So, my Wedding Woes entry prompted a TON of comments, suggestions and ideas. Today, my sister had a really great one and I think it might totally be a winner: renting a house for a weekend.
You may be all like, wha…? but hear me out. I live in Florida. Florida is a tourist state with a TON of waterfront/lakefront/bayfront/beachfront properties. Florida also has a shitty real estate market right now. Things aren’t selling. And if they do, it’s for pennies on the upside-down mortgage. So people aren’t selling and instead, rent out their luxury homes as vacation rentals. You can get them sometimes as a little as two or three nights. And a lot of the places go for only a couple hundred a night.
There are SO many pros to this idea.
- Private venue with no forced food minimums, vendor restrictions, etc.
- Not sharing the space with multiple other bridal parties (like places with multiple rental spaces do)
- Far cheaper than a simple hall/banquet space
- Full kitchen for storing/preparing food (save on catering costs)
- Full master bedroom doubles as built-in bridal dressing suite.
- Multi-day rental means set up the day before so no rush the day of wedding itself.
- Private home so no liquor license needed.
Not to mention, most of these places have decks or balconies so I can do both the ceremony and the reception in one place. Set up the ceremony overlooking the water, then open up the house and deck areas for the party. Plus, many of these kinda of homes have home theater systems, so load up playlists on an iPod or something and you don’t need a DJ even. Or, make a photo montage and play it on the TV or something.
There are SO many perks to this idea. I’m seriously excited right now. And, since I live here, I can even have the benefit of touring the places we like to make sure they stand up to the photos online. I don’t need to tell them it’s for a wedding. I can just say we’re having a family reunion or something and need a larger space for everyone.
Even if they want a week rental (some places require a week minimum), Love and I can take the extra days as a mini honeymoon. It’s still going to cheaper than just the cost of a hall/banquet space!
Most important, it gives me the restriction-free setting I’ve been trying to find. No one telling me how my wedding has to be or what services I must use. I can come in, get it all prepped and decorated as I want it. No time limits, no extra cost if the party runs long, etc. So now I’m really excited and I’m already starting to do some research into various rental properties. There are SO MANY in the area, I’m confident we can find something really nice.
So yay!! I finally feel like this just might be able to happen after all. 😀