This weekend I will cover a very popular style of wedding here in Spain, villa weddings.
As you search for venues and wedding planners you may notice many wedding planners do not offer private villa weddings as part of their service and prefer to stick to the hotel and wedding venue packages.
Why is this? Planning a wedding in a villa or private estate is far more complicated than a hotel or wedding venue already offering a choice of wedding packages to choose from.
A wedding planner solely working with pre existing venue packages usually has added services such as organising church weddings and transport which is appealing to couples needing this extra service for their destination wedding but won´t have supplier contacts such as portable toilets!
So from a wedding planners view point these weddings are far easier to manage and many don´t want the complications and workload a private villa or outside the box wedding requires.
Villa weddings are more complicated to organise and require an experienced wedding planner on board specialising in creating bespoke weddings.
Someone who will help you find a venue, understand you are creating your dream day from a blank canvas and have the contacts and knowledge to assist you plus the skills to pull it all together on the day.
I get lots of enquiries looking for private villa weddings and here are some pluses and minuses to think about before embarking down this wedding venue route.
Private villas require a weeks booking, very few will take on a long weekend booking unless it is out of high or medium season. A handful of villa rentals offer a minimum booking of 3 to 4 days. So it is more than likely you have to book a villa for at least a week.
If you are happy with this, prepared to live with your family and friends for the entire week, and watch your wedding being set up and taken down, then we move onto the next point!
Most holiday rentals here work from a Saturday to a Saturday changeover.
Unless you want to book a villa for two weeks with a weekend falling in the middle you will have to host your wedding on a weekday.
Many of our past clients have booked villas and had their wedding, for example, on a Thursday, as close to the weekend as possible but allowing a day to recover and a post wedding pool party with a BBQ.
Now I mentioned previously you are starting with a blank canvas, so it is not just a matter of rocking up, booking a caterer to do a nice Spanish BBQ, buy your booze from the supermarkets and your wedding is ready.
You need to consider all the following elements when looking at villas for weddings.
Are there enough toilets, does the property have good lighting and a sound system and is it easily accessible for large catering vans, coaches and minibuses?
Is your caterer providing tables, chairs, linens, glassware, cutlery, plates, etc.
If you are buying in your booze where are you going to chill it, do you have enough fridges, a bar, ice, enough glassware for the drinks and who is going to clean everything up as the night goes on? Who is going to clean up the next day?
I do recall one of our wedding planners getting a panicked call from the best man the morning after a wedding asking when the cleaners were coming. The couple had decided not to book cleaners even though they were planning for all their guests to come back for a post wedding BBQ and the villa was in a right state. We offered them the choice to quickly get cleaners sent in but they did not want to step on the bride and grooms toes, so I think the best man and bridesmaids had to tackle the job which probably did not go down well especially with hangovers!
No music is allowed outside after midnight unless you are in a remote location so does your villa have enough inside space to continue the party? If you have chosen a villa in a remote location be prepared to pay suppliers extra travelling costs to get to your venue.
If the points I have made are taken into consideration and you have booked your dream villa for the week, here are the plus points 🙂
You can choose from a wide range of suppliers as long as you are organised and booked well in advance.
Good caterers and suppliers get booked up early especially during the busy wedding season, the earlier you start, the better.
A lot of the larger caterers will include the furniture, linens, crockery and glassware along with waiter service in their packages, the smaller ones won´t so do bear this in mind and check what is included when you are booking your catering as the costs of hiring in all these things really add up.
You can hire in long wooden tables, different chairs and style up your wedding which is always a lot of fun, create a kids corner with a teepee tent and set up a lovely chill out area if your budget will extend to bringing in lots of furniture and details.
Make sure your villa has enough space to host a ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner and dancing without too much moving around of chairs. If it is all in the same garden your guests will see your tables beforehand so be prepared to lose the element of surprise unless your venue offers different areas for each part of your wedding day.
Consider your ceremony time, if it is too early you will be paying for catering and suppliers to be there all day, keep it tidy and not too drawn out as your guests will get bored if there is a long afternoon ahead of them before dinner. There is only so much garden gazing they can do!
I think the beauty of hosting a villa wedding far outweighs the points I detail above as long as you are prepared for bringing everything to your wedding and the costs involved. Often if you are providing accommodation on site for your family and friends they will also chip in towards the cost of the villa hire.
You have much more freedom to choose the catering style, decoration and of course you can have beautiful lighting set up over a garden. Cocktails and dancing by the pool, maybe a marquee set up to give that intimate feel, long banquet style tables, enough time for either you or your wedding planner to add quirky personal details around the venue, the list is endless really plus you have the venue for a fabulous pool party the next day and most importantly you get to spend quality time with your family and friends.
Here are just a handful of images from our private villa weddings, our thanks to all the wonderful wedding photographers we work with. Nani de Perez, Agata Jensen, Vir Vera and Pierre Richardson for the following images.
For the record too I love inflatables and am well known for having a huge collection complete with an electric pump, and have caterers that can turn their hands to a mean ice cream bar!!
If you would like to find out more about villa weddings in Spain do pop me over an email firstname.lastname@example.org