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The Prado at Balboa Park

San Diego Wedding Venue
1549 El Prado
San Diego, California 92101

Contact: Catering Department
Phone: 619/557-9441 x501
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Why We Like This Place

What would you build if you wanted to wow the world?

For the organizers of the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, it was a flamboyant group of Spanish Renaissance-style structures, whose elaborate design captured the fancy of cosmopolitan travelers. The centerpiece is the magnificent House of Hospitality, with intricate scrollwork that trims its sand-colored walls, tower and arched windows and doors just like frosting on a wedding cake.

Now a National Historic Landmark, the House of Hospitality was carefully rebuilt in 1997. Hand-stenciled doors, ceilings, and beams in Spanish motif were scrupulously restored or reproduced. In fact, each room had more than 4,000 historical features, and the love and attention that went into preserving and replicating them seems to radiate in every direction. But although the building looks the way it did a century ago, it meets modern building standards and is 100% handicapped accessible.

A new chapter in the House of Hospitality’s history was written in 2000, when it became the home of The Prado, a gourmet restaurant from San Diego’s best-known and perhaps most decorated family of restaurateurs, the Cohn Restaurant Group. The Cohns have been named Restaurateurs of the Year both city- and statewide.

There’s no more picturesque setting for a ceremony than the Casa del Rey Moro Gardens, a reproduction of the grounds of a Moorish king’s home in southern Spain. Exchange vows by the wishing well with a lush canyon behind you, a reflecting pool before you, and as many as 300 smiling faces looking on from semicircular terraces around you.

After cocktails in an elegant courtyard centered around “Women of Tehuantepec,” a famous limestone sculpture and tiled fountain, larger parties meet in the Grand Ballroom. Skylights set in 27-foot hand-stenciled ceilings warm the space. Custom bronze chandeliers provide night lighting, and optional “pin spotlights” highlight table centerpieces. The band plays your song from the theatrical stage, as you and your new spouse glide across the gleaming hardwood floor for your first dance.

After cocktails on adjoining rooftop terraces, medium-sized parties often dine in the Loggia, a charming second-floor space featuring vaulted ceilings, colorful beams, French doors, and many windows. More intimate gatherings can celebrate on the covered balcony overlooking Casa del Rey Moro Gardens, before settling in the cozy Alhambra room for lunch or dinner.

The award-winning food is stylishly presented with synchronized service: All the guests at a table are served simultaneously, making for a “voila!” moment that not only delights diners, but prevents food from going cold as everyone waits for that last plate to arrive.

As it has for decades, a wedding at The Prado will surely wow everyone in your world.



  • Max. Seated Indoors: 0
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 300

Reception/Special Events

  • Max. Seated Indoors: 300
  • Max. Seated Outdoors: 120
  • Max. Standing Indoors: 500
  • Max. Standing Outdoors: 300


  • Max. Seated: 300

CEREMONY CAPACITY: The site holds 300 seated outdoors in the Casa del Rey Moro Gardens.

EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Grand Ballroom accommodates up to 300 seated or 500 standing (with dance floor); the Loggia Room up to 100 seated or 140 standing; and the Alhambra Room up to 80 seated or 120 standing.

MEETING CAPACITY: The venue accommodates10–400seatedtheater-style, or over 1,000 guests with a facility buyout.

Fees & Deposits

A signed contract and a deposit (based on the space reserved) are required to secure your date. A second nonrefundable deposit in the amount of 50% of the estimated event total will be due when stipulated by the contract. The remaining balance is due 3 business days prior to the event. Wedding packages start at $105 per person and include 1 hour of hosted bar, tray-passed hors d’oeuvres with White Glove Service, luncheon or dinner menu designed by The Prado’s award-winning culinary team, wedding cake (provided by one of the three preferred local bakeries), formal champagne toast, professional staff-synchronized service, full-length table linens, porcelain china and gold Chiavari chairs.

A ceremony package is available for $1,400 in conjunction with a reception booked at The Prado. It includes the use of the venue’s Casa del Rey Moro Gardens (which seats up to 300 guests), white outdoor chairs, gift and guest book tables, bridal changing room, scheduled rehearsal time and outdoor sound system for the officiant.

Location Uses

Wedding Receptions
Special Events, Parties
Business Functions/Meetings
Rehearsal Dinners


Catering: in-house
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: portable provided
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: large lot, valet available
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: pay phone
Outdoor Night Lighting: available
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: provided
View: canyon, cityscape, fountain, garden patio, landscaped grounds, park
Other: gold Chiavari chairs and wedding cake provided

Site Views

Fountain/Water Feature
Garden Patio/Courtyard
Landscaped Grounds

Venue Type

Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Historic/Landmark Building


Alcohol: in-house
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required

Some Essential Info
Price $ • $$ • $$$




Amplified Music


Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Accessible


Year-round, daily.

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