So we've been getting a lot of "you haven't picked a venue yet?!?!" (similar to the "you haven't chosen a dress yet?!?!" comments I'd get in slightly panicked tones from the ladies in the wedding dress shops!). So I thought I'd explain where we're at with our wedding venue, now that we are almost exactly 5 months from the wedding.
We (okay me mostly but Andy is on board too) really want to have the wedding at a house where my family can also stay. If my parents lived here, we'd probably just have the wedding at their house. Since they don't, I'm looking for a large house to rent, and I've been actively looking since November.
I originally was looking in Malibu, and by early February I had a house selected that, while not perfect, Andy and I both liked, and the family seemed to like, was in line with our budget (particularly after they dropped their fee by 50%) and I was getting ready to sign the contract. Then Andy had cold feet about Malibu. His point was that it wasn't exactly a convenient location (it had taken us an hour to get from West Hollywood to the house one day), and there weren't a lot of good reasonable hotels around. Once my parents heard that Andy had doubts they quickly chimed in with theirs, and I had to admit that they all had a point (although I kind of wish they had made it sooner so I didn't spend all that time looking in the wrong area!). So we decided to focus on the Hollywood Hills/ Beverly Hills and surrounds instead. Or at least not so deep in Malibu.
However, my realtor (Sotheby's International) and other agency's advice is that we need to wait until early May to lock in a venue. This is because apparently a lot of tourists (for lack of a better word) come in from overseas during the summer months and pay BIG money for summer rentals, often renting houses for three months at time at hugely inflated rates. Homeowners aren't willing to commit to our relatively short 10 day stay because it may prevent them from getting 6 times as much from someone else. Instead they want to wait until much closer to the beginning of the summer rental period (i.e. May) to drop their prices and commit to people like us. Also, a lot of these houses are for sale as well as for rent, so the closer to the wedding we book the safer we'll be in case the house sells prior to the wedding.
This is not how I would choose to do it, but it seems that if we want to have the wedding at a house, and we do, this is the only way to do it. So I've made peace with it, LA is a big town, it will work out! If we end up having to have the wedding in a park somewhere or a restaurant, as long as the people we love are there it will be great.
A lot of people have been wondering why I'm so adamant about having the wedding at a house. There are multiple reasons, here are just a few:
We want a family style, very low key, very casual event, where we can really host the event ourselves. If we're staying in the house, we can have the ceremony right there, and start the party right away/ seamlessly.
With a house my Mom can make the cheese plate, my friends and family can decorate the space with me in the days before, and take it down slowly in the days after. There will be no curfew, no getting kicked out of the venue, no need for an after party. We can have people over the following day to eat left overs. We can save money by buying alcohol from Costco. We can bring in whatever caterer we want, cater ourselves, get an In N Out Truck (or all of the above)!
We don't want a formal sit down dinner, just a big patch of grass/ outdoor area, hopefully by a pool or with a view, where everyone can just hang out and have fun. It seems like with us renting a house we'll not only be able to save money, but it will be less stress and a real family feel, if that makes sense?!
Hosting at our home is something my family always did on a very regular basis, whether on a small scale (a casual bbq for a few friends), or a large scale (100+ wrap party at the house), it's just our way. Andy and I are also people who love to entertain at home regularly, it's our style, so we want to do the same thing with the wedding. It just feels more personal this way, and that is a big priority for us, having our wedding feel really personal. We might end up having to give up on this idea, or we may end up regretting it, but for now this is how we want to do it.
Here are a few of the venues that are potentially available, but not necessarily definitely in our budget!
An infinity pool with a city view, Andy's dream...
This house has an amazing outdoor area that is EXACTLY what I'd want, however the house itself is a modern monstrosity. If I do give up on the idea of having the wedding at a house we're staying at, this could actually be an option. You may recognize it from last season's Apprentice?
This house in Malibu is amazing and has stunning views, last I heard it might have been rented out for July-August:
I think this house is in the flats of Beverly Hills and it looks lovely at night and during the day:
This house looks great, and I think it's within our budget, I'm just not clear if there is enough outdoor space:
I recently heard this house isn't available but I LOVE the outdoor area so I'm in denial:
I love this Spanish style house and the pool area is pretty:
This house is AMAZING, the rental price they list is WAY over our budget but you never know, maybe taking a little from us is better than nothing at all!
I don't love the interior of this house but the pool area is so pretty at night: