Pasadena Wedding Venue
1757 North Lake Avenue
Pasadena, California 91104
Visible for miles, the magnificent Westminster Presbyterian Church rises above Pasadena like the mirage of a fantastic sand castle. Unlike the ephemeral sand castle, however, this awesomely graceful church has been a rock solid part of the community since 1928. Its enduring appeal as a wedding location is evident in the fact that the church has performed ceremonies for daughters and granddaughters of brides who’ve exchanged their vows here.
Stretching one square block on Lake Avenue, the church compels you to take a moment and admire its beauty and workmanship. Designed in the French Gothic style, it was patterned after the medieval cathedrals of Metz, Beauvais and Amiens. (Its 150-foot bell tower resembles that of the Église St. Maclou in Rouen.) Constructed of cement blocks with intricately carved adornments, the massive structure stands like a citadel on its corner.
Enter the church through three arches connected by block pillars. From this shaded portico, three sets of dark wood-and-iron doors lead into the narthex, an impressive vestibule. With its beamed ceilings, filigree iron chandeliers and stone archways framing stained-glass windows, it lends the proper tone to your solemn, yet joyous, occasion.
The sanctuary itself is breathtaking. Dark mahogany pews and polished stone floors contrast with the soaring vaulted ceilings of deep azure and crimson. Rendered in the fresco style by master stone painter Julian Gurnsey, they depict a starry heaven, incorporating crosses and fleurs-delis. Several antique brass-and-glass chandeliers suspended from the joists create a golden glow throughout the church. Along both sides, six original 1920s stained-glass devotional windows by Judson Studios are accentuated by stone archways leading to the enormous triptych centerpiece up front. The church is laid out in the classic T-shaped cruciform with a long center aisle, and can accommodate 1,000 people. Gleaming pipes from the original (and well-maintained) Reuter Organ frame the chancel area, where additional pews are available for the choir, although many couples opt for a string quartet or soloist.
There’s a charming bridal room for you and your attendants to use downstairs, while upstairs, the groom’s party has their own lounge. When you’re ready, you’ll make your dramatic entrance down that long aisle, which can be dressed with flowers or candles. In a lovely touch symbolizing the start of your new life together, you and your groom will be invited by the pastor to light a unity candle. Then, after you’ve pledged your troth and walked back down the aisle as husband and wife, you can re-enter through a side door to take pictures inside.
If you’re hosting your reception here, too, Morrison Hall, a large wood-paneled room in the adjoining building, has a stage with velvet curtains and a service kitchen for your caterer. If you’re continuing your celebration in one of the hotels or restaurants nearby, be sure to take full advantage of the church grounds for your wedding album photos. One day, they may inspire your own daughter to get married at this same venerable church and carry on the tradition.
The sanctuary has been featured extensively in film and on TV as well as in People and US magazines.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Sanctuary holds 500 seated guests on the main floor.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: Morrison Hall holds up to 350 seated guests.
A nonrefundable $500 deposit is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 30 days prior to the event. The $2,200 wedding fee includes a minister and premarital counseling, both of which are required. Co-officiation is common. The reception rental fee ranges $1,500–1,800.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
AV/Meeting Equipment: provided
Parking: lot and street parking
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Other: coordination and clergy available; grand piano
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: BYO champagne and wine only
Smoking: outside only
Music: amplified OK indoors, no recorded music
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: not required
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Church is decorated for Christmas from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. No weddings during Easter week or Christmas week.