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Best Reception location on a budget

Hi, I am newly engaged and going absolutely nuts over finding a decent reception spot. I'm not looking to spend thousands for a Private Club or a Beverly Hills location. Just a nice restaurant, maybe with danicing that can cater to our group of 80 guests.

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  1. Eek! Hard to do.

    Try Cafe Bizou,
    Il Tiramisu
    Angeli Caffe

    Dancing I can't help out. A better bet is to find a location that will bring in caterers or let you bring your own, like Descanso Garden, or a golf club. You can even rent out the Peterson Automotive Museum, but that may be way over your budget. Many reception palces are very nice and offer locale for receptions with lots of included stuff.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      I was actually looking towards Descanso Garden or the Japanese garden in Long beach. Thanks!!!

      1. re: HarleyQ6

        I believe there is a japanese garden in the san fernando valley also, maybe bring in a taco truck and the hagen das or baskin robbins truck, unless that is way to casual. Or you can even use a park, had a friend have a reception at a park in beverly hills one time, cater droped food and they had 2 servers pass food and clean up.

        1. re: Burger Boy

          the valley japanese garden won't let you bring in catering, I checked when I was planning my own wedding.. Also, it is next to, and part of, the water reclamation plant. Odd algae smell permeates the area, especially on hot days. Also, many mosquitos at night. A good location for the ceremony, though.

          An interesting fact, though, the Japanese garden/reclamation plant and buildings have played "Starfleet Headquarters and Academy" in Star Trek movies and TV shows since the 80's. Beam me up.

    2. Around what location were you thinking?

      Well, I've been to a couple of wedding receptions at Khoury's restaurant in Long Beach. (www.khourys.net) It is a waterfront restaurant with glass windows that is gorgeous around sunset and has a very classy feel to it. It does have a dance floor, catering from the restaurant, and will definitely accomodate your group of 80 guests. I'm not too sure about pricing, but I'm positive it will not be as expensive as a location in Beverly Hills. Definitely worth checking out!

      Congrats on the engagement and good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. What kind of budget are you looking for? I went nuts trying to find a place for 100. It's just not that easy UNLESS you do like Mr. Taster on this board and hold it at a Chinese restaurant. I think he spent $5000 total (cake, food, etc.), but had fewer guests than you.

        I don't know what you mean by "thousands," but you are definitely going to have to spend several thousand to feed 80 if you want any privacy. $100 a head after food, drink, tax, and tip is on the low side for LA and would already bring you to $8,000!

        Paying for a location and then paying again for catering will almost always be more expensive than buying out a location. Some that I tried:

        O-Bar (very clubby/loungey)
        La Boheme (but will be closing for renovations at least July-Sept)
        City Club LA on Bunker Hill
        Cicada
        Akwa (?) Santa Monica
        World Cafe Santa Monica
        Mission 261 (Chinese banquet)
        Triumphal Palace (also Chinese banquet)

        Verandas and La Venta are both beautiful venues owned by the New York Food Co. Food is very corporate (what you'd expect at an office party) but I think Verandas is perfect for 80 for dinner and dancing. Minimums range from $10,000-15,000 I think.

        1 Reply
        1. I haven't been myself, but I've heard of people having receptions at Twin Palms in Pasadena...

          I've wedding planning too, albeit in Northern California, so I feel you. Good luck!

          1 Reply
          1. re: aching

            Thank you......well if you are near monterey, there is a really great italian place on cannery row facing the beach...and lots of others less expensive.

          2. My sister gave up on finding an affordable reception site around LA, and instead opted to have it in Mexico! That way, they'll already be where they want to honeymoon.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mojoeater

              That sounds smart....but my guets may not go for it.

              1. re: HarleyQ6

                She was actually happy that it took the guest list down some. All those 'obligation invites' were really stacking up. Now only the people who really care will be there.