Berkeley Wedding Venue
200 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, California 94720-5045
In the hills above UC Berkeley resides a garden of earthly delights: a spectacular 34-acre site nestled in Strawberry Canyon and overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The Botanical Garden is home to over 12,000 different kinds of plants, including many rare and endangered species. The garden feels like a horticultural wonderland, with plants grouped by geographical region, showcasing the world’s rich botanical diversity. A stroll through these varied environments takes you from a cloud forest to a New World Desert, past a Japanese pool with waterfalls, and a Chinese Medicinal Herb Garden—there’s even an orchid and carnivorous plant house! First established in 1890, the Garden’s mission is research, education and conservation. The Botanical Garden is more than just a place with pretty flowers—it’s a living museum. Amidst this natural splendor are several lovely sites to celebrate life’s momentous occasions.
Imagine pledging your love in a grove of majestic redwood trees. Your guests are seated in a demi-amphitheater, atop benches built into the very earth itself. Expectant yet relaxed, they catch teasing glimpses of flowing white as you make your way up a forest path between majestic trees stretching their branches heavenward. The air is crisp, fresh, tinged with the scent of moist bark and leaves, and you’re filled with the enormity of the moment. At last you reach the amphitheater, and your groom takes your hand as the ceremony begins.
Or perhaps you had something more intimate in mind? Then make your way to the Garden of Old Roses, a storybook bower high on the garden’s eastern slope with all the visual allure of Monet’s garden at Giverny. Rough-hewn steps climb down a terraced knoll, resplendent with a mix of lavender, blooming annuals and antique roses. The steps lead to a site where your family and friends wait. Opposite, masses of climbing roses cascade over the beams of a quaint wooden pergola. Completing the romantic vignette, a panorama of the bay unfolds beyond acres of sprawling foliage, like a blue ribbon edging a flowery chintz gown.
Still another option is to wed and have your reception at the Conference Center, set in the middle of the Palm and Cycad Garden above lush Strawberry Creek. Surrounded by luxuriant palms, rare cycads and tree ferns, the center’s broad tiled Terrace makes a sunny place for a ceremony, with the palms defining a natural aisle. Or put a bar and food stations on the Terrace where guests can enjoy pre-reception mingling. Meanwhile, you and your photographer can take advantage of the many scenic backdrops. One particularly appealing spot is just beyond the Terrace: a footbridge poised between the lushly green banks of the creek. Here in the forest’s dewy coolness, brightly colored dragonflies dart from delicate ferns to lily pads, and the silhouette of you and your groom is faintly mirrored in the water below.
Inside the Conference Center are two adjoining rooms, the Mirov and the smaller Ornduff. Each has greenhouse windows that let the sunshine in, as well as showcase the surrounding greenery. You might host your banquet in the Mirov, then do the cake cutting in the Ornduff and dance on the Terrace. Or during the cooler months, begin in the Ornduff for cocktails, then move into Mirov for your reception.
Whichever sites you choose at the Botanical Garden, you can be sure of one thing: You’re taking the concept of “a simple garden wedding” to a whole new level!
CEREMONY CAPACITY: Outdoor garden spaces seat up to 100 guests; indoors the site accommodates up to 60–100 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Outdoor spaces hold up to 40–60 guests; indoors, the site accommodates up to 100 seated or standing guests.
MEETING CAPACITY: Two spaces hold 10–70 guests seated theater-style or at tables.
Rental fees range from $75–400/hour depending on site(s) chosen, number of hours rented and day of event.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: select from list
Kitchen Facilities: kitchenette
Tables & Chairs: yes
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO or through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: CBA, extra fee
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: internet access, more equipment CBA
Parking: University lot, fees paid in advance
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: house phone/local and card calls
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer or renter
View: botanical garden, creek, SF Bay, city, Golden Gate Bridge
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: BYO, permit required
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: limited
Insurance: liability required
Choose From List
Various UC Botanical Garden sites are available year-round, 9am–midnight.