Southern California weddings can be extremely pricey, especially if the event is held near Los Angeles. In order to have both a memorable and affordable celebration, it is necessary to apply some creative thinking to keep the budget low. Some strategies include holding the wedding at an affordable banquet hall, seeking out an alternative location or scheduling the wedding on a less popular day of the week. Saturday weddings command the highest prices, whereas Friday and Sunday events usually offer a small discount. While frugal and inclusive packages can be found at restaurants and banquet halls, hiring your own caterer can be very cost effective if your location allows outside vendors.
Planning your wedding at an alternative location is the best way to find cheap wedding venues in Southern California. Parks, beaches, gardens, ranches and small museums often have low rates and give you the opportunity to save money by hiring your own caterer. With a little bit of research, you can save a bundle on a beautiful location. The Crystal Cove State Park on the Pacific Coast Highway has a jaw-dropping beach and on-site cottages available. The beach promenade rents for $1500 for the day, while the cultural center cottage rents for $2250. Surprisingly, some museums are also able to offer great deals in upscale settings. For instance, the Edward-Dean Museum in Cherry Valley is set upon sixteen pristine acres and offers a pavilion, a gazebo and a koi pond. The Edward-Dean Museum charges $2300 for a venue package, while allowing outside catering.
If you are interested in a garden setting, check out the Fullerton Arboretum. Four hours of garden and pavilion use is only $2000, but you must choose your caterer from an approved list. The most picturesque spot the Arboretum offers is the rose garden altar near the wisteria arbor. Descanso Gardens offers inclusive packages beginning at $4,100 for Saturday receptions, and has indoor and outdoor space available. For a lovely park setting, try the Grapevine Arbor in San Gabriel, where you can have your wedding and reception for under $2500 amidst beautiful period architecture. The Grace E. Simons Lodge in Elysian Park also holds outdoor ceremonies and indoor receptions for around $1500, but requires you to use one of their alcohol vendors. The beauty of a rustic setting can be found at a great price at Hidden Creek Lodge in Lake Arrowhead. They offer a venue package for 125 guests for $5,225 on Saturdays, $4,225 on Sundays, $3,725 on Fridays and $3,225 on weekdays.
If you are looking to save with a discount inclusive package, be sure to avoid hotels, country clubs and vineyards. Instead, consider banquet halls, VFW halls, restaurants and lodges. For example, Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center offers inclusive packages with prices starting at $36 per person. One of the benefits of working with Wedgewood is convenience, because they provide locations all over Southern California, including Camarillo, Corona, San Diego, Riverside, Upland Hills and Ventura Beach. Best of luck with your hunt for inexpensive wedding venues in Southern California! If you have any other suggested venues or tips, please let us know in the comments below.