Love in the Time of Covid
written By Elle DeMarzo
Our new reality finds us with an influx of at-home or estate weddings. With a more intimate setting and lessof a public venue, on its surface the idea is great, there are just many moving parts to keep in mind while planning these events. In order to make their special day even more of a stand-out, more and more couples are opting to have their nuptials at home. Often our couples come to us with the idea of a raw/home space for a wedding with the idea that planning a nuptials à la carte and building the event from the ground up will be cheaper. Now, at Amplified Event we love a total build up when we're doing a wedding (it's kind of our thing) BUT we'd be remiss to explain that more often than not, the cost is comparable or even way higher than a traditional venue. While escaping the subjective expected scene of a catering hall wedding may be tempting, there are several imperative issues to keep in mind when forgoing an established wedding venue: Hidden costs and hidden work.
Rentals. All of the Rentals When dealing with a raw space that isn't your own, as in renting an estate or someone's home for your wedding, the base site fee alone can be anywhere from $10,000-$30,000+ depending on the amount of guests and preparation needed. This generally is for site access alone. On the other hand, many people believe that having their wedding at a home belonging to themselves, or their friends/family will surely cut costs due to the lack of a site fee. What people sometimes fail to realize is that having a wedding at a home means rentals. Lots and lots of rentals. You are almost quite literally renting everything you would find at a traditional catering facility. This means catering equipment, valet parking, tent, tent floors, permits, perhaps generators, plus staffing for the event and set-up. If there's an in-ground pool, you may need to cover the pool for space and/or the safety of your guests. So, while home weddings can be wonderfully full of character and nostalgia, there are clearly many things to consider.
Specifically, "off-prem catering" (that's a little industry jargon for you), what this means is that a caterer typically has to prep, cook and expedite food off of the event premises. What does this mean for couples planning their wedding around this? It means they have to rent everything needed for the menu you choose, this could mean renting ovens, fryers and refrigeration units. Plus, tables, chairs, linens, stemware, silverware, chargers and plates alike are rented outside of the catering company you choose.
Foot Traffic (Bye, Rugs!)
You hardly expect your wedding guests to treat a home like some Project X house party but with a large group having to be inside your house, a mess is almost inevitable. With guests in evening dress attire, it's unlikely that anyone will be regulating or adhering to a "shoes off when entering" policy. Even if you plan on an outdoor reception, people will have to enter the house at the very least to use the restrooms. Unless...
Bathrooms (Another rental!)
That's right. In order to circumvent the possible ruination of your floors, depending on the size of your guest list, you'll have to rent bathroom trailers. This is also done so that your septic tank doesn't explode. It isn't just the increase of people but the volume of usage that can take a toll on any residential bathroom. Now, we will say, these aren't construction site port-a-potties and come in an array of really pretty options. You don't know you're in an actual bathroom trailer, unless maybe you're the one covering the costs.
Ever have a party at your home and not realize the weight of the post-party clean up until...well, post-party? Now multiply that. Nobody wants to clean up after their own nuptials and your catering company most likely will not be taking the garbage with them after they break down their stations. While the caterers will clean up guest garbage, the final rental of your wedding will be the dumpster and removal rental. There are great companies that will pick up the bagged trash and take it off the premises. A relief but an imperative and often forgot rental. We know this can seem like a lot to process and we promise we aren't swaying you from these wonderful ground-up events (it's kind of our thing, remember?) but we would be doing you a disservice if we didn't offer some tips and things to consider when planning your ideal wedding day.--