Friday, February 1, 2013

Let My Researchy Brain Find Your Perfect Venue!

I'm incredibly busy, but I have by chance found myself with a growing body of knowledge on affordable wedding venues in Los Angeles. I love research and I love helping people.

And I can help you.

Use my researchy brain to find your perfect venue.

What do I need from you?





Thanks to a comment from one of my readers, I decided to launch this section where you ask me to find your ideal venue and you tell me some of the parameters, such as:
1. Number of people you want to invite
2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY (give me a $2000 window, i.e. $1000-3000; NOT food)
3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this
4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors
5. Do you have any special theme in mind?
6. Are you open to all areas of Socal?

Ok, that's it, and in the order I receive requests, I will answer them, each in an individual blog post.

Also- my area of expertise is Socal. I cannot currently accommodate requests for venues in other parts of the country.


BE FOREWARNED.  I work full time, I just got married (obviously), and I'm writing my dissertation.  So it may take me a while to get to your questions, and I can't guarantee I'll find the perfect one for you, but I will try, when I have time!! I can promise to try!

Now it's your turn. Give me your sticky venue situation, and let me try to help.

UPDATE: Hey everyone, still here, still working!  Just slammed at work. Happy Valentine's Day :)

68 comments:

  1. Hi Karen! Thank you so much for this post(and this blog!) Really! Hope I can find a suitable wedding venue! :)
    Here is my wedding plan.
    1. Number of people: 150~200(flexible)
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY: $1000-3000;
    3. We want to bring our own caterer. Most of us don't drink, so no booze.
    4. Outside for Both Ceremony and Reception. (can be at same location too)
    5. No special theme.
    6. less than 1hr driving distance from Los Angeles.

    I recently found Clarke Estate from your blog, which was the most suitable venue for my wedding among all my other researches. I'm wondering if there's other venue that suits those conditions. Thank you so much, Karen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. update:
      6. less than 30mi from Los Angeles.

      Delete
    3. Thanks inLuv! Since you commented first, you are my first project. I just wanted to let you know that you will see me adding venues to my list before I respond to you. The reason is that I want to write to a couple venues as I research and record their responses before giving you a final answer. I hope to get back to you sometime this week! Thanks!

      Delete
    4. Of course! No worries, Karen! ;)

      Delete
    5. HI inLuv! I imagine you already found a venue by now, but my most current blog gives 5 ideas! If you found another cool venue, please share with our readers! Thanks for all your patience!

      Delete
  2. Hi Karen,

    I'm SO glad that I came across your bog. Thank you so much for the posts and for your gracious offer to help the rest of us. Really appreciate it! Here's the scoop of my wedding plan:

    1. # of ppl: 75-85
    2. Cost of Venue: $1k-4k
    3. I'd like to use my own catering and bring my own drinks, just to save money.
    4. I'd love an outdoor ceremony with an ocean view (from a hill or mountain) and indoor reception. I prefer not to be on the beach.
    5. I'm thinking to do a casual beach theme.
    6. Within 30 miles of LA

    I look forward to hearing from you about your thoughts. Thanks a ton, Karen!

    May

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi May! Thanks for your details and the opportunity to help you. As soon as I help inLuv, you are next in line! :)

      Delete
  3. OK Karen,
    Here is one for you, If you are up to the challenge. I have just about searched high and low so I need your expertise on this one.

    1. Number of people- 300 plus
    2. Desired Cost of Venue- under $8000
    3. BYO alchol and food
    4. Reception indoors
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind?- old world, grand, historic, high ceilings, ornate design
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal?- LA,pasadena, OC(if we have too)not to far like San Deigo or Santa Barbara

    PLEAAAAASE HEELLLLLPPPPP!!!!!

    Daisey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daisey! Thanks for your details and the opportunity to help you. As soon as I help inLuv and May, you are next in line! :)

      Delete
  4. wow. this is literally a dream come true. i follow your blog and you have so many great suggestions!

    i am looking to get married probably in the fall of 2014 so i have a lot of time to look.

