“Mar-a-Lago” means ocean to lake in Spanish. The Mar-a-Lago Club, a renowned country club, is a 114-room villa that is located in Palm Beach, Florida, built right between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Worth. It was opened by the socialite and businesswoman Marjorie Merriweather Post, known also as E.F. Hutton, in 1927. While primarily a country club, it occasionally offers a setting for a wedding experience.
In 1973, through a will, the property became a presidential retreat. Due to some maintenance issues, the government decided to give it up. It was then bought by the billionaire Donald Trump in 1985, for $10 million. Mar-a-Lago is situated in the most valuable parcel of beachfront land in Florida, according to its venue website.
Its members have access to private amenities and services, and from time to time, weddings are organized on the property, in one of the grand ballrooms inside the club. But how much does a Mar a Lago wedding cost?
Mar a Lago Wedding Cost: Is a budget wedding possible?
The costs of having your wedding inside Mar a Lago aren’t available to the general public, according to news outlets like Newsweek. These kinds of details are only intended for members of this esteemed private club, as this is considered a very exclusivist establishment. Thus, the vast majority of the weddings organized there will be for active members.
Still, based on our research, the cost of booking the Mar-A-Lago venue alone would be $80,000 or more per wedding. This cost would include the staff and event setup.
As for weddings at any other venue, aside from wedding venue rental expenses, you will also have to consider the other wedding-related costs for things like decorations, flowers, music, food, and beverage, which would raise the cost of a Mar A Lago wedding to over $25,000, sometimes reaching $500,000 or more, depending on your preferences.
Can I book Mar-A-Lago for my wedding?
As stated above, it would be almost impossible for someone to have their wedding inside Mar-A-Lago, as this very luxurious wedding venue is closed to the general public.
There is a loophole for getting married inside this club even if you aren’t a member. You will have to find someone who still has an active membership and is willing to sponsor your application in order to get access to the club, as non-members can hold a private event here.
The club only accepts about 500 active members, and they are reportedly required to pay $200,000 in initiation fees and $15,000 in yearly charges in addition to a $2,000 yearly food and drink minimum, according to Town & Country.
On the official website of the club, they ask that you call them at 561-822-5086 to schedule a talk with the event personnel on-site to receive all of the important information about the location, its costs, and your possibilities when it comes to planning a big event like your wedding there.
What should be included in the final cost?
While the main site of the club does not define the specifics regarding what would be included in your costs, instead, they note that they provide a “range” of services and unique features, like:
- Onsite catering and a menu created for your particular needs and desires
- Personnel made of very trained wedding and catering specialists
- Guest rooms and suites
- The opportunity to play golf on one of the most popular courses in the US from the Trump International Golf Club situated in West Palm Beach
- Access to other facilities like the Beach Club and Bistro, two pools, a professionally equipped gum, and multiple tennis courts, all of them situated on-site
- On-site beauty salon and world-class spa services done by professionals
What are the limitations of Mar-A-Lago Weddings?
As with most prestigious wedding venues, Mar-A-Lago you will have to consider some limitations for your event. First off, it will be pretty hard to secure the booking if you aren’t a member, as the venue will only be available for active members and their guests.
Also, the average wedding at Mar-a-Lago will be expensive to a prohibitive level, especially when you have a limited budget to work with. The wedding details will also have to follow strict rules of the estate, which will limit the control you will have on the creative side of the wedding.
Can I bring in my own vendors to Mar a Lago?
From what we could gather, you can still use your own vendors when booking the Mar a Lago venue for a wedding, although this club already has a list of preferred vendors. The list will include all necessary wedding-related professionals, including photographers, florists, caterers, and even cake creators.
Of course, as with any premium venue, you should talk with their event staff before picking a vendor that is not on their list, as Mar-A-Lago has very strict rules that you have to meet before you can book services for your wedding.
The location options inside the Mar-a-Lago resort
To find out what would be the best room for a big event, we got in touch with Mar-a-Lago staff. According to them, if you want to host a bigger Mar-a-Lago wedding, then the big Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom might be your best option. If instead, you want to organize a smaller event, you should go for the White & Gold Ballroom. These are the two main ballrooms on the property.
According to an article from the Cosmopolitan, the 20,000 Grand Ballroom belonging to former US President Donald Trump ended up costing no less than $7 million to be completed, having gold leaf and gold-plated sinks worth $100,000.
When it comes to different cocktail parties, many wedding parties are held poolside, generally during the night. To see a wedding in photos, a StrictlyWeddings post gives you a range of images at the property from a wedding event kept in 2015 as does a Sara Kauss Photography page. The optimum capability is known to be 250 visitors.
When it comes to the resort features and amenities, the Mar a Lago club is built oceanside, with access to private beaches, a first-rate spa and beauty salon, 6 tennis courts, a croquet court, a gym, a Beach Club, swimming pools, a whirlpool, and a chip and putt golf course. As this is a members-only club, all of these are accessible for members of the club and will be restricted to non-members who hold a wedding event here. So don’t think you’ll be golfing on your big day.
What is the cancellation policy for Mar-A-Lago weddings?
A non-refundable deposit is required when booking a Mar-a-Lago wedding. This deposit may be forfeited if you have to postpone or cancel the event. These cancellation policies might differ based on the specifics of your event, which is why it is very important to go over the terms and conditions before signing a contract so that you understand the cancellation policy in full.
How far in advance should the Mar-A-Lago wedding be booked?
Mar-A-Lago should be booked as far in advance as you can if you want to have your wedding there. This estate is one of the most desired wedding venues and it isn’t uncommon for it to be booked even up to two years in advance. We recommend that you get in touch with the venue staff at least one year in advance so that you can secure this wonderful place for your date.