North Carolina-Outer Banks

Event Home in the Outer Banks- Tips from anyone whos done it

I keep going back and forth about an event home. My fear is all the extra/hidden fees and charges. Also, where does everything go and where do people fit. The place we are looking at is on the Sound, pool, deck, etc and decent size, Im just worried about the logistics of how it all works out.
We are expecting 50 guests and it is a destination wedding (we live in PA).
I would love some help from anyone whos done it!!

Re: Event Home in the Outer Banks- Tips from anyone whos done it

  • OBX2011OBX2011 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    Hello and welcome!  You have come to the right assured that we are all here to help you out in any way that we can :)  We also have several other PA brides on the board.

    What is the name of the house you are considering?  Some of the married ones may have rented it for their wedding or some of the upcoming brides.

    I went back n forth over this for months and eventually booked 108 Budleigh in Manteo.  I loved the idea of an event home, but paying the event fee (which is non-refundable) seemed pretty steep to me, on top of all of the other wedding costs.  With an event home, you have to rent tables, chairs, possibly a dancefloor, etc.  Most of the venues include those items and it's not as hectic as being in an event home.  Now mind you, with 50 guests, it will probably flow a lot smoother for you rather than someone having 100+ guests all in one home.

    Mosts of your guests will probably linger outside around the pool area on a nice summer night to enjoy the breezes and sunsets....which are amazing over the sound!


  • eeforbeseeforbes member
    edited December 2011
    I second Char.  I loved the idea of an event home, until I started thinking about all of the logistics.  I know that personally for me, I want to relax as much as I can (I'm sure it will still be super hectic though!) the week before the wedding, and wedding planning even with a venue is sometimes overwhelming to me.  And budget wise, it ended up just not being doable for us with the number of people we needed and the rental fees, etc.

    I agree with Char though, I am having just over 100 people, which is very different from 50.  You'll have a lot less rentals, etc.  Event homes are awesome because they are so intimate and I think the parties there always look like they have an awesome vibe because of that.

    Maybe the best thing to do is figure out your budget, then check out some of the rental websites and event homes (to see what the fees are).  Draft it up, what it would cost you (ballpark) to rent all of the things you will need, and budget out the rest of your set wedding costs (i.e. you will need a dress regardless of where you have it!).  I think that REALLY helps a lot.  Just put pen to paper and see where you stand.

    And, think about what type of bride you are.  Do you want to have tons of details and love wedding planning?  Or, does the idea of having to coordinate a lot of things stress you out?

    Hope that helps!  Either way, there are tons of people who can give you advice on all sorts of venues and event homes on here!!
  • tigertayl22tigertayl22 member
    edited December 2011
    I can comment to the logistics of the home, but not the price.  I was luck enough to have a fabulous sister-in-law who owns a beach front home and gave us the home for 2 weeks. 

    Logistically, I loved loved having an event home.  We did the rehersal dinner at the home (finger foods so we didn't have a big clean up).  We did the ceremony on the beach and the reception in the home.  For the reception we did a sit down dinner in the kitchen (brought in more tables) and then let everyone linger among the deck, kitchen, and home.  We had about 40 ppl.  I was amazed at how we were able to use the space to accommodate everyone. 

    Some pros and cons I considered when deciding whether to use the home were

    pros of using the house
    1) I didnt have to go anywhere (this was great!).  It really helped create a relaxed feel for all the events we held at the house.  Everyone came and went as they pleased.  Most people arrived early for the ceremony and just hung out with cocktails on the deck.  When I was ready, they all went down to the beach to sit down.  Nobody was rushed or stuck sitting around anywhere.  Also, because I did almost everything DIY, I was there to help facilitate everything.
    2)  We had a lot of kids.  Once we went through all the formalities, the kids were in the pool/hot tub.  This made it also more enjoyable for the adults (most kids are old enough to swim that we didnt have to keep a major eye on them).  This could be a con if you have young kids, or kids you really are concerned about running off or jumping in the pool unsupervised.  
    3) Everyone at the house had no commute
    4)  Hubbys parents rented a duplex next door where hubby could get ready, while I had the house to myself for the girls to get ready, which was really nice. 
    5) We got to keep all the leftovers!

    1) The party never "ends".  This may be a concern for you.  The people staying in the house with hubby and I were going to be the last ones at the party.  With my family, this was definately not an issue.  Plus hubby and I stayed in a hotel the night of the wedding.
    2)  You get the clean up.  I was particularly worried about this for the rehersal dinner.  It ended up not being a big deal at all, but you will be responsible for the clean up since you are staying in the house.  This may also be an issue depending on what day you have the wedding.   We were there for a few days after the wedding, but a lot of rentals are sat or sun turn day.  So, if you have your wedding on a saturday and have to be out sunday, you aren't going to want to be cleaning up the home.

