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Bay Area venue recommendations within a low budget

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Kim N

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I''m finally beginning my search for a Bay Area venue, but I''m on a very low budget. I''d like to keep the venue and catering under $5-6K. Is that possible in the Bay Area? I''m not looking for anything fancy, just simple and inexpensive but still nice enough for a wedding. Trying to keep it below 100 guests, but I think it will be about 120. I prefer to have the ceremony and reception at the same place, with at least the ceremony outdoors, but preferably both outdoors. To save costs, I''m looking at a Wednesday date for summer of 2009, and I''m hoping that with a pretty outdoor venue, I can cut back a lot on flowers and decorations. I''m also considering serving lots of hors d''oeuvres instead of a sit-down dinner.

If any of you have recommendations for a Bay Area venue within $5-6K, I''d really appreciate it! I''m open to anywhere in the Bay Area, but would prefer East Bay or South Bay.
 

urseberry

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Brazilian Room! http://www.brazilianroom.org/brazilfacilities.html. Do a Google search for tons of pictures. It's a very popular wedding reception location.

On their list of approved caterers, I recommend AG Ferrari for affordable and delicious. I haven't actually worked with them, though, so I don't know about their service.
 

Gypsy

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You know, the woman at the Hotel DeAnza was really awesome. They were pretty affrodable and have a lovely courtyard for outdoor events. Give them a call and see what they can arrange for you. She''ll deal with you, in my experience.
 

Kim N

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urseberry, thanks for the recommendation! It looks like a lovely site. I also appreciate your caterer recommendation because they had quite a few caterers on the list to choose from.

Gypsy, thanks for letting me know about Hotel DeAnza. I took a look at their website, and the courtyard does look really charming. I''m giving them a call today.

If either of you, or anyone else, can think of other locations, please let me know! It''s been hard working with the lower budget, so I''m trying to get as many choices as possible.
 

Gypsy

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It''s very hard to work with a lower budget. There was another hotel that was really nice about the budget thing. It was a kimpton hotel, art deco in style in south bay somewhere... I''ll have to see if I remember where it was.

http://www.thecypresshotel.com/cypmeet/index.html cypress hotel. They were nice and flexible too. I would bargain, bargain, bargain. Because at first it''s going to look like many of these places are out of your budget range. They are remodelling and adding a new larger second floor terrace, which might work for you.

But remember. Economy is bad. Discretionary spending is the first to go. THEY KNOW THIS. You let them know you know it to. MAKE them work with you.

And a Sunday Brunch reception is something you many want to consider too.
 

Gypsy

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Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto is also a good place. They have tables and chairs so it cuts back on rentals. Are good about caterers and have a nice sized outdoor area and a nice sized ballroom. And they are inexpensive.

Also Hacienda De las Flores in Moraga... all outdoors and beautiful outdoor area. Just lovely.

If you need a caterer Patrick and Davids in Danville is very good, ask for Layla Azimi... I wanted to use them for my wedding, but couldn't as I couldn't find a venue that worked with what I wanted that allowed an outdoor caterer. Oh, and tell Layla that Layla sent you. LOL. We thought the name thing was hilarious. And confusing.

Also try: http://www.palmdaleestates.com/

These three might be the best priced options of all of them.
 

Kim N

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Oh, this is great, Gypsy! Thanks so much! This is extremely helpful. Do you also have any tips on how to bargain with them? I haven''t done it before, so I''m not even sure what to ask for when bargaining or how to do it.
 

Gypsy

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Well you call them. Talk to them a bit. See if you like them. Then you tell them what you want and what your budget is... and ask them if they can work with you. If they can, they will, but will usually go over your budget a little... so you have to push back and them the budget is firm and ask for to suggest alternatives to make the budget work. If they can't work with you, they'll tell you... and you ask them for a referrral to someplace that might be able to accomodate you.

The community center, the hacienda and brazillian room are county run, so their site rental fees are set, and they fill up QUICK. Your bargaining is going to be with your caterers in that case.

May caterers will let you provide your own alcohol and will serve it for you with only a 150 bartender fee. Patrick and David's was one of those, that's why I really liked them. It cuts costs a lot to do that. Plus they will let you bring in outside (like ethnic stuff they can't make easily) food to add to theirs at no charge, and they didn't charge a cake cutting fee. All important things in my opinion.

At a hotel a buffet might be more expensive... more food. With a caterer a sit down is likely to be more expensive... more staff. So ask which option is more cost effective for your event from each vendor.
 

Kim N

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Thanks, Gypsy, I really appreciate your help. I''m definitely going to start calling these places.
 

Gypsy

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No problem, let me know if you need any further help. I''m a fount of useless wedding information at this point.
 

