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  • Writer's pictureCWP Society

Understanding Private Wedding Venues Inside & Out

Updated: Jan 12

In a world where couples seek unique and personalized experiences, private wedding venues have emerged as the canvas for crafting unforgettable moments. As wedding planners, mastering the nuances of these exclusive settings is not just a skill; it's a strategic advantage.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the significance of private wedding venues and explore the key considerations that can elevate your planning game. Whether you're a seasoned planner or just starting in the industry, the knowledge shared here is tailored to help you navigate the challenges and harness the opportunities presented by private venues.

So, grab your virtual clipboard and join me on this exploration of private wedding venues and why it is important to further your wedding planner education in this area. 

CWP Society - Orion Hill

What exactly is a “Private” Wedding Venue?

Essentially, a private wedding venue refers to a location that is not a public space or a traditional event venue. Instead, it is a privately owned or exclusive property chosen specifically for hosting weddings. This may be a family farm that the owners decided to open up to the public for special events, or a field under the stars overlooking the mountains. Whereas your more “traditional” venues might be a hotel or resort. 

When couples opt for a private wedding venue, they are often seeking an experience that goes beyond the conventional. A lot of times, the process of selecting a private wedding venue is a lot more personal and unique to the couple. These venues usually put a cap on how many weddings they will take in a year or a weekend. Some venues that I work with often only allow one wedding a weekend in order to allow their entire focus to be on that one couple for the weekend. Talk about service! This appeals to most couples because they feel seen and unique rather than just a number to meet a sales quota. While this is ideal and we want our couples to feel heard and special, there are some logistical considerations when working with these private wedding venues that you need to be aware of as a wedding planner. 

Advantages of Private Wedding Venues

Private wedding venues present a myriad of advantages that resonate with couples seeking a distinctive and personalized wedding experience. Let's explore some of the key advantages:

1. Personalization and Flexibility:

Private venues lay the groundwork for an unparalleled level of personalization and flexibility. Acting as a blank canvas, these spaces empower couples to infuse their unique personalities into every facet of the celebration. From the color scheme to the smallest details of decor, couples have the creative freedom to craft an event that authentically mirrors their vision. Wedding planners, in turn, play a pivotal role in translating these visions into reality, ensuring that the wedding becomes a true reflection of the couple's love story. If you haven’t already, I HIGHLY recommend earning your Design Certification through the Certified Wedding Planner Society in order to better understand the design aspect and how you can elevate these private venue spaces. 

2. Intimate Atmosphere:

In the realm of private wedding venues, intimacy takes center stage. Unlike larger, more traditional venues, private settings exude a distinct coziness and warmth. The exclusivity of these spaces foster a closer connection between the couple and their guests. In a more intimate atmosphere, conversations flow effortlessly, and the shared celebration becomes a more personal and cherished experience. For wedding planners, this means curating an event that not only meets logistical needs, but also encapsulates the emotional essence of the couple's union.

3. Scenic Beauty:

Nature's grandeur often plays a starring role in private wedding venues, offering breathtaking backdrops that elevate the overall aesthetic of the celebration. Whether nestled in rolling hills, surrounded by lush gardens, or overlooking a serene lake, these settings add an enchanting and romantic element to the wedding. The scenic beauty not only enhances the visual appeal of the event, but also provides a natural and timeless backdrop for photographs. Wedding planners can leverage the venue's natural features to enhance the overall design and ambiance, creating a magical setting for the couple's special day. A lot of times, these venues are picked for their natural beauty and you will hear your couple’s say, “I don’t want to take away from the beauty of the venue” when deciding on their design and overall look of the wedding. 

In essence, the advantages of private wedding venues extend far beyond the logistics of event planning. They offer a canvas for creativity, a space for intimate connections, and a stage for nature's beauty to intertwine with the celebration. As wedding planners navigate the intricacies of private venues, harnessing these advantages ensures that each wedding becomes a unique and unforgettable experience for the couple and their guests.

