The Top 9 Reasons to NOT Spend the Night at Your Wedding Venue

It might sound romantic but, in reality, it’s just the opposite.

When you’re busy planning your wedding (and planning a wedding budget) one of the options you might be looking at is the option to stay at your wedding venue overnight. You might even be thinking about how romantic it would be, and how much fun to have many of your friends and family do the same and stay overnight with you.

Hey, we can’t say we blame you. At the various rustic wedding venues here in Sonoma wine country that offer overnight accommodations, their lovely, well-lit photos make it look ridiculously romantic. Glamping around the campfire on a starry night. Dancing into the wee hours with the people you love most in the world. Sleeping under the light of the moon. What’s not to like, right?

The answer?

Most everything. From throwing your wedding budgets under the bus to dealing with insects, corralling drunken friends, sharing a nasty port-a-potty and much more, staying at your wedding venue the night of your wedding is highly overrated. It’s so overrated we wrote this article to explain why and give you better, cheaper and more enjoyable options.

How have we come to this conclusion?

Experience.  Our wedding venue used to have overnight lodging..  Our outlook on the subject comes from actual experiences, the experiences of other wedding venue locations, and wedding guests who have told us about experiences at some of the other overnight northern California wedding sites.

We think once you’ve read The Top 9 Reasons to NOT Spend the Night at Your Wedding Venue you’ll agree. So read on, with our apologies for bursting your staying-overnight-at-the-wedding-venue bubble.

Reason #1- The Ridiculously High Cost

The extra cost to stay overnight at the typical venue in Sonoma wine country is around $10,000.00. That’s for one night, which will easily eat up a good chunk of your wedding budget. Stay for 2 nights and the cost goes up significantly, money that you could use to do something much more romantic, and fun, somewhere else. (More on where below.)

Reason #2- Glamping Isn’t Nearly as Romantic as It Looks

You might want to stay at your wedding venue because they offer glamping (glamorous camping). Sure, the photos look amazing, with pretty tents surrounding a campfire and the stars shining. But here’s a fact; glamping can get old really fast under the wrong circumstances. First off, you may be in a cow pasture, which means that, whenever you have to use the bathroom, you have to make the trip through the grass, across the cow pasture, in the dark.  Have you ever stepped on a fresh ‘meadow muffin’?

Speaking of bathrooms, what happens if one of your friends or family members drinks too much and gets sick in the shared bathroom? Not only do you have to deal with them (ugh) but also the bathroom is now a mess for the rest of the evening and the rest of your guests. Maybe they don’t make it to the bathroom and barf in the grass instead. Now you and your guests will be tiptoeing around that the rest of the night too, which is far from romantic. We think you’ll agree.

And then you have the subject of porta-potties.  Some venues don’t have enough bathrooms for the number of guests you’ll have on-site, to porta-potties become necessary.  Yes, there are luxury models available, but in nice trailers.  But trailers are high, and there are going to be a number of steps to get in and out.  Have you ever tried to use a portable toilet at night with no lights?  Or even better, it’s the only light in the area, attracting every bug you can imagine.

Then there’s the fact that the chance of biting insects like mosquitoes is very high when you’re in a big field of grass. We’ve heard of wedding parties that were swarmed so badly they all had to run for their tents to get away from the bugs. That would put the kibosh on your good times quickly, no doubt.

Want more? What about if the weather decides to change, the wind picks up and your peaceful evening turns into a wind-blown mess. Even worse, imagine a cinder, cigarette butt, or another alternative smoking device lighting the pasture on fire and the mess that would make (let alone the extra charges and possible fines you’d no doubt have to pay). In other words, glamping sounds romantic but, in reality, can quickly turn into something very much the opposite.

Reason #3- Should They Stay or Should They Go?

If you think making the seating chart, and figuring out who sits where and with whom, is difficult, imagine how hard it’s going to be deciding who gets to stay at the venue and who doesn’t. How will you explain that to your friends and family who hear they’re not on the list? And if you can’t say “No” to someone, how much more is that going to increase your wedding price?

Reason #4- Asking Friends and Family to Pay? No Way

Let’s be honest, going to a wedding can be expensive these days as a guest. The travel, the accommodations, the meals, and the new clothes can get up there, cost-wise, and that doesn’t even include the wedding gift. If you think asking your guests to then pay for an expensive night at your wedding venue is a good idea, you better have well-to-do or very understanding friends and family. If not, it’s going to reflect rather poorly on you and your spouse-to-be.

