A Private Affair: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Getting Married at a Private Estate
Wait, There’s More
50% security deposit back. The cost is around $400 for a certificate for up to $2 million in coverage. It protects the wedding couple and the homeowner, and hopefully holds both harmless when that obstreperous or inebriated guest knocks a marble statue into the pool.
And then there are the permits. Upscale communities tend to have lots of restrictions and plenty of people to uphold them. Some even limit the number of commercial events homeowners can host in a year (Malibu, for example, allows only four). Most have sound ordinances that will bring a sheriff to the door not long after dark with an order to turn down the music. It might not be a bad idea to have a string quartet or acoustic guitars standing by to play when the neighbors decide to turn in—you just need to factor that into the cost.
Add to this the cost of contingency planning, which is not built into the rental fee as it often is at more traditional venues. That means you’ll need a fund to accommodate acts of God, like a change in the weather—one tent: $6000—or exterminators to get rid of the beehive that popped up overnight just above the entryway, the mosquitoes on the pond or the fire ants tunneling up from under the grassy reception area. Even the grass can be a problem. One planner remembers a lawn that decided to die right before the reception. The solution? Either pay for sod or paint the lawn green. The bride opted for paint.