Private property weddings are wonderfully personalized and intimate! As Colorado wedding planners, we love helping our couples pull off these one-of-a-kind affairs. However, it’s wise to consider all the elements that go into a smooth, successful event before taking the plunge. Since planning a private property wedding is a complex logistical process that requires creating a venue from scratch, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the steps beforehand—and to hire a professional planner!
We may be biased, but we also know that planning an event from the ground up isn’t for the faint of heart. A professional will know what to do and when to do it, which will go a long way to ensure you and your partner enjoy a stress-free experience. If you admire private property weddings and want to plan your own, stick around! We’ll share everything you need to know about the process so you can make the decision best for you.
Guide to Planning Private Property Weddings
Evaluate the Space
Evaluating the property should be your first step. What does it lack that a traditional venue would provide? Unlike planning a wedding at one of those venues, you’ll need to transport every essential element to the site. That includes flooring, tents, rentals like tables and chairs, and restrooms. Ultimately, this means that hosting a private estate or backyard wedding will cost considerably more than a wedding at a traditional venue.
However, don’t lose heart! We can always make it happen if you’re determined to host your wedding at a particular location. The sky’s the limit as long as you and your partner can furnish a sufficient budget (and a bit of determination!).
Don’t forget that you’ll need sufficient electrical power to keep your wedding day running. It’s crucial to have a plan for powering the following elements:
While they aren’t glamorous, restroom rentals are crucial for private property weddings. Early in the planning process, you’ll want to identify a reputable restroom trailer rental company and a discreet location with access to water and power. The trailers should be accessible to guests (especially in the dark!) but not too visible. In terms of numbers, we recommend renting one trailer for every 50 guests.
Much like an outdoor wedding at a traditional venue, you’ll need to devise a plan B for your backyard wedding in case of inclement weather. Consider renting “extras” like heating or cooling units, fans, and a generator if you’re tying the knot in a particularly chilly or warm season. Ensuring your guests’ comfort should be a top priority!
Parking and Transportation
Decide where your guests will park on the property, and plan for sufficient space to accommodate all your guests. Then, provide clear directions as part of your invitation suite so everyone knows what to do on the big day. It may also be necessary to arrange transportation options such as a shuttle or limousine, especially if the location is remote or parking is limited.
Also, check with your city or HOA and find out if there are any rules regarding additional parked cars. No one wants a citation awaiting them after returning from their honeymoon!
Catering and Kitchen Setup
Coordinate with a professional catering service (this isn’t something to DIY!) that has the necessary tools or mobile kitchen to prepare and serve food onsite. Then, consider logistics, including power sources, refrigeration, and food preparation areas. Most caterers will require a covering for their portable kitchen, so you may need to rent a tent for them in addition to your reception tent.
Consider water and ice as well. If the water onsite isn’t potable, who will transport it to the location for staff and guests to use? Likewise, who will transport ice onsite? It’s wise to order extra since you’ll lose a lot to melting, especially if your wedding is in the summer.
Lights serve a dual purpose as cute decor and a necessary safety feature to provide adequate visibility for your guests. Numerous forms of lighting suit any aesthetic preference, including string lights, lanterns, uplighting, and pathway lighting. You can also rent these items if you don’t prefer to hang onto them after the big day.
Bet you didn’t think this would be part of your wedding planning! However, when it comes to private property weddings, planning for waste management is paramount. Most couples don’t realize how much garbage they’ll need to dispose of until it’s piling up before their eyes!
First and foremost, we recommend finding a caterer or bartender who takes care of their waste. That way, the bulk of it won’t be your responsibility! You can also provide trash bins throughout the event space and arrange for disposal services to pick them up. In addition, consider eco-friendly options like recycling stations to minimize the environmental impact of your event.
Event Permits and Noise Restrictions
Check with local authorities if there are any permits you must acquire and find out if there are noise restrictions on hosting an event at a private residence. Complying with regulations ensures a hassle-free celebration!
Remember, you’re creating a wedding venue from scratch, so the property should receive a face-lift before the big day. You’ll want to mow and clean up the lawn at a minimum, but we also recommend spraying it to deter pesky bugs and mosquitoes.
Colorado Planner for Private Property Weddings
We know this is a lot to take in! But the truth is that private property weddings are more than worth all the extra work and planning. There’s nothing better than exchanging vows with the love of your life in a beautiful place that’s also meaningful to you!
