4 unconventional (and surprisingly affordable!) Los Angeles wedding venues

May 23 | Guest post by Kimmy Erin

I often help local friends plan their weddings, and holy crap it's SUPER hard to find "affordable" venues in Los Angeles. So I asked my friend Kimmy, who's currently planning a $10k wedding in LA, to weed out her favorite cheap but awesome LA venues.

By: Emmanuel_D.PhotographyCC BY 2.0

ZOMG, getting married in Los Angeles is so expensive. The wedding industry is stupidly pricey already, but then add a major city into the mix — especially a city that throws million dollar parties weekly — and finding a place to get hitched with a $10K budget becomes seemingly impossible. But no fear, after months of research I'm here to reveal six surprisingly sensational venues I found in Los Angeles that are as fun as they are freakishly cheap.

Caveat: I chose places that offered good value, which I define as offering tons of perks and amenities in the base price. There are venues that might be as cheap, but don't offer anything but the space, which, may make your life needlessly more difficult.

Seriously, short of getting married in a backyard, you won't find cheaper in Los Angeles! These places will make your day as woodsy, sparkly, feminist-y, or vintage-y as you want it to be without anyone knowing how little you paid for it:

Angelus Mountain Center

Anna&Kyle_wedding_203
Juuuuust at the tip top of Pasadena, smaaaaashed right into the foothills, with a view of downtown Los Angeles (and beyond on a clear day) lies what I imagine one of the most fun summer camps ever. Tether ball, volleyball, basketball, a theatre, chicken coops, vegetable garden, hiking trails, campfires, the Angelus Mountain Center is just fun packed in a forest. And lucky for any woodsy brides, the mess hall and gorgeous deck and three cabins are available to rent for THE ENTIRE WEDDING WEEKEND for $2500. Yes. $2500.

You and your wedding party could potentially camp or check into the nearby Langham, for those five-star freaks in your family. (God knows, I have 'em!) Kitchen, bathrooms, tables, and majestic pine trees are all included in the rental price. Bonus points: The camp director has a great sense of humor. Only drawback is that it's not available in the summer (DUH).

Nature Friends

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 6.36.57 PM
$2200 breaking your bank? How about $1500 for your up-to-70-people wedding? Not bad, huh? Nature-y, beautiful, amazingly majestic views but with a fantastically rustic cabin as your centerpoint, Nature Friends in Sierra Madre also happens to be a non-profit for environmental issues. So you're saving pennies and the planet! WIN WIN!

The Thursday Club

Thursday Club exterior.
You like women's rights, right? Good. Then you'll love The Thursday Club, a La Canada-Flintridge historical building that dates back to the early 1900's when women were gathering to win suffrage. And because they love hooking other ladies up, they only charge $1500 for your wedding.

A gorgeous kitchen, beautiful courtyard, lovely garden, and grand hall with Spanish style details and chandeliers throughout make the party planning a cinch. BYOB, easy free parking, uber-cheap table rentals, and a super-dope stage are just added perks.

Oviatt Penthouse

Oviatt at night.

Okay, okay, so I like old shit. I'm sorry — it's just so pretty! Especially the Oviatt Penthouse, an architectural gem of LA built in 1928 that was only just recently opened to the public and events.

For a base price of $2700-$4000, the five-room penthouse includes a billion lbs (guesstimate) of Lalique crystal and glass and marble entirely imported from France. The outside patio is stunning, especially at night when the surrounding buildings and the clock tower above shine around you. Plus, there's a "powder room" (no, really, it has a few hidden cocaine trays in the bathroom), and velvet carpets, multiple bars, tables, chairs and your choice of linens are included, there are amazing photo ops, and delicious food that is entirely custom to your wishes and dreams and ethnicities!


For more Los Angeles venue ideas check out these posts:

Looking for more Los Angeles vendors?
Check the Offbeat Bride vendor guide!

Now we want to know. What are some awesome and affordable venues in YOUR areas? Submit your findings today!

  1. Awesome tips! LA is a scary place to try and plan a wedding. My now-husband and I spent a lot of time tearing out our hair while looking at potential venues.

    I want to suggest the venue we used as well, because finding it took such a load off our shoulders and it really made our wedding. It's Yamashiro restaurant in the Hollywood Hills. It's a Japanese restaurant with an amazing outdoor area, a gorgeous view, and a Japanese garden with a koi pond. We got married there this past October. It's $1,300 to rent the garden space, less if you want one of the smaller spaces. The tables, chairs, linens, plates, etc. are all included, and the food/beverage fees are very reasonable. Also, the venue is so beautiful you don't really need any extra decorations unless you really want them. It was amazing, affordable, and super low stress.

