Tuesday, July 12

San Jose Love's Wedding: The Venue Search

The wedding is mere weeks away so please excuse me if I can't focus on food and cooking at the moment. I was going to refrain from blogging til after the wedding but seeing all the great posts on my feed makes me want to get a head start on the wedding recaps. Here you go for those who want to know about my wedding adventures.

After Phil proposed, we only had 10 months to plan the wedding. I still had to get through my first year of grad school and we still had to find a place to live. In hind sight, I survived through it but I do not recommend that anyone take on all those big life changes within 10 months. It was probably the most productive year of my entire life. We skipped right through basking in the glow of our newly engaged status and went straight to venue hunting.

At first we were aiming for a place that allowed outside catering, hoping that would save us from hotel catering markup, restrictions from bringing outside beverages, and high gratuity rates. Our inflexible date proved to be very popular so many of our desired venues were booking up fast and soon it just became a search for what's available and affordable. Here are a few that we looked at which did not make the cut.

Villa Montalvo - made me mad because they booked another couple to our date the night before showing us the space and didn't tell us, which made the entire visit pointlessly emotional. Beautiful space nonetheless.

Palmdale Estates - cheap and affordable. Palmdale is perfect for small intimate weddings. It can photograph well if the photographer has the right artistic eye. It has a cottage style home surrounded by several decorated green lawn areas. But we were underwhelmed.

Ristorante Portofino - very cheap but even more underwhelming than Palmdale.
I didn't even take pictures.

Oceano Hotel - I love love love this place so much. I still love this place when I look at the pictures here. Maybe one day I'll just do a weekend getaway here. We were so close to signing the contract but I couldn't bring myself to spend basically our entire wedding budget on just food alone. What would be left for the dress and girly things?

Half Moon Bay Golf Links - I also love love love this place. It meets so many of my requirements and the service we got from the marketing director was so welcoming. Unfortunately, the 18th hole on the cliff overlooking the ocean was no longer available for weddings. Also, the catering price for a reception there would be pretty high, just like Oceano.

After Villa Montalvo, I was getting frustrated and emotional and had to sort out what mattered to me. I really wanted an outdoor ceremony space, I really wanted to be by the ocean, I really wanted to stick to the budget. So Phil offered a very delightful idea. Here's the winner:

A morning ceremony at Half Moon Bay Golf Links on the greens. Ok so its not right by the water but its close enough, I'll take it. And by having a ceremony only there, we did not have to spend as much. The reception would take place at the San Mateo Marriott. This proved to be so much better for our pocket books and for our sanity. = )

If you're interested, here are some venues we didn't visit because they were not available or too expensive. If you notice, I was going for places with water or by the water.
Liquid Sky Estates/Cetrella Restaurant
Pulgas Water Temple
Hotel Sofitel, Redwood City
Monterey Plaza Hotel
Palm Event Center


  1. when's the date??? ocean view... aww, i miss those, i just saw my first ocean in many months, completely took my breath away. hope there are lots of food photos!!

  2. Interesting share! We have also been having hard time in selecting our wedding spot. We have visited some beautiful Malibu wedding venues and they all are affordable. Their services seem great but we need some help in reserving one among all. If you have any tips then share here with us!

  3. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info of wedding venues,event hall,catering. I’m happy that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
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