You could go with this or you could go with that…

The all important search is on, we’ve begun looking for a reception venue. I honestly don’t know how to feel during the process. It’s a mixed-bag of emotions: excitement, disappointment, anxiety, happiness, anger.. mentally and physically (some of these places are ENORMOUS) exhausting.

There hasn’t been a single venue that I [personally] didn’t like. The problem is that with each new venue walkthrough, I like it more than the previous. Some requiring us to compromise a few of our unconventional ideas due to building and permit restrictions and some venues ready for our onslaught of “this and this, then when this does this, this will do this and the guests will be all, ‘whooooaaaaaa… never seen that at a wedding before!!’” Between permits, building restrictions, and budget issues there will have to be a little compromise. Prioritizing what’s important to us, convenient for our families, and listing the pro’s and con’s of each venue will ultimately determine where our guests get their draaaannnk on after the ceremony!

We’ve visited a total of seven venues so far:
1) Pacific Electric Lofts Penthouse in Downtown LA
2) Pacific Electric Lofts Art Gallery in Downtown LA
3) MOLAA in Long Beach
4) Celebrations by Turnip Rose in Costa Mesa
5) Skirball Center in Los Angeles
6) The Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica
7) The Norris Center in Palos Verdes
Because nobody wants to read a term-paper length blog post, and ’cause I don’t want to write it, I’ll only talk about the venue(s) that I think could [potentially] be “The One” O_O…

Celebrations by Turnip Rose.

The moment I stepped foot into this room there was an energy that I have yet to feel from any other Venue thus far. It feels much like a new Las Vegas bar/club. The Art Deco themed interior was thoughtfully laid out. Swanky furniture was nicely positioned around the entire space. This venue was the most “complete” of all the places we’ve seen: Table settings, bar equipment, and various decorations were all set-up for a party later that weekend. After the grand walkthrough I began thinking the way a level headed shopper should have and realized how many con’s this venue actually has. Costa Mesa is a llllooooooonnnnnggg drive for our friends and family in the San Fernando Valley. After filling up the ballroom with 200+ guests the low ceiling will feel even lower when close to capacity. The net cost per guest goes way past our budget – for chicken, eeesh. Finally, we would pretty much omit all the cool ideas we have for the reception. Ideas too great to let go. Though it saddens me, I’ve already written this venue off.. I try not to look at the pictures we took because it reminds me how beautiful this space is so please forgive me if I’ve uploaded a picture of my dog licking himself instead of the awesome dance floor at Celebrations.

The Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica

BREATH TAKING! This venue is right off the beach. I can sneeze and boogers would reach the sand from inside the venue, it’s that close! Right off of the Pacific Coast Highway the drive rewards you with the beautiful coastline; so calming it’s hard to stay angry even in LA traffic. The building is masterfully designed with a geometric, minimal, modern, industrial discipline that Kissa and I are both drawn to. For our guest count, our reception would be held outside. Our evening reception will be just in time for the “golden hour.” The all important time slot between sunset and night fall when the natural lighting for pictures are near perfect. The building, the beach, and the various stops along the Pacific Coast Highway present a playground for photographers, both amateur and professional, to take unforgettable pictures that’ll leave a lasting impression of our wedding. All the pro’s of this venue almost make the Santa Monica Beach House the obvious choice. However, there’s a HUGE CON that prevents us from placing our deposit.. Because of the nearby housing community and zoning laws we’re not permitted to play music from any electronic hook-up at the outdoor venue. NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!. Bands, acoustic guitars, live pianists are all ok but Dj’s get the boot, sadface.jpg… Kissa and I are dancers, all of our friends are dancers, our family members will never stop line-dancing. Telling us that we can’t have a Dj at our wedding is like not having the reception altogether.. Our only option is to rent the second floor pool house deck and project music from inside that room with the sliding doors opened; somewhat of a loophole to the zoning laws. Simple fix, right? Yeah for an additional $10,000…

I’m exhausted but I refuse to give up. Kissa and I have a clear picture of what our wedding should be like in our minds. Finding the right venue that’ll make it happen is tough but not impossible. Even if it takes hours upon hours of searching, miles of footsteps to and from parking lot to ballroom, and empty tank upon empty tank of gas, we’re going to find the right place. Our persistence and prayers will reward us, it always does. Although, If I needed to, I’d be happy to drop all of our unconventional ideas just so we can finally be wed. Because when it all boils down to it, I want a marriage not a party.

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  1. leah
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    i bumped into this blog, i’m also looking at venues too. turnip rose and 7 degrees are my top pic..for your research which one is more budget-friendly?

  2. Kissa
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi Leah! Hope the planning is going well :) We toured both of the locations and found them to be within the same price range. The thing that I liked about seven degrees was that they were willing to work within our budget as long as we were willing to compromise. When we saw both venues, the thing that tipped it off was the vision we had for our wedding fit perfectly with the look and feel of seven degrees. However, if you’re set on a Saturday I believe Turnip Rose is technically cheaper, but I’m not too sure. The other thing we didn’t like with Turnip Rose was that there was a minimum for certain days and, in my opinion, didn’t clearly spell out all the expenses. That made me worry there was something else that we’d have to pay for later that was unexpected. Seven degrees gave us a detailed estimate so we knew exactly how much we were spending and on what. Hope this helps!

  3. leah
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the reply! Yea, I’m debating…I’ve requested and received detailed estimates from turnip rose and seven degrees…and turnip rose was cheaper. but, i still like seven degrees, I’m might meet with Dora to see if the estimate could work around my budget. Are you doing a Friday wedding?

  4. Kissa
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    We were going to do a Sunday wedding to stay within our budget, but my mom really wanted a Saturday so she added to our budget. I called them directly and they walked me through a questionnaire and talked to me about my budget. They’re very accommodating! :)

  5. leah
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    oh cool, i will give them a call. my budget is also around 30,000…were the close with your budget?

  6. Kissa
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    They came in below that if we did the wedding on a Fri. or Sun. But since we chose a Sat. it was higher.

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