Dry Run for our New Elopement Package

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Proud Texan's picture
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DW and I have been working at a fever pitch to put together our new Elopement Package (thank you Kathleen for the innspiration!).   It's coming together nicely and though not yet posted, I've compiled the web page featuring all the information.  We hope to roll it out next month.

We wanted to see if we were on the right track and possibly do a dry run before we went public and, as fortune would have it,  we have been given the opportunity to do just that.

A good friend of ours son is wanting to get married and they didn't want an elaborate affair.   We had the bride to be,  our friend, her mother and our friend's daughter came out to preview our place to see if it would work for them.

We are apparently exactly what she was looking for and when we told her that we would be providing much of our Elopement Package gratis (because we wanted to see how it looked and how well everything went together) she was visibly moved.  

That makes our hard work worth it. 

We know that we are going for a niche market and that's O.K., but I think the demand is going to surprise us.

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Whenever you put together a business plan,  you have to go over every eventuality in your head to head off any potential problems.   One thing that occurred to me yesterday was wondering IF our little Elopement Package would be covered under our current Liability Insurance Policy.

I called our Allstate agent and his first impression was that it would be, but he would call and verify it.  

Sure enough,  it's not and we will have to get a rider on our policy to cover it.   We will be limited to a maximum of 10 persons per ceremony and we can not conduct any "events" on our property, i.e.  wedding receptions.  Curiously, he said most of the liability was for the officiant/minister conducting the ceremony. I explained to him that I would be conducting the ceremonies, so he's gong to have call the underwriters again today to see if that changes anything.

So, for those of you already doing weddings and elopements,  it would be in your best interest to check with your insurance carrier to make sure you are covered.  If you're not,  you'll need to get yourself covered or rethink that aspect of your business.

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Proud Texan wrote:

Whenever you put together a business plan,  you have to go over every eventuality in your head to head off any potential problems.   One thing that occurred to me yesterday was wondering IF our little Elopement Package would be covered under our current Liability Insurance Policy.

I called our Allstate agent and his first impression was that it would be, but he would call and verify it.  

Sure enough,  it's not and we will have to get a rider on our policy to cover it.   We will be limited to a maximum of 10 persons per ceremony and we can not conduct any "events" on our property, i.e.  wedding receptions.  Curiously, he said most of the liability was for the officiant/minister conducting the ceremony. I explained to him that I would be conducting the ceremonies, so he's gong to have call the underwriters again today to see if that changes anything.

So, for those of you already doing weddings and elopements,  it would be in your best interest to check with your insurance carrier to make sure you are covered.  If you're not,  you'll need to get yourself covered or rethink that aspect of your business.

Great information PT!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

Whenever you put together a business plan,  you have to go over every eventuality in your head to head off any potential problems.   One thing that occurred to me yesterday was wondering IF our little Elopement Package would be covered under our current Liability Insurance Policy.

I called our Allstate agent and his first impression was that it would be, but he would call and verify it.  

Sure enough,  it's not and we will have to get a rider on our policy to cover it.   We will be limited to a maximum of 10 persons per ceremony and we can not conduct any "events" on our property, i.e.  wedding receptions.  Curiously, he said most of the liability was for the officiant/minister conducting the ceremony. I explained to him that I would be conducting the ceremonies, so he's gong to have call the underwriters again today to see if that changes anything.

So, for those of you already doing weddings and elopements,  it would be in your best interest to check with your insurance carrier to make sure you are covered.  If you're not,  you'll need to get yourself covered or rethink that aspect of your business.

Great information PT!

I heard from my insurance agent.  Because this is a new venture,  in the eyes of the insurance company,  we open ourselves to increased exposure.   I get it from a business standpoint,  but it really flys in the face of logic.   We're adding the rider to our policy.  The potential earnings far outway the costs.

 

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 12 Terrific Inns That Offer Elopement Packages for $1000 or Less


12 Terrific Inns That Offer Elopement Packages for $1000 or Less Huffington Post This bed and breakfast has its very own chapel. For only $575, have a candlelight ceremony in the 200-year-old adobe chapel for up to 15 guests. A non-denominational minster and witnesses will be provided. After the ceremony, relax in the bridal suite ...

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I saw this! was going to link it but you got there first!

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I saw this! was going to link it but you got there first!

