Thanks again for all the comments on the two wedding locations my fiance and I have picked out. We’re very excited about this process, and we’re also happy to share our burdens. Believe me, we will make the final decision based on what is best for us (what we like the best and what we can afford the most), but it is really great to hear what ya’ll are saying. For some strange reason, it makes it easier, and it seems to relieve the stress for us a bit. Before I delve into location #3, I just want to quickly give a shout-out to my friend Vicky. She just got married this weekend, and it was spectacular! I don’t know what kind of budget she was working with, but I know she did have one. (She has mentioned it on Recession Mama.) I felt like she really did the most with her money, and it showed. It was the perfect example of having a 5 star wedding on a 3 star budget (Again, I have no idea what her budget was for the wedding, so this is just a guess.) And I hope I can do the same! Maybe she’ll feel comfortable sharing in the comments or in a future guest post. Well, here is wedding location #3! Enjoy…
Third choice for us is a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) wedding. We’d rent a house/property in Malibu or on the beach somewhere in Orange County, bring in tables, chairs, linens, heat lamps, silverware, plates, glasses, caterer, etc, etc, etc. And if this sounds like a lot of work, well…you’re right! It is. But it could be the way we save money. So here goes…
First, we have the location fee – $6500 for the above house/property in Malibu, and the huge sum of money is for…well, nothing. You get to use the grounds of the property for your ceremony and reception. But that’s it. On top of the $6500 you’re forking over, you have to find and put together everything else. So here’s what else we need – caterer – we’d go with a green/organic caterer, and that ranges from $45/person to $85/person (hopefully this includes plates, silverware, and glassware. We would be able to buy and bring our own alcohol (this could save us a lot!), but we’d also have to hire bartenders…so let’s say it’s $5000 total. Next. tables, chairs, linens, and napkins – $1600. In addition, $500 for about 6 heat lamps (it can be cool in southern california), and these locations generally just want you to stay outside on the property. $500 for a dance floor, and most of these places REQUIRE valet service and security – let’s say $2000 (on the cheaper side). So, before florist, photographer, clothes, etc…we’re looking at…$27,773 (if we’re going with the $45/person number).
Here are my pros and cons:
PROS = We could get exactly what we want – location, food, and decor. This could be cheaper than the other two options, if we’re good at negotiating and putting together iron-clad contracts.
CONS = This DIY location #3 is obviously a LOT more work. A lot could go wrong because there are sooo many vendors to coordinate that day. One late delivery for tables/chairs/linens could create a timeline disaster! This could also end up costing us more money than we can anticipate, at this time, since we don’t truly know what the prices are going to be until we’ve put the deposit on the location and then started negotiating with the rest of the vendors. Also, the $6500 feels like a big waste of money since it’s not for anything but the location. And again, these beach locations are very far away from our rehearsal dinner, the night before. (But this one isn’t as far as Dana Point.)
There you have it! 3 locations — Dana Point restaurant, downtown L.A. restaurant, or this DIY beach property rental. I’d love to hear your thoughts.