CWP Society - The Cordelle

Challenges to Navigate with Private Wedding Venues

While private wedding venues offer a canvas for creativity and uniqueness, they also come with their set of challenges that demand careful consideration and strategic planning. Let's delve into some of the key challenges wedding planners may encounter when working with private venues:

1. Logistical Complexities:

Private venues, especially those tucked away in remote or unique locations, can introduce logistical complexities that require meticulous planning. From coordinating transportation for the wedding party and guests, to ensuring smooth vendor access, navigating the logistics of these venues demands a comprehensive and detail-oriented approach. Wedding planners play a crucial role in orchestrating the logistical dance, ensuring that every element of the celebration seamlessly falls into place.

2. Infrastructure Considerations:

While private venues often exude charm and character, they may lack the built-in infrastructure that more traditional event spaces provide. Wedding planners must carefully strategize to bring in necessary amenities without compromising the unique ambiance of the venue. This may involve coordinating the setup of temporary facilities, such as catering stations, restrooms, and electrical systems. Balancing the functional needs of the event with the venue's inherent charm is a delicate dance that requires careful planning and execution.

3. Weather Uncertainties:

The allure of outdoor private venues comes with the inherent challenge of weather unpredictability. Planning an al fresco celebration means contending with the whims of nature, be it rain, wind, or extreme temperatures. Wedding planners must develop robust contingency plans to address weather-related challenges, ensuring the comfort and enjoyment of the couple and their guests. This may involve having backup indoor spaces, providing weather-appropriate amenities, and communicating effectively with all stakeholders to keep everyone informed and prepared. My favorite resources for creating and ensuring that these contingency plans are executed flawlessly (should they need to be implemented), are Merri and CalUp. Which are both partners of the CWP society! With Merri, I can create my “Plan A” floor plan should there be no weather problems on the day of the event, but I can also create my “Plan B” floor plan should we not be able to use the outdoor spaces at the venue. I take both of these plans and implement them into my timelines with Timeline Genius to ensure that ALL vendors know the backup plan should we need it. Since all vendors know the back up plan, I also want to make sure that all of my guests know where to be and there is no question of “are we going to have to sit in the rain?” This is where CalUp comes in. With CalUp, I can ensure that all of the guests know where we are relocating to with a simple click of a button. Our purpose as wedding planners is to make sure the event flows seamlessly, even when working with weather uncertainties. 

Navigating these challenges is an integral part of the wedding planning process when working with private venues. Wedding planners who approach these obstacles with foresight, creativity, and adaptability can transform potential hurdles into opportunities to enhance the overall wedding experience. As we embrace the unique character of private venues, mastering the art of overcoming challenges ensures that each celebration is executed flawlessly, regardless of the complexities involved.

CWP Society - The Aeneas Building 

As we conclude our exploration of private wedding venues, it's clear that these exclusive spaces offer an unparalleled canvas for crafting extraordinary moments. In a world where couples crave uniqueness, private venues stand as the stage where love stories become timeless.

From the significance and advantages to the challenges faced, the journey through private wedding venues is a dynamic one. As wedding planners, embracing the personalized, intimate, and scenic aspects allows us to create truly memorable experiences.

So, whether you're a seasoned planner, or just starting in the industry, understanding the nuances of private venues is not just a skill—it's a strategic advantage. Here's to mastering the art of private wedding venues, elevating each celebration, and continuously expanding our wedding planner education. 

And speaking of education and community, I invite you to take your wedding planning expertise to the next level by becoming a member of the CWP Society. Join a community of passionate professionals, access valuable resources, and stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of wedding planning.

CWP Society Certified Educator, Lydia Leek

Content provided by Lydia Leek, owner of A Touch Of Gray Events and Certified Educator for the CWP Society. She holds the following certifications: CWP Society Certified Educator,  Master Certified Wedding Planner, Certified Design Consultant.

Her educator specialty is in the intricate world of private wedding venues.

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