Post # 1
My Fiance and I have been making jokes through out our engagement about how we should get into the wedding industry, you know that we would make millions because of how they get away with pricing everything so outrageously high! Well I have a buisness proposition and would just like all of your opinions on the matter as to how many of you would actually go for it and how many wouldn’t. We live in the Duluth/Superior, WI area and I had researched high and low for places to get married that were decently priced or could hold as many guests as we wanted to invite. It was very difficult. There are a few parks and beautiful rec areas you could get married at but they couldn’t hold anything more than 100 people. To top it off you had to rent chairs which was $3,000 for as many people as we wanted. Too much money for just having a place to get married at. Every other place we looked into cost an arm and a leg! One place wanted $3,000 just to have a 30min ceremony there, and they would only provide 80 chairs!!
So here is my proposition:
We would like to build 3 places that people could rent daily for their wedding/event. 3 different beautiful atmospheres. (Just exmaples) a) A garden area, with possibly a glass building near by for an indoor ceremony when weather gets rough. b) a dressed up barn, with plenty of room to have an indoor or outdoor ceremony. c) I would like to do something by the lake, probably a lake house with the beach in view (Lake Superior).
Heres the kicker…
The only thing we would provide is the space and enough tables and chairs for 500 people. Everything else they would have to do on their own, like a DIY kind of place. There own food, drinks, decorations, clean up, everything. The point of this is to offer beautiful places with enough space for everyone, at a not so sky high price. The other thing is I have no idea as to what we would price this at. So give me your opinions ladies, your likes, dislikes, and what price you would think would be reasonable for something like this! Or if you know of a place that already does something like this let me know! 🙂 Looking forward to hearing your opinions!
Post # 2
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
I’m totally confused. You’re thinking about buying a venue and then renting it out for other people? What about your own wedding?
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
Sounds like an interesting idea… but do you have the (quite literally) 3/4 of a million dollars it would probably cost to build a barn, a glass structure and a lake house?
Lake-front land: $200,000+
Barn structure: $300,000+
Glass house: $100,000+
Plus insurance which is sky-high when you have alcohol allowed.
Down payments usually run, what 20%?
Post # 4
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
Also, no one can really suggest prices to you. If you’re going to build these three locations you need to meet with developers to see how much something like this would cost. You’ll have to find out how much overhead each location will have. How much staff you will need to employ. You can’t begin to set a price on something until you know what your overhead is and what you want your profit margin to be. Basing off your post alone, I would say you are too inexperienced to build 3! venues at the same time. Maybe start off with one? Plus owning a venue comes with a lot of liability. In most states if you have an event that is over a certain number of people you need to provide security too. I think there are a lot of things you guys haven’t considered. You should sit down with a business savvy person, a developer, and a financial advisor first.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
lealorali: Not to mention that a liquor license is pretty hard to get and costs into the tens of thousands…
Post # 6
lealorali: it wouldn’t cost 300k to build a barn- you can build a nice 5 bedroom house for that!
Id say barn: 50k
glass house: 150k
also think about landscaping and all that- maybe another 50k
Post # 7
Do either of you have experience with contracting/building? What are the costs for permits? What about zoning, plumbing, etc? Other things you will have to think of are operating costs (i.e. tax, insurance, etc). Who will pay for damages if a client or one of their vendors damages your venue? If you get all of these details hashed out, you’ll probably need a DOC to make your venue a bit more appealing. Best of luck.
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I don’t think it’s a bad idea at all, but I wouldn’t do all three at once! Start with the one you think would be most popular, and research everything involved with that. This is the sort of business you can grow, and you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew!
Post # 9
Lilangel58209: Not a terrible idea! One of the reasons my FI and I picked the place we are getting married at, a 5 acre estate is because everything will be in one place and we will have exclusive use of the property. So that would be my one concern; if you rent the barn could there be another event going on in one of the other locations or do you have exclusive use? Could there be another wedding before or after mine?
