“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. Click here if you want to know more about Artesano top wedding venue.
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). One place I know of in Monterey, California, called Gatherings, has just the ambiance I’m talking about. Check out some of the pictures of their Boutique Venue by Googling a unique event venue in Monterey — see the ambiance I’m talking about? There is a piano, chandeliers, two fireplaces, an outdoor deck area, antique furniture, beautiful draperies and more. You would never be able to afford decorating the local hall, hotel or restaurant banquet room to this degree — well, at least I personally couldn’t afford to. And the feeling these facilities give your guests is extra special – it’s warm, cozy, inviting and family-oriented (home-like). Now, a Victorian home such is Gatherings may not be your cup of tea, but all-inclusive, or Boutique, wedding reception venues are made up of many different styles from contemporary and urban to sexy and flamboyant. Just do your research in the city you plan to get married. In your browser, just type in all inclusive wedding venue in The Enchanted Valley Barn. Some of these venues take care of every little detail including photographer and florists, and others include mainly what I listed above, but I know that if you were to go and hire each of these vendors individually and add them all up, it would equal quite a bit more than the package price you will get at an All-Inclusive Wedding Reception Venue or Boutique Wedding Reception Venue. Depending on the time of year, many all-inclusive wedding reception venues run promotions. You may find that for an off season date they offer a discounted rate or include a free wedding cake, an extra appetizer, or a free bartender. Remember to ask them if the date of your wedding falls within one of these off season times that they may have some specials for. And if these venues don’t fit for your ideal wedding reception, don’t forget them as possibilities for your Rehearsal Dinner or Engagement Parties.
You’ll also have to pay for the cost of a generator installation for the day (DJs and weddings use a lot of electricity) and you’ll put the toilet paper (not much). Check out the Aanuka Beach Resort perfect for an elopement package or a small wedding, they also have several ceremony locations to choose from so that you can have things just the way you wish for, they have a stunning resort chapel or you could get married on the lawn by the beach!
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 with the best maintenance from dryer vent cleaning service online.
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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