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Beginner July 2023

Affordable Wedding Venues in Southern ca

Eliza, on August 7, 2022 at 12:19 PM Posted in California Planning 0 4

My fiancé and I are struggling to find an affordable wedding venue in SoCal (preferably Orange County or LA). We really want to keep our wedding budget to be $20k at most for a wedding of 150 guests.
When we’ve reached out to SoCal venues deemed “affordable” by popular wedding websites, but they seem to be all out of our budget. At the cheapest package, if we’re lucky sometimes it’d be ~$20k for just the venue and food, which leaves us no room to budget for a dress, tux, photographer, DJ/MC, officiant, invites, etc.
I know this might be finding a needle in a haystack but please let me know if you know of an affordable venue in SoCal or creative ideas to keep budget down!
Thank you!


Latest activity by Gillian, on August 19, 2022 at 10:55 PM
  • Jm Sunshine
    Jm Sunshine ·
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    If you haven't already, look into park and rec dept facilities, VA halls, community centers, etc. Also, consider brunch/lunch receptions (usually half cost of dinner reception). Booking any day but Saturdays also is less expensive. Look into Costco and for your floral arrangements. Honestly, my biggest advice is lowering your guest list. I do think you'll be hard pressed to find something for $20k for 150 people.
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  • V
    Rockstar July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    Unfortunately being that your wedding is in California I think it's going to be incredibly difficult to find a venue and all of the vendors that would be within your budget. We got married in Pennsylvania which isn't anywhere close to as expensive as California and we spent over $20,000 on less than 100 guests. Like the other poster suggested, cutting your guest list is going to be your best option. Other options are looking for a non-traditional wedding, getting married any day other than Saturday, buffet vs plated for your meal at least in our area was cheaper, and beer and wine only rather than open bar. I would also look for discounts on things. For example, we got our save the dates on a Black Friday sale.
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  • Michael
    Rockstar October 2023
    Michael ·
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    We were just looking at Aliso Viejo Ranch. They have some indoor and outdoor spaces, even their Bunkhouse for pre-function activities. The pricing is a bit piecemeal but may have something that works. I saw their name flash by here at WW, so you probably can find it listed.

    As I was typing this, I saw the prices appear to be hourly rates and then there may be a requirement to hire their security guards too. So, like any site, you have to get the official package figured out before knowing if it is a deal.

    the link here is The Barn at Aliso Viejo Ranch - Venue - Aliso Viejo, CA - WeddingWire

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  • Gillian
    Devoted July 2021
    Gillian ·
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    I agree with the prior people- downsize you guest count by half (if not more) and look at places like parks, courthouse and then have a big reception. More guest = high cost of venue, food, drinks…. Cut out things like individual ceremony timeline papers, guest favors, and so on. Throw out the idea of a Saturday wedding. Some outdoor venues will have higher costs for food and beverages because they don’t have established kitchens. Some caterers will have added fees for bringing out cooking equipment to the venue. Highly recommend really pulling together a few contracts before going with one so you can compare and contrast cost.
    To give you an idea, we’re having a repeat wedding in October with family and friends (courthouse wedding last year). We wanted 80 guests, sent out invites to 105 people, ended up with 90 attending. Cost we thought 38k would be reasonable for Bay Area but found that it just can’t get us everything. We’ve cut back on things like music (hired DJ instead of live band) and so on. But if you have family/friends that wants to help chip in for various wedding costs instead of a wedding registry gift, I highly recommend. We have one family friend who is helping sponsor our wedding cake! She’s so excited because she feels that she gets to contribute to something meaningful and we’re excited because it’s something that we’ll enjoy and helps us expand our budget.
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