Sunday, October 4, 2009

The search for a venue saga

{Source Marvimon}
I've been engaged for 5 1/2 months and it took almost the whole time to find the right venue, one that we could afford but still met our requirements. I searched *everywhere*, talked to everyone I knew to find out what weddings they had gone to, I looked at forums on every wedding site in the world wide web and emailed countless sites to get info. I can't help it, when I buy something or go somewhere I have this insatiable need to research the heck out of it. It drives me crazy but in the end, whatever I decide on I have no regrets because I tried my best to be knowledgeable and make the right decisions. Although there are countless venues to choose from (hotels, restaurants, country clubs, lofts, building etc) looking for a reasonable priced venue is not easy to find in L.A. I literally had SEVENTY venues on my excel spreadsheet under the tab "NO" because either they ended early (before 11), did not allow hard alcohol or were over my budget. At first I had high hopes to find a venue that we could rent and bring in our own caters (byo), that way we can save money but considering most of the venues I found cost an average of 5K just to rent the space, it did not seem like it would save us money, in actuality it would actually cost more because there would be things like lightning, valet etc that we would have to add to the budget. My dad loved the idea of a byo place but my mom did not, she said it would cause too much stress. We went to visit Malibu West Beach Club and Ambassador Campus, we both liked Malibu West Beach Club but were concerned that there were not a lot of hotels around and also it is more of a casual space. Also, although it's on the beach, you can not go on the beach, only for pictures, besides that you have to stay in the club. I really liked the space of Ambassador Campus, I thought the all the gardens and the view of the mansion would be great places for pictures but mi amor was concerned that if it rained we would be screwed, he also thought that expenses would start adding up fast, we had to provide for lighting, table, etc, also we had to be done by 11, and he did not like that it was in Pasadena because although it's a beautiful city, it takes a while to get there from the westside.

Here are the BYO venues I found in the westside:
The prices listed may have changed since I last contacted them:
Adamson House - 7K
Ambassador Campus - 3K
Clark Estate, Santa Fe Springs -$3,600-$3,800. Must be out by 11 p.m
Franklin Canyon Park - $250–7,000
Malibu West Beach Club - $4,000–6,000 depending on guest count & day of year
Marvimon - Downtown - $7K
LA River & Gardens Center - $6000
Rancho Sol de Pacifico - $7,000–10,000
SmogShoppe - Culver City - $7K
Temescal Gateway Park - $1,000-5,000


  1. I feel you... finding a venue is STRENUOUS! We couldn't make up our minds until 2 1/2 years after being engaged! LOL

  2. Check out my site for my wedding venue spreadsheet. I hit up most of the places in LA. BTW Clarke Estate, music must be off by 10pm. We left the prop at 11pm. Also BYO alch is definitely a money saver. Our budget was about 1k and we went a little over, but we had plenty of alch leftover so when we return it to Costco, we will be under 1K. When do open bar quotes from regular venues for the whole night, 5-6 hours, it ends up being 40 bones a person or for us, 5k. Save you massive money. Clarke Estate saves you money cuz you got chairs, tables and lighting. As you can tell, we really liked it and our guests liked that it was all outside cuz it had a different feel.


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