Frequently Asked Questions

 

VENUE

Where are you located?
Mountain House Estate is located seven miles west of Cloverdale on Hwy 128, heading towards the coast.  We advise that you use “Mountain House Estate, Cloverdale” for your GPS search rather than a street address.  Some mapping programs are incorrect and we want you and your guests to arrive here without difficulty.

What’s included in the Site fee?
The site fee allows for exclusive use of the site during the hours of your event.

Are tables and chairs included in the Site fee?
Chairs, tables, bar stools, barrels, umbrellas, lighting, sound systems, multiple indoor bathrooms, lounge furniture, and more. Please see our Site Information, for a more detailed list.

What is the maximum capacity?

Outdoors: 250 seated at tables. Indoors: 124 seated at tables, 150 seated in chairs without tables in the Great Room. Our maximum indoor occupancy is 249 persons

Is lighting included?
The patio is strung with bistro lighting and has additional soft lighting. The barn has a custom designed light fixture. Inside, the bar has several custom lighting fixtures as well as ceiling lighting. The great room has a beautiful hand-crafted fixture inside the front doors and three large globe fixtures, all of which are adjustable for dimming. Additional lighting, including up lighting, can be rented from outside vendors.

What kinds of packages do you have?
We offer Single-Day Rental, two Mini-Weekend Packages, a Full-Weekend Package, and Elopements. Elopements are customized according to your specific needs.

Do you have packages that include everything?
At this time we do not offer any all-inclusive packages, however we work closely with several Planner/coordinators, who would be happy to customize a package for you.

How many hours are included in the basic Single-Day Site fee?
With our Single Day Rental, you may arrive to begin your preparations in The Oasis at 10:00 am. The Studio, an additional prep room, opens at 1:00 pm. Guests arrive at 4:00 and your celebration continues until 10:00 pm. Additional hours may be purchased if you’d like to continue the party, until as late as 2:00 am.

Are Site fees negotiable?
Site fees are non-negotiable. Please inquire with our site manager for current promotions.

What days of the week can we have our wedding?
Mountain House Estate is available for weddings and events 365 days of the year!

Do we have exclusive use of the venue or will there be other weddings the same day?
We reserve the Estate for only one wedding on any given day. Exclusive use of the property is from noon to the end of your event. There may be rehearsals by other couples before noon, or a possible showing to an interested couple. You and your wedding party will not be disturbed in The Oasis.

Why does Saturday cost more than other days?
Saturdays are more expensive than other days because they are in higher demand. Fridays and Sundays, and even weekday options, provide a way to save money and keep within your budget.

Is there a military discount?
Yes! We will provide active military members with a $500 discount.

Do you offer “off-season” rates?
Yes. We offer reduced rates between the months of November and March.

Why don’t you have a calendar of your open event dates?
Event dates are constantly changing throughout the year. We do not post a calendar to ensure that we do not get double booked. Our venue manager can provide you with information regarding which dates are currently available.

Is there a place for children?
We’ve thought of the children and want everyone at your event to have a good time. The Studio is a great place for young children with babysitters. It is equipped with a TV and DVD player, as well as some videos appropriate for children. In addition, The Studio is located in a building that is separate, but close to where your celebration will be happening.

Event

How late can the event go?
The standard event end-time is 10:00 pm. You may extend the end-time as late as 2:00 am for an additional fee. Each hour between 10:00 pm and midnight is $900, and each hour between midnight and 2:00 am is $1,300.

When can guests arrive on property?
Guests may begin arriving on the property at 4:00 pm.

Can we have an “after party”?
Yes – sort of. Indeed you can go until 2am, but once the event is over, the Vendors must complete their responsibilities before they leave the property. Clean-up needs to be completed within 2-hours after the end of your event.

Can we get ready on the property?
Absolutely! We have two prep rooms – The Oasis and The Studio. The Oasis is available at 10:00 am for the wedding party to begin preparations and The Studio is available at 1:00 pm. The Oasis has four makeup stations, many mirrors, including a full-size tri-fold mirror, a private bathroom with shower, closet designed for your wedding dress, and much more. The Studio has several mirrors, a breakfast bar, a kitchenette, four sofas, a private bathroom with shower, and more.

