Important Info When Renting a Private Estate
by Private Estate Expert Gianna Provenzano of Gianna and Company
A private estate can be a fantastic backdrop to the wedding of your dreams, but if you haven’t prepared yourself, estate weddings can easily turn into a planning nightmare. Here are some tips from wedding coordinator and estate event expert Gianna Provenzano of Gianna and Company to ensure your estate event planning runs as smoothly as the event itself:
- Hire an event planner with estate event experience to help guide you through the event planning process. An experienced professional who knows the ins and outs-and how to (gracefully) handle any challenges that pop up-can really can save you money, time and a lot of headaches.
- Find out if a special events permit is required in the town you wish to have your event. If a permit is necessary, make sure that your estate’s permit is valid and is in good standing with the city.
- Don’t just take someone’s word for it: confirm with the homeowner that the estate is really available to rent as a wedding or reception space.
- Be realistic: your estate rental budget should not be more than 20% of your overall budget. If you do not have a set wedding budget, it’s worth having a wedding planner prepare one for you before you start putting down deposits and reserving your date.
- Your deposit should be 50% of the rental fee and should be refundable as long as you put the estate back to the condition it was prior to your party, i.e. clean up and no damage to the property.
- Verbal contracts leave you very little to fall back on. Make sure every detail that’s important to you is spelled out clearly in writing and signed by everyone involved (most importantly, the homeowner, event site representative, and you).
Topics that should be addressed in writing include:
- Plans for selling and/or renovations: Make sure that the estate will not be put up for sale, and that major work to the event space is planned until after your event/wedding. You’ll want to verify that the lovely cabana you fell in love with will still be there for your event, and that no one’s breaking ground on, say, a new swimming pool at the site where you plan to take your vows!
- Request walk through appointments in the contract. This will allow your vendors to plan the guest flow, electrical needs, etc. Some of the older estates may require a generator, which you’ll definitely want to plan for in advance. Blackouts can really change the mood of a party!
- Availability: when is the space available for preparations? Start and end times should be stated for setup, load times, cleanup, and, of course, when the space is available for the actual event to take place.
- Access to inside the house: are special bathrooms available for elderly or handicapped guests? Can your caterer use the kitchen? Is there a space for guests to get ready? Are there bedrooms available for overnight stays?
- Music: What kind of music is allowed, and is there a cutoff time? 10 PM is the usual cut off time unless the estate is isolated, but be sure you know the rules to make sure the cops don’t crash your party.