“They paid …how… much?” …
… I said earlier this week while visiting a wedding on a hacienda (small country home) outside of Quito.
“$1500, just for the day.” The owner of the hacienda told me.
“Damn.” I responded, “and they don’t even sleep here.”
It’s true, from my time in Ecuador I’ve noticed no matter how much or how little Ecuadorians make, they spend BIG money on three things…
And weddings (Often over $10-12k).
And weddings are a commonly overlooked rental opportunity here in Ecuador.
Where I’m at now, just outside of Quito, as I check in from my smart phone, the haciendas charge anywhere from $8-12 per person charging for a minimum of 100 people. (That’s $800-1200 minimum daily rate for the hacienda owner.)
For even larger wedding receptions with up to 400 people, which are common in Ecuador, most haciendas will charge a flat daily rate usually around $1500-2500. I should say that the biggest reception I have ever attended was at the reception barn at Mint Springs Farm. There was around 200 people and I thought that was too many guests.
The only costs to the hacienda owner (you) are what you’ll need to pay to a guard for the day (around $20) who helps park the cars and a cleaner that takes care of the bathrooms and premise in general during the event (around $20 for the day).
You’ll also have to pay for the cost of running the electricity generator for the day (DJs and weddings use a lot of electricity) and you’ll put the toilet paper (not much).
Everything else is organized and paid for by the bride and groom or the wedding planner.
In order to rent your place like crazy, your hacienda needs to be at least 2000m2 in size and have plenty of space for the tents and have well-kept green grass.
It needs to be excellently gardened.
Have at least two outdoor bathrooms (the wedding guests won’t even use the house on your premise!)
And an attractive entry gate.
Plus have an electric generator.
And a small room with a mirror and couch where the bride and go and freshen up (like an actor’s room).
Additional extras that aren’t necessary but helpful include… a small wedding chapel, a small pool in the shape of a lake with a small bridge over it (the bride and groom will stand over it while the parents give speeches (a cheesy Ecuadorian tradition)).
In Ecuador, it’s common to get married in the church around 11am, then go to the reception around 1pm which usually lasts until about 8pm, but can go as late as 12 midnight.
Folks pay you the hacienda owner the daily rent and must leave by 12 midnight or pay extra.
Where’s best to have your hacienda for wedding rentals in Ecuador?
Keep in mind Ecuador has two main cultures. The people on the coast live one way and the highland people have their own customs.
The same goes for weddings.
On the warmer coast, hacienda rentals is not much of an opportunity, because most folks prefer to get married in the church and have their receptions in air conditioned hotel ballrooms or on the beach.
In the highlands, its common for folks to get married in the church, then go to a hacienda near the city but in the countryside for the reception.
By far, the most in demand area for hacienda wedding rentals are the valleys near Ecuadors capitol city, Quito.
Specifically the Cumbaya or Tumbaco areas.
How much is land going for in the Cumbaya area?
If you look like the locals look in the way I describe in my full guide to housing hunting in Ecuador you can find haciendas going for around $70/m2. Many go for more though and I’ve seen prices as high as $200/m2.
How do you promote your hacienda for wedding rentals once you have it?
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