    1. we are expecting between 100-150 guests, prob around 125 in reality
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY $1000-3000; NOT food)
    3. I want to bring my own food. we want to do food trucks!
    4. we would like the ceremony outdoors and the reception indoors, but we could possibly do both outdoors.
    5. Theme: we are both very casual outdoors people. so we like the idea of a farm or ranch setting. definitely will be a ton of artsy DIY stuff
    6. I would like it to be within 80 miles or 1.5 hours of North Hollywood so people could drive home at the end of the night if they want....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  5. Hi Kate! Thanks for your details and the opportunity to help you. As soon as I help the three commenters in front of you, you are next in line! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the idea of either a barn type feel. i just found Graf Farms in Oxnard, not sure of the pricing though and I love that lavender garden place you mentioned above!!

      Delete
    2. Kate! I got Graf's number and will call them this weekend for you! They don't post anything online ANYWHERE and I had to search for the email, but I got it. Will post it soon!

      Delete
    3. Hi Karen! Do you still have Graf's number?? I have been looking for that everywhere and would be so grateful for the information! Thank you so much!

      Delete
    4. yes, anyone have graf's number?! :D

      Delete
  6. Karen, your blog is amazing. I know you are a busy girl, with your real job and now this as an unofficial (but officially awesome) wedding advisor! Whenever you get a chance i would love some help too!
    Here are my specs:
    1. Number of people: 100-120
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY: less than $5000
    3. Would prefer to bring our own caterer- preferably a place that has "southern style food"
    4. Would like a place with both indoor and outdoor options. ideally ceremony outdoors, and reception indoor or outdoors with covering for possible weather
    5. Theme: My fiance is from South Carolina, so would love to bring a southern feel to the wedding with at least the food,and then California beach scenery, or at least a view of the beach if possible
    6. Santa Monica, Malibu, south bay, Palisades, LA area

    Thank you sooo soooo much!
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  7. You've already given me several ideas, but I'd love some additional help if you have the time.

    1. Number of people you want to invite: Less than 150
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY (give me a $2000 window, i.e. $1000-3000; NOT food): Under 3k is preferred (we have a 10k overall budget). We prefer a Sunday brunch wedding though, and I know a lot of locations are cheaper then.
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this: Yes. Having my own caterer is a must, as I have a lot of complicated food allergies.
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors: Outdoors.
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind?: Not a theme per se, but something fairly casual, preferably a property where the bridal party can stay overnight. We'd love to have a BBQ rehearsal dinner and brunch wedding all on the same property.
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal?: yes

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello, Please Id Love to get in line! You are awesome and I am amazed at the info you have amassed. Hopefully you can point me in the right direction too! I have $6000 and 60 ppl seeking outdoor venue anywhere in LA county. I considered Temescal canyon and adore the woodsy look :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Seriously your blog is the most Helpful ever!!! I am newly engaged(Feb 3rd) amd was doing my own research and came across your blog. I will be sooo grateful if you can assist with some Venue options. Everyone is telling me this is the first thing that I should look into. Thank you soooo much in advance...

    1. # of ppl: 125-150
    2. Desired Cost of Venue: 1k-4k
    3. I am hoping to bring my own caterer & possibly booze but if not I can wrk around it..
    4. I envsion my wedding an outdoor tented wedding.. maybe a ranch or park but I do need it to go on until 12pm
    5. My theme is Vintage
    6. Currently reside in Sherman Oaks so about 15-25miles out would be preferred.

    Thank you in advance Karen, your help will truly be appreciated!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looking just for a place to have the wedding ceremony.

