Little Lights on Main
Frequently Asked Questions
Hi there! Welcome to the FAQ for Little Lights on Main. Please note these do not apply to weddings or events at Little Lights on the Lane.
All of the questions we receive we add to this resource for you. It is always growing, so check back occasionally for updated information.
If you have any questions after reading through this resource, please contact our team!
What is the rental fee for Little Lights and what does it include?
Please see the details found here for complete pricing and included items.
What is the building capacity?
This depends on which package you choose!
Is there a deposit? When are the additional payments due? Do you offer a payment plan?
Yes. When the contract is signed, to continue holding the date, we require a $1,000 deposit. Twelve months prior to the event 50% of the remaining fee will be due. The final installment will be required 6 months prior to the event. You are welcome to add smaller, partial payments of any amount prior to the specified due date, in effect creating your own payment plan on your own schedule. Full payment is due by the specified due date. We also reserve the right to request a credit card on file for any damages to the facility or grounds.
We give a $200 discount if you pay in full via check (Edison Bulb package only).
If you choose a package that is less than $1000, the deposit is 30% of your total package (i.e. Twinkle Light requires $250 down).
How do I reserve a date?
To reserve a date email us at firstname.lastname@example.org saying you are ready to book “XYZ” date if it is still available. We suggest you email us stating you are ready to book your preferred date and then include a backup date in case your preferred date is unavailable. Prior to booking a date, we hope you are able to come out in person to visit the venue. You can request a tour (or a Facetime tour if you live out of the area) on our tour request page, but an in-person tour is not required prior to booking a date. Dates are reserved on a first come, first serve basis. Whomever has first requested to start the contract process with us by email for a specific date will be first in line.
Do I need to schedule a tour or can I just stop by?
We kindly request that all tours are by appointment only. You can request a tour here.
What all is included for our day at Little Lights?
All of the tables and chairs (8 tables: 8 foot long, 32 inches wide), “Head table” (10 foot long, 32 inches wide), two 7 foot “dessert” tables & seating for amount in your package
Set up of the tables and chairs
Set up and seating for the Ceremony *if in your package
Kitchen, restrooms,access to The Down Under bar
Day-of use bridal suite & groom’s suite *if in your package
Couches, sitting areas with coffee tables, and wall decor (in the suites and in the sitting room)
Entry table for your guest book table
Two dessert (or multi-use) tables
A large round cake barrel
Ceremony benches (up to 16) *if in your package
Approximately 15 lanterns through the venue
What is the average budget of a couple getting married at Little Lights?
That is a great question! We have two venues which allows for a range of budgets and needs of our couples.
Main Street average budget: (venue, food, dress/suit, photographer, using our Sonos speakers instead of a DJ, hair & makeup, table décor, dessert & drinks) = $8,000-$10,000
Do we have to utilize your caterers and bar service?
Yes & no.
All of the alcohol purchases are required to be through The Down Under bar. This is both a liability, and a convenience for you with it all being a part of our booking process. They are both easy to work with and affordable. They can order a specific brand of alcohol for you if you give them at least three weeks notice, depending on availability. You can find their prices and info here.
Catering: You can use whoever you want! We are happy to recommend you to great catering companies we have worked with here: Wedding Professionals
Also, keep in mind that Little Lights can also provide your dinnerware, servers or clean up. Let us know if you’d like a custom order. Check out our dinnerware price sheet here.
Does Little Lights handle the catering orders for these caterers & bar, or
do I work with them directly?
It’s most efficient and most cost effective for couples to work directly with the caterer & bar. Simply book your big day with Little Lights and we will get you connected!
Does Little Lights require couples to have their own wedding day insurance?
We do. We found a super affordable one to refer you to, but you can also check with your home rental insurance as many of them have event insurance. This one is super simple and self-serviced:
Will there be another wedding the same day?
At Little Lights we only host one wedding each day to ensure that each couple's event is special and receives our full attention. Although there will be visitors at the park, we have found a Ceremony site that ensures privacy for your event.
When can I do my rehearsal?
If Friday is included in your package, you may do it then! If Friday is open one month before your wedding, you can rent it for $75 an hour (and you may decorate as well then too).
Are there overnight accommodations nearby?
Yes. There are many nearly hotels in Iowa City, just a short 15-minute drive.
Here are the links to ones that have reached out to us and provided information for our Couples:
Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Provides free shuttles
Hampton Inn Provides Free Shuttles
1220 1st Avenue | Coralville, IA 52241
Direct: 319.351.1231 | Crystal Sherman, Senior Sales Manager
Clarion Hotel Highlander Conference Center Provides free shuttles
2525 N Dodge St. Iowa City, IA 52245
The Graduate – Iowa City
210 S. Dubuque St. Iowa City, IA 52240
921 E 2nd Ave, Coralville, IA 52241
How many cars will downtown accommodate?
