Top Budget Friendly & Affordable San Diego Wedding Locations

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Affordable & Budget Friendly San Diego Wedding Venues

Immaculate Conception Old Town Wedding Cuvier Club La Jolla Reception - www.rachelmcfarlin.com-5280

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I am frequently asked if I can suggest wedding locations around San Diego that are affordable, unique and will help a couple stick to a wedding budget. With no affiliation or ulterior motives, below are a few spots that offer beautiful views, are considered the most popular and top wedding locations in southern California for planning a wedding on a budget.

1) San Diego Beaches, including La Jolla & Mission Bay

2) Bahia Hotel & Resort and their Sternwheel Paddle Boat

3) Balboa Park Weddings

4) The Thursday Club

5) Marina Village Weddings & Receptions

6) Admiral Kidd Club overlooking downtown San Diego Bay & Coronado Island

7) Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens

8) La Jolla Cove – Bridge Club at Scripps Park

9) La Jolla Cove and Suites

10) Cuvier Wedding Bowl La Jolla Coast

11) Pala Mesa Golf Resort in North County Fallbrook

12) Hotel Del Coronado Beach Ceremony

13) Soledad Club overlooking Downtown San Diego, Mission Bay & The Ocean

14) Coronado Community Center Wedding

15) Bali Hai Restaurant overlooking San Diego Bay, Downtown and Coronado

16) San Diego Botanical Garden

17) The Prado Balboa Park Wedding & Reception

18) Sunset Cliffs in the Ocean Beach/Point Loma area

19)

Catamaran Resort in Pacific and Mission Beach offers access to their Paddle Wheel Boat

20) Temecula Creek Inn in the North County Wine Region

21) Rancho Bernardo Inn

22) Wilson Creek Winery in North County San Diego

23) Stone Brewery Private Event & Wedding Reception

24) Coronado Destination Beach Wedding

Top wedding photographer La Jolla San Diego - best most affordable wedding locations in San Diego for ocean view sunset wedding on the beachRachel McFarlin Photography

Also See:

Money Saving Ideas

Sample Agenda for Day of Wedding & Reception Timelines

What to Wear in Portraits

Ways to Save Money When Planning Your Wedding & Reception

Reception
1. Cut the guest list. This will slash your catering costs and save on invitations and even the number of centerpieces.

2. Think off-peak season and save thousands!

3. Hold your ceremony and reception in one spot — it will cut travel time for vendors you pay by the hour.

4. Skip the Saturday wedding.

5. Have bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths.

6. Shop the off-season for extra decor — get modern black vases on sale after Halloween and pretty pink ones after Valentine’s Day.

Flowers
7. Use more greenery than flowers.

8. Swap out costly flowers — did you know peonies can be five times more expensive than roses?

9. Stick to just one or two kinds of flowers.

10. Buy flowers that are in season.

11. Include non-florals, like lanterns.

Food & Drink
12. Serve entree duets.

13. Skip the main course — apps and drinks are fine too.

14. Offer beer, wine, and a signature cocktail instead of a full bar.

15. Serve comfort foods like barbecue chicken, mac and cheese, and corn. It’s fun and often cheaper.

16. Skip the champagne toast.

Cakes
17. Order a small one or two-tiered cake and then supplement cake with a larger sheet cake (hidden back in the kitchen).

18. Keep the add-ons simple.

19. Use fresh flowers, not sugar ones.

20. Reuse ceremony flowers for the cake table.

21. Skip exotic fillings like guava and mango.

Stationery & Favors
22. Get single-page invites to save on postage.

23. Give out one favor per couple.

24. Make your cake the favors.

25. Have favors double as escort cards.

26. Email your save-the-dates.

27. Make your own menu cards, escort cards, and wedding favor packaging.

Photo, Video & Music
28. Choose a photographer that will give your photos as digital files so that you can make your own albums, prints and gifts. Just make sure they are insured and that their references check out.

29. Opt for a smaller band.

30. Hire a band or DJ who can do both the ceremony and the reception.

See Also:
Unique, Distinct & Affordable San Diego Wedding Venues
Sample Agenda for Day of Wedding & Reception Timelines
What to Wear When Having Your Picture Taken

Sample Timeline / Agenda Template for Wedding & Reception Photos

Brides and grooms often ask me for ideas and suggestions on an agenda for wedding photos. A general photo timeline for a couple who does a First Look/Reveal looks something like this:

1:00 – Pictures of Bride (and girls) finishing getting ready, other detail shots of dress, flowers, etc..

2:00 – Pictures of Bride and Bridesmaids

2:30 – “First Look” shots when you see each other all dressed up

2:40 – Pictures of Entire Wedding Party (bride/groom/girls/guys)

2:55 – Bride and Groom Only

3:20 – Pictures of Groom and Groomsmen

3:35 – Family Pics. (*Since it’s before the start of the wedding, make sure that your families have a copy of your schedule and know when and where to meet for pics. )

3:40 – Bride’s Family & Groom (siblings, parents, grandparents, other special guests)

3:45 – Bride & Grooms Family Together (shots of you two with combo of parents, etc. that you might want)

4:00 – Groom’s Family & Bride (siblings, parents, grandparents, other special guests)

4:25 – Guests Arriving, Location Details (Girls out of sight; Guys greeting Guests)

4:45 – Ceremony

5:30 – Cocktail Hour

6:45 – Grand Entrance

First Dance

7:00 – Dinner Served

8:00 – Toasts/Speeches

9:30 – Photographer Leaves

*The key to getting all the pics done early and out of the way is to make sure that everyone knows the schedule ahead of time, as well as designating an additional family member to be in charge of rounding up/being a contact point for all the family. Remember that many people tend to run a bit late, one missing person can throw off your whole schedule. It never hurts to add in a bit of extra time and even telling people early start points. : )

PREPARATION (if bride and groom are at same location, i.e. a hotel)
60 Mins – Pictures of Bride (and girls) getting ready, other detail shots of dress, ring, etc..
30 Mins – Pictures of Groom (and guys) getting ready

PRE-CEREMONY
20 Mins – Location Details
30 Mins – Pictures of Bride and Bridesmaids (family shots can be added in this window too; i.e. bride with her parents and siblings, etc..)
30 Mins – Pictures of Groom and Groomsmen (family shots can be added in this window too; i.e. groom with his parents, grandparents, etc.)
20 Mins – Guests Arriving, Location Details (Girls out of sight; Guys greeting Guests)

CEREMONY
Time Varies

AFTER CEREMONY
10 Mins – Bride and Groom with Parents & Family
15 Mins – Photos of Wedding Party
20 Mins – Bride and Groom Alone

30 Mins – Location Details & Cocktail Hour

RECEPTION
Time Varies – toasts, first dances, speeches, friends/family groups, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, dancing, etc.

Make sure to add in time to walk between locations. It can be helpful to have family and wedding party arrive a few minutes early too, so that if you have any people running late, that you don’t cut into your photo times.

This is just a rough sketch to give you an idea of how much time is ideal for getting the kind of shots that many couples and families are looking for. In the end though, I make it all work based around what your timeline is. I ensure that things are relaxed, fun and flow smoothly. Even when we are doing the ‘work’ of getting the photos taken, this time will fall in with the unique tone of the whole day – it’s a celebration after all!

See Also:
Money Saving Ideas
Distinct, Unique & Affordable Wedding Venue Locations in San Diego
What to Wear in Photos