    1. # of people 50-125
    2. Desired cost 1k-3k
    3. Outdoor wedding (think trees, fantasy)

    Reception would be at Aunt's house in Simi Valley.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 130-150 people
    1-3k for venue only
    Would like ceremony and reception at the same location
    Bringing own caterer
    Really hoping to bring our own alcohol

    Love your blog!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Karen! I love your blog, it has been so helpful in my venue search, since so many places make it incredibly difficult to just find out site fees! That being said, here's my list (for when you get down the line):

    1. 60-75 guests
    2. $1000-$3000 venue only
    3. We're open to options. We'd actually prefer a venue that offers catering, hopefully at reasonable prices, but if they don't have a caterer requirement then we will happily find our own. We are also planning to bring our own alcohol, but if we have to go through the venue that's certainly not a deal breaker.
    4. Outdoors!
    5. We're going for a rustic, vintage feel. I love the idea of getting married at a barn, but so far that seems to be a surprisingly expensive venture...
    6. Yes - at this point we are open to anything that is beautiful and fits our budget! We'd love to find a place that has an option for overnight accommodations, as my fiance's family is flying in from Georgia...so if there is a venue that can hold around 12 people for the night that would be ideal :)

    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Karen! THANK YOU so so much for your blog. I just stumbled upon it the other day and love all the thorough research and details you put into this blog! I'm actually an event/wedding planner with 5+ years of experience under my belt yet I'm still learning about some great new venues with the help of your blog. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Karen! I just discovered your blog recently and I think it is so wonderful! I am a wedding photographer just making my way into the business, and love having a resource like this to direct my brides to. If they are ever looking for a socal photographer, I would appreciate you sending them my way!:)
    www.jessicamwood.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Karen!

    Love your blog. It's making researching venues SOOOO much easier. It looks like you have a lot of requests queued up already, so if you have time, I'd appreciate the help.

    1. Number of people you want to invite - 150 or less
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY (give me a $2000 window, i.e. $1000-3000; NOT food) - 4500 or less
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this - in house catering is fine, but we'd like to bring our own booze
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors - either, but i like the idea of having both outdoor courtyards and indoor spaces
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind? rustic/DIY but still a little modern and cute/romantic
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? yes

    P.S. I've kinda fallen in love with Carondelet House but pricing is really the issue since they're definitely not cheap. The fiance and I love the "house party" feel vs banquet hall/hotel.

    Thank you in advance!

    -Jillian

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Karen!!!

    I absolutely LOVE you blog. I'm going to make this super easy and just go with one parameter. Was wondering if you could give me your top 10 or 20 rustic, outdoors, country, ranch-esque venues. So far I like Calamigos Ranch and Keys Creek Lavender Farm. I can work with the other parameters, just want a list to run through and check out. I want outdoor ceremony and reception (a tent type situation is fine too).

    Thank you!!!

    Carrie

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your blog is PERFECT! I just found it and am so excited to search through all of your posts. I would love to be added to your list of brides looking for great deals in SoCal...here are my specs:

    1. ~100 people
    2. Venue cost $1-3k
    3. we definitely want to bring in our own alcohol so we can afford and open bar. We prefer to bring in our own caterer, but this is not a must.
    4. i envision an outdoor ceremony with and indoor or outdoor reception.
    5. No specific theme...we like the idea of either a loft style or rustic/barn reception.
    6. We are open to all areas in SoCal

    Our favorite location so far is the SmogShoppe, but they quoted us a whopping $7-10k for the venue alone :( Also, we are hoping for a summer 2014 wedding... originally a Saturday event was a must, but we are now considering Friday's, too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Karen, I love your site! I'm so happy to see someone dedicated to making things a little easier.

    1. 100-150 guests
    2. Cost of venue - $5000 or less.
    3. We would be open to finding an outside caterer if it will save money.Likewise with alcohol, we are definitely considering buying our own.
    4. Ceremony outdoors with reception indoors. Preferably reception site close, if not on-site, to ceremony due to most guests being from out of town.
    5. Theme - A Midsummer's Nights Dream. Romantic but also relaxed.
    6. Yes, open to all areas in So Cal.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my goodness! I just discovered your blog and I'm eating it up! I need your help! :) I just started planning a late July/early August 2013 wedding. crazy! and we're definitely on a budget, so even crazier! :)

    1. It's looking like 300, with a bunch of out of town people and a midwest reception later
    2. Up to $3000, not including food
    3. We're not having alcohol at all and would love to bring our own caterer (unless the site has really affordable food)
    4. ceremony and reception both outdoors, ideally at the same venue
    5. just a simple, in the middle of nature wedding, lots of big trees, green, laid-back (we'd even just grill up some carne asada in a park if that's allowed :)
    6. I'm near downtown LA and he's in Pasadena, so we'd definitely prefer areas around there (ie, not another city - San Diego, Santa Barbara, etc.)