    Good luck, LA brides! It seems impossible, but you can totally have an awesome, affordable wedding in our city if you know where to look. :-)

    15 agree
    • I live right near Yamashiro and I can vouch for its pretty factor PLUS amazing views of Los Angeles. Therefor: If you have your wedding there you must invite me. ;)

      7 agree
    • oooo amazing tip!!!! thank you! I especially love their Darth Vader rolls!

      7 agree
    • Hi Cali! i was just wondering where you had your reception or did you have both there?

      2 agree
    • Hi there! I just checked out yamashiro's and I was a little confused by the prices. I saw the 1300 reservation price, but it also mentioned having to spend +3000 on food and beverages. Is this something you had to do as well? I really love the space and it sounds like a beautiful place to have a reception/ceremony.

      0 agree
  2. There totally needs to be a post like this for other large (and expensive) cities! New York may be an obvious runner-up for price, but wedding planning is still scary-expensive even in cities like Boston, Seattle, San Fransisco, D.C., Chicago, etc.

    11 agree
    • ABSOLUTELY our thinking as well! We totally welcome our readers to submit their findings especially in big cities where it is SO fucking hard to find affordable venues.

      6 agree
    • Of note: the Offbeat Bride Tribe's regional forums have venue threads for most major US cities. Not that we won't do more posts like this, but for Tribesmaids, there's already a lot of information that's been gathered!

      5 agree
    • Yes! This is why I used to get so frustrated at people raging against spending loads of money on a wedding- do you know how hard it is to have an affordable wedding in the NY metro area?? :(

      My time has come and gone but I know plenty of major metro brides who would love the advice!

      4 agree
  3. I LOVE the Oviatt Penthouse, but it definitely does not fit in with affordable. Once you add in all the factors needed for a wedding (food, setup, etc), it is ridiculously expensive. It was the second place my partner and I looked and unfortunately was cut pretty quick :-/
    We used to live by Oak Creek Ranch and it is gorgeous! My friends had a wedding there and it was beautiful. I am so not the outdoorsy type and it even won me over, so yeah… nothing short of amazing.
    Another really awesome place is the Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club. It is super cheap to rent and includes tables and has a kitchen, if you want to self-cater. You can also ask for a discount since it is a wedding and you aren't charging people for tickets. The best part is it is only a quick walk from the beach and bars so an after party is definitely doable ;) http://smbwc.org/

    13 agree
    • Just wanted to agree: Santa Monica Bay Women's Club is awesome! I hosted a fundraiser there last year and it was super-affordable, they were great to work with, and it is a beautiful space + ridiculously central. If I hadn't moved back east, I would definitely have gotten married there!

      4 agree
    • I've worked at several of these venues and also agree that the Santa Monica Bay Women's Club is a real find. 1920's feel, multi-level, with a stage. Smaller groups can choose to use one or the other level, larger groups can use both. Kitchen on site is great too but best of all is the very friendly and accessible venue rep. Sometimes at a more economical venues it can be difficult to reach staff members in the event of a question or day-of issue (like blowing a fuse). SMBWC was hands-on and very supportive start to finish.

      6 agree
  4. Great list! But I must add one gem that no one will ever find. In June I am getting married at the Clarke Estate in Santa Fe Springs (just on the Southern tip of LA County). My fiance and I are NOT residents of Santa Fe Springs, so for 100 guests, 10 hours, dressing rooms for the bride and groom, a patio for the ceremony, a grand hall for the cocktail hour, a courtyard for the reception, FREE tables and chairs, the ability to bring in your own caterer/bar, free parking, no required security guards and an on-site coordinator we have to pay the inflated price of $1815.00. Seriously. If we were residents of Santa Fe Springs (or had a relative who was), we would only pay half that. Can I tell you it's one of the most beautiful venues I've ever seen? (and I've been in the event industry a loooong time). We are throwing our wedding for under 10K, and we lack nothing as far ambience, comfort and convenience goes.

    Here's a link to their website: http://www.santafesprings.org/about/history/clarke_estate/clark_estate.asp

    Thanks for the post!

    ~ Miri

    8 agree
    • I was looking into the Clarke Estate, as well, for my wedding in May 0f next year. I'm not a resident of Santa Fe Springs, either. I'm not sure if I read your post correctly… What all is included in the rental price? Some of these venues are confusing with their resident/nonresident fee structures. I assumed nonresident was for anyone who was not a resident of the state (destination weddings).

      Thanks!

