out door weddings

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We are finally ready to offer outdoor weddings this spring. Now is the time to advertise and get the word out, I know and am working on that. I think this will add nice revenue. We are in an area where there is not really anything else available near by (at least 30 miles) for outdoor ceremonies.

I have searched this form for info on B&B doing outdoor weddings and can't find any (I searched the 'resources' section). Is there somewhere I can go to find any old posts on the subject (there doesn't seem to be an alphabetical listing of old posts). 

Do any of you have any words of wisdom you'd like to share??  




Arks's picture

I'll paste below a few wedding thoughts I've accumulated from other posts over the last couple of years. Maybe there will be a few things to help.

I’m happy to share some insight as we have been happily doing weddings for 12 years now, but our first still gives me nightmares!

Brides and Grooms will walk all over you and your B&B until you lay down the law of just who is in charge (that being you of course). It’s not because they are being rude, they are just so wrapped up in their event that they can see nothing else.

We will meet with a Prospective couple for one 1-hour meeting, after that, it’s sign the wedding contract or cut yourself loose. Otherwise you leave yourself open the the "if we are going to do our event here...” statements. Believe me, they know darn well if they are or are not after that first hour meeting.

We charge a $60/hour wedding consulting fee. We actually have never had anyone balk at the fee and it forces the couple to make some decisions before calling/emailing you with every little thing. Typically we still earn an additional $2000 just on that fee. But, since the event is held at our Inn, everything must go through us. Catering questions, floral consultations, etc. That way, nothing happens on event day that we were not prepared for.

I would recommend never booking a wedding & reception without requiring the entire property be booked. It is just too disruptive to the other guests.


Official policy regarding weddings.

My first thought is to create a thoughtfully worded statement to the effect that, while our home is lovely and perhaps larger than the average family's home, it can, for reasons of both comfort and safety, only accommodate XX number of people, including children between the ages of 0 and 18.  X guests can be accommodated as stay over/breakfast next morning guests, while an additional x can join us for the ceremony and refreshments after in the public areas of the house. [BLAME THE FIRE DEPARTMENT FOR LIMITS]

This statement would be followed with information about exactly which parts ot the property guests would and would not have access to, information about meals, accommodating a wedding cake (this is an area of concern for me).

Require them to get their own insurance, both for injuries and damage to the place. I'm thinking of a nice little brochure with some picture and policies to give a couple an idea of what would be possible.

Helpful web page: HERE

• They must rent all rooms. If they think they want the inn to prep and primp they need to rent them the night prior as well.
• There is an PER HOUR charge if they stay over, they will always stay over. If they have to pay they will get everyone in gear.
• Are they cleaning up afterward? If so, have that in there, cleaned up BY 4pm or whatever.
• Have a HUGE % as the deposit and have your cancellation time frame IN STEEL. Ie 30 days to make any major changes or cancellations. Take this deposit and ALSO have them sign a waiver to be paid for damages. They need to SIGN on the dotted line and date it agreeing to your policies, even friends, make them sign.
• Alcohol. Even at small weddings, relatives hit the sauce if they can find it. HIDE IT until the reception.
• Don't let caterer or guests in your kitchen.


All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain


gillumhouse's picture

designate, define, and enforce where parking is to take place. All other areas subject to tow - and enforce it! Otherwise they will park anywhere and everywhere. think of that lovey lawn you used to have if you do not do this.

egoodell's picture

 One tip from another B&B here that does lots of weddings. 

Get everything in writing. Add a $ per hour for changes or you'll be working lots of hours for free.

ABSOLUTELY make the bride pay for event insurance for the wedding. The B&B that told me that had this experience: during the dancing at the reception the father of the groom came limping up to the innkeeper. She asked what happened and he told her he tripped and hurt his leg, but not to worry, he was sure that she had insurance.

She sweetly replied, "Oh yes, your daughter in law purchased insurance for the wedding so your injury will be covered."

He was seen later dancing away.



Riki Goodell
Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
Come! Let us show you the beautiful Monticello Appellation!



Thank you for the info. I'll def be looking into where they can purchase 'event' insurance. I did find a few links from the forum regarding this subject. But any new info would be helpful too.

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