Sunday, June 1, 2008

#308: shot down.

i emailed

Guest Count: 125ish
Budget: weekend rental up to $2k

Details: I'm looking to rent a home for the weekend and also to hold a wedding reception in the backyard for 100 to 125 people. So far, I like Venice Beach CA Penthouse #0093 and Studio City CA House #0084.

I'm open to your suggestions as well. Thank you.

and promptly got schooled:

We have nothing at your budget for 125 guest for a weekend and I really do not know who would. good luck on your search. Maybe try a hotel or a park.

#93 roof top penthouse in venice.
125 guest per day for $14,500 per day
stays for 3 night min. for $4,500

update: thanks for the support, ladies. i thought their response was...honest. actually, it's pretty much almost exactly what i expected...but i will admit that i did also hold onto a little bit of hope that maybe they'd come back with a 'it's your lucky day!'.

after some consideration, and especially after that telling response, i'm coming to terms with the fact that unless the fiance and i up our budget, we will not be able to 'rent' a backyard. at least, not in the capacity i want.

so...i'm just going to stop leaning on that idea. the end. no more time will be wasted on these searches. the past week has been endless searching for houses...and now i can spend my time searching for venues that are more likely to work within our budget.

the upside: i do have ONE relative who has a potential backyard where we could maybe pull it off but even if it turns out his place can't accommodate...well, then that's that. meh. on to plan B.

lesson learned here: when you're on a budget, it pays to be flexible. i suppose that also includes ideas.


tina said...

That is funny. People in the service industry are so rude. They're lucky that their venues sell themselves. There is one awesome venue in Chicago that has rep for being like that. Our DJ asked to have some publicity photos taken there and the lady told them "no" because she didn't want it to look like they're the exclusive DJ for that very overpriced venue. Keep your chin up.

Kate said...

I'm sorry she was so rude, but I think she might be right. We looked in Palm Springs and in Napa and it was WAY over that for one night, much less the weekend. Good Luck.

Dubbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Harshly put! Geez! I mean, the latter part of that comment was not necessary.

You'll find something within your price range, just keep at it!

luch said...

I am so totally in the same boat. What a bitch!!! I want to rent a place for 50 people, and would be willing to spend 3k for one night, still nothing for me!~ so over this!!

summer said...

Frack, Ouch!

my heart goes out to you lady! Don't get sad... we are all in the same boat!!!

Jess said...

I only just found your blog for the first time so I don't have all the background, and you may have already researched this, but I wanted to let you know of two tips that I got that were really helpful when we were looking for an outdoorsy, backyard sort of venue for our wedding.

1) Check out private schools in the area. Many of them have absolutely gorgeous grounds and are willing to rent them out on the weekends, sometimes for not that much money. For example, there is a private school here in Washington, DC that rents out a big house on its campus, along with the accompanying (gorgeous) lawn and garden behind it for $1500 in the afternoon and $2000 at night.

2) Check out the facilities at local condo communities. We are actually getting married at a reception facility that belongs to a condo community in the city and its prices are also $1500-$2000 depending on the day and time of the wedding. It's a gorgeous indoor space and there is a lovely outdoor lawn area as well.

Your area is possibly more expensive than mine but these types of facilities are less commonly used for weddings and therefore might be cheaper. Good luck!

Britt and Sean said...

Another thing to try is posting an ad on Craigslist. An independent homeowner might be open to the idea and making a little extra cash in light of the current economy. And, their flexibility may be better! It's worth a shot to toss an ad out there and see if there are any takers!

Teana said...

ouch, while very honest and frank she could have stood to be a little nicer about it. but sometimes a vendor might lead you to another place, i had one that gave me fantastic ideas of other places to try out since the layout of his restaurant didn't work with what i had in mind. hopefully you'll be able to find something somewhere. good luck!

Meg said...

Oh, my dear! The venue search was the worst for us too. I hear people say "ah, that was the fun part," and I think, they must have more cash then we do. We did find a rental for 125 for $2000, in the bay area at that. It's just for 6 hours, not a weekend, but its going to work out fine. It's through parks and rec, but its lovely, and in the bay area... email me if you want details/ more moral support. That said, we are getting slammed on catering, even for a brunch with BYO, so we had to make our budget reflect that... since we wanted all 125 there. Just don't let them get you down!! You are NOT alone, no matter what anyone says!

Beth said...

Hang in there, girl! I ran into the same issue. Marrying in Key Largo and wanted to rent a house with great trees to get married under. I finally found one that's perfect, but it took MAJOR surfing and calling around to rental agencies. They usually have a pre-screened list of houses that will allow weddings. Hint...look into an area that would be considered slightly more of a vacation destination b/c they'll have LOTS more homes to choose from. Good Luck!

mouse said...