      2 agree
      • Pretty sure they mean resident of the city. We let this venue option go because there is very little/no indoor space and so no alternative for bad weather, otherwise it was a top choice on our list with a great price!

        2 agree
      • Non-Resident means not a resident of the city. Pretty much everything I mentioned above is included in the rental price: venue, table and chairs, free parking. You need to bring in your own caterer, linens and you have to pick a DJ from their DJ list.

        3 agree
    • Hi Miri,

      You stated that the tables and chairs are included but do we set up the chairs and tables or is it already set up.

      0 agree
  5. Oh oh OH please may we have a post like this for NorCal?? We were supposed to get married at my parents' house (in 5 months!!) so we budgeted $0.00 for venue and booked a caterer, but now they're selling the house because of financial issues! We're DESPERATE for a pretty (unfussy) venue within a few hours' drive of SFO for as cheap as possible (looking at around 100 guests). Somebody please tell me this isn't impossible?

    4 agree
      • I am indeed a tribe member! It's the only wedding website I could bear to join, in fact… I checked the forum a few months ago but thank you for the reminder – off I go to check for fresh responses!

        1 agrees
    • Check out the regional parks in the east bay. You can rent one of the lovely park areas in Tilden Park for like $300. And they're all different. Oaks surrounding a meadow. Readwoods. Etc. Good luck!

      3 agree
      • Thank you! We will definitely be checking out parks – we have a caterer booked already, so we're a bit limited by what she needs, but worst case scenario we can always cancel her and just do a cook-out.

        1 agrees
  6. While it is located in Orange County our venue is totally affordable (90 dollars an hour plus booze license!) The Newland House Museum in Huntington beach allows you to rent their barn and back yard for sooo cheap!

    6 agree
    • I feel like I should warn everyone about the Newland Barn. They open booking exactly. 365 days in advance for a date, so I went down there at 8:00 am as soon as they opened on a Friday. I was the 3rd person there. The first couple got there at 4AM, so they got my wedding date. The second couple got there at 5 and took the Sunday. I called the office to ask about booking and no one even told me that people got there so early(even though the woman at the desk acted like it was common knowledge), so I spent 3 hours in the car for nothing. If you want a May/June/April date, you need to camp out at city hall starting at 4 am at least.

      2 agree
  7. I cannot seem to find any pictures or stories of anyone having a wedding at Angelus Mountain Center, but I sure am interested. Does anyone know anyone who has rented it who can give some reviews/feedback?

    0 agree
  8. LA/OC Ladies and Gents:
    Michael's Tuscany Room in San Pedro (next to Long Beach). SUPER affordable, great food, and adorable on the inside. Seriously, if you are in the area, check it out. We looked all over for a great location and this was by far the best bang-for-your-buck wedding location.

    4 agree
  9. These are all awesome suggestions- I will add a couple more- probably don't fit into "crazy cheap" but "very reasonable and really beautiful". I have planned weddings for low budgets at The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, Studio 1342 and the Eagle Rock Arts Center.

    2 agree
    • hi allie!
      thanks for posting a few more options for the los angeles/oc area! i am currently trying to find a venue for our fall 2014 wedding and are finding it difficult to keep the cost down — we both have big families and therefore a pretty large guest list! do you have any idea how many guests are allowed at studio 1342 and/or an appx price they charge? i have inquired with them but haven't heard back. i absolutely love that space though!!! thanks :)

      0 agree
    • Only problem with there is NO hard Alcohol. Beer and wine only..

      0 agree
      • Thanks Allie and Michelle. I've looked into Studio 1342 as well and have a question regarding furnishing it. If you've had events there, what company did you use to furnish the place (tables/chairs/decorations) for weddings/events? Thanks in advance.

        1 agrees
    • You guys are truly amazing!! We are planning a wedding for Sept 12, 2015 and all of these post have helped tremendously!!! We actually have reasonable options lol…who knew we could in Los Angeles:). Our budget is $5-$6k.

      0 agree
  10. I am throwing a wedding in LA for the same budget, I would love to see a break down of the total budget! Any chance I can get the hookup on that?

    3 agree
  11. Also! Atwater Village (Glendale/Silverlake) : we are getting married at the Elysian LA- $2500 for 12 hrs and its gorgeous (elysianla.com) indoor -outdoor space that our friends can cab to and from, includes rehearsal time, some table and chairs, and you can bring in any vendor you want

    Note (Staffing, valet and event insurance are required about another $2000)

    3 agree
    • I noticed they have catering, is this included in the price or separate?

