California-Los Angeles

We need your advice for the magazine!

Hey Knotties,

We want your planning advice. Give us your best tips for planning a wedding in the SoCal area. It can be something like, where to have a great bachelorette pub crawl or how to avoid weather issues, traffic or maybe even beach-y things. Obvi, this is a NYC gal writing this, so give me your best advice, LA-area ladies!


Tweet? Me too! Have you checked out our My Real Wedding Gallery for ideas? Upload your photos here and be featured on The Knot!

Re: We need your advice for the magazine!

  • DodgersBrideDodgersBride member
    edited December 2011

    Definitely check out what downtown has to offer. Flower district can often times be cheaper than going to a florist and they offer the same arrangements. I normally go to get an arrangement done for home.

    Fashion district can be great place to find WP attire. There is also the fabric district that could help if you are looking for certain types of linens.

    Try local restaurants and see what type of catering they can offer and see if they can offer their venue for your reception. It maybe cheaper than most hotel and other venues.

    As far as traffic, it's LA there is always traffic so I would try to limit the distance between ceremony and reception site. I would try to plan it around non peak hours of traffic.

    We all know parking sucks in LA so I would try to work something out with either your venue or public lots to secure parking for your guest.

    Weather seems to be fairly good all around but I would plan for extreme heat during the summer months and rain in the fall/winter.

    If I think of anything I will post later.

  • edited December 2011
    Brides planning a Saturday wedding in SoCal can expect to pay a pretty penny.  We opted for a Sunday wedding, which ended up saving us over $8,000!

    If I'm going to your wedding (especially after battling Friday rush hour traffic for three hours), I would really appreciate receiving at least one drink without having to pay for it.  Also, please don't start your wedding at 5:30 unless you want tons of grumbling guests to make a rather loud and irritated sounding entrance in the middle of your ceremony ;-)

    Ask for knottie recs and skip the bridal shows - it'll save your email inbox from being bombarded with unnecessary items.

    Ditto the flower mart - I diy all of my flowers the day before the wedding and saved tons of money!

    If you're up for the challenge of creating your invitations, sign up for the Apple one to one classes if you purchase a new computer.  My invitations were EXACTLY what I wanted and I received many compliments on them.

    Bridesmaid dresses don't need to come from a bridesmaid line.  There are many stores with dresses plenty suitable for your favorite gals.  My bridesmaids' dresses were from Unique Vintage.

    Your wedding doesn't need to take place at a banquet hall type of venue.  Several restaurants in LA offer wedding packages, such as Lawry's Prime Rib, Il Cielo, and the Sunset Restaurant.

    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • edited December 2011
    I highly recommend bar-hopping in Santa Monica. I went to Main st. this past weekend, hit up Main on Main, Circle Bar, and Obriens... and boy, did we have a blast :).

    As for planning? There are SO many venues to choose from! Luckily, i was picky and knew i wanted something outdoorsy. I didn't go with a church, but I thought Wayfarer's chapel was absolutely STUNNING. I'm getting married at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. It's in the middle of the canyon, and so beautiful. I can't wait :).

    We pretty much have awesome weather here. I've lived in LA my entire life, so I know the routine. I'd never plan my wedding from mid-january to late-april, just because i know that if its gonna rain here, it's anticipated then. Otherwise, theres not much to avoid here, weather wise :). As for avoiding traffic? Haha... good luck. let me know if you figure that one out! My best advice (as an expert commuter around these parts) is to drive between 10am-3pm, and then it's safe again 7pm-6am.

    Hope that helps!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    With regards to weather.  The weather here is much nicer than elsewhere.  Typically in Southern California the early months of the year January to March are more rainy, so that is the time of year to consider an indoor venue.  But for the  type of bride that doesn't want to gamble with the weather, like I was, indoors is always the best way to go. 

    Ideally, the easiest way to go is to have your ceremony and reception at the same location, however if that's not possible anticipating the length of the ceremony so that it ends on a 45th or 15 mark of an hour often can help reduce commute times(as most people think of leaving home at the beginning or middle of an hour).

    It's true that Saturday evening rates are far higher, we knew this going in but wanted a Saturday evening reception anyway.  Booking your location and specifically reception venue first before anything else(as it is the most expensive part of the wedding), allows couples some flexibility and creativity with the rest of the budget while ensuring the guests are taken care of.

    The other thing to consider, that we didn't, is if your heart is set on an evening wedding and you have alot of guests that are over the age of 55, like we did, a Saturday Brunch wedding can be ideal. It's lighter on the budget and more accomodating to guests of that age group, and still can be a very classy affair. This is coming from experience: alot of the older guests at our wedding were in and out by 9pm after the cake cutting, and I couldn't help thinking they would have stayed longer if it hadn't been an evening reception.

    When picking reception venues parking can be a very big issue. Some venues will charge extra for parking, and that affected our decision. Shopping upto a year and advance for a reception venue and comparing what each venue has to offer, whether it be a restaurant, cultural center, hotel or banquent center, can help a couple make an informed decision and get the most value. 
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