(Closed) Please help… wedding a no go.

posted 10 years ago in Los Angeles
Post # 3
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

You can do anything with any amount of money.

Fabulous weddings can be had for $500!  Get creative, think outside of the box.
Heck you can even do a fancy pants pot luck dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

Pick the traditions you really want to do:
Dad walk down the aisle- no problem- flower petals or paper bag lanterns would look lovely.

You don’t need flowers- carry a family memento down the aisle and decorate with balloons or paper pom poms.

Ask a friend to perform the ceremony-(anyone that is a notary, or they have the one stop online spot where you can be ordained for a day)

You don’t have to sacrifice having a lovely wedding.  You just may not have a grandiose wedding, but sweet and intimate and lovely all the same.

Cheer up Mrsatobe.  ๐Ÿ™‚  You found the man to marry, thats the hardest part. 

Post # 4
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s true, a wedding can be had on any budget.  There used to be a show where they did beautiful weddings for $5,000.  I’m sure with your family situation that may not even be possible for you, but you still have lots of options as long as you can be creative.  Also, a lot of places will hold weddings on non-Saturdays for cheaper like on a Friday or Sunday.  I’m not sure where you are located, but maybe there is a lovely garden or park where you can have you wedding for next than nothing.  If you let us know what sitting you are trying to have your wedding in, maybe we can help you look for somewhere besides a court house.  The potluck idea is also a great idea and I’m sure your family will understand what your parents are going through.

Post # 5
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

First of all, I am sorry, and I really feel for you since I have been having some serious anxiety about the same thing. This is a scary time for everyone I think, and my long engagement, which sounded like a great idea a year and a half ago, is meaning that there may not be money to meet those payment deadlines in the next few months.

My parents had a small budget (30 years ago) and booked at Tivoli Too, and the venue cancelled them a week before. So with no money, no time, and no venue, they rented a house in a fancy schmancy area for a weekend and said it was wonderful. They married in their church and then went to the house and almost everyone stayed all weekend and they said it was amazing.  I don’t know where you live but what about a vacation home or cabin, get married in a public park (they usually have a state rental fee, which is low) and invite everyone to a house for catering, even pizza! Or just hors’d’ourves (I know I spelled that wrong). Don’t give up! a lot of places are cheaper for lunches and you can go out later. A

s far as the "expensive details" – My aunt got married in her own yard and it was amazingly gorgeous. Her sister’s Father-In-Law (a judge) married them and we just planted flowers for weeks before and she rented an arch and a jukebox. We placed flowers on the arch, made our own bouquets from a floral warehouse, and had it catered by a local small Italian restaraunt. The jukebox was a huge hit because everyone put on the songs they liked and we danced all night! I know here in CA you can marry on the beach for like a $35 permit fee (don’t quite me, I researched this a while ago) and then invite everyone or a select number of people to a park, or even an unglamourous house or large restaraunt for dinner. Don’t lose hope! If you think I’m helpful, please feel free to continue messaging me and I’ll think of tons of ideas. My friend and I have been considering starting a party planning business and we’re full of ideas (well we think so).


good luck!! ๐Ÿ™‚


Post # 6
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2018 - Rainforest wedding, beachfront restaurant reception

I’m sorry to hear about the financial troubles, mrsatobe. I’m afraid this is going to be the case for a lot more people as the months roll on and the economy keeps heading south. I am happy to hear that the wedding will still go on even though it will need to be modified. How about a wedding on the cliffs of Racho Palos Verdes? I went to a wedding there once and I think it was either free to reserve or else a pretty small fee. Let me know if you want me to look into this. I don’t think you can have chairs, but you could certainly create a path out of petals or an aisle runner and have the walking down the aisle experience with your dad. Best of luck with your planning!

Post # 7
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I feel though I’m right there with you mrsatobe.  Only from the very beginning we’ve been on our own.  We got lucky with our sight, the owner thought he had open the original date that we wanted but he was mistaken so he gave us a $400 credit to pick another date.

 Here’s how it works…

Venue $1200 if you hire an outside caterer

Venue $400 if you use owner as caterer (he’s good, he has another restaurant so he knows his business)

$250 for venue deposit

 Our current standing that we chose to use his catering:

$400 credit

$250 deposit (PAID)

we have about $300-$400 remaining balance for food (hoping it’s less than this but we padded it so that we would be ahead)

Really all we lack is suit rental for groom, usher, ringbearer


Bridal bouquet and bouts and corsages (will be DIY)



All we have left is $2200 for our wedding fund b/c I’m still jobless (graduated in May-undergrad @ age 33).

sux b/c we don’t have anyone helping us and no offers of physical help either


Post # 8
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008


First, so sorry this is happening to you and your family.  Second, I want to say you are obviously a generous, loving, and mature person who values her family and loved ones above herself.  You found out you could no longer have the "fancy" wedding your parents had planned, but you are more concerned about their well-being than your own wedding, and you are even trying to help your parents out.  I see so many selfish brides out there who freak out about the tiniest things, and would rather see their parents go into huge amounts of debt just to get what they want.  I think you are awesome.

As far as venues, i am not familiar with your area so I can’t reccommend anything specific, but the suggestions here are good.  It is more work, but if you think creatively you can probably come up with something.  Ask everyone you know if they have any ideas, no matter how strange.

Parks are good.  Make sure you are allowed to have alcohol before you roll out the kegs. 

