(Closed) Historic Mansions–Pros & Cons

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
253 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

This may be your experience, but I’m also having my wedding at a historic house and mine has been very different.  Granted, my venue is part of a state park and not privately owned, but I don’t think that matters so much — what really matters is asking questions and getting things in writing BEFORE you book, not trying to get accommodations after the fact when they have no obligation to give you what you want.

Expense: I agree with this, my venue is also quite pricey.  It’s just a personal choice of whether it’s worth it to you or not.

Event Coordinators: we don’t have one, we’re pretty much on our own.  The woman in charge of bookings has been helpful, but there’s no hand-holding whatsoever.  On the other hand, the answer to pretty much everything I’ve asked has been "yes, if you feel like doing it yourself."

Timing: we have our venue from the time the park opens to the time it closes, but all clean-up must be completed before closing or we get charged extra.  This should be clearly spelled out in your contract, no surprises.

Caterers: some historic sites have preferred lists, some have exclusive caterers, some have an open policy (which mine does).  Check with the site before booking, and if you want to bring a caterer in that isn’t on their list, get approval and the terms of the deal before you book.

Other issues: the main issue I have is that we have to figure out a backup plan in case of rain, since my venue doesn’t actually have a separate rain site.  We knew it in advance, and the possible inconvenience is worth it to us.  It wouldn’t be worth it to everyone.  Again, ask questions, get answers, and get things in writing if you have any special issues you want to be certain about.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that all historic sites are bad just because you’ve had a bad experience with ONE.  This could be helpful to other brides using or considering the same venue as you, but it by no means holds true for all venues and people should know that.  I’m sorry that the people you’re dealing with are difficult and that you’ve had to pay extra — but some of these are things you should have verified in advance, so it’s not 100% their fault.  I hope your wedding goes smoothly, though!

Post # 4
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I’m so sorry you’ve run into so many issues with your planning =(…as one who is also going the historic mansion/estate route, I can say that it seems the base rules are similar — a lot more expensive, a lot more rules, many preferred/exclusive vendor lists, etc. I was originally going to have my whole wedding there but in the end compromised and will only have the ceremony there and the reception in a nearby and much cheaper location. But I also have to say the experience will vary from location ot location. At my venue, my event coordinator has been nothing but flexible and accommodating! We will be able to bring in outside vendors and negotiated adding a couple of hours to our site for free. So I agree with HL and think it just comes down to being very clear about their existing rules, negotiating it all out before you commit, and getting it all down in writing by the time you sign the dotted line. Anyway, I also wish you luck on your planning and hope it comes together beautifully in the end :)!

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