The entire main street, parking lot next to the city and winery are open for parking. We have never seen this be an issue. There are 13 parking spots located next to the national park where your Ceremony will be, and you are welcome to guide your guests there with this map.
Do you offer round tables instead of straight?
What is awesome about our farmhouse tables?! Oh, so much.
-They are handmade.
-They are so natural and beautiful that you don’t need linens or anything to cover them (this saves you additional money y’all!)
-They are super easy to throw some greens on and make them pop! Your florist will love them!
This makes it so that we don’t need rounds at our venue. It’s less work, less money and more time for you to channel your inner HGTV.
What happens in case of rain?
If you paid for the Outdoor Ceremony package, we will flip the inside from chairs to tables and chairs for you. We need to decide this together 2 days before your event.
Winter weddings have the capability to have a dedicated Ceremony space indoors when staying under the guest count of 50!
See the wedding day floor plan here.
We plan to have our ceremony offsite, or only plan to have our ceremony at Little Lights. Does your fee change?
Because we only host one event per day, our fee structure remains the same whether you hold your ceremony, reception, or both onsite. If you want to get married off site, we recommend doing it earlier in your day so that you can have as much use out of the venue as possible!
Do you allow dogs onsite to play a part in our wedding day?
We are dog friendly, with some specific rules. Dogs are allowed (only with pre-approval by the owners) at the ceremony and during photos. Dogs must be on a leash and someone must be responsible for them other than the bride and groom. They must leave before the reception dinner moves inside, so planning to have a friend who is responsible for taking them home is a must. This is due to food safety regulations.
Do you have highchairs?
Yes, we will have 2 high chairs available for use.
What form of payment does Little Lights accept?
Our preferred form of payment is check, we also take credit cards.
My preferred dates are unavailable. Do you have a cancellation waiting list?
We do not keep a cancellation waiting list because cancellations are unpredictable.
What time will I have access to the venue to decorate?
You will have access to the venue at the time listed on your contract, not earlier. Please plan accordingly! If you want to add an extra hour to the start of your day you may do so, for $75 per hour and not before 8am.
We have worked to make this a stress free, furnished space so that you really only need flowers for your tables, a guest book, photos and other small decor. This will save you time the day of with setting up! Remember that we are setting your tables and chairs up, lights on, music playing, so a lot of the work is done for you!
Do you include a "wedding day coordinator?"
We don’t have a Coordinator that is going to lead your entire day and help you book your vendors and such, however we do have a Venue Manager and/or team leader on site before you arrive who stays with you throughout the duration of your big day. This member of the Little Lights team is there to help you however they can (be an extra set of hands, show you around the course where you can take wedding pictures, answer questions from your vendors and direct them as necessary, etc.) Their goal is to help your day go smoothly and ensure your day is as stress-free as possible (but Wedding Coordinators are still a great addition to your day!).
When is the next open house?
Our open house events are designed for couples who have already booked their wedding at Little Lights. If we have already had the chance to meet we welcome you out to one of our open house events. Open house dates and the RSVP forms will be available May 2019.
How many times do we meet with the Little Lights staff?
Our open houses will eventually take the place of our meetings, but until we are completely up and running at our new location we will have up to three in-person planning meetings.
The schedule for these is as follows:
Meet our Venue Manager, go over any questions that you have and visit the contract together.
Visit about alcohol, catering, and all the information in this FAQ.
Review setups, site plans, and visual resources while our building is still going up. When it’s done, we’ll guide you on a tour throughout the venue.
Decide on your floor plan layout.
Build a timeline and review the Wedding Resource Document.
Make a tablescape and document for the day-of (take a picture to make decorating for your reception a breeze!)
Choose your location for your ceremony & possible appetizer hour.
Attend an Open House:
Please, come for an open house! This allows you to see the venue all set up! We will be having these monthly starting in July.
You can bring a group of up to (5) with you.
Also! We have this great google folder that will help you with your planning process here.
What time do you suggest we start the ceremony?
So, for sure you want to be thinking about the location of the sun for your Ceremony! We use this trusty sundial, and know that your photographer will have suggestions about this too.
We suggest starting Friday weddings at 5:00 pm, Saturday weddings between 4:00 - 5:00 pm, and Sunday weddings at 4:00 pm.
If you do not plan to do a first look or do any photos before your Ceremony that time will change, although we really strongly suggest that you do have a first look. Ask us about them, we will explain all the reasons that they are wonderful (they save time, your photos are done before your Ceremony, but MOST of all.. It gives the two of you time to see each other at the start of the day, just the two of you and your photographer, and you get to take it all in, give your dress a spin and be in awe of each other!
We actually make a timeline with you at your second planning meeting and are happy to help you with this planning part of your day! We know what time the sun sets behind the building, where the great shade spots are for photos, and we are happy to share this info with you!
Should your wedding be taking place after the time change, we would need to adjust these times.
How will the tables, chairs, etc. be arranged for my sized event?
