Venue: Set the stage for your wedding

The first and most important decision made when planning a wedding is where the wedding will be. This will be where at least half your budget is spent. Any budget conscious bride will be most concerned about the venue when planning a wedding because she knows her dollar will have to go far but she doesn’t want to have to turn around and spend a ton of money to cover up the venue because it feels cheap. Every bride wants her venue to add to the decor and, in the end, potentially save her money on decor.

So how do you get a great venue for a discounted price? Here’s what I did. First, I shopped around…alot. Most venues that were advertising within my price range were the venues that needed alot of covering up. Instead of settling, I sent out emails to venues that I loved but that were out of my price range. In the emails, I was up front with them. I explained that I was looking for a venue, that my date and time were flexible and that I was looking to spend about $5000 total for between 100 and 125 guests. I was also very specific that I needed this price to include wedding and reception venue, meal, cake cutting fee and non-alcoholic drinks. I was surprised at how many venues were willing to work with me within that budget. Once I had all my replies, I narrowed my options down to three. Even though I had three options, the moment I drove into the Dove Canyon Country Club community in Orange County, California, I knew it was my venue. The wedding area was surrounded with glass walls, the building was set atop of a canyon overlooking the ninth hole on the golf course and there was a waterfall on a rocky cliff offered for pictures after the wedding. Nothing in this venue needed to be covered up. It was beautiful and it embodied everything I wanted my wedding to be. The advertised cost for a wedding at Dove Canyon was between $15,000 and $25,000…no where near my budget. But because I was up front in the emails, they began to work with me to create an a la carte menu to help cut costs. In the end, we scored the weddding venue (complete with chairs and sound machines), reception area (complete with full set china), two meat options, two salad options, two side options, rolls, non-alcoholic drinks, cake cutting and serving, cappuccino bar, wedding coordinator and snacks for the wedding party before the wedding for 100 people for around $5,500.00. In addition to our great deal, we also loved our wedding coordinator. She was super sweet and took such good care of us. The whole experience was wonderful and I would not have changed a thing. Here are a few pics of the venue:

HERE’S MY TIP: Don’t let advertised costs stop you from inquiring into a venue. Send out a few emails and be specific (and polite) about your budget and what you want your budget to include. Also stress that you are willing to be flexible to fill in what would otherwise be an empty day for the venue. Show that you are willing to work with them to keep costs within your budget. Hopefully, this tip helps you score your dream venue for a fraction of the cost! Let me know how it works for you!


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