Unlike most girls, I never really had visions of my dream wedding. Only later on in life (as in a few years ago), I swore that if ever I got married, I’d rent a private estate in wine country and have an In-N-Out truck pull on up after the rice-throwing. Cheeseburger animal style coming right up. Those hopes were dashed when I learned that the In-N-Out truck does not service the Northern California area. Even then, it only services a very small region of the Los Angeles area. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
As I get ready to sign a wedding reception contract on our Palm Springs hotel, I wanted to give my newly-engaged friend some wedding planning advice. The process sucks. It’s going to cost you a shitload of money. But wedding planning only gets better after you decide on a place.
Here’s how I did it.
1. Scroll through venue by venue either the book or the web site Here Comes the Guide. It’s as comprehensive as it gets when it comes to wedding locations in California. You can filter by winery, private estate, ranch, museum, art gallery. What I like about the site is that the pricing information is pretty accurate…so you can see what your baseline cost will be.
2. I continued to look at private residences that would allow for a big wedding. Caution: there is a huge expense in terms of rentals (chairs, tables, linens) if you go this route.
3. I told everyone I knew that I was trying to find a venue, and soon enough, recommendations poured in. Lots of hidden gems I wouldn’t have known about.
4. I scoured magazines, wedding web sites, photography sites.
5. I thought of my favorite restaurants and clubs like Foreign Cinema and Green’s here in the city.
6. I considered a true destination wedding like Hawaii or Mexico, but we agreed that we would genuinely be losing people we wanted at our wedding.
There’s no easy way to figure out your wedding location. It takes a lot of time, lots of phone calls, lots of site visits. For us, it came down to the right price at a cool spot.