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

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 four 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:

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!

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Comments on 3 unconventional (and surprisingly affordable!) Los Angeles wedding venues

  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. 🙂

    • 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. 😉

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

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

  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/

    • 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!

    • 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.

  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

    • 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).


      • 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!

      • 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.

    • 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.

  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?

  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!

    • 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.

  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?

  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.

  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.

    • 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 🙂

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • That is basically my budget! Lower if possible. So any more suggestions would be MUCH APPRECIATED. This post has been so so so helpful. I just got engaged this weekend and I am already feeling overwhelmed with planning. Please keep the suggestions coming!

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