Can we do hair and makeup on site?
With 6-hours of prep time and plenty of room in The Oasis, most couples choose to do all their preparations on site.

Is set-up and break-down part of the event time?
No. Set-up is from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Event time is from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm (unless late hours are purchased). Your 2-hour clean-up is after the end of your event, from 10:00 pm to midnight.

Can dinner and dancing be outside?
Absolutely! Most of the year dinner can be served on the lawn. The patio is a wonderful area for both dinner and dancing. Both the lawn and patio can accommodate up to 250 at tables.

Can dinner and dancing be inside?
The Great Room provides an all-season space for dinner or dancing. It can accommodate up to 124 at tables for dining, and the great room together with the bar can accommodate up to 250 for dancing.

Does Mountain House Estate allow food trucks?

Yes. We have a concrete pad area, easily accessible to guests, which can be surrounded with food trucks. In addition, we have a second area that we call the ‘show off kitchen’, which can accommodate additional trailers, BBQ’s, paella preparation, fresh-made donuts, or photo booths just to name a few options.

Are live bands allowed?
Yes. The band will need to provide a current business license, insurance, and attend a walkthrough at the venue. The walkthrough allows the band to consider the spaces available to set-up and to make sure there is adequate power for their needs. In addition we will review the volume levels allowed at the venue and our site rules regarding bands with them. All amplified live music is to be played indoors.

Can we use sparklers, fire pits, candles and have a cigar bar?
The venue has two fire pits that you may use on the patio or concrete areas of the venue. Due to the high fire danger in this area candles are not permitted. Sparklers are illegal in California with the exception of a few cities on the 4th of July. We do have an area where you may have a cigar bar in the patio adjacent to the small building where The Studio is located.

Are pets allowed?
Pets are not allowed unless agreed to in writing.

What are the good photo spots?
Great photo spots abound on the property – the pond, the barn, the redwood trees, the garden, Oak Tree Terrace… There are also two vintage trucks, an old tractor, and a windmill to add variety. The photographers on our recommended list provide a huge benefit to you because they are familiar with the best areas on the property for your photos and how lighting affects them throughout the day. If you are not choosing a photographer from our list, we encourage them to come to the venue for a walkthrough with you before your wedding to point out some of the most popular locations for your photos.

What happens with different weather issues?
Mountain House Estate has both indoor and outdoor options. In case of rain, the indoor space can comfortably seat up to 124 at tables. With larger groups you have the option to rent a tent. In the case of heat, the indoor space is air conditioned and we provide some market umbrellas to create shade on the patio or lawn.

What are some site options for our rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and farewell brunch?
The venue rental fee includes a 1-1/2 hour rehearsal, which may be scheduled one month before your wedding. Because we often have weddings on several consecutive days, your rehearsal may be earlier in the week, or even early on the day of your wedding. Our Mini-Weekend and Weekend Packages give you the opportunity to extend your stay so that you could host your rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch on site, or even just have a comfortable and beautiful place to relax at leisure with your family and guests from out of town for multiple days.

Vendors

Why we have preferred Planner/coordinators and Caterers. Can you choose your own?
Your planner/coordinator and caterer are two of the most important vendors at your event. Your planner will be the person behind the scenes directing the events of your day according to the plans you have decided upon. Your caterer and his staff are important because not only does your chef prepare and serve the food, but have the staff has the most interaction with your guests. Professionalism and the ability to provide excellent service as well as food is important to Mountain House Estate and to your event. The planners and caterers on our list meet and exceed our minimum requirements.

We ask that you choose a planner from our list. If none are available for your selected wedding day, we can make other recommendations or you may choose your own. To use an outside planner, they she will need to be a professional planner (not a guest at your wedding or relative) and she will need to be pre-approved prior to your booking with her. We require your planner to provide copies of her liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, to read, sign and comply with our vendor rules, and attend a walkthrough with you and MHE staff.

Please consider the caterers from our list as well. Should you choose an outside caterer, MHE requires the same insurance and MHE rules and regulations as above, and in addition, a copy of their current business license. Caterers must be pre-approved prior to your booking with them.

