Post # 1
So, my FI and I had agreed on getting married at Torrey Pines State Reserve, then I find out that it will cost over $500 for us to get married there. Just the two of us and our officiant (& 1 photographer) for an hour, tops. So 4 people can go hiking there for free, but you attach the word “wedding” to it, and suddenly the state of California goes to town on your wallet. Sorry, but as pretty as Torrey Pines is, that is a HUGE ripoff for a site that has no facilities and won’t let you bring anything in with you. $500 is not an outrageous venue fee, but $500 to just stand there is bullshit. So, I’m scrambling to find an alternative site in the San Diego area that might give us more bang for the buck. We’re getting married on a Tuesday afternoon. Any ideas?
Post # 3
OMG really! Do they understand it’s just the 4 of you and it’s still the same? Does it matter if it’s a weekday or not? It’s probably to guarantee no other weddings for your day but that’s insane.
That is more than a national park. It’s $50 for Yosemite and Grand Teton NP. I’ve checked!
What about renting a pavilion or other place in that park? Not sure if this park has pavilions.
How about a neighboring state park?
Post # 4
Why can’t you just happen to go hiking in a white dress….and have an officiant and your FI with you…and say a photographer happened to walk by and offered to take photos? I’m assuming it would be a short ceremony anyway. Marry and dash?
Post # 5
What kind of budget are you hoping for? I think $500 is pretty darn cheap for San Diego! Basically you want a free place? You could just go to the beach and have a wedding, not sure if you can serve alcohol though.
Post # 6
I gotta ask why you need to tell them? If you can go hiking and hang out for free, why not just do that in your wedding outfit?
Post # 7
@yellowshoe: Marry and dash? <– That’s great!
@Berushka: While I’m sure that is a good price considering the area that you’re looking at (general venues), that does seem a bit outrageous considering what you’re paying for. Have you tried talking to someone to see if they can cut you a deal?
Post # 8
SimpleGifts, I think it’s not even for a venue or facility. It’s probably for the view over the ocean, I’m thinking. Torrey Pines is on the ocean right?
Post # 9
I’m an 8 minute drive from Torrey Pines as I write this. It’s gorgeous. I agree that $500 is very steep for a 4-person ceremony, but also that’s it’s reasonable to expect some fee for use of the park in general. Do you have your heart set on a particular spot in the reserve? Because it’s public, you might find some visitors have snagged it already and, without a permit, you’d just have to rely on their good will if you wanted them to step aside. But if you’re not asking the park to grant you priority over any other visitors, I’d say just pay the parking fee, drive up, and wander til you find the spot you love the most. (What I’d do personally — even if I wasn’t local — is get a membership to support the park at a level a bit higher than the parking fee, and also maybe just to show a ranger if one happened on the scene: “Look! We’re memebers!”)
Post # 10
Also, congrats! I hope you have a great time in San Diego!
Post # 12
@yellowshoe: I’d do exactly this.
Post # 13
@yellowshoe: Believe me, the thought had crossed my mind (someone I know did that here on the East Coast in Central Park), but I don’t want to put our officiant in an awkward position, as she’s pretty well established in the area. I’ll be kinda obvious in my white wedding gown. Also, from the research I’ve seen so far, a permit doesn’t even give you the right to kick anyone else off your spot. I absolutely believe in supporting public parks and was expecting something in the $150 range, but I had to draw the line at $500+ for four people. We’re not especially attached to Torrey Pines – we visited there once and thought it was pretty. CA has lots of coastline, so I’m hoping we can scout out a good spot in the 3 days we have there before the ceremony (we’re flying in from CT). Thanks for the tips, though!
Post # 14
As a wedding coordinator I have learned, introduce the word wedding and they immediately see multiple dollar signs.
If you ladies want to keep the costs down or see what places are really charging you…mention that you are having a family get together. Its not a fib its the truth. Its a family get together where you will just so happen to be the only one wearing white!
Post # 15
@yellowshoe: I like your way of thinking. I was going to suggest the same thing.
Post # 16
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Mission Trails Regional Park is super pretty too– there’s a lake and lots of different types of areas (medows, trees, lake, fields, etc.) Don’t know about cost, but I’d say, for something that small, it’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.