Gypsy

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I forgot, Patrick and Davids is just opening their own event center, and they are offering opening specials according to their websites. I briefly considered having my wedding there, but it wasn''t what I was looking for. It might work for you though-- although it''s all indoors. It says they start at 60 a person. But I''m thinking that if you agree to let them use your photos for their promotions or something like that (goldenstar''s thread, made me think of this) maybe they''d accomodate you... it''s worth asking, and bargaining for.
 

violet02

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The SF green room is exactly where my friend has his wedding/reception. It was great! It's very big and it has that really cool outdoor deck/patio area where everyone can move to with a nice view of city hall. They had their wedding in the evening so it was lit up and pretty outside. It's definitely a 'city' wedding location though. They had a very low budget, had a buffet and hundreds of friends for a very minimal cost.
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/21/2008 1:35:53 AM
Author: ringster
it''s not outside but it is very lovely looking and I think would not need too much dressing up. i think it is $600-700 for rental.

San Francisco Green Room at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center

http://sfwmpac.org/greenroom/gr_renthall.html
WOW.
Where was THAT in my search. Oh yeah. I wanted an outdoor ceremony. Darn it. That''s STUNNING. I''d give up the outdoors for that.
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 3/21/2008 12:09:50 PM
Author: Gypsy
Date: 3/21/2008 1:35:53 AM

Author: ringster

it''s not outside but it is very lovely looking and I think would not need too much dressing up. i think it is $600-700 for rental.


San Francisco Green Room at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center


http://sfwmpac.org/greenroom/gr_renthall.html
WOW.
Where was THAT in my search. Oh yeah. I wanted an outdoor ceremony. Darn it. That''s STUNNING. I''d give up the outdoors for that.
Gypsy - too funny (in a sad sort of way) - I had the EXACT same thought when I found out about it AFTER we put down our deposit
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/22/2008 12:17:52 AM
Author: AmberGretchen




Date: 3/21/2008 12:09:50 PM
Author: Gypsy




Date: 3/21/2008 1:35:53 AM

Author: ringster

it's not outside but it is very lovely looking and I think would not need too much dressing up. i think it is $600-700 for rental.


San Francisco Green Room at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center


http://sfwmpac.org/greenroom/gr_renthall.html
WOW.
Where was THAT in my search. Oh yeah. I wanted an outdoor ceremony. Darn it. That's STUNNING. I'd give up the outdoors for that.
Gypsy - too funny (in a sad sort of way) - I had the EXACT same thought when I found out about it AFTER we put down our deposit
I'm sorry Amber honey. I know what you mean. I've decided it doesn't exist. LOL. It just doesn't exist, otherwise I"m gonna be kicking myself over it. Especially as I could have had the brunch I wanted, with the caterer I wanted... with the original floral and decorative theme I wanted... and probably saved AT LEAST 5K.

So... IT DOES NOT EXIST.
My wedding will be lovely. Garre is lovely.The flowers that I picked are lovely. It's all lovely. And the Green Room is a hallucination.
Rinse and repeat.
 

ringster

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Date: 3/22/2008 2:52:18 AM
Author: Gypsy
Date: 3/22/2008 12:17:52 AM

Author: AmberGretchen





Date: 3/21/2008 12:09:50 PM

Author: Gypsy





Date: 3/21/2008 1:35:53 AM


Author: ringster


it''s not outside but it is very lovely looking and I think would not need too much dressing up. i think it is $600-700 for rental.



San Francisco Green Room at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center



http://sfwmpac.org/greenroom/gr_renthall.html

WOW.
Where was THAT in my search. Oh yeah. I wanted an outdoor ceremony. Darn it. That''s STUNNING. I''d give up the outdoors for that.

Gypsy - too funny (in a sad sort of way) - I had the EXACT same thought when I found out about it AFTER we put down our deposit

I''m sorry Amber honey. I know what you mean. I''ve decided it doesn''t exist. LOL. It just doesn''t exist, otherwise I''m gonna be kicking myself over it. Especially as I could have had the brunch I wanted, with the caterer I wanted... with the original floral and decorative theme I wanted... and probably saved AT LEAST 5K.


So... IT DOES NOT EXIST.
My wedding will be lovely. Garre is lovely.The flowers that I picked are lovely. It''s all lovely. And the Green Room is a hallucination.
Rinse and repeat.
i feel both of your pain -- sorry gypsy for spreading the pain your way.

outside of this thread, this venue is DEAD to me
 

star sparkle

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Date: 3/21/2008 1:35:53 AM
Author: ringster
it''s not outside but it is very lovely looking and I think would not need too much dressing up. i think it is $600-700 for rental.


