San Rafael Wedding Venue
1312 Mission Avenue
San Rafael, California 94901
A pair of hand-stacked stone pillars mark the entry to Maple Lawn, a rambling Victorian house and grounds that was once the home of one of the area’s leading families. Built with 19th-century mining riches, the residence was often the scene for “must attend” social and civic soirées. Happily today, under the current ownership of the San Rafael Elks, this grand estate continues to set a gold standard for gracious events.
Maple Lawn’s pièce de résistance is the expansive Magnolia Terrace, an absolute jewel of a garden area off to the side of the blue-and-white mansion. As you enter through an ornate, iron gate, the first thing that greets you is a profusion of colorful blooming hedges. Just ahead is a raised, canopied terrace, and stretching out beyond that is an incredibly lush lawn surrounded on three sides by mature magnolia and camellia trees. Running straight through the center of the grass is a wide brick promenade adorned with two multi-tiered fountains topped dramatically with Greek goddesses.
What a spectacular setting this makes for your ceremony, as friends and family seated on the lawn watch you walk down that center aisle to meet your groom beneath a neoclassical arch. After vows are exchanged, everyone is invited to toast your new life with a glass of bubbly on the terrace. Slightly elevated and separated from the grass by box hedges and flower-filled urns, this shady spot is perfect for enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Then dinner is served at tables on the lawn, followed by dancing back on the terrace under the twinkle-lit canopy.
Beautiful as the grounds are, there are pleasures to be found inside the house as well. To start with, you’ll surely be smitten with a bride’s room that’s the epitome of femininity. Large enough for all your attendants to gather and relax, its décor includes an antique Victorian vanity table, a carved white marble fireplace, and high ceilings with lots of crown molding. The groomsmen get to play men of leisure in the “old school” Card Room Lounge with its adjacent wood-paneled Billiards Room.
At the front of the house, there’s an airy Solarium and cozy porch overlooking pine trees that would make a delightful spot for a bridal shower or bridesmaid’s breakfast. And the clubby Drake’s Bar, complete with burgundy leather wingback chairs, early American paintings and a vintage mural of Sir Francis Drake arriving in the Bay Area, could be just right for a rehearsal dinner.
If you’d prefer an indoor reception, check out the regal-sized Boyd Banquet Room, which boasts a coved ceiling with the original brass-and-crystal chandeliers that illuminated many historic parties. But even if you don’t entertain inside, do take advantage of the polished wooden doors (replete with brass doorknockers), central staircase and porte-cochère as romantic photo backdrops unique to Maple Lawn.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The site holds 180 seated guests indoors and 500 seated outdoors.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The facility can accommodate 200 seated or 300 standing indoors and 330 seated or 500 standing outdoors
MEETING CAPACITY: Meeting rooms hold up to 180 seated guests.
A $500 deposit is required to reserve your date and the balance is due 120 days prior to the event or upon contract execution, whichever comes first. Rental fees range $150–2,000 depending on the day and time of the event and the space reserved.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: select from preferred list or BYO
Kitchen Facilities: fully equipped
Tables & Chairs: CBA
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: large lot, garage nearby
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: emergency use only
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: BBQ on site
Cleanup: renter or caterer
View: forest, fountain, garden, landscaped grounds
Other: event coordination available, extra fee
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Smoking: designated areas only
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: limited
Insurance: liability required
Alternate Info: San Rafael Elks Lodge #1108 Magnolia Terrace horchata
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