You said you don’t have a house, but if you rent an apartment, some apartment complexes have a pool/clubhouse/courtyard area that residents can often use for parties.  I have actually been to two wedding receptions like these and they were great.  One wedding had the ceremony on the beach, which was free and simple and beautiful (they made an aisle with shepard hooks stuck in the sand and flowers on them) and the reception-party was essentially the keg BBQ thing and they had it at the pool of their apartment, which had a central courtyard area, and the guests just used the couple’s apartment for the kitchen and bathroom.  The downside to this is that you probably have to check with the property owners to make sure it is OK for fire-codes, alcohol, etc, and you can’t keep other people out if it is a public space.  Do any of your friends or family members have someplace like this? 

Do you know anyone (or even a friend of a friend) who has a business, like a restaurant, bar, store, art studio, farm?  People are often really willing to help, even if they don’t know you directly.  You really just need a space with bathrooms nearby. 

In my area there are a lot of community centers that allow people to rent rooms for events, not always glamourous, but they can be cheap.  Check with VFW halls, American Legion, etc.  Do you have any friends or family members that belong to any clubs? 

 If you look into renting a vacation house, make sure the contract doesn’t explicitly forbid having a party there (but if it doesn’t, maybe don’t mention that is your intention so they don’t add it to the contract).

 Sometimes unexpected places can be rented cheaply.  For example, I found out that a local community art center near my house can be rented out for private parties for only a few $100, and that included a nice garden area.  If you see a spot you like, it doesn’t hurt to ask people if you can use it, especially after you tell them your situation.

 I hope you find something that will work for you, and if you can, please let us know how things work out.   

Post # 9
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I’m so sorry for your situation, but I agree that you deserve all the credit in the world for how you are handling it.  It must also be heartbreaking for your parents to be unable to give you the wedding you all wanted, and it’s wonderful of you to pitch in and help them out when they need it.

I also think that an at-home wedding (your parents house?), a park (September is a lovely month in a lot of the country), condo clubhouse, or community center is a great way to go.  You can still have the ceremony and reception at the same place, which is a huge savings.  If you have an afternoon wedding, you can have just a cake and punch reception, or get some friends and relatives to pitch in and make and serve hors d’oeuvres as well.  Cut the guest list back to just immediate family and close friends, and maybe you can get a nice room at a local restaurant – the really lovely room with private patio on the river where we are having our Rehearsal Dinner goes for a $1200 food and beverage minimum, and frankly if my parents weren’t helping us out that would be our wedding & reception rather than our Rehearsal Dinner (wedding on the patio, beer and wine and hors d’oeuvres after, piece of cake and done).  You can have something lovely for any amount of money, no matter how small; there are lots of posts about wonderful DIY centerpieces and bouquets – a good friend of mine getting married this summer is getting all her flowers through Costco and having her aunt do the arrangements.  Lots of brides are doing music on iPods, which doesn’t cost a thing but your time (and a lot of ransacking your friends’ collections).

It will take a lot of thinking, and of course it’s awful to have to rethink everything after you already decided on a set of alternatives.  But I think you can absolutely make it come together if you want; and I’m sure your walk down the aisle with your dad will be even more wonderful knowing how everyone worked together to make it happen.

Post # 10
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I think it’s great to read a post like this. I thought it was going to be full of ME ME ME and it’s not. I will say that if you want a cheap wedding and you want your dad to walk you down the aisle…go Vegas. We eloped with both sides of our family and it was actually great. We found rooms at the Bellagio for very cheap and we found a cute little chapel that put our wedding on the internet and everybody watched! It wasn’t what I had first thought of, but my mom walked me down the aisle and it was great. We went to dinner at one of the Bellagio restaurants and then to the late Cirque show. It was fun. We’re planning on renewing our vows on our 7th anniversary. Good luck with whatever you choose. Your parents are lucky to have such a sweet understanding daughter.

Post # 11
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I don’t know if you’re in LA or outside of it, but have you consider a beach or Griffith Park.

Friends of mine eloped and had a reception in Griffith Park, picked a bbq area and had a few people get there early to claim the area. 

Post # 12
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Wow. I don’t have a lot of suggestions, but I hope everything turns out well and that your friends and family come together to support you. Kudos to you for maintaining focus on what’s most important about the whole process. I’d be more than happy to come to your barbeque – I’d even bring a side dish. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 14
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Oh wow, Los Angeles leaves you with lots of options because you can go the beach route.  And it’s free for people to sit on the beach and eat.  So, invite all your family, tell them to bring their own beach blankets, chairs, umbrellas, or whatever they want.  Then, make it potluck style and you won’t even have to worry about food.  Maybe you would need a permit for having the ceremony there, but that’s about it.  Then, maybe to cut down on costs a family member can take photos while another videotapes if you would really like that.  You can DIY your own bouquet so it would be super cheap, and don’t have a bridal party just so you don’t have to worry about gifts for them.  And for your dress, shoot you can get one as cheap as $99 from Davids Bridal, or there’s plenty of dresses for reasonable prices like on the WB boards, eBay, craigslist, etc.  Whatever you decide, please keep us updated.  It will be so nice to see how things turn out.

P.S. I just wanted to commend you on the fact that you don’t want to go into debt over a wedding…you’re one smart cookie! 

Post # 15
5399 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Oh and I forgot to add that since you are in LA you can even go the park route because the weather is so nice that time of year and you can do just a BBQ or still the potluck thing.  I’m SURE there are lots of nice parks in a reasonable distance from you.

Post # 16
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Getting married on the beach only requires a small fee for a permit from the city.  In-N-Out caters for under $4.00 a person — tastes great, everyone loves it, and people can have fun.  Relaxed but still follows the traditions you want.

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