Wedding Etiquette Forum

Asking family friends to use their property as a venue

Hi guys. So me and my fiance are figuring out what the venue should be. Our wedding is in 17 months (early start!). And after getting ideas from family we have a big etiquette problem that I don't know how to proceed with at all. But first some background. 

I have these family friends that I practically grew up with. My dad worked with the father of the family before he met my mom, he lived at their house for a few years and moved back to NYC where he got married, they had me, blah blah. He stayed working for him by traveling every week and would often take me along and eventually my brother as well when he was born. Anyway we were friends with their kids and had such a great time whenever we went there. Years later when I was 12-ish my dad and his "boss" had issues and ended their business and friendship. A few years ago they made up and we reunited with this family and occasionally went to visit again. Basically this is a family we are close with but have been distant for a few years until recently.

Now for the question. This family lives in a beautiful estate. Right next to a river, forests all around them. Basically a perfect picturesque location. Being a poor kid from Queens this place always amazed me. A cousin recently recommended that I ask to use the place as a venue (The outdoor areas). I feel like this is a HUGE thing to ask. They have apparently had charity events there in the past, but jeeze, I would think it would be such a burden. Then again I don't know much about space rental and what kind of work needs to be done to prepare. I know I will select caterers that will take away any work the family would do. I don't want them to do any kind of work otherwise I would use a different venue. They'll be guests to our wedding and I want to treat them as such. 

Also if we used their property as a venue the invitation would be pretty funny "Ceremony and Reception at your house". Anyway is this not as rude as I'm assuming? Is this ok to ask? If it's ok to ask, how to I even begin to ask?
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Re: Asking family friends to use their property as a venue

  • No.  This is too much to ask.
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    InLoveInQueensMairePoppyMCmeow
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2015
    I didn't have a wedding at a private property, but I did have to rent EVERYTHING for my wedding.    I'm talking about tents, bathrooms, forks, plates, glasses, generators, tables, chairs, etc.   It's not cheap.  I was lucky to have a coordinator because there is a lot to coordinate.

     Then you have to worry about liability for the home owners.

    Honestly, I would have very hard time asking friends to use their property for my wedding.  Especially one who you all just recently resumed your relationship.  There is a lot more involved then just using their property.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    [Deleted User]MCmeowBlue_Bird
  • It would be one thing if they offered, but I would never ask such a huge thing of a family friend. Plus, we always tell people not to hire friends and family as vendors... I think this fall in the same category. It could get really sticky.
    InLoveInQueensMCmeowBlue_Bird
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think you'd really run the risk of putting them in an uncomfortable position, especially since your families have just reunited. 

    Also, you'd need to rent to literally everything - all set up, bathroom, tables, tents. It's a lot. 
    InLoveInQueensMCmeowBlue_Bird
  • Ditto PPs.  I think choosing a caterer is the least of your worries.  Tents are NOT cheap.  You'd have to bring in a dance floor if you want one (also expensive), tables, chairs, linens, lighting, etc.  Where are the caterers going to cook/prep food?  This is either an additional catering tent with a ton of catering equipment or the kitchen inside the house.  Bathrooms!  How many guests are you planning to invite?  I wouldn't dream of asking them to make their bathrooms available to your guests so you'd need to rent them.  You'll need generators for power.  You'll need to figure out where everyone is going to park.  What if their lawn gets ruined?  Will you pay them for use of the property?  Depending on your state, they may also need to secure liability insurance or alcohol permits, etc.  This gets messy SO quick.

    This is definitely way more than having a caterer handle the food and setting up the tables and making sure the event goes smoothly - so many logistics and touchy subjects involved.  I would definitely reconsider, especially considering the just-reconciled relationship.  Nothing mixes with friendship worse than money.


    [Deleted User]SP29MCmeowBlue_Bird
  • Thanks for the quick responses! I had a feeling it would be too much to ask. Doesn't seem right to me but with being insisted to ask them I thought it was just me that saw it as wrong.
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    Blue_Bird
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I don't think you can ask. If they offered, it would be one thing, but that's such a huge thing to ask. If you ask and they would rather not, you're putting them in a really awkward position. 

    If you're close enough to them that you talk to them regularly, they'll probably ask you how the wedding planning is going. If that's the case, you could mention that you're looking for an outdoor venue and ask if they know of any rental properties near their home. Even still, I'd be very careful to avoid coming off that you're hinting around that you want them to offer. 
    MCmeow
  • Maggymeow said:
    Hi guys. So me and my fiance are figuring out what the venue should be. Our wedding is in 17 months (early start!). And after getting ideas from family we have a big etiquette problem that I don't know how to proceed with at all. But first some background. 