In general, asking guests to help pay for a portion of your wedding site fee, is just kind of tacky.  It’s not a good start to your dream wedding day.

Speaking of paying, don’t forget the extra cost of all those extra meals.  If family and friends are all staying with you, there’s meals to plan. That includes breakfast and maybe lunch the day after, which can add a big extra bill to your wedding budget. Staying 2 days.? Throw in an extra dinner for all those guests too.

Reason #5- Guests Who Go Overboard with the Alcohol

It never fails. Everyone is having a good time at your venue until that one person (or, in many cases, several persons) go overboard with the alcohol and get drunk. If you’re kind of lucky they’ll be ‘nice drunk’. You know, giggling and laughing and sloshing around like a drunken monkey. If you’re rather unlucky they might be ‘rowdy drunks’ or ‘bad drunks’, the kind that will start arguments and fights or start busting stuff up.

In either case, what do you do then? You can’t send them home, so now they’re your problem. You have to stay with them, comfort them, and hold their hair when they barf. So much for a romantic first evening as a married couple. Even if someone else handles it for you, that person’s fun and good times are ruined. Plus, and keep this in mind, you’ll be seeing all of them in the morning when many will be suffering from tremendous hangovers. Do you really want to deal with that on your first morning together as a married couple?

Reason #6- Having to Play Host On Your Very Busy Day

Here’s a question; on your big, busy day, what would you rather be doing? A- Getting ready and enjoying your last few hours as a single gal with your gal pals? B- Helping all your family and friends with their luggage and showing them all to their rooms (or tents)? If lugging luggage doesn’t sound like fun for you and your sweetheart, staying overnight at your wedding venue isn’t for you. The truth is, you’ll be busy enough already.

Reason #7- Guests Who Just Won’t Stop Till They Get Enough

Here’s a scenario for you; you’ve just gotten married, had a wonderful party, and enjoyed yourself fully. Now it’s time to snuggle, smooch and get frisky with your new spouse, right? Wrong. You can’t go anywhere because there’s still a handful (or more) of guests who want to keep the party going, and going, and going. You don’t want to be rude, so you stick around, but you’d so much rather get some alone time for obvious reasons.

Reason #8- Not All Family Members Should Be In Close Quarters Overnight

Unfortunately, not everyone in your circle of family and friends will always get along. You might be a child of divorced parents, or some of your friends might not like some of his friends. Whatever the case may be, if they all stay together at your wedding venue you now have the extra stress of making sure everyone gets along, and that’s extra stress you don’t need, especially on your wedding day.

And it’s not just family members that can have this issue.  We’ve seen couples get into it at weddings over one thing or another.  Or long lost school yard friends, who suddenly recall this slight or that long ago insult.

Reason #9- Watching the Clean-Up Crew

The nice thing about not staying at your wedding venue overnight is that, when you’re ready, you can simply get up and leave and let the clean-up crew do their thing. If you’re staying, however, you’ll no doubt be there when they get started, which can be uncomfortable at best (especially if one or more of your guests made a mess).

Much Better Suggestions on What To Do and Where to Go After Your Wedding Reception

If you’re dead-set on spending the night at your wedding venue the list above probably hasn’t changed your mind all that much. (Hey, we get it. Some of you love glamping.) For the rest, we didn’t want to sour you on staying overnight without giving you some sweet suggestions and better options.

If you’re planning a wedding budget want to keep it more manageable, but still party on, consider an after party.

How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

Much less if you don’t stay at your venue overnight.  We hate to be down on overnight stays at wedding venues, especially those that look so romantic and sexy in their brochures and online. We think, however, that the case against staying overnight is much stronger. It will certainly save you big bucks when you’re planning a wedding budget. It will also save you a lot of extra stress. Whatever you choose, we hope your big day is big fun and everyone has a great time!

john mountain house estate

About the Author, John Alden

John Alden, owner of Mountain House Estate, a Northern California wine country wedding venue located in Cloverdale, Sonoma County, has helped wedding couples at his wine country wedding venue for the last 5 years.  His goal is to share his wisdom and experience to help you craft the wedding of your dreams.