DIY planner

The Bridal Bar Harmony Walton, former contributing editor to Inside Weddings Magazine, is the genius behind The Bridal Bar a high-end complimentary planning experience where brides can educate themselves about L.A.'s chic and unique vendors, products, concepts, and locations. She invites you to preview their work with a glass of champagne on a comfy couch--a great way to imagine and plan your perfect event. The couch is located in West Hollywood and is open M-F 10-6, or by appointment: 310.858.0119
PeerSpace--Unique, Undiscovered Locations for your Activity PeerSpace is a treasure trove for those seeking odd, quirky, interesting, and often more affordable ceremony locations for intimate weddings. Lofts, sound stages, theaters, speakeasys, "urban event spaces" and more. Think of it as AirBnB for wedding locations.
Etsy Etsy.com is the go-to marketplace for handmade bridal artwork, jewelry, and decorations when you just don't have time to make them yourself. They even have a wedding section full of gifts, invitations, accessories...charming and customizable, a big time-saver.
Craig's List, Los Angeles Another indispensible website for ANYTHING you need. Place or search ads to find unusual event services, clothes, locations, jobs, housing--in short, for anything you could possibly need (or sell) in life (we've even married folks who met on Craig's List!)
Discover Los Angeles Discover Los Angeles is a great all-around web reference for those who are looking for something to do in L.A. and possible locations too. It's replete with helpful listings of local parks, gardens, hotels, museums, nightclubs, and other public sites and events.
The U.S. Naval Observatory Sun and Moon Data Calculator Page Planning a sunset or sunrise wedding, but aren't sure what time they occur on your wedding date? Never fear; at the U.S. Naval Observatory webpage, you can enter your wedding date and determine the exact times of these celestial events for any area of the world. Your tax dollars at work!! P.S.: we recommend you start your "sunset" ceremony an hour or so before sunset, so you can complete your ceremony and have time to take some post-wedding photos in that beautiful golden light at the end of day...then you can enjoy your first sunset together as husband and wife.
L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors This is the place you call when you need a permit for beach events in L.A. County (including some Malibu beaches; City of Santa Monica has additional permit requirements for events on their beaches.) You usually only need a permit for a group of 50 or more, and there are specific rules about music, structures, catering, insurance, and the like. Permit apps must be submitted at least two weeks in advance, so don't delay. You can try calling 310.305.9543 but they almost never answer the phone, so leave a number where they can reach you live if you have a burning question.
Thumbtack.com I hesitate to list Thumbtack because you have to provide personal information to receive leads (and you may not receive responses from vendors because they have to pay per lead, which can be icky) but some MTG clients have found caterers and florists willing to do smaller events at an affordable price. Angie's List also lists local event vendors with reviews and ratings (unlike Thumbtack) and you can find people to fix your house too.
Explore.org Live Beach Cam It's sad that social media has ruined some of the best wedding spots in California--El Matador State Beach, which was once secluded and quiet most of the year, is now constantly overrun with selfie-taking tourists and amateur camera crews (you know your quiet spot is done when a local car dealership mentions it in their radio ads). The addition of the Expo Line train has also bumped up the beach population around Santa Monica considerably, so these local webcams can help you research the weather, parking, and crowd action at hotspots like Venice Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, and Zuma Beach before you make your plans. You might even be able to have folks from out-of-town watch your wedding via these civic webcams...though everyone may look rather small.

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