Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the estate rental?
With “The Perfect Weekend” package (see the Packages & Rates page), renting the estate for your wedding or reception includes exclusive use of the Estate from Friday at 3:00 pm until Sunday at 11:00 am. (And, if you prefer a Sunday or weekday package, or an extended lodging package for more than two nights, we can certainly customize your package based on availability).
We include a shuttle service to and from the destination for a sum of up to four hours, usually an hour plus at the start and two+ hours at the end of the event from a local permitted park. When touring the estate, ask us about our post-party suggestions and how the included shuttle can assist there, too. Our in-house planning service, luxury men’s and women’s ADA compliant restrooms (with a diaper changing table), lighting, chandeliers, a base table and chair credit, and a large 16X24′ dance floor are included. Use of our outdoor catering area for use by your caterer for plating and serving is also included on the day of the event.
We also include the four lodging houses like Cielo for your best friends or family members for two consecutive nights, so you are already onsite and enjoying the Estate. We do ask that you try to keep the same guests in the rooms both evenings since it is almost impossible to have you leave the rooms and clean them for different guests on the day of your wedding or event.
Can we get ready at the Estate?
Yes, oftentimes the bride will get ready onsite and have hair and makeup coming to the Estate; however, if your wedding party exceeds four women, it is difficult for everyone in one room and as this is often your bridal suite later in the day, it’s also a room you would prefer to keep in some order. If you opt for the ‘All in One Night’ package, you would get ready offsite and be camera-ready for photography when you arrive at The Casitas Estate, with plenty of time before your guests arrive.
Typically the groom or his groomsmen are staying at an offsite hotel. They get ready off property and arrive early for a game of bocce and the photography before the shuttles start arriving with guests for the ceremony or reception.
By popular demand, here are just a few options for bringing in lunch or snacks on the day of your event while your family and friends get ready: The Sidewalk Cafe, Jaffa Cafe for Mediterranean food or Palo Mesa Pizza – (AG Rancho Parkway location), who even delivers!
What is required to reserve a date?
A $8,000 non-refundable retainer and signed contract will confirm that the date is yours for the wedding or event, including all lodging rooms for the two nights.
Alternatively, for the “Let’s Just Rent the Casitas Estate” only package, a $3,500 non-refundable retainer is required to secure the entire estate for lodging only.
What would you say are the top reasons couples select The Casitas?
This does vary for everyone, but our hilltop views are probably one of the top reasons. Many feel like they are transported to Tuscany or parts of Spain.
Secondly, you have a six-hour event package (4:00 -10:00 pm) and are here for an entire weekend (unless selecting the ‘All in One Night’ package). Here at The Casitas Estate, you do not have to load up and leave the same night. You can sleep in, enjoy our breakfast in the morning with your family or friends who are lodging here, enjoying more time together.
Many other Central Coast wedding venues have issues with wind, extreme heat and cold, and they have a limited amount of space to hold your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Luckily with The Casitas Estate being just seven miles from the ocean and with a protected hill from our neighbor’s estate, your guests enjoy modest temperatures and do not have the “wind tunnel” effect that other venues endure.
Many of our couples marry in our estate Syrah vineyard, enjoy the fountain courtyard for cocktails, and then have their reception on the back infinity lawn so their guests are treated to unique locations all in one cozy place. It’s ample space for up to 180 guests but even smaller weddings of 40 guests do not feel swallowed up here.
Catering to destination weddings, we offer most amenities here including the lights, chandeliers, tables and chairs (with upgrade option-site agreement provides details), wedding coordination, and shuttle service. Up to 10 heaters are available last minute in case they are needed (at added cost). Our luxury bathrooms offer guests an equally pleasant experience to freshen up in a pleasant setting that is maintained and match the beauty of our private estate.
While there is limited space at the top of the estate, the shuttles have become a very desirable feature of our packages. Your guests do not drink and drive but are brought up in a nice coach with professional drivers. They come off the shuttle and are wowed by the setting with many natural florals and detailed Spanish architecture–guests love the curb appeal upon arriving and that you have brought them to this magical romantic setting. Uber and Lyft services are still used as an option to and from the parking location, and close to the village and many local lodging locations.
Finally, Tony and I care deeply about our estate and making your day incredible. We are committed to help you, your friends and family, and the vendors you select to make sure you have a wonderful event. We welcome our committed couples to visit often while planning, whether it’s to show a friend or parent the location, meet with vendors or just to stop in while doing other things. We take great pride in being great hosts to both our lodging guests and wedding couples throughout the year.
Am I required to have a wedding planner and/or coordinator?
Yes. But we include this professional who will help you as soon as you book your date! These planners have wonderful experience at this venue and are not learning on your wedding day, they are professionals that we know will exceed your expectations! Your wedding planner will ensure that your day goes as planned and small details aren’t missed creating a wonderful event. If you already have a licensed full-time wedding planner, our in-house planner would be happy to communicate and partner with them – we want to create a win-win with our experienced staff and your lead, if desired.
Until what time can music be played and when does my event need to end?
