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Random: Anyone own a wedding/event venue?

bgaidan

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Probably a long shot, but P̶B̶B̶ IBB seems to always turn up someone that's done just about anything...

I'm looking at a property that, in my current opinion, would make an amazing wedding venue...among other things. It's a tad (a lot) out of my comfortable price range, but there are several features of it that could turn in to revenue generators, but the wedding thing is the most obvious.

Rambling thoughts inbound...

I'm not really sure how to approach the feasibility of the idea or the $$ potential. I wouldn't be able to dedicate much time to it and in no way would expect it to replace my day job, but I would hope it would be enough to help cover the excess mortgage that I'd be taking on. My thought would be to team up with a planner to handle the details....basically I supply the property/building and you do the rest. Or possibly just rent it out as the empty space the party or their planner takes it from there.

I feel like there's going to be a huge demand in the next year or so for all the weddings that have been delayed for the 'rona. I'm not really sure what kind of demand will remain after that, but I think it could be enough to pay the bills. I think I'd really only need like 4-6 events a year to cover the "extra" cost on the mortgage.


Things I'm trying to figure out:
-Zoning (it's very rural, so I don't think there'd be an issue here.)
-Insurance - the property/building is actually a separate parcel from the residence. Could potentially work that in my favor to insure it. There would also likely eventually be other commercial ventures on the property that I'd have to work through.
-Scheduling/planning/etc. - I'd likely sub all this out to a 3rd party of some sort. I think there are websites that specifically serve this purpose.


I'm mostly rambling...but hoping there's someone around that does something similar and has some insight.
 
My Mom owned a very successful BnB/wedding venue for about 7 years before her restaurant. I could put you in touch with her if you'd like.
 
My Mom owned a very successful BnB/wedding venue for about 7 years before her restaurant. I could put you in touch with her if you'd like.

Maybe down the road if I get more serious. This would be strictly a venue....with potentially 3 bedrooms that could be used as lodging, though it'd make more sense to turn them in to "prep" rooms for the wedding party.


The original idea was to use the building as an air bnb, but I think it's just far enough out of town that there wouldn't be enough demand. But it'd be one hell of a place to throw a party.
 
Around these parts there is a war going on between the tavern league and the wedding barns. The weddings barns are letting the weddings serve alcohol on their own. This is being done without a alcohol permits. The tavern league is pissed because not only are they losing business, the wedding barns don’t need a expensive and highly regulated permit. It’s a pretty crazy fight they are having.

If you do decide to do the wedding thing make sure you do your homework on the whole alcohol deal.
 
Around these parts there is a war going on between the tavern league and the wedding barns. The weddings barns are letting the weddings serve alcohol on their own. This is being done without a alcohol permits. The tavern league is pissed because not only are they losing business, the wedding barns don’t need a expensive and highly regulated permit. It’s a pretty crazy fight they are having.

If you do decide to do the wedding thing make sure you do your homework on the whole alcohol deal.

This probably falls under BYOB for the wedding party and doesn't fall on the venue. Don't need a license to buy booze for fam and friends on private property I'd assume. Especially if the wedding party is supplying the booze. The tavern association can pound sand, they sell it to mostly irresponsible people and SHOULD be permitted at high cost to do so.
 
I feel like dealing with a bride that may or may not constantly change her mind, then still end up hating exactly what she wanted, is something I would avoid at all costs.
 
This probably falls under BYOB for the wedding party and doesn't fall on the venue. Don't need a license to buy booze for fam and friends on private property I'd assume. Especially if the wedding party is supplying the booze. The tavern association can pound sand, they sell it to mostly irresponsible people and SHOULD be permitted at high cost to do so.

That would be my interpretation of my state's laws too....but a very good point and something to consider.
 
I feel like dealing with a bride that may or may not constantly change her mind, then still end up hating exactly what she wanted, is something I would avoid at all costs.

Mostly why I'd leave the planning to someone else. There are people that do that for a living. I'd just wan to supply and empty venue....even if it meant less money coming in to me.
 
Around here there seem to be 2 types - either full service (many sub out to a company) or here is a place, nothing more.

The second type is the only way I would do anything wedding related. Be very clear what you include and what is not. Don't have extras or oh you can borrow this things. You get what you see, guarantee the grass will be cut, parking is here, done.

​​​An example - some friends of the ex were having a wedding, some random farm place. They said they had a PA that could be used for free if they weren't bringing a dj. They took it, but it wouldn't work, who knows why very well could have been user error. But they got pissed and bitched at the venue for the free PA not working. If it had never been offered it wouldn't have mattered.
 