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  20. So you are pretty much my hero. Your blog alone is an answer to prayer hahaha!! I sincerely thank you for putting all this information in one clearly organized place. I am just beside myself over whether I should even HAVE a wedding or not. I really admire all of your organization and this site!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. THIS IS AMAZING!

    1. It's looking like 400, but 375 most likely!
    2. Up to $5,000 not including food, but hopefully inclusive of a lot (chairs, tables, as much as we an get)
    3. We already have a caterer in mind, so outside catering.
    4. We're looking for mid december so ideally ceremony and reception indoors, but open to outdoors if we can do a tent set up affordably. Ideally at the same venue.
    5. i love the rustic look, but hoepfully I don't have to do too much work as ill be concnetrating on finals as a law student.
    6. ANYWHERE IN LOS ANGELES (Anaheim, los angeles, etc.) We both live in Pasadena.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you looked into Graf Barn in Oxnard? They have one date left for this year, December 21st. We had to move up our date! The venue is amazing. They don't advertise but if you want the info I would gladly pass it along. You can google them or email me at slboaz5@yahoo.com. Congrats and good luck!

      Delete
  22. I just stumbled across your blog after weeks of stressing out over finding a venue. Not sure if you're still up for doing this, but would really appreciate it if you had any suggestions/advice.

    1. Number of people you want to invite: Around 200. Original draft list is 250 but will try to cut down due to costs.
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY: Up to $3000
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this: Outside catering
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors: Outdoors but am also open to indoors
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind? I like a mixture of the dreamy/romantic/garden look as well as a diy/cute/rustic look. Not sure if that makes sense. But definitely leaning towards a more romantic look.
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? Yes

    ReplyDelete
  23. 1. inviting about 100 to 150 ppl
    2. don't want to spend more than $3000
    3. I would like to have a taco man, as for booze it doesn't matter as long as there is booze :)
    4. doesn't matter whether indoors or out.
    5. I want a mexican themed wedding. very festive
    6. I'm open to all areas, But I would prefer downtown LA or somewhere close.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Karen,
    Thanks so much for your blog. I've been spending hours on it! :)

    1. # of people: 500
    2. $1000-3000
    3. I'll be having korean catering.
    4. Indoors since it'll be in January 2014.. preferably in a church.
    5. I'll be doing a modern/ minimal theme.. black white gold and orange with succulents.
    6. Preferably Orange County & LA County.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Karen! If you have any ideas for me let me know :)

    1. 120-125
    2. $1000-3000 (but prefer the lower end of that range :p )
    3. Either/or in regards to caterer
    4. Outdoor ceremony, and prefer outdoor ceremony or under a tent or twinkly lights/lanterns :)
    5. Just simple and cute with greenery around... love the lantern/twinkly lights look, my colors are mint/sea foam green (very similar to the side bars on this blog!) with some accents of yellow and blue).
    6. LA or Orange Country preferably.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Karen,
    Our situation is a bit different. We are looking for a couple who loves Graf Barn in Oxnard, CA as much as we do. We have to move our date up and I thought maybe you had heard from a bride looking for a country chic wedding in December (dec 21st to be exact). The venue specs are as followed:
    1. It can accommodate less than 100-300
    2. The site fee is 4700 (including all your rentals)
    3. Laina Graf does the catering and it's BYOB (so you save a ton there)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4. Ceremony outside. Reception in the barn
      5. Antique furniture fills the lawn and the barn is beautifully decorated with European chandeliers and candles
      6. Any help at all would be much much appreciated!!!

      Delete
    2. Does the 4700 include catering costs? Or is there an additional cost per person?