All music (band or DJ) and your event must end by 10:00 pm for weddings, 9:00 pm for rehearsal dinners held the night prior to the wedding.
This is in keeping with the county ordinance and out of respect for our neighbors across the valley.
What is the rain plan?
While chances for rain are typically remote here on the Central Coast during our long wedding season, we do have lawn dimensions if a tent(s) was needed and we have comparative quotes that we can share. You would need to incur the cost of a tent from a rental company if warranted. We do work with several local rental companies that offer tent rentals if inclement weather is forecasted for that day. We also have arrangements with these companies to offer our Casitas Estate couples tent availability earlier than other callers when you have arranged your rentals through their company. This is why we stress to use one of our preferred rental companies for your plates, stemware and silverware. (Guest tables and chairs are already included through these rental companies as long as you order the other rentals at the same company.)
What if we don't want to use the four lodging houses for our event?
We now also offer an option if you prefer to stay elsewhere and do your event all in one day! In this scenario, no one else is lodging on the estate on the night of your event, but we often rent out the lodging the night before (typically on Friday). The guests check out at 11:00 am Saturday morning and you would arrive with hair and makeup completed as early as 1:00 pm, so you can take photographs a couple hours before any guests are shuttled into the estate. We have one room off the reception lawn that the bride and groom may use to freshen up. All other guests would use our luxury bathroom facilities that we clean and monitor throughout the evening.
Most couples still opt for the weekend package that includes two nights of lodging in all four casitas/little houses. Each has a king bed and typically sleeps a couple. Cielo, the house down by the pool, is slightly larger with a king bed and queen sofa sleeper, but it is all one room so a small family could use it but most often the bride and groom lodging here choose this as their lodging space.
Can I bring in my own vendors?
Yes, but we are happy to offer suggestions especially for vendors that have done a wonderful job here in the past and are familiar with the property already. (It does make a difference!) We do have a checklist that we coordinate with you listing those vendors to ensure that everything arrives and runs smoothly. For catering, we do require adequate staffing to clear and support your given wedding size — typically this is not an issue, but again we want to ensure a successful event you will be proud to hold here at the Estate. They must also be licensed and insured.
Any new caterer must do a site visit scheduled with our planner so they are prepared on your event day. Any returning caterer with a new lead is also welcome to see the estate before the event as well. We do have some great suggestions to offer for a variety of budgets and food themes. Upon booking, we are also happy to share vendors that do a great job to find the right fit for your event.
Do you have ample electricity set up at your venue?
Yes, we have sockets located in each of the areas for ceremony, cocktails, and reception areas here on the Estate as well as power, filtered water, and lighting for the outdoor catering space. Caterers will bring their own stove or oven, or have you rent what is needed. At The Casitas Estate, we offer a great setting for views and photography from the front fountain courtyard, back infinity lawn, vineyard ceremony site, and pool area.
Do you allow full bar at your venue?
Yes, since you are renting our lodging estate for a private event, it is allowed. However, we strongly suggest considering wine, beer, and signature cocktails for two reasons:
1) guests are not mixing many alcohols and potentially causing unwanted attention during your special day and
2) we see that having many choices at the bar slows down the flow of guests getting drinks.
If you do want to offer some hard liquor, consider a few choices where you aren’t also bringing in every mixer for a full bar. Doing so means a lot to bring in and dispose of the next day as well as when you depart the Estate. Additionally, if you have a full bar, you will want to have an additional bartender included to staff it, to try and manage the longer wait times for your guests. We do require licensed, insured caterers and bartenders and can recommend many great choices at various budgets.
Do you charge a corkage fee for your bar?
No, we do not. We can suggest great local wineries and brewers that can give your event a great local flavor, but we do not restrict what you purchase and serve. BevMo also delivers here, which is a nice convenience, if desired.
What other options do you offer at your venue?
We also have 10 heaters on site that we maintain and fill each weekend that are “on call.” We charge for them if you want them last minute, we charge nothing if the evening weather is warm and they are not needed. We used to see that couples rented them (from a rental company two weeks out) and didn’t need them or didn’t think to order them and grandma would have benefitted with one near her seat. We added these to cover this need as a last minute option available to you.
We also now offer a high-end glass fire pit with benches for a lounge set-up near your bar area or in the courtyard or outer circle–please inquire and we can share images of it.
Note: It is not one that may be used for toasting marshmallows or S’mores.
We would prefer the farmhouse (rustic wooden) tables and different chairs. Are we able to upgrade if desired?
As long as you place your rental order with one of the preferred vendors we have made an arrangement with and book the rentals under directly (versus a caterer or doing rentals for plates, silverware, etc. on your own), the rental companies will typically offer you a credit for the base table and chairs that they include and you can pay the delta for an upgraded table and/or chair style.
Note: If you book a caterer who wants to handle and book the rentals under their own company, we cannot get the agreed upon discounts from our rental vendors and you would need to order your own tables and chairs. Feel free to consult with your planner on these details or ask us (the owners) for clarification.