Menlo Park Wedding Venue
701 Laurel Street
Menlo Park, California 94025
There’s so much to love at the Arrillaga Recreation Center that it may truly be the rare event venue that has something for everyone. Situated on what was once a sprawling, mid-1800s private estate, this thriving community hub is just blocks from downtown Menlo Park in the Civic Center complex. Thanks to a multimillion-dollar renovation, it boasts light-filled interiors, private landscaped patios, and all the charms of its Burgess Park surroundings—including historic backdrops for memorable photos.
When guests arrive at the redwood-and-glass building, they often gather in its open, airy lobby for prefunction refreshments. Then, if you’re having your ceremony here (and most couples do), your family and friends will be ushered through Craftsman-styled double wooden doors to the serene South Patio. This beautiful, crescent-shaped flagstone space wraps around one entire side of the building and features a Zen-like border of Japanese maples, native plants and graceful oaks. Handcrafted ceramic urns are integrated throughout and serve as artful and calming water features.
You can opt to exchange vows in front of those wooden entry doors, or take full advantage of the patio’s pièce de résistance and say “I do” beneath an asymmetrical canvas canopy that’s evocative of a dove spreading her wings. Dramatically tethered by four angled copper posts, this soaring installation is a dynamic focal point.
There’s ample room for al fresco cocktails on the patio before everyone moves into the Sequoia Room for dinner. This reception area feels quite spacious, with its cathedral ceiling, polished hardwood floors, and two walls of glass—one that looks out to the main lobby and the other (of glass doors) that opens to the patio and allows lots of natural light to stream in. The neutral décor is compatible with almost any event’s color scheme.
If you’re planning a more intimate wedding, there’s the Oak Room on the other side of the building, complete with a private patio that virtually doubles the square footage of your reception space. A huge oak tree dominates the courtyard patio, creating shade and soft, dappled light, while an impressive set of wooden doors makes an excellent backdrop for your ceremony. This seductive spot also lends itself to rehearsal dinners, as well as bridal party staging and photos.
Speaking of photos, the grounds provide lots of options, from the duck pond and waterfalls to wooden bridges and photogenic trees…but you’d be remiss if you didn’t capture a kiss in front of the original Victorian gatehouse and the to-die-for, antique tiered fountain.
Other perks at the center include easy accessibility from several highways, the convenience of a metro station right outside its gates, ample free parking and a totally updated kitchen—where you can bring in the caterer of your choice! Arrillaga does indeed offer something for just about everyone.
CEREMONY & EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The site holds 200 seated or 250 standing guests indoors and 250 seated or 300 standing outdoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: Meetings spaces hold 300 seated guests.
A $250 refundable security deposit ($500 with alcohol) is required to reserve your date, and the balance is due 2 weeks prior to the event. The rental fee ranges $150–260/hour depending on residency and whether the event is on a weekday or weekend. Monday–Thursday the rental rate is $150/hour for residents and $195 per/hour for non-residents. Friday–Sunday the rental rate is $200/hour for residents and $260/hour for non-residents. There’s a 30% discount on any additional room(s) rented at the same time (applies to the lower-cost room).
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer or BYO
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s Dressing Area: CBA
Meeting Equipment: some provided, AV equipment
Parking: large lot
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: provided
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
Cleanup: caterer or renter
View: creek, fountain, garden patio, lagoon, landscaped grounds, park
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required
Year-round. Monday–Thursday, 8am–10pm; Friday–Sunday, 8am–1am.
Alternate Info: Arillaga Family Recreation Center Arrilaga Family Recreation Center