      Delete
  27. 1. 75-100 people
    2. 1000-2000 (6000 including food)
    3. We would rather not bring in food
    4. either indoor or outdoor
    5. Country chic or black, green and white color scheme
    6. Preferably OC or Inland Empire

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi there! Love that you are doing this.

    1. 70-90 people
    2. 1,000-2,000
    (trying not to spend more than 6,000-8,000 on venue + food)
    3. Haven't decided on food yet, but would be open to either. In your experience is it cheaper to bring in your own? Or use the house catering? It would also be nice to be able to bring in some of our own booze (champagne, nice whiskey etc.)
    4. Would be nice to have some outdoor space, for ceremony/cocktail/cheese hour, and then indoor for dinner.
    5. coastal mountain, barn, crafty-chic, NON-denominational
    6. Open to all over LA, but close to hotels would be good as many people would be coming from outside LA. Looking to stay away from central/downtown locations.

    Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Karen, this is such a great idea! I just got engaged last week, and have about 10 months to plan... (July 2014!)

    1. 140-160
    2. 1000-3000
    3. Would prefer to bring our own booze, but if it's a good deal and included, I'd consider it. Catering is undecided, but I think I'd prefer outside.
    4. Outdoors
    5. Simple, elegant, nature-filled
    6. Pretty much anything within an hour drive of where I live - Alhambra. Not too far out since I'll have a lot of out-of-towners

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi, Karen! You're amazing for doing this!

    I have a bit of an unusual request. My fiancé and I don't want a big ceremony, so we're really just looking for a fun place to throw a reception. We'd like a place that can stay open late(ish), and where music is not a problem. Specs:

    1. 150-200 people
    2. Between $1500-3500
    3. Byob, please! And outside catering.
    4. Indoors or outdoors (with heaters) is fine!
    5. Fun party! No specific decor, maybe something unique like a museum, gallery, barn, or cool-looking restaurant. Just a place that will let us stay relatively late (i.e. 1am or somewhere around there) to celebrate with our friends.
    6. LA proper is preferred, but anywhere within a couple hours' drive would be OK.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Karen! Thank you for making this wonderful HELPFUL site!!! We are looking to get married on Halloween 2015!

    1. 150 people (MAX)
    2. Between $1,000 - $4,000
    3. We are open to bringing our own caterers AND/OR using ones that are provided (depending on price) we also prefer to have booze provided.
    4. Outdoor ceremony, indoor reception
    5. Black and White Halloween them
    6. We would like to stay inside Ventura County but are willing to consider Los Angeles County.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Karen! I'm sure you are super busy with many others, but I thought I would give it a shot! You have taken on a great task, trying to find venues for anyone who asks, that's for sure :)

    I got engaged 12/21/2013 and we are looking to get married 10/12/2014. I'm open to so many ideas i'm having a hard time narrowing down any details for my wedding but here it goes:

    1. Estimated guest list is currently at 60 people (no children)
    2. We have seen places that with an intimate wedding will charge less for the venue so we would like to keep it between $500-$2000
    3. We would like to bring in our own caterer and booze, since we would like to have an open bar and only have hearty appetizers passed versus having a sit down dinner. (Haven't been able to find anyone that does this yet....)
    4. I envision an outdoor ceremony with and indoor/outdoor reception
    5. We really like the idea of keeping things rustic with burlap, ivory, and yellow as our colors
    6. We live in Orange County with family in Chino Hills, so we are open to some travel. Just not too far or difficult to get to for older guests (grandparents)

    I hope you can help me. I truly have no idea to find what I want without spending a fortune! (We are paying for the wedding ourselves and don't have much to work with)
    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  33. 1. We want to keep it around 70
    2. $500-2000 ( we want to keep
    3. Yes I wanna bring my own food and alcohol.
    4. I picture it outside
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind?

    I am thinking rustic burlap that kinda stuff
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal?

    We live in the inland empire so I would like to stay around there.



    Also we have the table, chair, and tents we would need. I am not against a park, state park those kind of place.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Karen,

    Thank you for your blog! I'm newly engaged and in a complete rut in finding a venue that fits my budget. Thank you so much food your help.

