We allowed a "small wedding for 30 people" this summer and I will not do it again without having an addendum to our contract spelling out all the things you mentioned plus the maximum occupancy for the house at any time, specific furniture that is not to be moved, having someone on site to supervise the care of my home and the way decorations can and cannot be fastened to walls etc. We also have decided that we will charge an event fee, additional cleaning fee and require a higher deposit. Here's why - because our house was " so nice and so close to the beach" the 30 people wedding grew to over 50. That was just the guests. Add caterers and servers and the minister and we were suddenly pushing 60! This is a house, not a reception hall. We have numerous decks and balconies that will only support so much weight. Events this big are ******* the house. When we discovered, after the fact, how many people had attended, we realized we had violated a law in our area stating a maximum of 30 people are allowed in any rental home at any time. We could have been heavily fined or lost our license. It just isn't worth the risk to us.
This is one of my biggest fears and when I've had wedding inquiries and they say a number of attendees as low as an "intimate" 30 or so, I ask how they will keep to that number. Family members and friends usually want to join the happy couple for their special day and we found that informal invitations or often shared by others (not the bride and groom) so the bride and groom may not even know their wedding is growing. Surprise! No harm intended by these additional guests, but I think it's hard to maintain such an intimate, low number. What do you do on the wedding day when things are not what you expected, or thought you had contracted?
We have had only the one wedding and it turned out fine since it was
outdoors during the day and the additional 20 people could be accommodated.
After that though I added the $25/person charge for anyone over the agreed
to count. I think it will be a determent to the tendency of the bride,
groom and families to "throw the doors open", because they think they
can. If we had another wedding we would either be involved ourselves or be
sure the caterer (who I would want to have met with) was involved to do the
head count, and we would charge the additional amount per person, which is
steep on purpose to get the bride to understand that the count is specific
and there is an additional charge for each person over that count. Somehow
when someone is having a wedding at a formal venue, everybody knows the
head count is specific, but you have to be vigilant about enforcing it when
having a wedding at a home, as people tend to be more casual about it. I
think you have to be very clear about the additional charge. You might even
want to collect an "extra person" deposit, to draw on if it happened. As I
said before, weddings are not our focus, but if you get the right group who
are willing to adhere to your specifics it can be some nice business for
the four hour* daytime only* window that we limit it to. Our homeaway
property ID # is 961279
Hi - I'm 6 months into my brand new beach house for rental and renting it pretty steadily. I have a couple that wants to do a reception in my backyard. I'm a block to the beach and have a private pool. They want to have 40 guests and told me they would keep everyone outside and only use the bathroom on the inside. It's in October in Florida next year. Here's my question - I have spent hours researching event/wedding fees. It is a charge that is all over the board depending on per person/flat fee etc. Do you charge this in addition to your nightly rate? They want to have 15 of their guests stay for 3 days. I'm not super excited to do since it seems like a lot of work to figure out contracts etc but the girl is super sweet and is not giving up on me saying no. My partner wants me to do it since it is the slow time. They are having a planner to help them with their ceremony on the beach. How much is reasonable to charge? I read many comments that say they have had their people rent port a potties, hire security, cleaning, parking attendants etc. I live in another state so I can't physically be there. Can you give me your thoughts? Thanks.
You do not say how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in your house. First off, fifteen people staying at the house for three days sounds like a lot of people to me, regardless of whether or not a wedding will be taking place there. Second, keep in mind that you will be having, in effect, a continuous party taking place at your house for three days with many people going in and out (not merely the fifteen people who will be sleeping there). There are many threads in this Community about the damage that can be done by guests partying at a vacation rental.
With regard to the wedding reception itself, I suspect that this "super sweet" girl (who is not taking "no" for an answer) is lying to you about the number of guests. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if 40 guests turn into 80 guests. Any guest who won't take my "no" for an answer is a "red flag." I view this as an indication that she doesn't really care about what you say or what rules you establish. This super sweet girl is trying to do her wedding on the cheap. There is nothing wrong with this, I just wouldn't want her doing it at my house. Instead of 15 people staying at a hotel for three days, they will all stay at your house and the reception venue (your back yard) gets thrown in for free. Also, if it rains or is too hot, etc., do you really think the reception guests will all stay outside except to come in to use the bathroom?
Personally, I would never, ever, do this. If you do, I would require a pre-paid damage deposit (paid by check at least 30 days in advance of the wedding to make sure that it clears) of several thousand dollars.
How can a bride or groom that is busy with guests control that the remaining guests will only be inside for bathroom use? You don't think they might be interested to see the rest of your home, like an open house and start roaming the house?
Other things to consider, what is the size of your home? What is your maximum occupancy for non event rentals? How large is your lawn? What if it rains?
Many owners here complain of renters bringing more people than they have listed on the rental agreement, so how can you protect yourself from this, if you are not there?
