Ben Lomond Wedding Venue
8500 Highway 9
Ben Lomond, California 95005
In the early 1900s, Lord and Lady Anderson of England managed to make their way to this beautiful area just outside Felton, whereupon they bought the 43 acres which now make up Highlands Park. Naturally, they built themselves an English-style mansion on the property and named it "The Highlands" in honor of Lord Anderson’s Scottish heritage. In the ‘30s, the Nasser family bought the estate, tore down the aging mansion and built Highlands House, the home you see today. Santa Cruz County purchased the property and then opened it as a park in 1977, and the site has been a favorite of the public ever since.
The park’s grounds have been used for a wide variety of events, and the vast lawn next to the house is where many of them take place. Spread out under the sun and ringed by towering oaks, pines and redwoods, it’s custom-made for a summer wedding. There’s plenty of room for couples to get married in front of a white gazebo at one end of the lawn, and then walk over to tables set up on the other end for their reception. It’s also an ideal spot for a corporate picnic or family reunion, whether you plan to bring in picnic tables, spread blankets right on the grass for a genuine lawn party, or stage a formal affair with linens, silver and market umbrellas. The lawn is actually big enough to have several activities going at once!
The Highlands House is also available for group events. Surrounded by trees and flowers (the camellia bushes and the magnolia tree are gorgeous in bloom), it has several rooms on the first floor which can be used in a multitude of ways. For weddings, set up a buffet in the living room and have your reception in the much larger Lorenzo Room, a pleasant space with a hardwood floor (great for dancing) and multipaned windows overlooking the garden. Decorate the foyer with flowers and use it for a small ceremony or a gift room. The adjacent Garden Room is the coolest in the house, and is considered the best place for the cake and for overheated relatives. During the week, these same rooms work just as well for meetings or other business functions.
You’ll be pleased to note that if you’re a bride, there’s a sizable changing room upstairs and a second-floor balcony from which you can toss your bouquet. The park also has tennis courts, a kids’ play area and a nature trail just a short walk from the house. Highlands House & Park spent almost half a century as a family retreat and getaway, and it continues to provide a natural and relaxing environment for everyone who’s lucky enough to spend some time here.
CEREMONY & EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Lorenzo Room holds 50 seated or 90 for a standing reception; the lawn area seats 200. The Highlands House has a 200-guest limit. Company picnics or family reunions for over 200 people can be arranged in conjunction with the ballfields and group picnic areas next to Highlands House.
MEETING CAPACITY: Highlands House holds 75 seated theater-style or 50 conference-style.
The rental fee is required at the time of booking. The 10-hour minimum fee (which covers use of the house and lawn) is $1,170 for Santa Cruz County residents, $1,287 for non-residents, and $130/$143 for each additional set-up hour needed. The 10 hours includes 3 hours for setup, a 5-hour maximum event time, and 2 hours for cleanup. The permit fee is $200 if alcohol is served, along with a $200 damage deposit. There is a 25% discount from November 1 to March 31.
Ball fields are available by reservation. As of March 1, 2013 the Highlands Park picnic areas are available on a drop-in basis, first come, first served, for groups of 30 or less. This policy is subject to change.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: moderately equipped
Tables & Chairs: 125 chairs, 15 tables provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: BYO
Restrooms: not wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: in Lorenzo Room
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: BYO
Parking: large lot, 50 spaces guaranteed
Accommodations: no guestrooms
Telephone: emergency use only
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes, limited
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: BYO
View: park grounds
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg
Alcohol: BYO BWC, no hard liquor
Wheelchair Access: limited
Smoking: no smoking
Insurance: usually not required
Music: amplified restricted to 5 hours, max.
Year-round, daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. Hours are 10am-–midnight on Fridays and Saturdays or 10am–10pm, Sunday–Thursday. There’s a 10-hour minimum on weekends and a 2-hour minimum on weekdays. A 6-hour minimum rental is available if you book within 3 months of your date.
Alternate Info: Highlands House & Park Highlands House and Park