“Site visits”

After making all these wedding venue viewing appointments, we learned that a couple at places that would normally charge an entry fee (because they are cultural centers/museums/historical sites) waive the charge when you tell them that you are there for a site viewing for a potential private event. One of the places we visited today, though there was no charge, was so stunning just to see, as it was atop a mountain in Malibu with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The place could easily charge to be a tourist viewing point for those who want another spectacular glimpse of Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. It was also great to see because this site is actually a current living quarters for the family that built it. They just happen to rent out their space and land for weddings, as they love working on wedding planning and with engaged couples. How often do you get invited into some stranger’s gorgeous private home with views like this?

I remembered that a number of very famous places, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Waters and the Hearst Castle, do allow the rental of their property for private functions. And then I thought, wow, if we were really dishonest, we could just call or e-mail these sites and let them know we were considering them as a potential wedding venue. That way, we wouldn’t have to pay the usual admission fee and could get a free personalized tour quite easily. It sounds quite evil, especially considering a lot of these sites are non-profit, but I’m sure it’s something that others have thought about before.

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