Mill Valley Wedding Venue
180 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, California 94941
How blessed is Mill Valley? Let us count the ways: dramatic location at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais; redwood groves; proximity to the bay and San Francisco; sophisticated citizenry and small-town feel.
And, since April 2001, add the Mill Valley Community Center to that list—it's become the town's pride and joy. Every day, from early morning to late evening, people flock here to swim, dance, work out or attend meetings.
The two-building complex, connected by arcades and enclosed walkways, is clad in olive-green wood siding that calls to mind the leaves of the oak trees on nearby hills. While it has the inviting silhouette of an Adirondack-style resort from 100 years ago, this structure deftly combines wood, concrete, painted steel, copper and glass to create a facility with all the light-admitting spaciousness and crispness of good modern architecture.
The center's main event space is the Cascade Room, and to reach it visitors first pass through a dramatic entrance atrium. Their eyes are immediately drawn up to a vaulted ceiling supported by four slender concrete pillars. The atrium's distinctive reddish-gray slate floor is made of stone quarried in China. (The floor generates steady inquiries from landscapers whose clients have fallen in love with the slate and want to know where they can get some for themselves.)
The generous use of glass in the Cascade Room is particularly effective at night, when light pours out through the windows. Motorists on the nearby main road often slow down to look in longingly on its festive scenes, and imagine themselves dancing the night away in this warm, bright place. By day, the two-story space is lit by sunlight falling through the tall windows that run the length of its side walls. The cathedral-style ceiling is supported by laminated wood trusses, an airy architectural element that makes the room soar. Perhaps the nicest touch is the wood floor, left uncarpeted to allow the richness of its eucalyptus floorboards to dazzle the eye. They range along a spectrum of earthy reds, from reddish-browns and near maroons to lighter-colored planks. An adjoining professional kitchen can accommodate any catering operation.
The large patio on the east side of the Cascade Room has no walls or fences, so people don't feel hemmed in. It runs right up to a three-acre lawn (part of a community playing field), so that in one step you can move from stone to grass. This is a well-thought-out design that provides a sense of space, and invites parties to spill happily beyond the patio. The level lawn is a fine place to pitch a tent or two if you want to host an outdoor event.
Smaller rooms are available for wedding-related activities, including the Terrace Room, which can handle a cocktail party or small dinner. Wedding parties can also rent the whole facility if they'd like, including the 25-yard swimming pool, Jacuzzi, giant water slide and adjoining patio.
Mill Valley has always had a nice hum, and this well-maintained facility only adds to it. People instinctively sense it's a great place to hold a celebration.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Cascade Room seats 300 guests, and the lawn area seats 200.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The center can accommodate up to 285 seated or 400 standing guests indoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: The facility has 9 rooms that can seat 2–400 theater-style, or up to 200 classroom-style.
Special Events, Parties
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg