This page contains some advice, tips, guidelines and a couple of restrictions that you should keep in mind when planning your event at Agua Linda Farm. It's a lot of information that we hope you find helpful! If you have a question that isn't answered here or even an idea you would like to share or get feedback on - feel free to email us!
Remind your guests that they will be outside at a farm. Though many ladies may opt to wear heels anyway, others will appreciate the warning and wear more sensible shoes (wedge heels do not sink in grass and cowgirl boots are cute and comfy!). Some couples provide a basket of cheap flip-flops for those who did not go sensible and need a change later in the evening.
Remind guests to dress for the weather. Out of town travelers may want to pack a couple of options and maybe even throw in an umbrella just in case!
Kids love taking advantage of visiting the animals and running around the farm – give parents a heads-up!
Do your guests have a copy of a map to the farm? There is one on the Contact page of our website. Many of the navigational websites are not clear in our area and relying on those could get your guests lost. We will have a sign on the overpass directing guests south and one or two along the dirt road.
If your event will include alcohol, you may want to remind guests to have a designated driver (note: for insurance and liability reasons, we do not allow guests to “self-serve” alcohol). Some couples rent shuttle vans to move guests to and from a hotel. We don’t mind if cars are left behind for the night – safety first!
We will make sure that someone is in the front directing people where to park 20 minutes before your ceremony. If your guests need to drop of an elderly or handicapped person, they should tell the parking attendant who will direct them where to drop folks off before parking.
Please tell your family/bridal party, or anyone who will be arriving early to not park in the driveway (ask us ahead of time where they should park). We will not be directing parking until 20 minutes before guests arrive. We like to prevent people from parking in the driveway as this causes congestion and detracts from the beauty of the ranch and your photographs, (with the exception of the bride and groom’s “getaway” car, of course, if needed).
Please advise caterers and other service people including family/friends who are dropping stuff off of where they should park (check with us in advance as this changes depending on where you will be setting up). It is unfortunate when a vehicle is in the way of a great view or photo during the event.
Who is responsible for which tasks?
We at Agua Linda Farm are very helpful, and jump in to lend a hand when we can however, we are a wedding location – not wedding coordinators. Be sure to have plenty of folks to assist on the day of your event to be sure your day goes smoothly.
We recommend hiring a coordinator, however, if this is not in your budget, assign someone to the job. This should be a friend or family member who knows you well but is not in the bridal party. This person should know who all your service people are, where things are being set up, the schedule of the day, who the parents/grandparents are, the timeline of the event and more. Assign this person tasks like directing guests once they have come into the yard, directing them to sit for the ceremony and telling you when they are seated. He/she should have contact information for all your vendors including my phone number for texting/calls throughout the day.
Our in-house DJ will work off of the Music Planner that you fill out and will also MC. This assists in the flow of the event and is customizable as the reception goes on so if you decide to cut the cake early, for example, just have someone let him know.
If you plan on getting here early the day of your event, let us know so we can have ceremony chairs and reception tables placed for you to decorate (if needed) (no earlier than 9:30). Linens should be set out as late as possible, especially if your reception is under trees – bird and berry droppings can get messy. We will place tablecloths when you or your caterers or other helpers are ready to decorate tables. We do not set or bus tables or fold napkins (assign someone or ask your caterer - see catering responsibilities below). Our bartender will set up and clean up the bar and will arrive about an hour before bar service (after ceremony, unless other arrangements have been made) to ice down and set up.
Can we have an outside caterer?
At Agua Linda, we allow you to bring in the caterer of your choice - we do recommend that you consult us first before hiring someone not on our recommended vendor list. We have had one or two very bad experiences (we won’t name names...) so there are a couple of caterers who are not welcome back - check with us when you think you are narrowing down your choices. The benefit of choosing one of the caterers on our list is that there will be no need for you (or me) to meet with them ahead of time - they know the space and they know us... and... they do a good job.
We have recently partnered with a few of our favorite caterers to give you a better idea of menu and costs. See the catering page of this website.
Unlike most venues, ALF will allow you to not only hire the caterer of your choice, but you can also prepare your own food, HOWEVER, your caterer must supply us with proof of their insurance with Agua Linda Farm listed as additionally insured or, if you're doing your own food, that you have purchased your own insurance rider (we recommend EventHelper.com).
Agua Linda staff is not responsible for any food related tasks other than moving tables in position. Other than guest tables, tablecloths and cloth napkins and buffet tables, we do not provide food related utensils or dish ware (unless you are renting our vintage mismatched china). Caterers (or other folks arranged by you) must be made aware that they are responsible for folding napkins (we provide), setting tables, buffet and busing tables, scraping and stacking dishes or clearing/throwing away disposables and disposing of their trash in our dumpster and leaving the space clean. If you are hiring a caterer who has never worked here before THEY MUST SCHEDULE A VISIT WITH US - you do not need to attend.
At ALF we strive to be flexible and allow you to hire the caterer that fits your needs and budget, however, full, professional busing service MUST be provided, our in-house busing package added or a $300 clean-up deposit will be applied to your final payment.
Can we have a tent?
Absolutely! An event tent can really create a cozy space for small receptions or, especially with some fun lighting, a very festive space for larger events! In fact, it is a good idea to reserve a tent in case of foul weather - fortunately, this is Arizona (and we don’t do monsoon weddings!), so we are fortunate to have fairly consistently good outdoor weather, but for peace of mind, let us know that you would like us to reserve a weather contingent tent for you. The company we use allows us to do this for no cost but they will need a final decision a few days before to schedule their staff to set it up. Additional costs apply.
What other tasks should I be delegating?
-Who will be setting/decorating the tables?
-Who will be lighting candles and at what time?
-Flowers should be set out at the last minute on warm days. Make sure someone is assigned this task . Florists usually drop flowers off in the cantina and leave as they prefer to not have arrangements sitting in the sun. We do not have space (other than the pool house or cantina) for flower storage.
-If there are going to be kids at your event, you may want to hire someone to be stationed by the pool for safety.
-Who will be cleaning up? All of your decorations - even if you consider them garbage at the end of the event - are your responsibility to remove.
-Many caterers will “bus” tables for you, but don’t assume – ask! linens and tables/chairs. If we have to “bus” tables (remove plates, silver ware and scrape and stack), $300 will be added to your final bill.
-Who is taking home unused alcohol? Assign someone to pick up alcohol at the end of the event. They will need a trunk to put opened bottles in as they could be otherwise cited.
-All decorations and other personal items must be removed the same night. Assign people to clear centerpieces, photo- booths, dressing room, etc. Did you decorate the ceremony area? It will not be lit after dark - a good plan is to delegate someone to remove those decorations during the reception.
-Clean-up by our staff will start immediately at the end of your party, so all centerpieces should be remove promptly.
What space is available?
The standard wedding package includes the use of outdoor spaces, the pool house, two-four bathrooms for your guests (depending on headcount), parking, and one dressing room. Other private events pick from a variety of spaces.
Please inform your family members and bridal party that the interior of the house is not included and ask them to assist in keeping folks out of the house. If guests/family members use the house to change or to hang out in, you will be charged for the use of the space and charged for the value of any damaged property.
The bridal dressing room is for dressing, doing hair and make-up but not for showering or bathing.
The bridal dressing room is limited to the bride and her maids – the room and attached bathroom is not for guests to use. Please respect this space and the items in it – if a flower girl is sleepy, for example, please do not remove pillows and blankets for use outside, and the bed is not to be used for sleeping.
The Grooms Cantina is the perfect hang-out for the guys before the ceremony. This space is also fun for an after party (additional cost) or for guests to enter the ceremony yard through.
Remember – there is no inside space to move guests if the weather is foul. You can reserve a tent through us (we use an outside company for this) then decide a week or more before the event if you want them to put it up. Heaters also need to be rented. There are no last minute decision here!
How much time are we permitted on site?
Wedding clients are permitted to have an engagement shoot here free of charge.
You are also welcome to do a rehearsal for no charge, but it must be scheduled and, again, depends on availability. Rehearsal time is limited to a one hour use of space.
On your wedding day, our Wedding Package allows you the whole day to set up (9:30 am at the earliest to arrive). The actual event is for 5 hours, starting at the scheduled time of the ceremony, or when guests are scheduled to arrive. You can add overtime (see pricing upgrades) and pay for extra hours at the 30 day final payment date. Regardless of the start time of your event, your time is over at the end of that 5 hours (or more, if you have paid for overtime). Clean-up begins as soon as that time is over.
For A-La-Carte venue rental pricing, 6 hours total onsite are included (4 event hours; 2 set-up/clean-up). You select your start time. Additional time may be added for additional cost.
Please take any personal items of value at the end of the event – even things you don’t want (if you hang things from trees or float things in the pool it is your responsibility to clean these objects up of hire someone to do so).
When are payments due?
A deposit to reserve your date is required when you book. All remaining location fees and predetermined “extras” need to be paid for in full 30 days prior to the event. THIS MEANS WE NEED YOUR FINAL HEADCOUNT 30 DAYS PRIOR. You are welcome to make payments along the way, however, no payments are refundable.
Are there any other fees we should be aware of?
Fees for the Basic Package and A La Carte pricing guide and all that they include is clearly posted here on our website. The only additional fees will be any optional up-grades that you have added, gratuity for the bartender, your own liability rider and a clean-up deposit for food vendors not providing full professional busing of tables. The bar will have a tip jar. If clients do not want the tip jar, then they are responsible for tipping bartenders at $1.25/guest minimum. There are simple plug-and-play insurance providers online for riders and they are very reasonably priced and protect you. (See our Vendor Page for a link)
Typical up-grades and additions and their costs are listed on this website - if you have an idea not listed, ask.
Can we throw rice?
Yes. Rice, bird seed, rose petals are allowed in ceremony area – not reception area. Paper confetti and fake flower petals (or anything that will not biodegrade quickly) is not allowed. Ribbon on sticks for guests to wave are also a good idea.
Can we hang things from trees?
Sure - however, if it took a ladder that morning to hang things in the trees, it will take a ladder to remove them - often in the dark - consider if this is worth it. Cutting jars and leaving string will NOT satisfy your obligation to clean up your decorations.
Do you allow candles?
Yes, however, YOU don’t want wax to drip on rented linens as you will be responsible to replace them. Taper candles are not permitted. Candles should be contained. We do not allow Chinese/flame lanterns to be released. No candles can be placed on ground around the side of the pool or on the ground where people will be walking.
Can we float things in the pool?
Yes. BUT – you will be responsible for removing at the end of the night - with net if things sink.
Do you provide buffet, gift or cake table?
Is more lighting needed?
We will light the reception area with strands of “café” lights. The lighting is romantic and sufficient. You are welcome to add candles, but all additions must be removed that night. Candles must be in a container - damage to furniture/ lines will be your responsibility. Additional lighting can really create an even more memorable night! We can add more lighting affects for additional fees – awesome dance and disco lights and lights under trees! See Lighting Up-grades on the website.
Are bugs a problem?
Rarely, however, we are a farm and so there is more water here than other Arizona locations (hence the beauty!), so there are more bugs in general. After our rainy summer Monsoon season, there tend to be mosquitoes (nothing like other parts of the country!). We put OFF in bathrooms for guests. Some clients add bug wipes to their sign-in table and/or citronella candles. Also, once warmer temperatures have arrived (usually May), food served before the sun has set will attract flies - the easy solution here is to serve food at dusk or later.
Do you have refrigeration space?
Some – not large enough for the base of a large wedding cake. In fact, we recommend cup-cakes with a small round cake for your cake-cutting ceremony (if you are doing that). Once tiered wedding cakes are assembled, they cannot be moved and having a wedding cake out early (usually bakers deliver well before the event starts) is risky! Cup cakes can be equally as elegant and eliminate the need for another set of plates/forks and fit into a regular refrigerator and do not require a professional to set up so can wait in a cool spot of refrigerator until an appropriate time to set out.
What time is sunset?
Do you allow sparklers?
Yes, however, sometimes guests set hot sparklers on tables and the linens burn/melt. You would be responsible for replacement costs. If you have sparklers, you may want to save them for your “exit” when guests from a tunnel of sparkers for you and your new spouse to exit through – away from tables.
Can we bring our dog?
Usually - talk to us about this.
Do you put signs up to direct guests? Yes.
When do we need to clean-up/remove our personal things?
As soon the party has ended – your event has ended. Our staff will immediately start cleaning our responsibilities – trash, stacking chairs, removing tables, boxing un-used alcohol. Your clean-up team should be ready to start then, too. Your caterer is expected to bus tables. If it is within your budget, we highly recommend hiring a coordinator to assist with end-of-event tasks like removing decorations; if your are having a DIY event, then be sure to delegate these jobs carefully – clients are usually very organized when it comes to set up and have willing help with friends and family, but forget to assign clean-up tasks - or are relying on guests to help who are tired and ready to go home!
-When considering decorations and centerpieces, remember that this is an outdoor venue. A gentle breeze will blow table seating cards off tables, topple over tall, narrow vases of flowers and blow out candles.
-A traditional tiered wedding cake is usually delivered and assembles by a baker hours before the cake is cut - this does not work for an outdoor venue - your cake would be exposed to the elements for too long (and our farm dogs will not be "locked up" until guests are scheduled to arrive...). Additionally, we do not provide ample refrigeration for large or tall cakes. Our recommendations: ask your baker to arrive much later; have a small cake for the "cake cutting" ceremony with other desserts or cupcakes for guests. These can be boxed and take up less space and don't usually require a baker to assemble AND - added bonus - if you have cupcakes, you will not need dessert plates and forks!
- This is an outdoor venue - we are fortunate to have wonderful weather most of the time but in chillier months, please budget in heaters - $75 each - for the comfort of your guests. We do not own these heaters so cannot deploy them at the last minute - they must be pre-arranged.
Thank you, and happy planning! - Laurel Loew