Rancho Cucamonga, California
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Why We Like This Place
All the quaint pleasures we associate with a Victorian Christmas—old-fashioned elegance, warm family gatherings, and a childlike sense of wonder—are available year-round in 21st-century Southern California. Where? At the Christmas House Inn, a historic landmark that received its yuletide moniker because of the extravagant holiday parties hosted by its early owners. Built in 1904, the three-story mansion is a charming example of the Queen Anne-style favored by late Victorian architects. For decades it was the showpiece of an 80-acre citrus ranch, but by the 1970s, it had fallen into neglect. In 1983, Janice Ilsley and her husband came to the rescue, launching a complete renovation that restored the Christmas House to its former glory. The inn boasts all of the original stained-glass windows and gorgeous woodwork—the seven Victorian fireplace mantels are each made of a different wood, and accented with Italian tiles and beveled glass mirrors. The success of this popular bed & breakfast owes as much to the Ilsleys’ service-oriented attitude as to the inviting surroundings. “We want couples to feel like the Christmas House is their own home,” reveals Janice, “especially on their wedding day.”
Brides, you’ll definitely feel at home in the Celebration Suite, the spacious upstairs dressing room replete with fireplace, lacy adornments, an abundance of mirrors—and plenty of room for doting bridesmaids. In the cool autumn months or if the weather looks iffy, follow Victorian tradition and say “I do” in front of the parlor’s hearth, decked with shimmering candles. As the accompanist plays the processional on the grand piano, glide down the carved, redwood burl staircase and pass among your guests, gathered close enough to hear your vows, even if they’re whispered. Indoor reception buffets are served in the formal dining room, another fetching space where details like a gleaming silver coffee urn and antique curios enhance the turn-of-the-century patina. Guests mingle and munch as they soak up the nostalgic ambiance in the library and adjoining salons, which are lavished with comfortable period furnishings and authentic Victoriana.
At the Christmas House, you can also have your ceremony amid the romance of an English Garden behind the home. A lawn cradled in flowering shrubbery features a brick path lined with candle lanterns. This natural wedding aisle culminates at a gazebo swathed in greenery, where bride and groom make a radiant tableau. At the ceremony’s conclusion, guests pass under a vine-covered archway to the front of the home, where they savor hors d’oeuvres passed on silver trays in a lovely rose garden, or lounge in the shade of a broad veranda and watch the butterflies flit among the blossoms. When guests return to the rear garden for the reception, they’ll find tables and chairs elegantly set with floor-length linens and gleaming glass and cutlery. Guests dine beneath the leafy boughs of magnolia and guava trees strung with twinkle lights. Nearby, a citrus tree draped with gossamer netting shades the wedding cake, poised atop an antique table. Japanese lanterns cast a soft glow on an adjacent courtyard, where the newlyweds share their first dance.
Among the most endearing attractions of the Christmas House are the six distinctive guest rooms. The luxurious bridal suite comes with a fireplace, a private garden courtyard with hot tub, and delicious breakfast the morning after. With affordable packages that include gourmet catering and other extras, this venue is simply irresistible. Many couples create their own Christmas House tradition: They rekindle their fond wedding memories by returning to the inn on their anniversaries!
- Max. Seated Indoors: 50
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 150
- Max. Seated Indoors: 50
- Max. Seated Outdoors: 150
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Indoors: 75
- Max. Standing/Cocktails Outdoors: 150
- Max. Seated: 0
CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Parlor holds up to 50 seated or 75 standing guests, the garden up to 150 seated.
Cost: Prices, Deposits, Etc.
A nonrefundable $500 deposit is required to reserve your date. Another $400 is due 1 month later. 50% of the remaining event total is due 4 months prior to the event, and the balance is due 2 weeks prior. For indoor events, packages start at $7,500 for up to 50 guests and include exclusive use of the site, all rentals, catering and staff, wedding cake and all setup and cleanup. For each person over 50 guests, pricing starts at $35/person. For garden events, packages range $10,500–14,500 for up to 100 guests and include everything that’s in the indoor package plus many more flourishes, including professional DJ services. For each person over 100 guests, pricing ranges $35–55/person. Tax and service charge are additional on the catering portion of the total. If you would like bar service, many options are available at an extra charge.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: limited accessibility
Dance Floor: provided for garden receptions
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Area: provided
AV/Meeting Equipment: n/a
Parking: valet included
Accommodations: 6 guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
View: landscaped Victorian gardens
Other: event coordination, bar service
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Bed and Breakfast
Smoking: outside only
Music: amplified OK with volume restrictions until 10pm
Wheelchair Access: limited
Insurance: not required
Other: no rice, birdseed or confetti