      2 agree
    • hi jillian!
      the elysian la looks amazing! do you mind letting me know how many people you're having or how many they can fit? we have a somewhat large guest list. thanks so much!! :) hope your wedding is amazing!!!!

      1 agrees
  12. Oh! Oh!

    May I highly recommend the site where I got married in February?

    Villa del Sol d'Oro: http://www.sagardens.com/VDSDO/

    It is a 1/4 scale of a villa in Florence, there are beautiful nooks and crannies everywhere, and it is simply breathtaking.

    It's a bit pricey during the summertime, but we rented the site for $4K in February (just the site is included in that fee) and with a delicious dinner, and all rentals (not DJ equipment), it came out to about $55 per person, which is crazy good in LA! The rentals can all be done directly through Santa Anita Gardens Catering (they've worked with this site for over twenty years) or you can bring in your own, but SAGC's prices are excellent.

    Plus the folks there are super nice and accommodating–and I was so happy to work with them.

    Also?

    We had a TARDIS in the library.

    :D

    2 agree
    • Did you experience any challenges with an early wrap-up time? I read in Villa del Sol d'Oro's policy that breakdown and noise must be cut off by 9pm.

      0 agree
      • Hey, KImberly!

        Our ceremony began at 3pm, and we left at 9:00pm.
        Guests have to be off-site by 9:30pm, per city ordinance (not the site!).
        Honestly, six hours was more than sufficient for both a sit-down dinner and a dance-heavy reception. :)

        There is a security guard on site who will check volume levels with your DJ, and as long as your DJ complies, you'll be just fine (again, it's a city ordinance thing, not the site itself).

        Sandi will walk you through everything you/your coordinator needs to know–she's great about answering questions!

        1 agrees
  13. A lot of bride's are having their wedding (ceremony & reception) at the beach.
    S. CA has some of the most beautiful beaches for a romantic, budget friendly wedding.
    Most beaches & parks in S. CA require a permit to have a wedding on their property, however there are a couple that don't. Permits can range from $50 – $450+ depending on your set up & guest count.
    Also, the weather in S. CA is mild year round so you can have your wedding just about anytime & the weather will be beautiful!

    2 agree
  14. This was just amazing. Thanks alot for sharing.

    0 agree
  15. Hi All!

    I wanted to share my venue in the San Fernando Valley. We will be getting married at the Brand Community Center in Mission Hills. It is part of the L.A. City Parks Department. It doesn't sound all that pretty. But it's actually a very beautiful courtyard with a fabulous rose garden adjaccent to it for pictures. The price is great, and tables, chairs, and security are included in the price.

    Pricing depends on the day that you pick and the hours. But the prices that you see on the site are the TOTAL cost. There are no insurance fees or anything like that. So just for example for me to use the space for 10 hours including 3 hours set up time, a rehearsal, and 7 hours for the ceremony and reception it will cost around $1900. After the $300 deposit is returned that will only be $1600!

    Keep in mind that this is on the smaller side. They have a strict capacity of $150. All the details are here, http://laparks.org/dos/reservations/brandPk.htm . There are also a couple other parks like Orcutt Ranch which could be good economical choices. I hope that this helps someone!

    5 agree
  16. How about some venues in (or around) Los Angeles for a MAX of 30 people? I'd rather get married closer to home than to venture out to Vegas……HELP!

    2 agree
    • Try 31TEN lounge in Santa Monica (border of venice). They're chic, NY-feeling lounge restaurant/bar, but they are closed on Sundays and therefore available for PRIVATE PARTIES….yay!! They have a gorgeous fire pit area at the top of a few steps. Would be the perfect spot for "I do's" http://www.31tenlounge.com/gallery/

      0 agree
  17. Does anyone have the actual phone number or address for Oak Creek Ranch? We have tried to email them but haven't had any luck. We wanted to call or even look at it on Google Earth but can't find the address anywhere.

    2 agree
  18. My husband wants to have the in-n-out truck cater the main course for our vow renewal ( we're a military family and miss food from home!) when we visit our family and friends next year. Anyone know of an inexpensive place that would have the space for the truck and can accommodate about 175 people?

    0 agree
    • city community centers allow you to bring in your own vendors including catering. The brea community center is super affordable and upon reading their yelp reviews, one couple did have an In n Out food truck cater

      0 agree
  19. Oak creek ranch is no longer doing weddings. I contacted them yesterday and that is what I was told. :(

    0 agree
  20. Anyone know of any affordable venues for the ceremony only in orange county area, outside of the area is welcomed too? November 2014 thank you

    0 agree
  21. Does anyone know of any libraries that have a low cost that we can just get married at towards the riverside ca area we already have our reception planned somewere else but can't seem to find a library that will just allow us to get married any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

    1 agrees
  22. Update on the Oviatt Penthouse cost:

    2015 Saturday = $5100 and on average they say for a Saturday wedding it ends up between 135-155/person, out the door. Not the cheapest option, but good value considering that covers your location, all food, everything associated with dinner setup and some nice little extras. The place is also BYOB, so the bar tending fees are included in the "out the door" estimate and no cake cutting fee!

