Weddings

How to Rent a Historic Mansion for a Wedding

A location with a sense of history can add to the experience

By Ashley Gallman

Wedding at a mansion
Photo by Michael Graham PhotographyBookmark and Share

A wedding at a stunning estate or in a grand plantation house steeps a marriage ceremony in history. These stunning buildings offer a range of venue options from banquet halls for a large service to balconies for an intimate gathering. Many historic homes also offer elegant lawns for the ideal outdoor ceremony. No matter the size or scale of the wedding, a historic mansion provides a significant and stunning location for any marriage.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Many states and cities have a historic foundation or preservation society that can easily provide a list of historic homes in the area. Try to target homes that are owned by a foundation or function as a hotel because these locations frequently host events and usually offer wedding packages.

Step 1:

Be sure to tour the mansion you're choosing for your ceremony and/or reception. Do not base your decision just from pictures on the Internet. If you prefer an indoor wedding, make sure the space you choose is large enough to accommodate all of your guests. If you would rather have an outdoor wedding, confirm that the lawns are well-manicured and flat enough so that guests won't break an ankle or tumble down a hill.

Step 2:

Find out about any amenities the home might offer for wedding parties. Some locations offer discounted stays for the couple and their guests, special pre-ceremony activities or wedding favors. Avoid paying extra for these details, if you can, and try to negotiate such items as part of the wedding deal.

Step 3:

Discuss in detail the rules and regulations the mansion or other site may have. Some may have restrictions on the number of guests, the types of decorations and other aspects of the ceremony, including music. Many mansions may also require that you clean up after the wedding or they will charge you a fee to provide a cleaning service.

Step 4:

Get close to the wedding coordinator. Most historical sites or venues have a head of special events, whose job is to facilitate the planning of your wedding. Ask for recommendations on the ideal vendors to use in the area and ideas for beautifully utilizing the space you choose.

Step 5:

Get close to the wedding coordinator. Most historic mansions staff a head of special events, whose job is primarily to facilitate the planning of your wedding. Ask for recommendations on the ideal vendors to use in the area and ideas for beautifully utilizing the space you choose.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Be respectful of the home's history. Keep a wary eye on overly wild reception guests.
  • Choose a home that will be easily accessible for the guests you plan to invite. Make sure you understand and discuss the parking arrangements too.
  • Choose a home that will be easily accessible for most of the guests you plan to invite.

About the Author

Ashley Gallman is a writer who worked with Charleston Weddings magazine.

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