Remember that hiring a professional wedding planner to help you navigate these considerations will remove the bulk of the load from your shoulders. We’ll ensure that every detail is taken care of, allowing you and your loved ones to relax and be fully present for your special day! If you envision a backyard wedding, share your vision with us. We’ll help you iron out all the details to bring your dream wedding day to life!
Denver is the perfect weekend destination, especially if you’re already in town for a wedding! As the capital city of Colorado, it boasts a variety of attractions that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, you’ll find plenty of adventure on a weekend trip to Denver and the surrounding foothills.
If you’re hosting a Colorado destination wedding in the Denver metro area, send this guide to your guests! As Colorado wedding planners, we’re passionate about helping you and your loved ones make the most of your trip to our beautiful state. We’ve also created guides to Colorado Springs and Estes Park that we encourage you to check out—we’re confident we can tempt you to extend your stay!
Things to Do on a Weekend Trip to Denver
Here are the can’t-miss highlights for your weekend trip to Denver! Whether you plan to stay downtown or venture out to the foothills, there’s something for everyone.
Downtown Denver Activities
Meow Wolf is renowned nationwide for its immersive art exhibitions, and in Denver, you can experience its most extensive yet. The intergalactic-themed Convergence Station is fun for all ages, with interactive installations to explore and hidden passages to discover. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind blend of art, technology, and storytelling!
Denver Botanic Gardens
Tired of the hustle and bustle of the city? Escape to the Denver Botanic Gardens. There you’ll find 24 acres of themed gardens and conservatories to explore. There’s even a Japanese garden where you can participate in a traditional tea ceremony in the summer!
Denver Art Museum
Art enthusiasts of all stripes will enjoy an afternoon at the Denver Art Museum. Featuring over 70,000 artworks that span a vast array of movements and cultures, there’s something for everyone to appreciate. Take in Native American masterpieces, or head to the contemporary exhibit to witness the work of up-and-coming artists. Not to mention that the museum building itself is a work of art!
Little Man Ice Cream
Stop in for a sweet treat at Little Man Ice Cream! Housed inside a 28-foot-tall “milk can” building, this beloved Denver institution serves dozens of delicious flavors, including vegan and dairy-free options. Oh, and did we mention it’s all homemade?
This Denver landmark recently reopened its doors for the first time since March 2020! Blending delicious Mexican cuisine with over-the-top decor, live performances from cliff divers, and arcade games, it’s a taste of Vegas in downtown Denver. It’s worth a visit just to immerse yourself in the one-of-a-kind atmosphere!
Historic Larimer Square is the heart of downtown Denver! This hotspot for tourists and locals features charming boutiques, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. The cobblestone streets and sweeping string lights create a warm, inviting atmosphere for enjoying a romantic dinner with your partner at one of the acclaimed eateries.
Craft Breweries and Distilleries
Denver’s reputation as a mecca for craft beer and spirits lovers is well-earned. There are numerous breweries and distilleries to explore around the city, perfect for unwinding after a long flight! Tour the Blue Moon headquarters at RiNo Brewery or join the Denver Microbrew Tour for an authentic Denverite experience.
Home to over 4,000 animals, the Denver Zoo is a must-visit for animal lovers and families. You’ll encounter majestic lions, playful penguins, and gentle elephants! Plus, don’t miss the opportunity to feed a giraffe or hop aboard the Denver Zoo Railroad.
Denver Foothills Activities
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Located just 15 miles outside Denver, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is a natural wonder renowned for its awe-inspiring rock formations. It’s an iconic concert venue where the likes of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and The Beatles have played. Plus, it’s the perfect place to take a scenic hike!
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Weekend trippers who prefer to escape the city can immerse themselves in nature at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. It’s an expansive sanctuary just 14 miles from Denver, housing bison, deer, and coyotes with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Hit the trails on foot or a bike, and don’t forget your camera—you never know what you’ll see!
Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Those who aren’t afraid to defy gravity can embark on a breathtaking journey along the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, one of the highest paved roads in North America. You’ll ascend to over 14,000 feet and witness stunning panoramic views of the iconic Rocky Mountains!
Roxborough State Park
You’ll find natural beauty in every direction at Roxborough State Park, known for towering red rock formations and scenic hiking trails. We recommend the Fountain Valley Trail, where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the park’s unique landscape.
