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Sep 12, 2006 07:46 PM

Wedding reception on a budget (LA or OC)

Throw me ideas...please! About 150 people for about $10000; that's about $67 a person. We would love something near the coast. Any restaurants or a good location that will allow outside catering would be awesome... any suggestions? Anywhere from SB to SD!

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  1. My fiance and I are planning a wedding right now, and I have to tell you that for $67 a person you actually won't get much anywhere in Southern California unless you go far inland. Believe it or not. It's pretty crazy. You have to provide some information about what you are looking for and whether it includes the cake, decor, alcohol, location fee, etc. Try this website for a pretty comprehensive list of locations

    1. First of all, congratulations!

      Our wedding was this past April so I can say from experience wedding planning is no walk in the park. My biggest piece of advice would be to expand your idea of a wedding reception.

      I consumed every wedding magazine out there and really didn't consider other options other than ceremony/dinner/dancing. We could have taken many different paths and each would have been fun, special, and unique.

      For $67 a person, including tax and gratuity, you are going to be extremely limited but, and this is a big but :), only if you choose to do the traditional dinner and dancing reception. Also, at 150 you are probably going to need to buy out a restaurant which will increase the price per person.

      It may sound crazy, but have you thought about a cocktail reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres? I'd also suggest a Friday or Sunday wedding which is usually cheaper than Saturday night. Here Comes The Guide is a great idea but keep in mind that almost every space listed specialize in weddings and charge wedding prices, which as you're surely learning, are astronomical. You may also want to think about a brunch which could be lovely.

      Are you looking for an elegant evening or are you open to a casual affair? Coastal resorts and country clubs are going to be out of your budget, but I'm wondering if somewhere like Duke's might fit the bill.

      It's not near the coast, but I'd also look into Traxx at Union Station. We almost went with them as the food was great, the space is beautiful (we love the classic architecture and their big patio/garden), and their coordinator was refreshingly sweet and attentive. You may be able to do heavy hors d'oeuvres on a Sunday night for 67 a person..

      I'll keep my thinking about this and post if I think of other spaces. Another suggestion is to grab a Zagat and flip through that for restaurants, not just wedding places.

      Good luck! It's hard work and often stressful, but in the end I'm sure you'll create and plan a wonderful day!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Suebee

        Thanks for all your thoughtful suggestions!

      2. The LA River Center & Gardens, while not at the beach, is beautiful and allows you to bring in your own caterer. You could possibly do it there for $67 per person, if you can find an affordable caterer, or like another poster said, do heavy hors d'oeurves.

        FYI-a fabulous cake person who is amazingly affordable is located in Newhall, California. She does deliver. I've listed her website below. I ordered a beautiful, fondant baby shower cake, 2 layers, w/50 servings and it was $140 (delivery included). For that kind of cake, it was amazingly cheap (just to give you an idea, we paid $1800 for our wedding cake, not even fondant, in Orange County, with 225 servings). Anyway, her website is:

        Here Comes the Guide is a really great resource for locations. Oh, and if you are really set on the beach, I've been to a wedding at the Malibu West Beach Club (you can bring your own caterer), and while the rental fee is a bit high, you can cut costs on the food & beverages.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Samantha

          I'll have to check them out for cakes~~Thanks

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. something my friends did to lower the cost of their wedding was to have the marriage ceremony in the morning followed by a brunch.

            not only is brunch type food less expensive, the guests were less likely to consume much alcohol that early in the day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: westsidegal

              Although a brunch sounds chic and less expensive I think I'd rather has an evening party. We would surely go through a lot of mimosas! lol.