I'd second jess' ideas... add in local parks and rec (try p&r in the suburbs too, not just the city), historical societies, b&bs and farms.

I'm afraid I don't know your area at all, but here in the Portland (Oregon) area I pulled off a pretty nice, homemade wedding for around $7k. We got married at a local historical estate- in the yard, but used the house for getting ready, bathrooms and the kitchen.

If you can get a space with a house you can use you'll save on porta-potties and extra fees a caterer might tack on if they need to bring in cooking equipment. We didn't need a tent for back-up either.

You might also try asking around on wedding boards. Kvetch at Indie Bride has a lot of small budget brides, some might be in your area. Also try the local boards on the knot, wedding channel, etc.

Photography by Blair said...

Okay so you may have already found this, but wedding chicks posted a blog about estate weddings. I am a little behind on my subscriptions, but right when I found it: I thought of you!!! :) Good luck! - here is the link :

Anonymous said...

Sticker shock is a B* Have you looked into state/city owned sites? Miss Coconut over at weddingbee found an awesome venue for peanuts:

Dubbs said...

After seeing your update I came back to check out everyone's input. I re-read what I wrote before and decided on a redo coz I'm not sure I came across the way I meant, not to mention a typo.

Looks like you have lots of good suggestions here. The first thing that cut cost when it comes to a pretty venue is privacy, if you're willing to give that up and go public, it'd be much easier to find something you love without having to up the budget. If that's something you must have, however, adjusting your budget can still work. A great venue can save you $ in other costs like rental/logistics/decor, so keep that in mind.

That relative's backyard like I suggested before which you've got a lead on - I hope that works out! I dig your attitude towards it all - no whining, just move on when one door closes. Flexibility indeed is key to a stylish budget wedding.

Again, we're rooting for you and your $10K wedding, so don't let us down!

Brandy said...

I originally wanted a backyard wedding. But the backyard is hard to come by, mine is only 15 feet, then a lake. I've given up on it too- too few houses for too much money. I believe we are going with the local garden club- they have gorgeous grounds for cheap (less than 1K). Good luck.

Rebecca said...

I second Meg on the park route - LA Rec & Parks has the Grace Simons Lodge and Orcut Ranch for very low 6-hour rental costs ~$1500 apiece (plus equipment rental costs, though some is provided at Grace Simons) Also on the plus side, the City of LA requires a particular alcohol vendor... who is incredibly cheap for a respectable open bar.

You might also check out basic park picnic areas, if you're not worried about providing alcohol. For example, Rancho Park has multiple picnic table areas for reservation - at least one area has an amphitheater and 17 picnic tables with a bbq. Key point - the City of LA lists its wedding reception rental areas, but you can rent most parks by contacting their offices individually. In that same vein, the City of Malibu even has one or two parks for rent.

Also, LA has a ridiculous number of photography studios that are available for day rentals. Bebworld is aiming at the high-end, but look at the warner studio in Culver City or just start googling around for some gorgeous, low-cost lofted space event rentals.

Good luck! You're an inspiration to all stubbornly budget-minded brides!

Cameron Clark Photography said...

Have you looked in Sedona, AZ?

amanda said...

i don't know if you've checked there yet, but the l.a. conservancy has a great list of historic locations that are available to rent for special events. a lot of the prices are reasonable too, you just have to do some looking. here's the link:

Rozen said...

Have you tried I'm not sure what city you live by but I live in Chicago and I started a topic on there about a venue where I could hold a wedding of 125 and not have it so expensive and I ended up finding my venue for my wedding...Good luck and don't let rude people get to you! :)

Christine said...

I am so bummed to hear that the home rental idea won't work. My fiance and I (we also live in Los Angeles) thought this would be a totally doable idea and a way to smartly circumvent the whole wedding venue monopoly. "How expensive could it be?", we thought. After all, regular ol' vacation home rentals are a couple of hundred a night and there's plenty of location filming at luxury mansions in this town. After reading your post (and the snarky email from the folks at bebworld), I guess we were wrong. :(

kristin @ the fairmount bride said...

I congratulate you on asking! A lot of people will only assume, and if don't ask, you never know if they are going to say "yes." I did that with our photographer, loved his work, but he was out of our price range. I asked if he would negotiate, and turns out he was willing to work with us. Be persistent, you will find the right place!!

rebekah @ elizabeth anne designs said...

