Post # 1
I just visited a few wineries yesterday in hopes of finding a venue for my wedding in August/September 2013. Although I got initial proposals from all of these places, I’m still floored by the cost of just venue, food, and beverages!
$27,000 for facility, food, alcohol for 150 people. This seemed to be on the average, if not lower end of things in wine country. Ouch.
Does this sound normal to everyone out there?
Post # 3
That comes out to be about 180/person. I’m no wedding cost expert and I’m not familiar with California (though I would assume with such lovely wine country views it can be more expensive than suburban areas, perhaps), but that includes the venue, all the food, unlimited alcohol I’m assuming? I don’t know what kind of food you’re doing or if it’s top shelf alcohol, but I know I have seen 120/pp easy near Philadelphia for the “average” menu choices. It sucks, I know 🙁
Post # 4
@love108: thanks for your response 🙂 I guess it was just wishful thinking on my part to have a wedding for 20K for 150 people.
Post # 5
Your quote is about right for some of them. Others are even more expensive. Sometimes you have to get creative with the venue and go a bit outside the Napa area or find one of the small family wineries/ranches in the Napa area that allows for weddings and events. The typical wedding venues there are gorgeous, but expensive. You might want to consider other cities that have wineries as well….Livermore, Santa Rosa, Lodi, and Placerville are just some examples. Good luck!
Post # 6
We wanted to get married at a winery in sonoma/ napa area and it was crazy expensive! Just the venue was how much we thought we would spend on the whole wedding! So now we are getting married in a venue with lots of redwood trees instead. Still pretty and way cheaper!
Post # 7
@mz85: That’s a great idea! In the end, I think I just wanted a rustic/romantic atmosphere. Can you tell me where you’re having your wedding?
Post # 8
That’s the vibe we are going for too! It’s called Redwood Hill Gardens in Sebastopol, so a little further out but it’s such a cute little town! There is also the Vine Hill House in Sebastopol that looks pretty and cheaper than other wineries. I found out about after we already put a depoist down so didn’t actually go check it out, but I think it’s worth looking into!
Post # 9
@mdinh815: That is why I opted for my venue outside of the Napa/Sonoma valleys after months of searching and research. Even with my connections I wasn’t able to make it affordable around here.
Also, keep in mind that a majority of the venues around here only can hold about 120 guests and for some that is pushing it a bit. 150 guests is the upper end of what they allow and some even charge extra for this high of a guest count.
What is it that you are really looking for in the way of a venue? I might be able to recommend some options.
Post # 10
@mdinh815: I would say that’s pretty normal (we had a similar guest count).
We looked all over Napa and then we found a golf club in San Ramon, CA that I loved (it was my husband’s second choice), but we decided the dance floor would’ve been too small and eventually chose a venue in the Pleasanton/Livermore, CA area.
If it helps, we invited about 155 people and only 107 came. However, we budgeted for more guests than invited just to be safe (ya never know who or what will pop up budget-wise!).
If I remember correctly, our total wedding ended up being about $25k (not including the honeymoon).
EDIT: this might make you laugh: my original intended budget was $10k ($15k max)…. HA!
Post # 11
If you want the vineyard feel with a lower price, check out the vineyards in Livermore. I’m getting married at Murrieta’s Well (at the Wente Vineyards). They have a max capacity of 110 guests, but for Saturday May 25 wedding my wedding will come in around $10,000 for food/alcohol and facility rental inclusive of basic linens, flatwear, dishes, glasses, etc. Wente has other locations that accommodate larger parties, check them out. They’re GORGEOUS locations!
Post # 12
@Ms.GoodEarth: I really liked Wente when we looked there, great suggestion!
Post # 13
Thank you for all the suggestions. At first, I wanted to make a weekend out of it for close friends and family, hence the Sonoma/Napa area. I was thinking we could do wine tasting, maybe a cooking class, etc. My Fiance definitely wants to spend the wedding weekend away from home because he thinks it will feel a little more special (mini vacation). But, considering how expensive the wedding would be even without the events, the pre-wedding events are out.
Livermore is a great suggestion. I saw some beautiful locations for very reasonable prices. I suppose I’m just worried that it’s “out in the middle of nowhere.” Those of you who have visited Livermore wineries, what’s the rest of the area like?
@Treejewel19: I would love a venue with vines, flowers, trees–you know, all the pretty nature stuff. Something a little rustic/wild but not so rustic that I have to bring in portapotties. (By the way, has anyone dealt with the restroom situation for outdoor weddings?)
150 people is me cutting the guest count waaaayyy down. My parents feel it would be impolite to not invite my cousin’s cousin. I expect to invite around 200, and hopefully, because it will be far away, people who aren’t that close to us will opt not to attend.
thank you everyone for the awesome advice. Keep me posted on how your weddings turn out! I’m going to check out San Francisco and Carmel next. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Post # 14
I was having the same issues with prices here in California. It sucks becuase I wanted a nice, but simple afair…don’t need anything lavish. You know, I want the “wedding basics.” But they are completely out of my price range. I can either have about ten people, or I can’t affored it. My budget is closer to 10k.
I started looking into other states, but then you have to factor in airfare to go and check these places out.
It has really sucked!
Post # 15
@mdinh815: Check out both Mrs. Jellyfish & Mrs. Parasol’s wedding venues! Mrs. J had hers in Pleasanton, and Mrs. P in Livermore. There actually is a lot to do in the area…world class golf courses, shopping, dining, and of course, wine tasting 🙂 And Murietta’s Well is a gorgeous, unique venue, the wine is fabulous, too! Wente is beautiful as well, but pretty pricey. Good luck!
Post # 16
@mdinh815: The downtown Livermore area is pretty cute. I’m not from that area, but I’ve heard good things about the restaurants, wine tasting places, bakeries, etc. out there. I know there’s good golfing in the area also. Our guests that decided to stay overnight after the wedding went to hotels in Pleasanton rather than Livermore. I’m not sure exactly which area you live in, but most of our family and friends are from the Walnut Creek area, so most of them drove back up there after the wedding rather than staying the night. Hope that helps!
We looked at several places in the area and most of our friends also got married in the Pleasanton/Livermore area, so let me know if I can answer any questions about our experiences 🙂