If you look you will see it is an ILOVEINNS feature. Not sure who is on iloveinns or not, but like BnBfinder they have some nice marketing in place from time to time!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I saw this! was going to link it but you got there first!

If you look you will see it is an ILOVEINNS feature. Not sure who is on iloveinns or not, but like BnBfinder they have some nice marketing in place from time to time!

They have been hounding me lately! E-mails, multiple phone calls...I'm sick of them!!!

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"Our Basic Elopement Package for a Couple Only Includes:"

Worded this way makes it sounds like the package only includes xyz. You might want to change the wording to Our Couples Only Elopement Package includes:

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 Or perhaps, "Our Basic Elopement Package is limited to include the following services and amenities":

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Silverspoon wrote:

 Or perhaps, "Our Basic Elopement Package is limited to include the following services and amenities":

 That's a bit wordy and in passive tense.

What's wrong with "Our Basic Elopement Package includes the following services and amenities"?    I'm going to have a separate web page for each package so there will be no confusion and spell it out.   You can't assume that anything that isn't said is "understood"

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Proud Texan wrote:

I'm going to have a separate web page for each package so there will be no confusion and spell it out.   You can't assume that anything that isn't said is "understood"

AMEN!

Is the officiant included? 

And you may want to have a link to the licensing laws and location.  Or provide once they contact you.  You may not have the problem we do as we are so close to the state line.  Here they have to have it 72 hrs before the ceremony (waivers can be purchased) and offices are only open M-F. 

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We are a same day State - have been for a few years now. However, Courthouse is only open M-F.

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Proud Texan wrote:

I'm going to have a separate web page for each package so there will be no confusion and spell it out.   You can't assume that anything that isn't said is "understood"

AMEN!

Is the officiant included? 

And you may want to have a link to the licensing laws and location.  Or provide once they contact you.  You may not have the problem we do as we are so close to the state line.  Here they have to have it 72 hrs before the ceremony (waivers can be purchased) and offices are only open M-F. 

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copperhead wrote:

Proud Texan wrote:

I'm going to have a separate web page for each package so there will be no confusion and spell it out.   You can't assume that anything that isn't said is "understood"

AMEN!

Is the officiant included? 

And you may want to have a link to the licensing laws and location.  Or provide once they contact you.  You may not have the problem we do as we are so close to the state line.  Here they have to have it 72 hrs before the ceremony (waivers can be purchased) and offices are only open M-F. 

Way ahead of you.   Done. Done and Done.   In Texas, it's easier to get married than it is divorced.    We have a 72 hour waiting period after the license is issued.

I AM THE OFFICIANT.   I won't be marrying anyone unless the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed.

I went online and got ordained in less than five minutes.  I couldn't believe it, but It's totally legal.   I have verified it with the state and county clerk.   As long as you are recognized by a church enity as being ordained,  anyone can legally perform a marriage ceremony.  Because of the separation between church and state,  the state can not say what does or does not constitute a church.  

If you read the Texas state family code,  ALL marriages are considered valid unless challenged and they make it very difficult to challenge a marriage.  They set it up this way to insure that births are legitimate and that property goes where it's intended.  Basically,  once you have filed for a marriage license,  everything else is a formality.   In Texas,   you can live with each other for 7 months proclaiming that you are married and you are.  

Most of what we attribute to a marriage ceremony is cultural and not legal.  The legalities are easy.   It's being married that's hard.

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The legalities are easy.   It's being married that's hard.

 

Ain't that the truth!!!!!!!

Hillbilly's picture
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 Photography is a place you can make a lot of extra money! Upload them to photoreflect! I would still have at least 2 wedding pkg. it looks to you have put all your eggs in the same basket!

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Bob wrote:

 Photography is a place you can make a lot of extra money! Upload them to photoreflect! I would still have at least 2 wedding pkg. it looks to you have put all your eggs in the same basket!

 Neither of us are photographers.  That's why we offer the services of a proffessional if they want it.  

 And we have a second package that is the ceremony only without the stay and frills.  What I posted is our better package.

