The first question people often ask when they hear you are engaged is, “so when is the big day?” and realistically, the answer is “whenever I find a hall.” At first, Serj and I were very adamant that we wanted to shy away from the typical Armenian banquet hall. Realistically our dream was to get married at Hummingbirds Nest Ranch in Santa Susana. We reserved a date, a random Saturday, then were told that the location had been booked almost all summer for the filming of a show or movie. So we started our search for an outdoor location all over again and our dreams of an outdoor wedding were quickly crushed when we learned about the costs and restrictions associated with those types of locations.
Photo by Metropol Banquet
So then we started looking through the Armenian banquet halls and realized we had it wrong all along. Our halls are so beautiful and so accommodating, how could be go elsewhere? To limit the halls we would visit, we needed to know what our guest count was going to be. This is when we had to use our best estimate since we hadn’t prepared a guest list yet. We came up with 300 as our highest number and went with it. We visited many different halls and were very impressed by the selections of food, table settings, lighting, etc. We ultimately decided on the Millennium Ballroom at Metropol Banquet Hall in Glendale. Not without running into a few speed bumps along the way though. For example, our guest count wasn’t very ideal. Some locations were able to seat no less than 500 to 600 and some not more than 200-250. Some locations didn’t provide alcohol, which left us looking for an additional vendor and some only offered an open bar, which left us wondering how we would afford it. With Metropol, we will have to bring our own alcohol. (Be sure to see my future blog post about the alcohol and other catering vendors.)
Photos by Metropol Banquet
To nail down the date, our work schedules were the most important things to consider. For Serj the most ideal months were February or June and for me it was May, June or August. Next, in looking to cut down our costs, we realized that July 3rd and May 29th were both Sundays during a holiday weekend and since we were so early in booking our hall, we asked for those dates first. Thankfully, Metropol was available on May 29, 2016. So as to not lose our date, we immediately booked and paid our deposit. SAVE THE DATE!
I personally didn’t have a preference as to the site of the ceremony, but given that Serj and his family grew up attending the St. Gregory Church in Pasadena, it was important to him for us to be married there. It was a true joy for him to return there, where he had grown up and attended school, this time, to be booking our wedding ceremony.
Photo by St. Gregory Armenian Church
Throughout this and many blogs, I will try to do my best to share the range of costs and deadlines. Please keep in mind that these change as time goes on, and by each vendor, are subject to change.
$55-85/per person, depending upon it being a Saturday vs. Friday/Sunday and depending if the hall offers alcohol. Deposit is generally $2,000-$2,500 and the remainder is often due a few days before the event. Some halls may allow you to pay the day after the event. Gratuity and Security charges are often included.
$700-$1,000; Deposit: $200-$400 and the remainder is due the day of the Wedding.
When to book hall and Church:
As soon as possible!
I look forward to sharing more details from our wedding planning with you soon.
Serj and Talar