Argh! It's SO frustrating to find a venue, but take your time and explore every option.

amber said...

how sad & rude at the same time! what is it a palace?? you can find something great, I just know it - plus people have left you some really helpful suggestions, so that's a plus!

JennLink Photography said...

I can't find any images but how about this:

18300 LeMarsh • Northridge 91325 • (818) 349-7341 • Contact: Adele
Originally owned by Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, this ranch-style home was later given to the Parks and Recreation Department. It is located in Northridge Park. It will hold 70 people inside and a total of 165 people using both inside and outside. The fee depends on the number of guests and activities. If you wish to serve alcohol, there is an additional charge per hour for a park attendant. You provide your own caterer. The house is available on Saturdays and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.


Topanga Canyon, (310) 455-1931, Contact: Bill Buerge
The hacienda style home was built in the 1930's as a country club, then in the 40's it was used as a summer camp and later a gambling house for Mickey Cohen who stored slot machines in the basement. The house went into financial crisis until it was purchased and restored in 1988 by Bill Buerge. The hacienda, which is nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, has white stucco walls and tile roof. Archways lead to a covered front porch and then you enter the large main hall, which has French doors, tall arched windows, and an enormous fireplace. Up to 150 people can be accommodated.

Lastly I found this, its beautiful and very reasonable.

jeff and ashley said...

Haha, i totally got the same treatment from debworld!!! lame.
i am not sure where you are located but we wanted the same kind of venue and couldnt find anything in a respectable budget for a house... but we ended up with an amazing venue. A big outside garden in downtown LA. Los angeles river center and gardens! check them out, you rent the facility, but bring in your own tables and chairs.
i know people who have done just an ice cream reception- ben and jerry truck or the IN-N-OUT truck to cut food costs : )
we are doing IN-N-OUT truck and another caterer so we broke the 10g. But i know it could be done! Good Luck!!!

melissa said...

Have you tried That's where we found the house for our wedding in Hawaii. It was $800/night and $500 for an event fee. Then again, we only had 30 people...

However, I went to a wedding in LA over memorial day at Heritage Square.
I was running the event for a friend and found out that it's about $2000 (we were there setting up at 10 am, and the party didn't end until 10pm). It's relatively unknown so they only have a few wedding a year there. There were even docents giving a tour during the cocktail hour.

maidel said...

I'm of like mind in renting a home for the weekend for my wedding that will accommodate at least 25 of the guests (of about 75 total). I've about given up. I just found this place for day use (click the link to the pdf file, which has rates):

Kate said...

You've been tagged!

We want to hear about the Mister!

Anonymous said...

I second

Also try

You will be able to find a home that *might* fit into your budget. Don't tell them you are renting it for a wedding, and get an extra day or two to clean up etc.

My favorite Venice Beach (it's a penthouse, too) was this

It's $1000 a night (3 night min) and has a GORGEOUS 5000 sq foot open patio on the roof. There is also a funky geodesic dome that would make for good photos.

Another link for it:

Anonymous said...

Don't give up!! We just found a 5,000+sf place with a huge 2-acre lawn meandering down to a deep-water dock which could *hold the sailboat we leave the reception in*. 1 day is $1,000, or for $3,200 you can have it for the week. Granted it is on the eastern coast (Maine) but there are places out there!!

Ten Thousand Only said...

thanks so much for your input. i've been looking at all of your suggestions and hope to have it narrowed down to a solid list of 10 venues in the next couple of weeks. which is when i plan to start visiting them! ah!

greenishbride said...

I dealt with BEBWORLD and got the same reaction. I also contacted and the woman there (Sandra) was ridiculously nice and accomodating -- even though many home owners do not like to rent their place out for parties. I had a 250 guest count, but with 125 you might be able to get away with it. But keep in mind that you will have to rent EVERYTHING, which ups the price a lot.

One place that is GORGEOUS and perfect for 100 person range is the Palos Verdes Vicente Interpretive Center. It even has an ampitheater for the ceremony at no extra charge! The price is ridiculously reasonable for the breathtaking view of the ocean and light house. They have a kitchen, chairs, and tables. Check them out!

Best of luck! Love the blog!

Joe Yosemite said...

We are planning to have our Oregon coast wedding site at a scenic waterfront location at the Loon Lake Lodge near Reedsport on the Oregon Coast. The centerpiece of our Oregon wedding site is a beautiful Lakeside House, a warm, friendly gathering place that overlooks the lake from the hillside. The house has a massive stone fireplace in the front room with floor to ceiling windows, plus a fully furnished kitchen. We had a family reunion in Oregon there several years ago and fell in love with the lake and scenery.