Click here to download the suggested Little Lights table layout PDF. When we meet at your 2nd meeting with you we will determine your preferred layout for your big day!
If we choose Saturday only, will we be able to access the location early to rehearse our ceremony?
If you elect the one day rental, our venue may be reserved by another couple the night before. You do have a 2 hour rehearsal included, and these can be used the Wednesday or Thursday before your day. You are also welcome to to bring anyone who would feel more comfortable understanding the venue (such as your DJ or minister, or any little ones in the wedding party) to one of our monthly open houses.
Can we have fireworks on the property?
Fireworks are not permitted. This is about fire code and being respectful to neighbors. We are happy to talk with you about other send-off ideas.
Sparklers not permitted unless we get permission from the City of West Branch. If you would like to chat about this, please let us know!
Can vehicles be left overnight?
No vehicles can be left overnight. Please advise your guests of this policy and plan ahead with a shuttle. We recommend that you book a hotel with a shuttle or use the shuttle service that we refer our Couples to the shuttles below, or hotel shuttles.
Cotton Creek Mill- Shuttles
$650 for the entire day
(please limit to 2 hotel pickup/drop off locations within 2 miles of one another)
$150 deposit (goes toward your usage)
23 passenger bus with leather seats
Do you have a sound system?
We have Sonos speakers that you are welcome to use for to have music playing throughout the day. Outdoor Ceremony: For your outdoor ceremony, your DJ will need to provide a sound system for music and a microphone system if necessary. You are also welcome to bring this yourself if you are not using a DJ.
Most couples use the Sonos speakers for their reception as well, but we still recommend that you hire a great DJ service.
Dj’s are a big deal. They really make the night come alive and we really really recommend you hire a good one. We feel strongly about the ones that we have listed! Click here to see our favorite DJs and other wedding professionals.
You are also totally welcome to hire a band. We love the outdoor reception feel and would love to visit with you more about this!
What time does the music need to end?
Music on Friday's/Saturday's must conclude by 11:00 p.m. to ensure that you, all of your items, and all of your vendors are off-property by midnight. Music on Sunday's must conclude by 9:30 p.m. to be off property by 10:00 pm.
We are using a rental company. Can they drop items off or pick them up outside of the rental period?
They are welcome to drop things off the morning of your wedding after 9:00 am if they have notified us beforehand. Please advise your vendors of this policy.
Can we get married somewhere else at the park other than under the big trees?
We have spent so much time looking for a really quiet spot for you to get married! The grove is just perfect for this. It is close to the parking and to the restrooms and it's just beautiful! You have to get married in the “rec” zone of the park, which is anywhere past the brown shed to the right of the sidewalk. We can talk more about this if you would like. (There will be construction in the park 2020)
Are candles allowed?
Yes, candles are allowed as long as the flame is completely contained in a candle holder. If you would like to use tapered candles, you may have your photos taken with them out, and then we will provide you with a glass cylinder, like this one found here: We have 30 of these!
What are the dimensions of the arbors?
4 foot, 9 inches wide, 6 foot 7 tall
7 foot 10 inches wide, 7 foot tall
5 foot wide, 7 foot 5 inches tall
See the arbor choices here.
How many guests can you seat at a table?
You can fit 8 per table. It is more comfortable with 6 guests, so if you don’t need the all seats we can adjust the seating for you.
How far in advance do you need our final headcount?
Three weeks, please!
Setup and Day-of Event Questions
What is the event clean-up process?
Little Lights staff will handle all standard clean up and trash removal throughout and following the wedding reception. Please remove all your personal belongings and bag your trash.
Can we take photos around the park on our wedding day?
Of course! Just ask us and we would be happy to make recommendations. It is a National park with active visitors so we will help you pick the spots that are respectful and beautiful.
Can we nail decorations to the walls or hang things like streamers or lanterns from the beams?
Please no! We don’t mind if you hang light items from the beams that are exposed, but nothing on the walls. There is a plate rail that runs all around the room in the serving hall, you are totally welcome to put photos up there! Some couples print these on light weight card stock.
Other than that, we ask that you don’t attach things to our white walls! We want it to be beautiful for the next couple, as well as for you!
PROHIBITED DÉCOR ITEMS
The following decorations are prohibited by Little Lights Events; confetti, glitter, (indoors), fake rose petals (outside), sky lanterns, or nonbiodegradable decor used for client’s exit/toss on the exterior of the property. The use of ladders is not permitted by client or their guests. Should the install of decorations require the use of a ladder a liability waiver will be required and is subject to verification by Little Lights Events.
Can we make our own mimosa’s or bring wine in the am?
Sure! You need to have insurance and sign our waiver- as we don’t have alcohol insurance to protect you! You are still required to order your evening drinks through The Down Under.
Mike Jones, Down Under Pub: 319-530-9606
Please let us know if you have any other questions! We are here to help!