Around here there seem to be 2 types - either full service (many sub out to a company) or here is a place, nothing more.

The second type is the only way I would do anything wedding related. Be very clear what you include and what is not. Don't have extras or oh you can borrow this things. You get what you see, guarantee the grass will be cut, parking is here, done.

​​​An example - some friends of the ex were having a wedding, some random farm place. They said they had a PA that could be used for free if they weren't bringing a dj. They took it, but it wouldn't work, who knows why very well could have been user error. But they got pissed and bitched at the venue for the free PA not working. If it had never been offered it wouldn't have mattered.

All good points.

My thought would be to eventually figure out who the good local rental places, DJ's, planners, etc. are and get them on the "good list" of places to suggest, but I wouldn't deal with them directly. I feel like most people that would use a venue like this are probably working with a planner who organizes all the little details and throws 20%+ on top of any rentals or services. Ideally, you get in good with a couple of planners like that and they bring the clients to you.
 
Don't forget grounds, building maintenance, along with cleaning people on staff....if there's winter that also means snow removal. A decent size venue will have someone working at least a couple days a week on that stuff, but immaculate grounds and a clean venue will need someone in every single day. You'll need someone in house to answer the phones and deal with the day to day business aspects (billing, reception, payroll, etc.), this may or may not be able to be the same person as the planner but typically someone who is good at planning isn't good at day to day business. For the place to be successful and desirable, figure at least three full time staff members (building/grounds/cleaning, reception/business, planner/events coordinator).

Good wedding venues are booked every single weekend for a year in advance. Standards for wedding venues are EXTREMELY high, brides want the perfect day and the perfect location. What's the capacity? Is it a single room only? Having a 200-300 cap main room (typical wedding size) with a 50 cap auxiliary room (small wedding, secondary events) will generally bring in the most business.

You will want to branch out into corporate events (think Christmas parties, retreats, etc.) to keep the place busy enough year round, if those ever pick up again. The requirements for those events such as good catering and AV are important. I assume the venue has a full size commercial kitchen?

I think you're underestimating what it takes to have more than just a shit hole in the wall that brings in the bottom dollar clients that trust me, you don't want to deal with.



My experience is as an events DJ in my younger days who did quite a few weddings and other special events.
 
Don't forget grounds, building maintenance, along with cleaning people on staff....if there's winter that also means snow removal. A decent size venue will have someone working at least a couple days a week on that stuff, but immaculate grounds and a clean venue will need someone in every single day. You'll need someone in house to answer the phones and deal with the day to day business aspects (billing, reception, payroll, etc.), this may or may not be able to be the same person as the planner but typically someone who is good at planning isn't good at day to day business. For the place to be successful and desirable, figure at least three full time staff members (building/grounds/cleaning, reception/business, planner/events coordinator).

Good wedding venues are booked every single weekend for a year in advance. Standards for wedding venues are EXTREMELY high, brides want the perfect day and the perfect location. What's the capacity? Is it a single room only? Having a 200-300 cap main room (typical wedding size) with a 50 cap auxiliary room (small wedding, secondary events) will generally bring in the most business.

You will want to branch out into corporate events (think Christmas parties, retreats, etc.) to keep the place busy enough year round, if those ever pick up again. The requirements for those events such as good catering and AV are important. I assume the venue has a full size commercial kitchen?

I think you're underestimating what it takes to have more than just a shit hole in the wall that brings in the bottom dollar clients that trust me, you don't want to deal with.



My experience is as an events DJ in my younger days who did quite a few weddings and other special events.


I don't think you're getting the concept of a "farm venue".
 
Don't forget grounds, building maintenance, along with cleaning people on staff....if there's winter that also means snow removal. A decent size venue will have someone working at least a couple days a week on that stuff, but immaculate grounds and a clean venue will need someone in every single day. You'll need someone in house to answer the phones and deal with the day to day business aspects (billing, reception, payroll, etc.), this may or may not be able to be the same person as the planner but typically someone who is good at planning isn't good at day to day business. For the place to be successful and desirable, figure at least three full time staff members (building/grounds/cleaning, reception/business, planner/events coordinator).

Good wedding venues are booked every single weekend for a year in advance. Standards for wedding venues are EXTREMELY high, brides want the perfect day and the perfect location. What's the capacity? Is it a single room only? Having a 200-300 cap main room (typical wedding size) with a 50 cap auxiliary room (small wedding, secondary events) will generally bring in the most business.

