Weddings don’t always have to be a serious affair.  Play up your fun side!  Here are a few ideas to make your wedding unique and lighthearted!

Play dress up!

Photo booths are a fun new way to document your wedding! At the end of the day you will have a guestbook filled with pictures of relatives and friends dressed up in bizarre attire and props!  Who knew that your Aunt Martha would look so good in those oversized shades!

Style Me Pretty - Katie Osgood Photography - Photo Booth Props

Photo Booth Props

Edible lip and mustache cake pops can enhance your guests’ photo booth experience and taste great too!

lip & mustache cake pops from Tailored Sweets

Edible Cake Pop Props

Superheros to save the day!

Never grew out of that comic book/graphic novel phase?  Create a signature drink menu and name them after your favorite superhero!

Green Wedding Shoes - Jagger Photography - Customized Superhero Drinks

Signature Drinks with Superhero Names

 I’d like S’more please!

Party favors don’t have to be boring!  Create your own box of S’mores kit for your guests to take home.

Twig & Thistle - S'more Kit

DIY S'more Kit


Last March, Red Tie Films utilized the Grand Arches estate in Del Mar as a filming location for “Lost and Found in Armenia” with Jamie Kennedy. This feature film, set to release in 2012, was filmed in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Armenia. The Grand Arches was the perfect setting of a Turkish hotel with its detailed architecture and old world charm.

Click here to view the “Lost & Found in Armenia” trailer on YouTube…

When entertaining the idea of renting out your home, there are definitely many items to consider, such as potential perks (and negatives). We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions from potential homeowners to bring some insight to the estate listing process.

How much can I earn from renting out my home for events?

Our estate rental fees range anywhere from $2,000 to $40,000 per event. Based on the value and features of your specific property and the  client’s guest count and property usage requirements, pricing scales are developed to maximize “book-ability” and profitability for you, the homeowner.

Are there any risks with hosting events at my property?

With hosting an event at your property, there are always risks, however, The Estate Event Group knows exactly what to do to help you protect your property. For properties with a directory listing, our staff can give you specific permitting, curfew, and other restrictions for your area and educate you about property insurance requirements and security deposits for events. For exclusive listings, Estate Weddings and Events takes care of all of this for you. We obtain insurance policies and permits for the events, set and collect security deposits, and make sure that any vendor who works at your property is property licensed and insured. All of the specific requirements we have are present to severely lessen the liabilities and risks involved for our homeowners.

 What is the difference between a directory listing and an exclusive listing (a new feature coming soon)?

Directory listings are on present on our website as resource for potential clients. With your property listed as a directory listing, potential clients will contact you directly and the rest is up to you. With an exclusive listing, The Estate Event Group functions as a full-service property manager for events. We take care of everything else for you, from pre-qualifying potential leads to setting up property tours to clean up following each event. With an exclusive listing, we also provide contracts, full service options for clients, and take care of all permitting and insurance requirements. Our specific knowledge regarding events at private estates ensures that your home will be fully protected with no hassles to the homeowner.

Planning an event at a private estate can be very fulfilling, but there are so many questions that come up along the way.  We wanted to focus a bit on catering an event at a private estate and what questions you should be asking your venue!

Can I bring in my own caterer?

  • Although, catering and beverage service is often provided in house, many private estates will have a preferred catering list which will have different vendors available with a variety of menu options and pricing and can customize to your specifications.  Many venues will allow outside catering as long as they are a licensed and insured.

If I have religious or cultural guidelines or special dietary concerns, do I have to go through your catering service?

  • Most estates will allow you to bring in your own catering service in this case, and may wave any outside catering fee.

My guest count is very small, do I have to pay the outside catering fee if I decide to use my own caterer?

  • Many venues only charge for outside catering when you reach a certain amount of guests.  Usually the fee is only assessed when the guest count reaches around 75 guests and above.

Will the caterer have access to the kitchen?

  • Every estate varies, but some will allow limited access to the kitchen.  Others will need to have a build out kitchen set up on the estate (oftentimes the garage).  Keep room in your budget for your caterer to bring in their own appliances for the build out kitchen.

Are there food and beverage minimums?

  • Ask your venue if they have any food and beverage minimums.  Some venues will have minimums that you must meet that might be well above what you were planning on spending.  Private estate events typically are much more flexible than traditional banquet halls and do not have food and beverage minimums, which leaves you with more freedom to spend that money on something else.

Can I bring my own alcohol or add my favorite beverage to the menu?

  • If you have a specific brand of wine or signature cocktail that you would like served, most services allow you to customize their beverage menu.  Some estates may let you bring in your own alcohol for a lower fee, while they still provide the bartenders and the non-alcoholic drink options.

The Cape Cod Estate

This charming estate, located just north of Los Angeles, will transport your guests to Cape Cod. With its pristine gardens and charming exterior, guests can relax in the California sunshine surrounded by beautiful foliage.

Casa Corinna

Located in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Casa Corinna features a beautiful poolside garden setting as well as views of surrounding vineyards. With several outdoor living rooms, this property is ideal for weddings and private events which are looking for a backyard vineyard aesthetic.

