s important to get a wedding insurance policy to cover unexpected situations that could arise. But with a wedding on private property, it is even more important to be sure to get all of the proper insurance policies prior to the wedding day.
In addition to a standard wedding insurance policy, make sure to also get a policy that includes liquor liability. This gives the proper coverage if serving alcoholic beverages at your wedding. But above all else, it’s important to consult an insurance professional to be sure all the coverage is met.
It is also important to be familiar with the liquor laws in the state of your property to know what legally can and cannot be done if serving alcoholic beverages at the wedding.
I also suggest getting familiar with the noise ordinance for the area. Make sure any loud or amplified music is scheduled to end prior to the noise ordinance.
If there are neighbors near the celebration, I also suggest going around the neighborhood taking a flyer and maybe even a sweet treat to let them know a wedding will be held. The helps ensure they can expect some noise and more traffic or parked cars. Letting them know the ceremony time as well can help keep anyone from deciding to mow their lawn in the middle of your “I do’s”.
Mollie & Gunnar’s Private Property Wedding in Vincennes, Indiana
With outdoor private property weddings, it is important not to forget to plan for things like mowing and bugs. Make sure the grass in the area is mowed close to the wedding day so it is not too tall. But also several days prior to allow the loose grass to blow out of the way.
Typically, I’m not an advocate for checking the weather forecast too far in advance, but with outdoor, private property weddings, it’s important to have several different plans depending on when rain might be scheduled on wedding week. If there is rain in the forecast the entire week prior, don’t forget to think about things like low or slow draining spots.
When planning for an outdoor wedding, the weather really has to be considered. The mowing schedule, as well as tent and rental installation, need to be scheduled around the weather.
If there is rain in the forecast, make sure to get one last grass mow in before any rain. Consider getting the tent installed prior to the rain as well to make sure the area under the tent stays dry (this is something to talk to your tent company about.) It is also important to make sure the ground isn’t too wet for any delivery drivers to drive on. The last thing anyone wants are giant, muddy ruts in the grass for guests to navigate around.
Megan & Lauck’s Private Property Wedding in Fort Stockton, Indiana
One of the biggest perks with private property weddings is that the sky is truly the limit when it comes to designing the big day. There are so many great options for tents, tables, chairs, dance floors, lighting, draping, and furniture.
There are also a lot of details often handled by a venue coordinator when getting married at a more traditional wedding venue. So I suggest thinking through all of the aspects of the wedding day to ensure everything needed is listed in the layout and the rental order. This includes a plan for trash, or a small table to place the unity candles on, which are often overlooked.
Don’t forget to consider parking when planning for the wedding day. Where are guests going to park when they arrive? I suggest assuming that there will be one car for every two guests that are attending.
If there is not enough room close to the private property for all guests to park, busing your guests in might be a consideration. A hotel where guests are staying, or a close parking lot are great options to have guests park and shuttle in. Don’t forget to get permission and to cover any public parking areas where guests are congregating under the wedding insurance policy for the day.
If busing your guests, make sure any large buses have an area to turn around when picking up and dropping off guests. If the location is too tight for comfort, consider getting smaller shuttle buses.
Kelly & Sarah’s Private Property Wedding in Louisville, Kentucky
Power and Electrical
If the wedding location is more remote or far enough away from power, it is crucial to ensure a plan to have enough electricity for all of the wedding day needs. Don’t forget about things like:
- A catering tent will need lights and might have equipment that requires power.
- A band and/or DJ will definitely need electricity. Especially a band, make sure you check their power requirements and plan to have more than enough.
- Lighting up the reception tent will need plenty of power.
- A restroom trailer will also need electricity.
When in doubt, I always suggest adding on an extra generator. Because power is definitely not something anyone wants to run out of in the middle of a great party. (Don’t forget extra gas to power any generators.)
Restrooms are definitely not the most glamorous part of throwing a wedding, but something that should not be forgotten! I suggest making sure there’s a minimum of one restroom per 50 people.
There are vendors who rent really nice restroom trailers that include lighting, music, air conditioning/heat, and will give guests a much more positive experience than a standard portable restroom. These trailers do need access to water and electricity. However, most can be filled up with water in a different area. So if water is not readily available be sure to let the company know and explore all the options.
Karla & Peter’s Private Property Wedding in Columbus, Indiana
Trash and Garbage
Another not-so-glamorous part of planning a wedding on private property is organizing a plan for trash. Events can, unfortunately, produce a large amount of trash. Therefore, I encourage an open conversation with the catering and bar team to ensure everyone is on the same page on how to handle the trash throughout the event. (Don’t forget the trash bags and containers to put it in!)
Ready Rooms or Vendor Green Room
It is important to have conversations on the front end with any vendors or bands who typically require a green room or a room to get ready in. Many bands set up their instruments and then need to get ready. If there is somewhere on the property that is not being used and is allowed for them to use, that’s great. If not, make sure to let them know before signing any contracts so they can make other arrangements and to communicate if that changes any fees.
Paige & Robert’s Private Property Wedding in LaGrange, Kentucky
Crafting a dream team of wedding vendors is always important to the flow of a wedding day. However, when planning a private property wedding, it’s more important than ever to have a team of individuals that will provide peace of mind to truly enjoy the big day.
I suggest working with a full-service caterer who will not only provide great food to your guests but will also take care of the behind the scenes items such as, setting your tables, clearing tables, getting rental china back to the way it needs to be when it’s picked up, taking care of any trash, and possibly even helping with clean up at the end of the night.