Do we have to use a photographer/florist/bakery or other vendor you recommend?
No. We encourage you to consider the vendors on our list first. They have earned the right to be on our list and we know you won’t be disappointed in their work.

Do we need to get Mountain House Estate approval for all vendors? If so, what is that approval and process?

These are specific requirements for outside vendor approval:

  • Planner/Coordinator – Must be a professional planner/coordinator who is not a guest at your wedding or a family member. Possible $250 administrative fee.  Provide a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured, workers compensation insurance (if they are bringing employees), sign the vendor agreement form and attend a walkthrough prior to booking.
  • Caterer – Possible $250 administrative fee.  Provide a business license, a copy of their workers compensation insurance, a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured, sign the vendor agreement form and attend a walkthrough prior to booking.
  • DJ or Band – Provide a business license, a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured, read, agree to , and sign the MHE vendor agreement form applying to DJs and bands, and attend a walkthrough before your wedding if they have not worked here before. Amplified live bands may only perform indoors.
  • Florist – Liability insurance only, unless they are only dropping off, then we don’t need anything from them.
  • Photographer – Provide a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured.
  • Photobooth – Provide a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured, and attend a walkthrough to confirm location of the photo booth, and ensure that they have sufficient electricity for their needs.
  • Rentals – Encore or Bright for basic rentals, specialty suppliers – no documents needed.
  • Bakery – Liability insurance only, unless they are only dropping off, then we don’t need anything from them.
  • Transportation company – Provide a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured and meet with MHE staff when they first arrive for specific instruction.
  • Lighting company – Provide a copy of their liability insurance showing MHE as additional insured.
  • Officiant – no documents needed.

How do we handle rental items?
MHE does not place orders for, receive or prepare your rental items for pick-up. We will direct your caterer and planner as to where they will need to be dropped off and picked-up.

What should we give/budget as a gratuity for our vendors?
Gratuities are not required, however they are appreciated if you are happy with the services provided. If you choose to give a gratuity, it is typical to budget 10-20% of the total invoice.

COORDINATION/EVENT PLANNING

Is a planner/coordinator required?
Yes. Planner/Coordinators offer a variety of services based on your need. We require a minimum of “month-of” coordination but advise you to select and book your planner as soon as you’ve selected your venue, if not before!

Your planner/coordinator is an integral part of your celebration, and can provide services ranging from being a local resource to taking over the reins and planning your entire wedding. Your planner can work with you not only in designing your day, but in making sure that your day goes as you envisioned. She will work with you to create the style you envision and manage your rentals, create a timeline reflecting all the specific details of your wedding, suggest and design layouts for the different stages of your celebration, communicate with your vendors and keep your day on track. Your planner will also coordinate the set-up of your event along with décor and add personal touches. She will execute your timeline, adjusting it as needed. At the end of the day, she will oversee the break-down of the event. Your planner will be the last person to leave at the end of your event.

Is there any coordination service included in the Site fee?
Not at this time. A site manager from Mountain House Estate will be available throughout your event.

Do you have any packages that include everything?
Currently Mountain House Estate does not offer an all-inclusive package, however any of the planner/coordinators on our list can assemble an excellent group of vendors who will bring your day to life.

Who directs the flow of the evening?
The flow of your event is one of the most important pieces to your day and is directed by your planner/coordinator. Overall, the flow is determined by your timeline. All your vendors will work together as a team with your planner overseeing them.

Can a family member/friend be a vendor at the wedding?
We do not encourage family members or friends to be a vendor at your wedding. If they are invited as a guest, they will want to be enjoying the celebration along with you. We do not allow family members or guests to provide the services of catering, bartending or planner/coordinator. If you would still like to use a family member or friend to provide other services, they will be treated as an outside vendor and to meet our standard requirements.

Who breaks down after the wedding?
Generally it is your caterer who both sets-up and breaks down after the wedding under the supervision of your planner.

Does Mountain House Estate provide any set-up or break-down services?
We do not. We can add this service if you wish for an additional charge.