    1. 100-120
    2. About 2000-3000 for the venue
    3. I'm not apposed to bring my own food and alcohol
    4. Outside is ideal
    5. I would love a garden wedding. Something green and lush
    6.im open to anywhere in socal

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is perfect blog for anyone who is looking for topics like this. It has got it all, information, benefits and overview. A perfect piece of writing. Good job. Caterers in delhi


    ReplyDelete
  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I just got engaged and am so happy! We are looking at Sept 4, 2016 and am so happy to marry my man! Your help will be soooooooooooooo amazing!

    ~Krys

    1. 200 - 240
    2. 1000 - 4000
    3. I want an open bar and am okay with my own catering or other options. 4. Outdoors with a large tent.
    5. Classy Beachy.
    6. Santa Barbara to San Diego

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, Karen! I love your blog and I was hoping you could try to help us out as well :)

    ~Sarah

    1. 100 guests
    2. 1000-2000
    3. I don't mind bringing our own caterer, if food is included then the venue price can go up to $5,000. We wont be having any alcohol.
    4. Ceremony I would prefer outdoors in a garden, reception inside.
    5. Not in particular, though we'd like it classy but cozy.
    6. The closer to OC or the IE the better, but I'm open ^-^
    7. If you could find a place that has a ceremony and reception in one location that's even better! I'm willing to pay $400 extra for the ceremony if it's in the same location.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for the work you have been putting into this website!

    1. Number of people you want to invite
    100-200 but flexible
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY
    Less than 2000 without food. If it's amazing maybe 3000
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not
    I want to bring in my own food
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors
    Outdoors
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind?
    Vintage, country but not western, nature, simple and elegant, historical?
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal?
    Pretty much, preferably within a hour of upland but again flexible but probably not 2 hours

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh Please Help
    1. Number of people 100
    2. Desired cost of venue. $2000 ish
    3. Catering, We would like to bring our own food and booze
    4. We envision the ceremony outside
    5. No theme planned
    6. Open to all of So Cal... YES .. the closer to Los Angeles the better.
    7. Thank you for any help you can provide I'm losing my mind ;)

    Kevin & Rose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have only two dates we are available May30th 2015, or May 31st 2015 as back up

      Delete
  41. Hi Karen! We've been engaged for over a year and a half. But, with a baby, full-time job and limited funds, there isn't time in the day to research affordable venues. Love your blog and how it helps people who need help planning on a budget...like us! Hopefully, you can provide some great suggestions. Thanks in advance! x pp

    1. Number of people you want to invite. 150-200
    2. Desired Cost of Venue $3k-5500
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this. Would like to bring our own caterer, but can be flexible if it saves money to use the venue's preferred options. Booze? Yes, an absolute must.
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors. Both. Ideally, would like to have the reception outdoors.
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind? Casual. Rustic. I do love LA River Gardens and Descanso Gardens
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? Yes
    7. Does it need to be pet-friendly? Yes. Ideally, would like to include our leashed service pet in the ceremony and/or reception.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello Karen,

    Just came across this blog and hoping that you can help. We need a venue for the wedding and reception.

    Wedding:
    1. 350-400 people
    2. $1000-3000
    3. Bring our own booze and food
    4. Outdoors
    5. No special theme
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? - Yes, but would prefer anywhere along the coast (Malibu), downey area, or pasadena/glendale area.

    Thank you!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Karen,

    Love that you are doing such a nice service for people. I have spent a lot of time on your blog but would love to here your suggestions. I am having such a hard time finding the perfect spot.

