In Southern California there are many options available to choose from when deciding on a wedding venue. For many, the first thoughts are that of golf courses, beaches, hotels, and others. But sometimes, some of the best kept secrets are the venues that are located right amongst the communities we live in. Community Wedding Venues make for terrific wedding photos. Three16 Photography photographs weddings in Orange County, LA & all of Southern California.
More often than naught, these “diamond in the rough” venues are simply known within their communities as the city’s community center. Occasionally, they have an altered name, but the words “community center” is often included.
Shooting wedding photography at these various community venues throughout Southern California allows us to take a wide variety of photos with many types of different looking backdrops in your shots. And because each community venue is different, the backdrops will offer different forms of décor that you won’t get at other locations.
Of course, all venues, whether they are within the community or not, have their pros and their cons, but if you opt for a community located wedding venue, your ceremony and/or reception will be a huge hit!
Advantages of a Community Wedding Venue
• Cost Savings. Typically, a center, or a city park, owned by the city will offer their facility at a fraction of the cost of most wedding venues. If you live within the city, further discounts may apply.
• Most often you will be working with a blank slate and thus allowing you the creative design of your wedding and/or reception. They will have some items for you to use that are either free or a minimal charge, otherwise you can rent what you need from an outside vendor.
• Typically, community centers have plenty of parking for your guests.
Disadvantages of a Community Wedding Venue
• Most community centers do not have that extravagant look to them like wedding venues do. Many are lovely, but others are very plain. Three that really stick out as nice-looking centers include Yorba Linda, Laguna Beach and Lake Forest, again just to name three.
• Often community centers will have additional events going on at the same time as yours. Although the main rooms are separate, you will be sharing the lobby area, parking lots and public restrooms.
• Unless you are visiting at the right time, often you will not be able to tour the venue because the rooms may be in use. Weddings are not their priority, so often they have other events for the community. If that’s the case you could ask to schedule a time and see if they would be willing.
• I would recommend driving by during a few times at the time your event would be taking place to see what is going on around the facility as some centers draw homeless encampments. If you’re ok with that, great, but if you don’t want your guests stepping over people to attend your event, be sure to check things out before putting down a deposit. Also, what is the rest of the area in that vicinity is like at that time of day/night as well.
In addition, most community facilities have the opportunity to conform their spacing to meet your needs and your budget, not to mention they usually offer quite a few amenities. How highly do we think of community wedding venues? I got married in February 2020 and held my ceremony at the Oak Canyon Nature Center and the reception at the Yorba Linda Community Center. Both locations were beautiful and met our needs at reasonable rates. You can check out both of these locations, and others, below.