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If you have planned a wedding before, you know how much work goes into making it the perfect event. There are craft days, long nights and among those long nights - sleepless nights. You’ve likely done research on venues and traditions, you’ve probably checked out several vendors and made some tough decisions, and if you’re at all like me - you’ve given up on some things you may have wanted due to your budget. The whole package of wedding planning is a blessing and a curse; it is very stressful. If you come away from the experience without being stressed, bless your heart, I’m jealous. It’s ironic that the ‘best day of your life’ is preceded by a blur made up of the most stressful months of your life. It’s true - the planning process really does wear you down. You’re trying to plan the wedding of your dreams, you don’t want your friends and family’s suggestions to go unheard, you want your guests to enjoy the night and you want all this without obliterating your bank account. It is a lot to ask for, from someone who probably has never planned an event of this size or importance. There is a serious argument in there somewhere for hiring a wedding planner, who knows exactly what they’re doing - and alas, we are back to the not breaking the bank issue.
Now that I’ve convinced you to dread planning your wedding, let me assure you there is good news here. At some point just before your wedding, you’ll find that you suddenly, simply, let it all go. Like a miraculous poof of fairy dust, the stress and fried nerves you’ve developed over the last year are just not a big deal. You don’t even care anymore - you’ve played your cards and you’re just along for the ride. For me, it was the morning of my rehearsal - I had a “Bridesmaid’s Take The Wheel” moment and I thought to myself, “You know what, this is going to be a great day; the major aspects are finalized and I’m sick of worrying”. It was a literal mental checkout and it was GLORIOUS. I was essentially useless after that, but I made a great place holder when someone directed me where to stand.
I encourage you to be ready for this moment and embrace it when it comes to you. Step back and look around you; look at all the people willing to help you have the best day ever. Enjoy this process; these are your friends and family surrounding and supporting you so take some time to appreciate them being there. It was humbling for me to see their dedication, even after I threw in the towel. I owe the finishing touches on my reception all to them; I had had enough and they stepped up for me! There is something to be said for choosing to surround yourself with amazing people - my bridesmaid’s were perfect, my family and friends were rock stars and they all came together to save the ‘decorating-day’ for me.
The days leading up to the wedding will surely be the most stressful - you’re watching the weather, checking and double checking your ‘Day-Of’ bag, you’re contemplating if you actually even like the makeup and hairstyle you chose, and you’re fretting about having enough time to take all the pictures you’ve been pinning for months. Keep on that grind, and don’t give up too soon. BUT - when you’ve had enough, and you’ll know - admit it. For the sake of avoiding a puffy, post-crying face on your wedding day, admit defeat when you’ve reached your planning maximum and just move on. You’re now the assistant, not the director. Go where they tell you, do what you’re supposed to do with a pretty smile on your face and enjoy the ride. The hours are counting down and it will be gone before you know it!
An estate wedding can be the ultimate statement; a fully customizable
private event that is something your guests won't stop talking about for
years to come. It is also a romantic, luxurious send off into a lifetime
of marital happiness. Committing to planning an estate wedding should
not be taken lightly, it is a lot of work. However, anyone who has
planned a wedding will agree – they're all a lot of work. The beautiful
thing about weddings, is that they're worth the effort! More so, the
planning opportunities available when doing an estate wedding means you
can literally have the wedding of your dreams.
As an estate wedding venue, we've done our research on the best ways to
be successful and we want to share with you some of what we've found! We’ve included 3 major recommendations and a list of questions to take with you while visiting a potential estate.
*1] Schedule an on-site consultation.*
Visiting your potential wedding site needs to be one of your very first
actions, as a bride to be. After all, it is going to be where your
wedding magic happens! The majority of your planning will depend on the
estate features, so don't delay too long on committing to a location. As
much as you are interviewing us, we are also interviewing you. We are
seeking a functional working relationship with our brides and what
better way for us to get to know each other than a consultation &
*2] Take our recommendations into consideration.*
Do you have to pick the vendors we suggest? Absolutely not, but we are
recommending them because we trust them. We certainly would not suggest
someone who would give us a bad reputation. The added value of using one
of our preferred vendors, is that they are familiar with our site, its
potential and how to make the most of your day on site! For a new vendor
coming in, there is so much to take in that they are bound to miss
something. When you're working with someone familiar with the estate,
they know the ins and outs of the property and will work more
efficiently and effectively. This holds especially true for
photographers; the endless photo shoot locations available can be
overwhelming to someone new, as opposed to our experienced photographers
who know the best spots and how to work with the landscape!
*3] Hire a wedding or event coordinator.*
Due to the customizable nature of estate weddings, there are countless
aspects to consider that don't generally cross the mind of a bride
hosting her wedding at a standard venue. A wedding planner or event
coordinator helps take the stress and burden off of the bride to be,
allowing her to keep a clear vision of what she wants the day to be
like. The coordinators job is to make it happen, and if you find the
right coordinator – you will not be disappointed!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’re going to list out 10 conversation points and questions you will want to discuss with your estate coordinators.
What is included? & What do we need to rent? This will vary greatly from estate to estate, your wedding planner can give you an idea on what is typically included versus what is generally not.
What is our available time on site? Consider time for setup and teardown, as well as the rehearsal. Sometimes even accommodations for your bridal party or yourself are available.
What are the requirements and guidelines for the permits and insurances? Most of this discussion will happen between your planner and the vendors, however it is good to be aware.
Are you planning any changes to the facility in the future? If the property owners are planning remodeling or construction you need to be aware of how that will affect your event.
What are the logistics on parking and valet? Consider weather; in the case of excessive rain, will the parking plan remain the same?
Is there adequate restrooms to accommodate your number of guests? Are there any backup facilities, and is there an available bathroom attendant?
Can you make local lodging recommendations for guests? Are there any available discounts for guests coming from an event at your estate? Depending on the number of guests seeking accommodations you may be able to get a group rate.
Do you have generators etc. to accommodate a lack of power in the area? This is a good question to ask your vendors as well!
Will there be an event coordinator from the estate working with us? Who will our main contact be from the estate? This is especially important to your wedding planner.
Is there suggested layouts and setups for us to look at while planning? Take advantage of what has been learned from previous events; no need to re-invent the wheel!