Location Vocation, the grand finale!

…We now return for the thrilling conclusion of “How to find a wedding venue in 7 months!”

If I were to give you all the details on every place we researched, contacted, obtained proposals from, and visited, this blog would go on forever and the only remaining readers would be zombies. So, we’ll just cut to the chase, shall we?

For a long while, I had ruled out restaurants because of our desire to marry outdoors. But desperate times called for desperate measures and we figured that we could always do an outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception if we found the right place. So, I hit up the ol’ internets with fresh eyes, and there it was… a beautiful gem had been right under my nose all along.

{Image source: The Bungalow Club}

The Bungalow Club is a moroccan style, funky, sexy and delicious restaurant/lounge in Hollywood (yay, location!) that is extremely well suited to hosting events such as weddings and parties. They’re known for having great food (with a mid-eastern influence), delicious cocktails, and an exotic warm vibe. We love the unique space and energy of the club, and renting out the whole place gives us lots of flexibility in our planning concept. We’ll have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the main bar, have dinner outside on the lovely, bungalow-y patio, and then go upstairs to dance the night away in the moody dance lounge with a tented ceiling! (and yes, all those candles are included! Woot!)

{Image source: The Bungalow Club}

The patio is surrounded by those sweet little bungalows which can be closed for privacy (sexy times!) I love that has a cool fire feature, open air ceiling, stone floor, and there’s even a small waterfall out there. It incorporates all 4 elements which creates a balanced feeling and must mean good juju ;) The dance floor upstairs has a wrap-around patio and fun dance lighting. The whole place oozes a lavish, loung-y and exotic mood, perfect for encouraging folks to shake off the outside world and have a blast.

Best of all, the Bungalow Club’s owner, Anat, is just. so. cool. She’s the kind of lady who’s kind of intimidating, and kind of sexy, and you can’t help but love her. She really drives home the value of good customer service. Every time we meet with her, she makes us feel like VIPs and we really sense that she just wants our wedding to be a great, relaxed time. There are no hidden fees or add-on shenanigans. It was a simple and enjoyable (yes, it can be fun!) negotiation process. Because we are getting married on a Sunday, we got a rate we could live with. And, as foodies, it means the world to us that the food is delicious, innovative, and vegetarian friendly! The hummus with sweet teriyake glazed mushrooms – oh my! This is how Hunter felt when we polished that delight off…

Image source: Author’s personal collection, 2008

And you see that behind the plate? That’s one of their DELICIOUS mojitos, of which they have many flavor offerings! Did you know that mojitos are one of our very favorite cocktails, and are included in the bar service for the wedding? It MUST be fate! :)

Hunter and I love the rich, textural and sensual aspects of art, design and culture in many eastern countries – so planning a wedding in a setting which encourages that sensibility is simply divine! After we signed the contract, we bounced out of the restaurant, jumped around on the sidewalk and hugged each other…. both with that satisfied and jubilant glow of two people who had found their true “meant to be”, together.

(PS – SoCal-ish brides, if you need the lowdown on venues in the following places, please feel free to email me, as I am a font of information on many locations/caterers in:  Central Coast: Monterey, Big Sur, Carmel, San Luis Obispo; Southern Coast: Ojai, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Malibu, Pasadena, Huntington Beach, Dana Point, San Diego; and randomly: Santa Fe, NM)