You will want to branch out into corporate events (think Christmas parties, retreats, etc.) to keep the place busy enough year round, if those ever pick up again. The requirements for those events such as good catering and AV are important. I assume the venue has a full size commercial kitchen?

I think you're underestimating what it takes to have more than just a shit hole in the wall that brings in the bottom dollar clients that trust me, you don't want to deal with.



My experience is as an events DJ in my younger days who did quite a few weddings and other special events.

you live somewhere fancier than me...
 
you live somewhere fancier than me...

No shit. An old farm in rural NC does not have "grounds". Nor does it have a "200-300 cap main room with a 50 cap auxiliary room".

This is an example of a relatively local place that charges $4-6k for a 50 seat wedding. I would potentially have an indoor setting available as well as outdoor setting similar to this.
https://www.wedding-spot.com/venue/7146/Frannys-Farm/
Franny-s-Farm-Leicester-NC-c4b846ec-1e63-44b3-b83b-ad5e8d692fe4-97450e389c42885476f1fbe9bc5bca5a.jpg


Fun story: My neighbor's daughter got married last weekend. They put a rented trellis in the front yard and maybe 20 chairs and then a big white tent in the back yard for the reception. I live in an old subdivision (circa 1980-ish) and I think their lot is about an acre.
 
you live somewhere fancier than me...

Yes, in a mid size fairly affluent city...but that is the demographic for 90% of our venues here. The other ones are 500+ cap. I can't think of many that are sub 100 cap.
 
Well, took a couple weeks, but I'm under contract for this place. It's actually TWO houses, plus a big shop, a barn and a pole barn.

The original house is about 3,600sf and was originally a barn that was built in the early 1800's and converted to a house (3 bed, 2 bath) in the 1980's. This is the building I would like to turn in to a venue. Awesome shop in the background.
house2.jpg


Second house was built in '09 for the owner's mother, as a replica of the original house. It's about 1,600 sf, 2 bed, 1 bath.
house1.jpg


Lots more details coming after I close in 3-4 weeks.
 
What state? I need an awesome place to get married! No bridezilla I swear!!! We just want to be able to have both our families get together and do bbq for food with kegs for beer without any god damn covid restrictions.

I’ve been to some awesome weddings and been in awesome weddings at venues like that. All outdoors and just hicks hanging out.
 
What state? I need an awesome place to get married! No bridezilla I swear!!! We just want to be able to have both our families get together and do bbq for food with kegs for beer without any god damn covid restrictions.

I’ve been to some awesome weddings and been in awesome weddings at venues like that. All outdoors and just hicks hanging out.

North Carolina.

I still have a lot of research to do to see if it's even feasible. Mostly related to zoning and insurance requirements. There's also the whole plumbing/septic thing...which will likely lead to having to use porta potties or the fancier bathroom trailer units.

(My fallback plan is to live in the big house and rent the small one out if all else fails.)
 
Sounds similar to our wedding venue, which worked out great IMO, and from everyone I’ve talked to. A few things we found/appreciated.

Ours had tables and chairs that were included as part of the rental price. That was a big deal and one of the main reasons we went with them. When you add up the cost of renting them and a dance floor to put out in some field, you’re halfway there to a whole venue. There were no linens, decorations, anything else, just round plastic tables and chairs. They also had layout diagrams for certain numbers of guests.

They would not do a BYOB deal unless you purchased some type of separate alcohol insurance. Otherwise, you hired bartenders who carried the insurance. Big deal if you get hit with a bodily injury/fatality DWI.

We opted to to have busses for the guests as it was a 30 minute ride from town/decent hotels and was on NYE. Didn’t want the aforementioned DWI/crash potential hanging over our heads. Not purely liability, but would suck if one of your guest died on the way home.

There was a commercial kitchen, but it was only available for caterers, not “my uncle is going to cook for everyone.” Pretty sure they would have been fine with you just ordering 30 pizzas and having a serving station without using the kitchen.

Make sure the electrical system is setup to handle a band and soundboard, and have a mic and speakers they can plug into if someone is going the “playlist” route.

For all lf the above, I’d put together a list of “preferred vendors.” We got married in the same town we were living, so it wasn’t a huge deal to line things up, but I can imagine the nightmare if you were from out of town and the venue is rural where everyone you’re choosing as a vendor might not be down with traveling there.

You really need bathrooms. I’ve been to weddings with the trailer bathrooms but they were at family ranches and stuff. You don’t need anything insane, 2-3 pissers per gender will suffice.
 
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