    I have these family friends that I practically grew up with. My dad worked with the father of the family before he met my mom, he lived at their house for a few years and moved back to NYC where he got married, they had me, blah blah. He stayed working for him by traveling every week and would often take me along and eventually my brother as well when he was born. Anyway we were friends with their kids and had such a great time whenever we went there. Years later when I was 12-ish my dad and his "boss" had issues and ended their business and friendship. A few years ago they made up and we reunited with this family and occasionally went to visit again. Basically this is a family we are close with but have been distant for a few years until recently.

    Now for the question. This family lives in a beautiful estate. Right next to a river, forests all around them. Basically a perfect picturesque location. Being a poor kid from Queens this place always amazed me. A cousin recently recommended that I ask to use the place as a venue (The outdoor areas). I feel like this is a HUGE thing to ask. They have apparently had charity events there in the past, but jeeze, I would think it would be such a burden. Then again I don't know much about space rental and what kind of work needs to be done to prepare. I know I will select caterers that will take away any work the family would do. I don't want them to do any kind of work otherwise I would use a different venue. They'll be guests to our wedding and I want to treat them as such. 

    Also if we used their property as a venue the invitation would be pretty funny "Ceremony and Reception at your house". Anyway is this not as rude as I'm assuming? Is this ok to ask? If it's ok to ask, how to I even begin to ask?
    It's never a good idea to have friends as vendors.  How much would you pay them?  They'd probably "offer" to make it your gift.  If they did, could you then fire them if needed?  Problems abound.
    madamerwinSP29MCmeow
  • I agree, I wouldn't ask, only accept if offered. But realize even if they do offer, this option might end up costing you much more than you were wanting to spend. 

    You would be renting EVERYTHING (tent, dance floor, chairs, tables, linens, cutlery, plates, decor)- including portable bathrooms, as they probably don't want 100 people in and out of their home. Dance floors and tents aren't cheap. 

    The other consideration- what happens if it rains? 

    I think if these people were direct family members that you are close with, that's one thing. But I wouldn't ask this of friends, just in case something were to happen, I wouldn't want to sour the relationship and have that associated with your wedding. 
    MCmeow
  • drunkenwitchdrunkenwitch member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited November 2015
    You are absolutely right to be reluctant to ask, and if your cousin keeps pushing the issue point out all these logistics you would haveto consider:

    1) bathrooms. You would have to rent porta potties because one house most likely can't accomodate a reception. Not to mention, who would want a bunch of strangers having free access to their house. I sure wouldn't.

    2) trash. Everything that's packed in must be packed out. It is highly unlikely their trash and recycle bins could hold the amount of garbage and recyclables a reception would generate.

    3) weather. You would beed a back up plan on case the weather goes bad.

    4) space for the caterers to prep the food.

    5) as someone else mentioned, liability. They could potentially be sued for anything from a twisted ankle to someone driving drunk.

    I don't want you to think I listed those items to lecture you, just giving you some ammo to shut your cousin down.

    ETA, love your user name

    lc07MCmeowSP29
  • Maggymeow said:
    Thanks for the quick responses! I had a feeling it would be too much to ask. Doesn't seem right to me but with being insisted to ask them I thought it was just me that saw it as wrong.
    Who is "insisting" you ask them?  The cousin you mentioned?  I am figuring this person is not paying for anything and even if they were it is still a bad idea. Tell this cousin to mind their own business and go with your gut.  I like your attitude. Please stick around!
    SP29MyNameIsNotBlue_Bird[Deleted User]
  • You are absolutely right to be reluctant to ask, and if your cousin keeps pushing the issue point out all these logistics you would haveto consider:

    1) bathrooms. You would have to rent porta potties because one house most likely can't accomodate a reception. Not to mention, who would want a bunch of strangers having free access to their house. I sure wouldn't.

    2) trash. Everything that's packed in must be packed out. It is highly unlikely tjere trash and recycle bins could hold the amount of garbage and recyclables a reception would generate.

    3) weather. You would beed a back up plan on case the weather goes bad.

    4) space for the caterers to prep the food.

    5) as someone else mentioned, liability. They could potentially be sued for anything from a twisted ankle to someone driving drunk.

    I don't want you to think I listed those items to lecture you, just giving you some ammo to shut your cousin down.

    ETA, love your user name

    Thanks, these are all great points I haven't thought of haha, glad I asked here.
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  • MGP said:


    Maggymeow said:

    Thanks for the quick responses! I had a feeling it would be too much to ask. Doesn't seem right to me but with being insisted to ask them I thought it was just me that saw it as wrong.

    Who is "insisting" you ask them?  The cousin you mentioned?  I am figuring this person is not paying for anything and even if they were it is still a bad idea. Tell this cousin to mind their own business and go with your gut.  I like your attitude. Please stick around!


    I definitely will! My cousin means well and I like talking to her about wedding stuff cause she's really interested, but I'm an awkward person who needs to be pushed sometimes to talk to people so this was potentially one of those cases to her haha
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