    Another thing you want to think about is the timing of your wedding.  If you get married at sunset (or close to) and want people to mingle outside on the deck, remember it will be dark, which may or may not be an issue for you. 

    All in all, I absolutely loved doing everything at the home.  I wanted a relaxed casual party atmosphere, rather than a typical wedding reception feel.  It worked out well!  I have pics posted on the knottie fb page if you want to see my set up.  A lot depends on what houses you are looking at.
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  • ksj10032782ksj10032782 member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Hi- to add my 2 cents to the post.. we've inviting 40 people and using the Sanderling's elopement package option (max is 40 for this). We spent a ton of time looking at event homes, and after we factored in the cost of the house, plus event rental fees, table rentals, etc., it was going to be more expensive then we wanted to spend. Plus, we were told by several people we wanted to invite to stay in our event home that if we had the event there, they didn't want to stay there.. so that pretty much sealed the deal for us!
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  • edited December 2011
    Hi, we are doing an event home wedding in July 2012 and here are some details in case it helps you as you try to nail down some ideas for how it all might work (I had a hard time wrapping my brain around it all but now that it's coming together it wasn't so hard after all). 

    We chose and 8 bedroom house with a really open floor plan, 2 decks and a pool deck.  It's right off the beach access, one row off the oceanfront, which helped save $$ on the house.  Our family/friends love the idea because they don't have to get hotel rooms and don't have to drive anywhere.  We love the idea because our favorite people will be around us all week and hotel guests can come hang out for the day/evening too.  Our rental is a Sunday to Sunday, so we're holding the wedding on Friday (It's 4th of July weekend so alot of our guests will be off anyway).  That way we have Saturday to hang around and checkout Sunday (all our houseguests are leaving Saturday afternoon so we have a night alone in the house to re-group).  Our parents are arriving on Sunday with us (other guests won't arrive until Monday evening) and are going to help up hang lighting on the outside decks on day one so we can enjoy them all week rather than just on wedding night (we collected all our holiday lights, all our parent's holiday lights, and will check the after-holiday sales this month for more lights).

    We're having 50 guests to the wedding (ceremony on the beach) and we'll have a cocktail hour out by the pool with the reception setup around the kitchen, living room and upper deck.  Our caterer suggested doing "stations" of food rather than a sit down or buffet line, which we love that idea.  Our guests will mingle, we won't have to have any seating cards, the dining room table in the house seats 14 and will be reserved for our parents/grandparents, and guests will visit the carving station, a fish grill, and various setups for all the sides. 

    I think we're going to hire someone for event day coordination - or at least setup/breakdown of the ceremony/reception so we can enjoy our day and night without the cleanup at the end.

    Hope it works out for you too!!
  • Hey everyone!  I got married November 5 at the Wild Horse Estate (Twiddy), and it was UNBELIEVABLE.  Absolutely gorgeous.  We had a fantastic week full of family and friends on the beach.  It was exactly what I imagined -- 50 people under one roof, eating together, prepping for the wedding together, and making memories.  Logistically, we had PLENTY of options -- we were planning to have wedding events (cocktail hour, band) outside, but it ended up being cold and windy that day, so we last-minute moved things inside, and it was STILL breathtaking.  You really can't go wrong with a place like Wild Horse -- every guest agreed hands-down that it was the most memorable wedding they've ever attended.  We ended up having terrible weather, and I honestly could not have cared less because it was still so gorgeous!!

    Note to other destination brides:
    DO NOT use Bells & Whistles for your wedding flowers. Dorothy took a $500 deposit from me, ignored me until 3 weeks before my wedding, FINALLY sent me a proposal for flowers that included $3,000 of services we never discussed, told me that I cannot change our contract because it's too close to the wedding, charged me ANOTHER $500 to my credit card without my authorization, and did not do ANY flowers for my wedding. It took 6 weeks after my wedding to get a "refund" and Dorothy only sent me $150.00. This is THE WORST business I have ever dealt wiht, and was an absolute nightmare before my wedding.
  • I'm sorry you had to go through that Smkudm01!  I hope it all works out for  you.  That sounds crazy!  We are using Sugar Snap Events for our flowers.  Shirley is SO amazing. They may seem expensive, but she really listened to me and helped us stay right around the budget I wanted $5-600 for flowers.  With a place as beautiful as the OBX, I figure you don't really need too many flowers :)
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  • I'm using Pelican's Landing for my wedding in 2013.  It's an oceanfront in Whalehead Beach - I'm having a big wedding, like at least 200 people - they have a back yard that is totally flat and sodded to the dune line where I can put up a huge tent - the nice thing aboutthat home is that it's owned by Coastal Provisions - so they handle all the catering. So when I booked it, I killed 2 birds with one stone!
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