You could always look into purchasing a large beautiful property with a house already build and figuring out ways to make that work.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Lilangel58209: our wedding venue was like this. They provided the location, and you had the option to rent however many chairs, tables, one large canopy tent, and a variety of buildings and cabins. They set up the chairs/tables/tents. We brought in everything – food, booze, decor, music and PAs, etc. it was a lot of work, but it’s great to be able to choose your own vendors or DIY.
I agree with PPs that you are going to need a LOT of up front capital in order to build these venues. Unless you’re independently wealthy or can get some great investors, it seems unrealistic. But hey, always good to dream big!
Post # 11
Honestly depends on what is included and how cheap it is. If it’s gorgeous and exactly what we want but $3,000 for the day with no staff, rentals, booze included… no way. I’d rather pay $8,000 and include those things.
Post # 12
We rented a large 5 bedroom historic home with beautiful grounds for our wedding and it was $4000. The house has minimal furniture, a sofa & table in each bedroom as well as a commercial kitchen but other than that, nothing is included in the price. Maybe it’s just more common down here in the southeast but there are historic homes ALL OVER the place that are rented for events. They more often than not are on very grand estates and you rent either the gardens, barn, or the house.
Post # 13
As a (fairly new) wedding vendor, I’ll throw in my two cents. I would echo what some other posters have said. The price can’t be based solely off of what others say they’d pay. First, most won’t value your services as high as you feel they should be valued. Everyone wants a deal and has a budget, particularly those who are doing DIY weddings. Your original post says it really well, actually. With a completely blank canvas, the costs can add up really quickly. That would mean your rental rate will need to be lower in order to make it enticing to people. This is not a bad thing toward DIY-ers. They’re the majority of my clients and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but that’s just the reality.
Second, there are about a million factors that go into how much you can charge. Honestly, I don’t know how even the high end venues make any money. What with the overhead of just running a building (utilities, crazy amounts of insurance, maintenance on the grounds/structure if you’re not renting, etc.), I have yet to see a venue owner rolling in cash. Actually, I don’t know any wedding vendors in any category with a lot of cash. Advertising in the wedding industry is crazy high, so you’ll invest quite a bit just to get clients in the first place. Aside from that, the number of hours you’ll spend cleaning and maintaining your venues will be about 10 times what you think, even for a DIY space. Actually, especially for a DIY place since you will arguably be dealing with a much wider array of decorating techniques. I have fairly low overhead as a wedding planner (at least in comparison to other wedding vendors), and I make less than minimum wage when you price it out. Luckily, I do this more as a hobby. If I wanted to do this full time, I’d have to triple, if not quadruple, my rates.
I kind of think your first sentence is in jest, but I wanted to comment just in case it was a little bit serious. Especially if you build a venue brand new, you won’t make any money for at least a couple years, probably longer. It’s also important to note that the economy is not doing good things for the wedding industry right now. The average cost of a wedding is not rising like it used to (many surveys actually show a marked decrease in recent years), and people aren’t spending as much on luxury items like weddings. I think this could be doable, but you’d need to do a lot of research for a long time. My suggestion would be to start networking with venues in your area and learning from those owners. Once you learn more, I think you’d be able to give the hive more details that would allow people to make better comments on how much they’d be willing to pay.
I hope this does not seem discouraging. Obviously, I recently got into the industry, so I think there’s a lot of good to balance the frustrating parts. I just wish I had gotten some of that advice before I started. Good luck!
Post # 14
Lilangel58209: Someone in my area built a barn on their property for the sole purpose of doing what you said- renting it out for events.
They provide nothing but the barn- no tables, no chairs, nothing.
Guess how much they charge? $7,000. RIDICULOUS!
It’s a beautiful barn, but not for $7k.
So, yes, you could make a killing. Even with just a barn.
Post # 15
i did not find that prices were jacked up because of the wedding. the prices were what they were regarless if i was having a birthday party or retirement dinner.
i live in a major city.