A great perk (and budget-saving item) of a wedding on private property is that you can supply your own alcohol. But, with doing that, it’s important to still have licensed professionals mixing up drinks and serving them. This guarantees guests are being served responsibly and is especially important since the liability falls back on you with it being on your personal property.
It is important to be aware of what kind of entertainment power needs (especially for the reception). If generators are needed in the location, this can get a little tricky to guarantee the ability to supply a band or DJ with enough power while still being able to power lights and any other needs. Some rental companies offer large generators (with delivery) that can power most of the event’s needs which could be a great option.
Typically private property locations require a lot more rentals than the average wedding. Rentals such as catering ovens, heaters, generators, lights, trash cans, all of your tables, chairs, linens, a catering tent, coolers, bars, etc. Make sure to talk through the wedding day with your rental company to make sure you aren’t missing anything.
Kat & Jimmie’s Private Property Wedding in Carmel, Indiana
Set Up and Clean Up
Private property weddings tend to be more work leading up to and following the wedding day, especially when it comes to set up and clean up. Make sure to have a plan for anything that needs help.
Take a look at everything going into the day and make notes on who is responsible for the setup of each item. Hopefully, a lot of it will end up being covered by your vendor team. However, for any of the items that you are ultimately responsible for setting up, create a game plan. If items can’t be set up until wedding day, designate someone for that setup since you’ll likely be tied up with all the happenings of your wedding day. Do the same thing when it comes to clean up.
Keep in mind that everything will need to be cleared off and ready for the rental company to pick up. Make sure to schedule time to ensure all of that is done on time.
Host and Hostess
Additionally, I always like to consider when hosting an event at private property to defining the “host” or “hostess”. Typically when we see these types of weddings, they are on a family member’s property. The host typically pours so much into that wedding day, well in advance, from landscaping and preparations to sometimes even having the house painted or having home renovations completed. And once the wedding day comes, the host tends to be the one making sure everything runs smoothly. Therefore, it is important to consider them when planning the day.
How can you make sure the host is not going to be completely tied up on the wedding day? Maybe it’s hiring a coordinator so that person can provide peace of mind or take off some of the weight. Perhaps it’s designating others to help with certain things along the way.
These are all the glamorous and not so glamorous realities of planning private property weddings. This list may seem overwhelming, but it is all very doable – just make sure to give yourself enough time to prepare. Handing everything off to an experienced wedding planner is also a great option to truly give you peace of mind for a beautiful wedding day at your special location.
Above all else, remember to embrace and enjoy this season of your life as you get ready to marry the love of your life!
Mollie and Gunnar: Photographer: Love the Renauds | Catering: Lynn Murphy – Catering Manager Sodexo Campus Services | Cake/Desserts: Kelly Leigh Cakes | Florist: Anna Cushman | Pre-Ceremony, Ceremony, Cocktail Hour & Reception Music: Bluewater Kings Band | Transportation: Miller Transportation | Tent and Other Rentals: Bauer’s Tents and Party Rentals |Plates and Glasses Rental: Bryant’s Rent-All Events & Tents | Table and Chair Rental: Pizzazzle Events | Restroom Trailer: Hoosier Portable Restrooms | Wedding Planning and Coordination: Christina Burton Events
Megan and Lauck: Photographer: Stoffer Photography | Videography: Unscripted Visuals – Luke McBride | Ceremony Music: Fort Wayne Philharmonics Quartet | Florist: Jim Brubaker Designs | Wedding Party Transportation: Club Car Limousine & Trolley | Rentals: A Party Apart | Wedding Planning, Coordination & Design: Christina Burton Events
Sarah and Kelly: Photographer: The Olive Branch & Company Photo and Film – Hannah and Ashley | Ceremony Music: Electria |Cake/Desserts: Costco | Guest Transportation: Miller Transportation | Wedding Planning, Coordination, and Floral: Christina Burton Events
Peter and Karla: Photographer: Sharin Shank Photography | Videography: Toast Wedding Films | Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: Rio Bamba Band | Reception Music: Nathan Luebbehusen | Catering and Cake: Kahn’s Catering | Florist: Woven Blooms | Guest Transportation: Carey Limo | Stationery: A Fabulous Fete | Tent, Perimeter lighting and Table rentals: A Classic Party Rental | Farm tables, Crossback vineyard chairs, Blue goblet rentals: Violet Vintage | Restroom Trailer: Hoosier Portable Restrooms | Wedding Planning and Coordination: Christina Burton Events
Page and Robert: Photographer: Katie Gallagher Photography | Cake: Adrienne and Co. | Catering: Southern Lady Catering |Ceremony Music: Complete Weddings and DJs | Hair: Samantha Michaels | Makeup: Becca Schell | Chair, Bar and Lighting Rental: Pizzazzle | Tent Rental: Rent A Tent | Wedding Planning and Coordination: Christina Burton Events
Kat and Jimmie: Photographer: Copperhead Photography | Reception Music: Dave Howard | Catering: Turchetti’s Catering | Cake/Desserts: Gigi’s Cupcakes | Florist: Stems LLC | Transportation: Antique Limo | Rentals: A Classic Party Rental | Specialty Rentals: Violet Vintage | Restroom Trailer: Hoosier Portable Restrooms | Balloons: Captain Balloon | Wedding Planning and Coordination: Christina Burton Events