San Francisco Green Room at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center


http://sfwmpac.org/greenroom/gr_renthall.html
This is really pretty!

We''re not engaged yet (but will be soon!) and are looking into venues already. Our "problem" is that we want to have a small wedding (probably 25 people max). I wonder if a place like this would just be too large?
 

Kim N

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violet, Gypsy, and ringster, thanks for the new recommendations! Violet, I''ll certainly check out the guide and the review website. Gypsy, that''s a great tip about Patrick and David''s new event center. Ringster, the Green Room looks so beautiful. I''ll have to go take a look at it, and I can''t believe it''s so low-cost for being in San Francisco. One thing I''m concerned about is parking, though. I wonder if parking would be really difficult.

I had a productive weekend and visited 4 of the recommended places on this thread. I have some contenders so far, but I still need to visit the rest. Thanks again, ladies!
 

Gypsy

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Date: 3/24/2008 2:18:26 PM
Author: Kim N
violet, Gypsy, and ringster, thanks for the new recommendations! Violet, I''ll certainly check out the guide and the review website. Gypsy, that''s a great tip about Patrick and David''s new event center. Ringster, the Green Room looks so beautiful. I''ll have to go take a look at it, and I can''t believe it''s so low-cost for being in San Francisco. One thing I''m concerned about is parking, though. I wonder if parking would be really difficult.

I had a productive weekend and visited 4 of the recommended places on this thread. I have some contenders so far, but I still need to visit the rest. Thanks again, ladies!
HI Kim, as you visit them (if you feel comfortable) can you post your thoughts on them (pluses and minuses)... I''m interested to hear what you think of the locations. John did all of the initial meet at greet at the venues so I didn''t visit that many in person, only ones who made his final list (we''re differently picky. IOW, things that bug me, he doesn''t notice and vice versa).
 

violet02

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Date: 3/24/2008 2:18:26 PM
Author: Kim N
violet, Gypsy, and ringster, thanks for the new recommendations! Violet, I''ll certainly check out the guide and the review website. Gypsy, that''s a great tip about Patrick and David''s new event center. Ringster, the Green Room looks so beautiful. I''ll have to go take a look at it, and I can''t believe it''s so low-cost for being in San Francisco. One thing I''m concerned about is parking, though. I wonder if parking would be really difficult.

I had a productive weekend and visited 4 of the recommended places on this thread. I have some contenders so far, but I still need to visit the rest. Thanks again, ladies!
There''s parking about a block away in a parking garage that goes underground across from city hall by the asian art museum so it''s not that tough to park.

The green room is a nice place but not super fancy or anything, it is located inside a large government state type building and its a bit on the older side. So it''s definitely best to take a look in person to see how you feel about it.
 

snuggles1

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Hey check out Rengstorff House in Mountain View. A friend of mine had her wedding there and she was excited at how inexpensive it was for the facility fee.

http://www.r-house.org

If you have it during the week, I believe it''s $150/hour with a 3 hour minimum, and a flat $1400 for 8 hours on the weekend. She had to use their preferred caterers. She had a sit down dinner buffet with a string quartet, dj and everything else...and said the whole thing came out to about $20k for 100 people including rentals since she did the table settings and invites herself. So if you do a hors d''oeurves thing it will come out less.

If you look into any public park the rental fees will be considerably less.
 

Kim N

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Gypsy, I''d be happy to post my thoughts on the venues once I''m closer to choosing a location. Since I''m still in communication with several of them and may begin negotiating soon, I''d rather wait to post comments.


Violet, thanks for the note about the Green Room and parking. I''ll keep that in mind.



I did have one other question (off-topic) about dress-shopping in the Bay Area. I recently visited a fairly well-known bridal store in the South Bay (Gypsy, I believe you found your Mon Cheri there). I''m hesitant to post the name in case they see this question. I found three top contenders, and I''m now trying to find them online to get a lower price. The store didn''t allow any pictures, and they only gave me their in-store item numbers for the dresses. I searched the two designers'' websites and wasn''t able to find the dresses. Is there any other way to find the style numbers? I looked on eBay and preownedweddingdresses too.
 

Kim N

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Date: 3/25/2008 2:26:10 AM
Author: snuggles1
Hey check out Rengstorff House in Mountain View. A friend of mine had her wedding there and she was excited at how inexpensive it was for the facility fee.

http://www.r-house.org

If you have it during the week, I believe it''s $150/hour with a 3 hour minimum, and a flat $1400 for 8 hours on the weekend. She had to use their preferred caterers. She had a sit down dinner buffet with a string quartet, dj and everything else...and said the whole thing came out to about $20k for 100 people including rentals since she did the table settings and invites herself. So if you do a hors d''oeurves thing it will come out less.