 The Emma Estate

With its rose gardens, breathtaking ceremony backdrops, and the charm of an Austen novel, this Rancho Santa Fe estate is an idyllic romantic garden location that is sure to charm your guests. With the glow of market lighting and the property’s lush landscaping, this property is the perfect warm and welcoming summer outdoor wedding location.

The Valentino

The Valentino seems to capture a certain feeling of a Southern wedding. The property features an equestrian center and a park-like setting with sprawling lawns and willow trees. With the ability to host a ceremony along side the property’s private lake, this expansive estate has the perfect relaxed environment for any event, large or small.

Have you ever considered having an estate event with us but you aren’t sure what to expect?

We’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when planning an estate wedding with Estate Weddings and Events!


Some of the pros:

  1. You get the intimacy and privacy of having a garden wedding, without worrying about all the prep work and cleanup associated with having it in your own backyard!
  2. Break away from traditional hotel reception halls and their restrictions, and find a stunning estate of your dreams! (See our previous blog entry on our top 5 reasons to pick an estate vs. hotel.)
  3. Customize every aspect of your event from your linens to catering and beverage services, without anyone dictating your options to you.
  4. Ranch properties are a great blank slate to get your creative juices flowing, bring in tenting or dance the evening away under the glow of our market lighting, the possibilities are endless!
  5. The estate is available to you for a total of 12 hours on your special day, and usually 5 of which are for your event time, but additional hours can always be added on, and customized requests are always welcome.
  6. Holding both your wedding and reception at the estate will be more convenient for both you and your guests and will give you more time to spend with one another.
  7. We provide staffing to manage the estate on your wedding day to ensure that everything goes smoothly on the property.
  8. We provide special events insurance which protects both the homeowners and the clients in case of property damage.

Some of the cons:

  1. Although music at the majority of our venues must end at 10pm due to noise ordinance laws, that either means you have more time to go out afterward, or spend some quality pre-honeymoon time with your new spouse!
  2. Expect to pay more for a private estate than you would for a traditional hotel/reception hall venue.  You will need to bring in everything including tables and chairs, lighting, dancefloor, to some more unusual rentals like luxury restroom rentals, generators, and build out kitchens for your caterer.
  3. In case of bad weather, you might have to leave room in the budget to bring in tenting to keep your guests dry and warm for any outdoor weddings.
  4. We require either valet or shuttle service at our estates, but some estates only have a shuttle option as there is not enough space for all of the guests to park at the venue.

Next week we will have some Frequently Asked Questions answered for you regarding having your event at a private estate.

In this digital age, we are constantly connected to our iPhones, Blackberries, and any other device that allows us to stay connected to our digital world.  Although events are a time to experience something new and unique, we say, if you can’t overcome the connection to technology for a few hours, then embrace it.

We’ve compiled a list of ways to creatively incorporate an iPad into your next event. Read on to see how technology can actually enhance (not distract) from your next estate event (or any event, for that matter).

Use an iPad as “digital decor”

At a corporate event in May, we were blown away when we heard that our client was going to place three iPads on each table in order to share a slideshow of awards and accolades.  Although not all clients will have the budget to provide 30 iPads for a single event, using an iPad on a check-in table is a great way to showcase a wedding couple’s engagement photos or a corporation’s noteworthy milestones.

Create a pop-up photo booth

With free new apps like PopBooth, you can add a photo booth to your event without the high cost of bringing in a heavy, space consuming photo booth. With the ability to pass the iPad around to your guests and have them share their photos directly via Facebook or email in “Party Mode,” your next conference, social event, or wedding can be transformed into an interactive experience. Your guests can also order prints directly from the iPad which still allows your guests to get a traditional printed photo strip (that they wont leave behind on their table after a few drinks). We think that PopBooth is the perfect solution for casual events at unique locations such as the beach or park.

Live stream your event for those who can’t attend

When the story of a bridesmaid attending a wedding via iPad made national news, it was inevitable that the trend of virtual event attendance would catch on. Aside from usingFaceTime to be able to interact with other guests (as did the bridesmaid), you can now easily stream your wedding for multiple guests to experience your event in real time. UStream is a live video broadcast platform that allows you to broadcast your own station with an internet connection. With the ability to password protect the stream, anyone from your company’s employee that is away on business, your relative that is stationed over-seas, or your ill grandmother in Idaho can keep from missing out on your amazing event.

Have your guests “sign” a digital video guest book

As a more personable (and memorable) touch to your next event, have your guests leave a video message, rather than simply signing their name on the mat of a photo or on a dotted line. The Thrilled For You app (for the iPad, iPhone, or Mac desktop) allows your guests to leave an unlimited number of video messages which can be customized to suit your event theme.

Set up a Social Media Lounge

Social media and networking is a never-ending task for companies (and indivuals) these days, so why not have your guests join in on the project. Set up an inviting Social Media Lounge where your guests can Tweet, Facebook, and blog about your event from their perspective. Set up a Facebook page for your wedding and have your guests post their favorite wedding memory on the wall or have you guests Tweet with a unique ‘hash tag’ so that you can see what all your guests are saying about the event. Integrating social media into your event is perfect for your tech savvy guests, allowing them to share your event with their own social media network.