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SF Cheap Wedding

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meganp823 May 1, 2009 10:29 PM

DOes anyone know of an elegant reasonable place to get married in or around SF? I am from Philadelphia and have no idea where to start. My fiancee and I both have small families so we're thinking 40 people and would like a sit down dinner. Our budget is 8,000 for everything. We want a good photographer(could use suggestions for that too), good food, and a beautiful setting, preferably outside. We did see the brazilian room in berkeley but that takes half our budget right there. We prefer to have the ceremony and reception in the same place but are open if the price is right. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.

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    alina555 RE: meganp823 May 2, 2009 09:49 AM

    Check out Wedgewood Banquet Centers - I have been there for two corporate meetings but the service and atmosphere of their locations were great for the price. They specialize in weddings for relatively low prices. While most banquet halls or restaurants in SF may charge $100-$150/pp once they hear "wedding," their centers charge $50-$60 depending on the venue, and that can include the ceremony rental (which others do an extra charge for). There are locations in Burlingame, Oakland, and San Ramon - check them out and see if they offer what you are looking for. The food is standard banquet food - nothing to write home about, but everyone was pleased.

    http://www.wedgewoodbanquet.com/index...

    1. Glencora RE: meganp823 May 2, 2009 10:22 AM

      My cousin was married at Rockefeller's hunting lodge in San Pablo of all places. (Not a great area.) The lodge itself is lovely, surrounded by a beautiful garden with a gazebo. The wedding was outside, followed by a sit down dinner in the lodge. The food was fine, not amazing. The prices are quite reasonable. Take a look at their website.

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        macadam RE: meganp823 May 2, 2009 11:39 AM

        The Swedenborgian Church in Sf is ideal for an intimate wedding, and they have an adjacent reception site. Price is reasonable and the caterers recommended are all good.

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          boris_qd RE: meganp823 May 2, 2009 02:14 PM

          My wife and I got married in Stern Grove park in San Francisco. There's a victorian next to a small redwood grove in the park that you can rent out.

          We had our wedding outside and catered food inside. I think the venue was very cheap - around $700 (but this was 9 years ago). Our total costs were around $4000 for 60 or so people - and the vast bulk of that was spent on the catering.

          http://www.sterngrove.org/FAQ15-renta...

          2 Replies
          1. re: boris_qd
            BernalKC RE: boris_qd May 3, 2009 11:45 AM

            The Stern Grove clubhouse rental info is in this PDF: http://www.parks.sfgov.org/wcm_recpar... Looks to me like the minimum price for the clubhouse + outside area on a weekend would be >$1200 but there seem to be a lot of rule and other considerations that would probably drive it higher.

            1. re: BernalKC
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              boris_qd RE: BernalKC May 3, 2009 12:33 PM

              We rented for half a day. Don't remember if it was on the weekend or not. Prices have probably gone up.

          2. rworange RE: meganp823 May 2, 2009 03:59 PM

            Since you are considering Berkeley, Cafe Zeste is located on the edge of lovely Strawberry Creek Park. They have various options and the outdoor area would be a pretty place for a wedding.
            http://www.zestecatering.com/cafezest...

            1 Reply
            1. re: rworange
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              rccola RE: rworange Jan 7, 2013 04:37 PM

              Cafe Zeste is a lovely spot but it is a public park. On the weekends there are often families or people taking their dogs out.

            2. Stephanie Wong RE: meganp823 May 3, 2009 08:45 AM

              Try considering restaurant venues that have a private room in which you can hold both your ceremony and dinner. . . we had ours (30 people) in a lovely private dining room at a Chinese restaurant (now closed).

              Also I recall there was a thread on this board discussing the Marines Memorial Club which also mentioned including rooms for out-of-towners.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/527272

              1. Absonot RE: meganp823 May 3, 2009 09:49 AM

                Shakespeare's Garden in Golden Gate park is lovely - I think it's $500 for the first two hours and you have to supply your own chairs. But it's a great spot. Here's a link to more info on wedding locations in SF area parks:
                http://www.parks.sfgov.org/wcm_recpar...

                yelp posts about shakespeare's garden: http://www.yelp.com/biz/shakespeare-g...

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                  karen2006 RE: meganp823 May 3, 2009 11:57 AM

                  My husband and I got married in Shakespeare garden in GGP in Oct. Lots of things were still in bloom. The cost was around $600 a few years ago(the price can be found on the parks website I believe). We then rented out a french bistro for cocktails and a 4 course dinner plus cake was the dessert for approx. $4500 for 70 people. There was of course additional cost such as photographer, flowers, etc. But for 40 people, I think you should be able to stay within budget

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                    katya RE: meganp823 May 5, 2009 04:56 PM

                    Hmmm... I was a Brazilian Room bride (we got married on a Sunday - much cheaper than Saturday). Other cheaper options that I've been to include the Green Room in SF, International House in Berkeley, UC Botanical Garden, Piedmont Community Hall, and Berkeley City Club. (Some may appear not as cheap but include catering.) I've heard the Rockefeller Lodge in San Pablo is a good affordable spot.

                    A great resource in your venue hunt is Here Comes the Guide (with 360 degree tours):
                    http://www.herecomestheguide.com/loca...

                    Here are my venue reviews:
                    My Obsessive Search for the Perfect Wedding Venue
                    http://www.yelp.com/list/my-obsessive...

                    I got really into planning my own wedding two years ago (a little too much so), but I have LOTS of affordable vendor recommendations. I'd be happy to send you the e-mail with detailed info I send all my friends getting married if you send me your e-mail. If anyone else on Chowhound sees this I'd be happy to help you, too. I'm kmikulis@gmail.com

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                      dolcevita_sf RE: meganp823 May 5, 2009 05:28 PM

                      A fantastic wedding planning resource is the message board on Indiebride: http://kvetch.indiebride.com/

                      Especially the SF Vendor thread: http://kvetch.indiebride.com/index.ph... (You may want to begin at the last page, which would contain the most recent posts

                      )

                      We had our wedding/reception for about 45 guests for about 2K over your budget. However, we splurged on some elements of the catering (oyster bar, lamb, and some other pricey options - could definitely have done it for less.) We loved our venue, which has a garden for the ceremony and a house for the reception - the Falkirk Mansion in San Rafael http://www.falkirkculturalcenter.org/

                      A link to my vendor reviews is here:
                      http://kvetch.indiebride.com/index.ph...

                      Best of luck!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: dolcevita_sf
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                        mirimin RE: dolcevita_sf Jan 7, 2013 04:31 PM

                        Hi dolcevita_sf, saw this old thread and wanted to click on the indiebride links, but it looks like the site has been shut down! Do you have any info you would be willing to share on the vendors, since I can't see your vendor reviews? I'm thinking of the Falkirk Mansion for my wedding as well.

                        1. re: mirimin
                          Robert Lauriston RE: mirimin Jan 7, 2013 04:34 PM

                          moved:

                          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/in...

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
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                            mirimin RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 7, 2013 04:47 PM

                            Thanks for the note, Robert! Unfortunately, I can't find the lists and reviews of vendors, etc. folks posted on the prior indiebride, so was hoping they might have some notes they could share...

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