    1. 60 people
    2. $1000-3000
    3. My fiancé is a chef so he wants to prepare the menu and oversee the food (serving family style) so we would need a full kitchen. We will also would like to have one signature cocktail and serve beer and wine but we are okay scrapping the cocktail for wine and beer only if the venue does not allow hard liquor.
    4. I am open to indoor or outdoors. Prefer outdoor ceremony / cocktail hour and move inside for dinner and for the reception to be the best of both with games outside but the wedding will likely be in November so I assume it will be chilly at night.
    5. Very DIY so looking for an urban rustic feel with an intimate atmosphere.
    6. Pet friendly? We would like for our pup to be our ring bearer. He's an Italian Greyhound mix (about 20lbs) and extremely well behaved.
    7. Open to all areas in Southern California. Prefer closer to Los Angeles area but not opposed to travel as far as Santa Ynez, Palm Springs, Tahoe, Malibu, etc.
    8. We prefer a place that allows you to go until at least midnight at the earliest. :)

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank YOU!
    Kimberley

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Karen!
    I love your blog and I hope you're still working on this project. Your posts are really inspirational and I've emailed a few places you featured on the blog. I would love to hear your personal opinion!

    1. 70 ish people
    2. 2000-3000 for venue
    3. We would like to bring in our own hard liquor. We can go either way with food catering as long the food is good
    4. Outdoor ceremony is preferred. Would like reception to be indoor but we can work with outdoor
    5. We like to keep it classy but flexible depending on venue
    6. We and most of our guests live in Long Beach so we don't want to go more than 25mile radius with exception being an exceptional venue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We looked at Newland Barn and other facilities owned by Huntington Gov but they were quite hard to rent so we decided against them. Hope this helps a little =]

      Delete
  45. Hi Karen!! This is so great that you take the time to help other women find the perfect venue as stressful as that part of the wedding is. I am not getting married until late May, early June 2017 so you have plenty of time. We are getting engaged here in the next few months (rumor has it). My boyfriend is a second year medical student and I am a first year masters student so we are swamped with school work and would LOVE your help and input. He is a naval officer as well and an avid sailor from Channel Islands/Oxnard, CA and I am from Camarillo, CA. We would absolutely love to get married on the beach but have the best deal for the most inclusive venue. I have contacted Mandalay Bay Embassy Suite in Oxnard as that is an option for us but I also really love the idea of a Barn wedding as well. The details are below.

    1. Number of people you want to invite: 50-75 max
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY (give me a $2000 window, i.e. $1000-3000; NOT food): between $6,000-$9,000
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this: would like to have it inclusive as opposed to bringing someone in but if we bring in a caterer then venue (with decorations) closer to $5,000
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors: open to ideas but ideally outdoor wedding and either outdoor or indoor reception
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind? navy meets rustic chic
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? :Would like to keep it in Ventura County or Santa Barbara

    Thank you so much!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Update: #2 venue cost $1000-$4000 only, not including food, alcohol, reception

      Would like total cost of wedding to be between $10,000-$12,000

      Delete
  46. Hi Karen! I'm trying to find the contact information for the Graf Barn. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Karen! I would love your help finding a good, affordable venue. I am in graduate school in Philadelphia and am not from the LA area so I am a little overwhelmed! We are hoping to get married in the LA area next summer.

    1. Number of people you want to invite: 150
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY (give me a $2000 window, i.e. $1000-3000; NOT food): between $3,000-$5,000
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this: would like to have it inclusive as opposed to bringing someone in but are open
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors: Ideally outdoors
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind? Rustic chic
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? Would like to stay in the LA area if possible

    Thank you so much for your help!!

    Stacy

    ReplyDelete
  49. Karen!!! I know this isn't your baby anymore, but I stumbled upon your blog while researching affordable venues in LA. Do you still offer your venue recommendation services, because boy oh boy could I use some help!!

    -Lisa
    LisaLenner (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  50. 1. Number of people you want to invite: 500-1000
    2. Desired Cost of Venue ONLY (give me a $2000 window, i.e. $1000-3000; NOT food)- $1000-4000
    3. Tell me whether you intend to bring your own caterer and booze or not, as some venues do not allow this- yes
    4. Do you envision your ceremony being indoors or outdoors- indoors
    5. Do you have any special theme in mind?- Only that we are having live music
    6. Are you open to all areas of Socal? - mostly downtown LA or Hollywood

    Thanks! Great blog!

    ReplyDelete