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Here is an excerpt from our soon to be published web page on the subject

Our Basic Elopement Package for a Couple Only Includes:

  • Two-Night's Stay in one of our guest cottages.
  • Ceremony in the natural setting of your choice.*
  • Ceremony performed by the Innkeeper.
  • Petite Wedding Cake.
  • Sparkling Beverage for toasting.
  • Photo DVD of Ceremony with photos taken by innkeeper.
  • Flameless Candles in your room.
  • Rose Petals Scattered on your bed.
  • Breakfast at your leisure each morning from 8:30 to 10 a.m.   <------(We normally have a fixed time of 8:30 a.m.)
  • Early Check-in (no earlier than 1p.m.) or Late Check-out (no later than 1 p.m.) Subject to room availability.
  • Ceremony and toast scheduled for one-half hour (extended to one hour if professional photographer engaged or if extra guests are in attendance.)

* In case of inclement weather, ceremony will be held indoors.

Al la Carte Package Enhancements:   (prices will be shown on website)

  • Bride's Hand-Tied Fresh Bouquet 
  • Groom's Boutonniere 
  • 2 to 6 Additional Wedding Guests – Waived with 2nd cottage rental. 
  • Professional Photographer for One Hour - Advanced Booking Required. 
  • Customized Commemorative Certificate. view sample 
  • One Dozen Red Roses for your Room 
  • NY York TX Zipline Adventure – Get 9 ziplines for the price of 6! $   <---(Very big attraction in our area.)

We're going to let the wedding package pay for a new pergola and rustic wedding arch,  but we're not sure we're going to need them yet.  

I did want to add, that though same-sex marriages are not legal in Texas,  apparently "Commitment Ceremonies"  are a big deal here.   We do not discriminate against any source of income.

 

 

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I know you don't take children but was wondering for others - how about naming ceremonies for babies? could be a money spinner, what is especially popular in the uk is to plant a tree during the ceremony which would be fine if you have a large area of land - especially if you need any trees planting!

Wouldn't do for us as we have very little outside space.

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Sounds good.

How about offering breakfast basket in your cottage. Or do you do that already? Most newlyweds will probably not want to show up at the breakfast table the next morning. Smiling

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catlady wrote:

Sounds good.

How about offering breakfast basket in your cottage. Or do you do that already? Most newlyweds will probably not want to show up at the breakfast table the next morning. Smiling

There's really no place to eat in the rooms,  but we have thought of doing a continental breakfast since there is a mini-fridge in the room.

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Proud Texan wrote:

I did want to add, that though same-sex marriages are not legal in Texas,  apparently "Commitment Ceremonies"  are a big deal here.   We do not discriminate against any source of income.

 

Definitely add the info about this. This is a major draw.

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gillumhouse's picture
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I would amend that to SILK Rose Petals - real rose petals will ruin sheets

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gillumhouse wrote:

I would amend that to SILK Rose Petals - real rose petals will ruin sheets

We aleady do that.  This is already part of our popular romance package.

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sounds great.

ask to take pictures for your elopement package page (with faces somewhat blurred if that is what the couple wants) ... seeing pictures of the real thing always helps sell (as you know).  just don't picture extra perks you won't include in the package ... unless you plan a 'tiered' pricing elopment.

let us know how it goes!

 

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Hillbilly's picture
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I think you will enjoy the extra money these will bring in. We have been doing this for about 5 years now. We have moved on to having 3 different wedding pkgs. Weddings are a place that if you offer it, they will buy it. I would recommend this. I would also say that the fall is one of the busiest times for weddings. We are almost full already for weddings. If this is something you really want to do than do not wait any longer. You will miss out on the season. I will also say this. "Make sure you stick to what is in writing. If you are not careful, they will take advantage of you and your property. Have a meeting either in person or on the phone. Explain everything that you are going to offer for the pkg they pick. Everything is is an add on. They will ask you to do more than you bargained for if you let them. This can also be a huge income maker for you". Good Luck!!!!

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Fabulous!!! I am glad you are getting the dry run (very generous of you but also helpful TO you for tweaking purposes).. It was my "dry run" that gave me the idea. Glad it will be helping you with your offerings.

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Kay Nein's picture
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 Please give us all the dirty details after your trial run.  We might be interested in putting together something like that also.

Country Girl's picture
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Good luck! I can't wait to hear how everything turns out. Elopements are very popular right now. 

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 That is such a wonderful thing to do. Good luck. I know they will surely appreciate it.

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