What are the nearest hotels?
Your guests will most likely choose an Airbnb, VRBO or motel for their weekend stay. The areas they might choose from would be as far North as Ukiah, West as far as Mendocino, East as far as Cloverdale, and South as far as Santa Rosa. Mountain House Estate is in a rural area with the closest town being Cloverdale, about 15 minutes away. Santa Rosa is about 55 minutes away. You can find hotels accommodations near your venue. If you wish to set up room blocks, please contact the hotel of your choice directly. Please see Local Accommodations, for a more detailed list.

Will you set up and manage transportation for us?
We do not set up or manage transportation for you. We have recommendations on our vendor list of companies you can use. Your planner/coordinator can work with you to suggest times and locations for pick-up of your guests.

WINE ALCOHOL AND BEVERAGES

What are the rules around alcohol?
Clients host their own beverage service for the event, including beer, wine and liquor, with no corkage fee or minimum purchase from Mountain House Estate required. Properly licensed and insured bartending staff, is required for all bartending services. If Client desires to serve liquor, or provide more than one alcohol containing beverage per guest, a security person is required at a guard-to-guest ratio of one per 100 guests. Here is a blog that can help you in determining the amount of alcohol you provide: https://www.theknot.com/content/how-to-stock-the-bar-at-your-wedding

Additionally, if hard alcohol/spirits are served, the couple is required to provide shuttle service to and from the venue for their guests. Hard alcohol may not be served “straight”, but in mixed drinks only. Self-serving of alcoholic beverages is not allowed (i.e. open bottles on tables). Vendors are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages at any time while on the Estate. Drinking of alcoholic beverages is not allowed at the rehearsal

Regarding beer, Jockey Boxes and beer trucks are not allowed. Beer may be provided by couple in pony kegs, or in cans or bottles. No full-sized kegs.

Is there a corkage fee?
No. We do not charge a corkage fee.

How do we purchase beer, wine and alcohol?
You may purchase you beer, wine and alcohol from the store of your choice. Our Kegerator will accommodate two pony kegs, and we have refrigeration available for an additional two, if required. In addition we have a wine refrigerator behind the bar for your white wines or champagne.

WEATHER OPTIONS

What happens with different weather options?
Mountain House Estate provides for different weather options. We include 10 market umbrellas plus for use on the patio and lawn. The interior of the building is both heated and air conditioned. If your guest count requires additional covered areas due to heat or rain, there are multiple places where rented tents can be erected.

What is the backup rain plan if we need one?
Your planner/coordinator will work with you to prepare a backup plan in case it rains. The interior of the building will seat 124 at tables, but just in case it rains, having a rental order for a tent in place, is a good idea. During the months of December through February we limit events to a guest count of 120, as these are the months with the highest likelihood of rain.

Is there room for a tent or shade structure?
Yes. The lawn can accommodate a 40‘x50’ shade structure and there are multiple areas for tents up to 60‘x90’.

What is the average weather like?
When looking for weather patterns and predicted weather, use Yorkville, CA 95494 as the location.

This is historical information showing monthly averages:

Month

Avg. High/Low (◦F)

Avg. Rain

January

57◦ / 39◦

10 days

February

59◦ / 40◦

9 days

March

62◦ / 40◦

9 days

April

65◦ / 41◦

5 days

May

71◦ / 45◦

2 days

June

78◦ / 49◦

0 days

July

86◦ / 51◦

0 days

August

86◦ / 52◦

0 days

September

84◦ / 50◦

1 day

October

74◦ / 46◦

3 days

November

63◦ / 41◦

8 days

December

56◦ / 38◦

10 days

OTHER INFORMATION

Why is it important that I hold my event at a legally permitted location?
The Estate was conceived, designed and constructed to be a wedding and event venue. Prior to obtaining a building permit, a Major Use Permit UR 2014-0006, expiring in 2034, was obtained from the County of Mendocino. In addition, the Estate is licensed and insured. The permit details the approved uses for the site and includes hours of operation, types of business activities that are allowed, maximum size, type and total quantity of allowed events.

But why is this important to me?
If a site does not have these permits it is not operating legally and any event it hosts is at risk, which may result in the venue being closed. These closures by governmental agencies happen without warning, resulting in cancellation of events with no regard to paid deposits or impending event dates.