If there is damage, will you have time to repair before the next guest arrives?
I would be sure to set a high "damage deposit" and explain why it is necessary, if you decide to say, yes.
Consider also weather the plumbing/sewage system can handle a large crowd. A residential septic tank probably couldn't. Town sewage lines also may have a problem. "Flushable" items are often not truly flushable and in large quantity could cause you unexpected and expensive repairs.
A word of caution about a "super sweet" young woman who doesn't take "no" for an answer = used to getting everything her way with no care for other's needs. We just had a long term tenant who presented herself as a super sweet young woman during the interviews. After taking residency she turned into an aggressive, violent neighbor and professional rent thief who knew how the work the system and was always many steps ahead of us.
Yes, I came up with a contract and would gladly send you a copy, but I can't figure out how on this system. I have it as a word document and a jpg. Do you know how to post it on this system or do you have an email address I can send it to? Bottom line our event turned out well, even though there were more people than originally expected. Because of that I have added a $25 per person charge to our contract for anyone over the originally agreed to count. We require it be fully catered, with a four hour maximum, during the daytime (only) with the caterer as the event coordinator and we had the renter bring a port-a-potty which we had the men use while the women used the inside bathroom. We were involved in the parking coordination and kept an eye on the event. It's good short time business, but we have a firm criteria to help limit the potential exposure, as the liability for an event is multiplied by the number of attendees.
...Yes, I came up with a contract and would gladly send you a copy, but I can't figure out how on this system....
Edit your reply or create a new reply. At the top right of your edit box is a "Use Advanced Editor" link. Click on that, and then your edit box will have a link at the bottom labeled "Attach files"
However, it's safest just to copy your contract text and paste it into your reply. Many of us are hesitant to click on a link in a public posting like this -- it could contain a virus.
SPECIAL EVENT AND WEDDING VENUE CONTRACT
This Short Term Rental Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made by
and between (“Owner”) and
(“Renter”) as of the date last set
forth on the signature page of this Agreement. For good and valuable
consideration, the sufficiency of which is acknowledged, the parties hereby
agree as follows:
1. Property. The property is located at:
2. Maximum Occupancy: The rental party shall consist of Renter and
attendees not to exceed 30 (thirty) persons. Any exception to this number
will be assessed on the basis of $25 per person.
3. Term of the Lease. The lease begins at 00:00 , DAY, MONTH, YEAR
and ends at 00:00 (not to exceed four hours) on SAME DAY, MONTH, YEAR. The
property will be available the day before if necessary for set up. That
time is to be determined and will be noted on an addendum to this contract.
4. Rental Rules: Renter agrees to abide by the *Rental
Exhibit A at all times while at the property and shall cause all members
of the rental party and anyone else Renter permits on the property to abide
by the following rules at all times while at the property. Renter
acknowledges that Renter has read the Rental Rules and fully understands
Sorry about the last response. All that was "copied and pasted", at least that I could see on the message board, was the first paragrah. Now I've attached four separare scans that include a scan of the two page contract (Scan.pdf & Scan1.pdf) and two page rules (Scan2.pdf & Scan3.pdf) for a special event/wedding that should be "comprehensive" enough.
How does anyone out there handle the use of a kayak and or canoe with your rental, liability wise? I got copy of a waiver that a hotel in the Keys uses, but would like to see if anyone else has one or if I might just incorporate some language into my rental contract. Thanks!
Thank you for taking the time to share this. This is very helpful.
We have chosen to not provide any kind of watercraft, canoe or kayak (or the aluminum rowboat we own), because we're concerned with the liability that we would incur so I'm curious also to the response of some of our fellow owners regarding this. On our lake I know of only 1 vacation rental out of 100+ listings that offers anything along these lines. Maybe because I'm nosy, but from reading your event contract it sounds like your house is lovely. Mind sharing your listing number?
Here is a much more comprehensive contract to pull language from.
We have a property that would be a gorgeous setting for a wedding. Because it is so romantic and beautiful we field wedding inquiries often. Although, because of all the afore mentioned challenges.........over occupancy, crowd control, noise control, damage, and excessive vehicles in this very quiet neighbourhood we now refer all these inquiries to the properties that are set up to handle these kind of events.
We found that the "wedding party inquirers" really wanted a lower rate from a typical wedding venue. They were hoping to get the property at the price of occupancy for 6 guests......not a wedding party.
So we no longer spend time entertaining the wedding ideas and focus on quietly operating in a very quiet island neighbourhood. Although, we do LOVE couples on their honey moon infusing the property with all their bliss.
I have researched this with my eyes open. I appreciate all your comments and feedback. My gut is telling me no and I should stop the madness and tell her no. I was an employer in the past and know that people never do what they say they are going to do after you hire them! I'm emailing her no. Thanks for all advice. Best, Louise