    We actually booked this venue since it takes care of the "big" items leaving time to focus on the personal touches. PLUS this is such a unique and interesting space, we couldn't resist!

    0 agree
    • yes it is 5500$ for site fee so they lowered it to 5100 ? when is your wedding I had mine last September
      it was actually featured

      http://exquisiteweddingsmagazine.com/2014/02/28/real-wedding-cynthia-kameron/

      also if you need ideas instagram #kcnajares

      hope you have a good experience ! I have seen they added décor which is sooo cute ! :) let guests know about the steep bathroom stairs and stairs to inside the Oviatt's bar :) I had like 10 ppl fall lol perhaps it was the open bar who knows !

      0 agree
  23. Well, this was informative but im back to square one. The angelus mountain center is booked all of 2014-2015. :( so i tried the nature friends and sent them an email. After waiting i wondered why i never recieved a response. If you read the policies it states it is a private facility for members only. You have to apply to be a member. 50 per couple. Then attend up to three meetings then have a fellow member sign you to be a member.
    So all in all, great venues, thought i found my venue but back to looking for an inexpensive venue again. :( im starting to loose hope.

    0 agree
  24. Hi ! I came across this article in the midst of looking for a space for my client that is hoping for an "affordable" venue and to my surprise I found that you had listed my wedding venue that took place 9-7-13 at THE OVIATT PENTHOUSE. we booked our venue in 2011 because at the moment we chose a 2012 date, given that our site fee was $5500.00 NOT 2700-4k like you listed we pushed it to 2013 to add enhancements such as open bar. this venue is gorgeous I loved it but out the door with fees, food and drink it was a little over 15k I just had to share because if someone is looking up this space I would hate for them to be misinformed or at least not updated. The space claims to hold 120 guests sit down but I only had 100 and we all felt crammed to see more pictures of my wedding that was featured take a look :) this wedding cost 30k fyi I just want bride to be's to view realistically what it would cost to have a wedding at the Oviatt when you get married on a Saturday.

    http://exquisiteweddingsmagazine.com/2014/02/28/real-wedding-cynthia-kameron/

    0 agree
  25. This article was such a godsend…. my partner and I have been putting off and putting off getting married because MONEY but it's starting to feel like its time, ya know? I am just in love with that first venue, plus wedding WEEKEND? Yes please!

    0 agree
  26. Someone already mentioned this but it needs to be repeated. Michael's Tuscany Room in San Pedro is about the most affordable venue you will find in LA. I did a ton of research and almost opted for getting married at a park before I found this venue. We had a $10K budget overall for a little over 100 guests and we were able to stick to it.

    0 agree
  27. Hey everyone, I have been reading everyones posts and they are so helpful. My partner and I are looking for a rustic inexpensive venue within Southern Cali. We live in Orange County but our wedding will be Nov 2016 we want a place the resembles fall. We are looking for a place we can decorate bring in food and drinks. We are trying to stay within $5k-$10k for the wedding so the venue will need to be the majority of it. Please if anyone knows of a place please let me know. Thank you so much.

    0 agree
  28. I'm getting married at the Oviatt Penthouse soon (Nov 2014). The site fee is *totally* dependent on day of week. Per the website, in 2015, a Saturday evening is 5,800 but I opted for a Sunday brunch reception at $1,000. With all assorted fees, it was $1,500. That includes tables, chairs, heating lamps, linens etc. It looks like M-Th would be the same ($250/hr * 4hr min)

    They also do the catering, which going by the website again goes from about $40 – 80pp. I picked out my own menu w/a LOT of food for $46 per person (chicken/waffles, prime rib…). There's a service charge, but no cake cutting fee. It's a steal if you compare it to say, a hotel ballroom with food and drink minimums. I was quoted $5,000 and $8,000 for nearby venues during the same day/time, but I didn't have a BYOB option and none could compare to the Oviatt.

    My Sunday morning reception is under $8,000 for food, site, and all related fees. Including a bartender for the alcohol I bring! I just don't get the glamour of city lights at night.

    1 agrees

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.

Biz owners & wedding bloggers

Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.