Private Property Weddings: The Ultimate Guide

Real Weddings

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

Maintenance

Weather Back-Up

Event Layout

Parking

Power and Electrical

Restrooms

Trash and Garbage

Ready Rooms or Vendor Green Room

Vendors

Set Up and Clean Up

Host and Hostess

 

Picture from above of a private property wedding on a farm in Indiana

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”.

 

Stately white building with large columns where a Private Property wedding was hosted

Bride getting ready for her wedding day at her private property venue

The wedding ceremony set up inside a large barn with exposed wooden beams, located on private property.Bride and Groom took photos around the bride's family private property on the day of their weddingThe wedding reception set up and decor in a large tent on the bride's family propertyMollie & Gunnar’s Private Property Wedding in Vincennes, Indiana

Maintenance

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. 

Weather Back-Up

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.

A Bride putting on her wedding dress inside a private home where the wedding was heldThe bride and groom take photos int he backyard of this private property where there ceremony was heldThis bride and groom's wedding ceremony in the backyard of private propertyThe groomsmen and bridesmaids took photos around the grounds of this private property Transportation for the wedding party was a white vintage bus to get everyone from the private property wedding site to the reception

Bride and Groom take a photo in front of a picturesque home on their wedding day at their private property wedding locationMegan & Lauck’s Private Property Wedding in Fort Stockton, Indiana

Event Layout

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.

Parking

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.

The foyer of a family home was transformed with floral, a wedding cake and old family wedding photos for this private property weddingThe intimate ceremony set up consisting of a floral arch and a handful of chairs in the backyard of this private property. Wedding ceremony details including the wedding flowers on the ceremony arch, the bridal bouquet and the string quartet that played for the ceremony at this private property wedding ceremonyThe Bride and groom have their first dance inside their private home on their wedding dayThe bride and groom in front of their ceremony arch in the backyard of a private property where they got married

A vintage red Chevrolet car with "Just Married" written on the back window transported the bride and groom from their private property wedding location to their receptionKelly & 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

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.

Bride and groom walk through the woods at their private property weddingThe reception at this private property wedding was held under a large white tent, with wooden farm tables and cross back chairs, market lights and colorful table accents An appetizer table was set up on the grounds of this private property for guests to enjoy during cocktail hour after the wedding ceremony

The reception at this private property wedding was held under a large white tent, with wooden farm tables and cross back chairs, market lights and colorful table accents Details from this private property wedding consisted of color table accents at the reception and a crisp white cake with fresh berriesThe wedding reception layout had a live band and guests congregate on the patio for cocktail hour which is common for many private property weddingsKarla & 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.

an intimate wedding ceremony set up on private property in Kentucky consisted on a wooden arch with floral accents, and white chairsThe wedding party took photos around the private property in grass fields and next to the horse pastureThe bride and groom walk through a grass field on at their private property weddingPaige & Robert’s Private Property Wedding in LaGrange, Kentucky

Vendors

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.

Catering

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.

Bar

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.

Entertainment

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.

Rentals

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.

Bride and groom take photos outside on the lawn of at their private property weddingWedding reception details consisting of a large white tent, wooden farm tables and fresh floral that pare pictured are perfect for private property weddingsWooden farm table with wood cross back chairs, greenery running down the center of the table and fresh pink and white flowers and candles throughout the table decor on this private property wedding This private property wedding had a large white tent with market lights for the evening and a cigar lounge with soft candlelight and leather seatingKat & 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. 

Bride and grooms dance under the night sky or large white tents with market lights at their private property weddings

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!

Vendors

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 PhotographyVideography: 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 

 

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