Plan Your Weekend Trip to Denver
A weekend trip to Denver blends natural beauty, vibrant culture, and rich history. It’s the perfect backdrop for a memorable wedding celebration! By sharing this guide with your loved ones, you’ll ensure they enjoy a fantastic experience exploring the city’s top attractions and making lasting memories. In addition, if you have any questions or would like more personalized recommendations, you can always give us a shout! We would love to help you make the most of your Denver experience.
Planning a wedding comes with a lot of costs. Enter setting a wedding budget—and sticking to it! Determining your priorities and allocating expenses early in the planning process will ensure your big day looks like the wedding you’ve always envisioned.
As wedding planners, we frequently assist couples with this step. No matter how big or small the budget, the importance of tracking every expense is a constant! While online calculators exist to help with this, there’s no replacement for an experienced planner to help you build your wedding budget. The calculator can give you an idea of which categories should constitute your overall budget, but its usefulness stops there. Using a generalized percentage system to determine how much of your budget should go into each bucket isn’t realistic. Not only does pricing vary wildly from state to state, but a calculator doesn’t know your unique priorities!
Working one-on-one with a planner is the wisest choice for setting a realistic wedding budget. However, we recognize that a planner’s services may not be in the budget for some couples. We also know that many couples prefer to have a solid foundation of knowledge before talking to their planner! No matter the reason, we’re glad you’re here, and we hope to shed light on setting a wedding budget you can stick to. Here’s your budgeting roadmap!
6 Steps for Setting a Wedding Budget
Talk to Your Families
If your family will help you pay for the wedding, this is the first place to start. Gently initiate a conversation about budgeting to determine who will contribute and how much. Often, people already know which aspect of the wedding day they want their money going toward—usually one of the essentials like flowers or stationery. Likewise, there may be “extras” they’d prefer you to cover. Respect their wishes, and use what they tell you to determine how much you and your partner will be responsible for.
Outline Your Priorities
Sit down with your partner and determine your priorities for your wedding day. Is it delicious food? Gorgeous mountain views? Or an incredible guest experience? Once you know your nonnegotiables, you can ensure they remain the primary focus of your budget. Otherwise, you may allocate too much for items that don’t top your wishlist.
Next, create a categorized list or spreadsheet with each of your budget “buckets”—online calculators can help with this step. Review the list with your budget contributors to determine if the overall budget will encompass each item or if a separate fund will cover certain ones. For example, we often observe that the bride’s dress, couple’s rings, and honeymoon get pulled from the wedding budget and paid separately.
Plug in the Numbers
Hopefully, by now, you’ve chosen and booked your venue. The venue site fee often represents the most significant portion of a wedding budget, so it’s imperative to plug this number into your budgeting spreadsheet as soon as possible. Your venue will also dictate expenses relevant to items like the bar, catering, and décor rentals, depending on what their packages do and don’t cover.
Use Percentage Recommendations as a Guide
Generic budgeting calculators can also come in handy for this step. However, they aren’t the end all be all. You can use their percentage recommendations as a guide when outlining your budget—as long as you keep in mind that these tools advise allocating a lower amount for each bucket than most experienced vendors command. As a rule, it’s better to expect to pay MORE than less to avoid exceeding your overall budget.
Remember Your Priorities
Even after outlining specific “wants,” it’s easy to get swept up in trends and down payments and forget what you want your wedding day to look like. Look at your priorities again to determine if they’re still accurate. If they are, ensure that a realistic portion of your budget gets set aside for them!
Ultimately, the best advice for setting a wedding budget is: to set a wedding budget. We’ve witnessed too many couples make the mistake of skipping this step and paying for it (literally!). As long as you manage your expenses by referring to your budget often and updating it as your vendor team grows, you can count on success. Of course, if you’d like professional guidance throughout the process, Sapphire Celebrations would love to help! Our planning packages encompass the entire wedding planning process, from setting your budget to management on the big day. If our services interest you, we would love to connect!
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Sapphire Celebrations combines the energy, perspective and creativity of two generations when planning weddings and events throughout Colorado. Founded by a mother and daughter team, Sapphire Celebrations reflects their Colorado heritage. With family roots dating back to 1907 and covering the northeastern plains and Rocky Mountain vistas, there is no team better qualified to plan your Colorado wedding or special event.
Pamela and Angie are proud of the high level of service for which Sapphire Celebrations has come to be known. Two principal wedding designers and four event concierges take pride in exceeding the expectations of couples who entrust us with their wedding day.