If you look into any public park the rental fees will be considerably less.
Thanks, snuggles, this place looks really nice, and those are very reasonable prices. I''ll definitely be checking this place out.
 

Gypsy

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I couldn't find my dress originally on the Mon Cheri website as they only list their new collection in thier tabs. I had to find the name by trolling every website that had Mon Cheri gowns on it (Liz) and then do a search in the Mon Cheri data base for it to show up. The Maggies I liked were easy as they are all listed... but after the billionth dress my eyes started to cross so I had to take breaks searching for the dress on that site.

I will tell you that the salon had pretty okay prices compared to local stores. But my gown was listed at 800 there when MSRP on the gown was 650. So even if I hadn't found it for less than MSRP and had netbride price match, I would have paid less online by 150 (not including 20 bucks shipping). I would have been fine paying 800 for the gown if they included ANYTHING in the price.... bustling, something... but they don't... they don't even have a seamstress in the store.

Who are the designers? What did the gowns look like, maybe we can help.
 

Kim N

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Date: 3/25/2008 11:24:42 AM
Author: Gypsy
I couldn''t find my dress originally on the Mon Cheri website as they only list their new collection in thier tabs. I had to find the name by trolling every website that had Mon Cheri gowns on it (Liz) and then do a search in the Mon Cheri data base for it to show up. The Maggies I liked were easy as they are all listed... but after the billionth dress my eyes started to cross so I had to take breaks searching for the dress on that site.
Wow, that''s a lot of work! That''s what I was attempting to do yesterday on eBay and preownedweddingdresses, with no luck.


Date: 3/25/2008 11:24:42 AM
Author: Gypsy
I will tell you that the salon had pretty okay prices compared to local stores. But my gown was listed at 800 there when MSRP on the gown was 650. So even if I hadn''t found it for less than MSRP and had netbride price match, I would have paid less online by 150 (not including 20 bucks shipping). I would have been fine paying 800 for the gown if they included ANYTHING in the price.... bustling, something... but they don''t... they don''t even have a seamstress in the store.
Yes, I wish they''d include something in the price too. I''d like to find the gown for about $250 less than what they listed, if that''s possible. That is such a great deal you got with netbride!


Date: 3/25/2008 11:24:42 AM
Author: Gypsy
Who are the designers? What did the gowns look like, maybe we can help.
Two were Maggies, and I think I may have been able to find the exact ones, if not something close. Incidentally, I know they carry a lot of Maggies, but I seemed to have trouble finding ones with a soft, flowy skirt like I see on the Maggie website. Do other retailers in this area carry more of those?

The one that''s impossible to find so far is the Allure. This picture is of a Maggie that''s somewhat similar, but the Allure was much better IMO. The skirt was much softer and more flowy and a little less busy with the beading. The neckline was straight. The layer beneath the see-through layer (non-technical terms here, lol) was longer than the see-through layer, so the hem was straight. The satiny material on the bodice got wider towards the sides and had folds. The center of the satiny material was simpler.

Maybe it''s not a dress from this season. My eyes did start to cross after a while on the Allure website.

MS close.jpg
 

gtn

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Kim, I found a place in Pleasanton that would sell maggies at MSRP, I was quoted $200-$250 more at the other stores I went to. I was also able to find the dress on eBay for $200 less than MSRP, but there was no pictures and I would not trust buying something like that on eBay, you might be paying for a knock-off.

At first I was turned off by the fact that it was a mall store (2nd floor of the mall near Nordstroms), but the people there were helpful. I didn''t feel like I was being watched like a hawk and they would help me dress if I needed help, otherwise, they would tell me they would be back to see if I need anything. I went there during a trunk show to find a specific dress and they didn''t have it, but they did have my two runner ups, which allowed me to eliminate one of them.

I hope this helps.

Blossoms Formal
2417 Stoneridge Mall Dr
Pleasanton , CA 94588
Phone: (925) 225-1162
 

Gypsy

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I've been there-- not to try on gowns though! They are really nice-- I wanted to see how my shoes would look with a light ivory gown and was walking around their store like a nut holding out one shoe against their gowns with John two steps behind me. Didn't even faze them. They just asked if they could help. Wished me congrats on finding the gown and told me they thought the shoes would work, and that they seemed very practical. Strangely nice for a mall store. Have a lot of prom gowns too. But if you find the Maggie they might have it.

I didn't go to any other stores in the bay area Kim. I've been to many many stores, but that was the only one I went to in Nor Cal in the last couple of years.

I would post a separate thread or do a search for bridal stores in the bay area ( I think there was one requesting south bay bridal shops recently).
 
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