Wedding film shot by Certified By The Guide Videographer Thomas Hughes Films
Why We Like This Place
As you drive down the quiet, oak-lined residential street that leads to the gardens, you get your first taste of this facility’s peaceful seclusion. Living up to its name (descanso means “rest” in Spanish), Descanso Gardens is indeed a tranquil, verdant oasis at the foot of the arid San Gabriel Mountains.
Once a large private estate, the gardens occupy over 150 acres, offering a wide variety of enchanting sites for weddings. One favorite is a classic California setting—a broad, open lawn under widespreading coast live oaks that convey a rustic simplicity.
Another option is the Magnolia Lawn. A wall of lattice entwined with crabapple vines and ruby-red buds marks the entrance, and guests pass beneath a pretty archway before taking their seats facing a pair of mature magnolia trees. The trees serve as a natural altar for the bride and groom, while their creamy white flowers evoke a feminine grace. The surrounding greenery is punctuated by seasonal surprises—think cheery tulips in April and perfumed paperwhites in late autumn—enhance the picturesque environs.
If you’re exchanging vows with a few family and friends looking on, then consider the serene Japanese gardens. Your guests cluster along the bank of a koi-filled stream as you share your first kiss in front of the Full Moon Tea House. A red footbridge and springtime show of pink cherry blossoms create a colorful, exotic milieu for photos.
And who can resist the romance of a rose garden? Descanso’s five-acre International Rosarium boasts over 4,000 rosebushes. Couples can wed at the wrought-iron Rose Garden Gazebo, and continue their outdoor celebration in a timber-and-stone pavilion bordered by fragrant blooms.
Seated receptions can also be held in the cozy Boddy House, poised at the edge of the oak forest. Larger gatherings convene in Van De Kamp Hall, which is situated near the garden’s main entrance. This Craftsman-style building boasts a lofty open-beamed ceiling and French windows that open onto a lovely and expansive tiled courtyard flanked by flower beds and a bubbling natural-rock fountain.
With its shade-dappled lawns, brilliant flowers, majestic camellia forests and secluded woodland clearings, Descanso Gardens has just the right wedding spot for any nature-loving couple. But whether you get married here or not, a visit to the gardens is a tonic to urban stresses and—dare we suggest it—frayed prenuptial nerves. You can breathe easy in this serene setting, or, as they say in Spanish, aquí puede usted descansar.
Max. Seated Indoors: 50
Max. Seated Outdoors: 400
Max. Seated Indoors: 200
Max. Seated Outdoors: 200
Max. Standing Indoors: 200
Max. Standing Outdoors: 200
|Max. Seated: 250|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: Indoors, Boddy House holds up to 50 seated guests. Various outdoor locations hold 25–400 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Van de Kamp Hall and the Courtyard hold 200 seated; the Rose Garden Pavilion holds 180 seated guests or 200 in conjunction with adjacent lawn areas (during July–September). The Boddy House seats 50 guests indoors or 90 guests outdoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: Van de Kamp Hall holds 250 seated theater-style or 220 conference-style; Classrooms Maple and Birch each hold 50 seated theater- or conference-style, Classroom Minka holds 20 seated.
Fees & Deposits
The rental fee starts at $3,100 for a ceremony only, $4,100 for a reception only, or $5,200 for both. Discounted rates available on Friday and Sunday.
For ceremonies or receptions, a nonrefundable $1,000 deposit is required when the date is booked. Half the rental fee is due 6 months prior to the event; the balance is payable 2 months prior. For other special events, a 50% deposit is required with a signed contract; the balance is due 30 days prior to the event. The site has an in-house caterer; per-person meal prices run: breakfasts $10–30, luncheons $20–40 and dinners $40–80. Other options are available; alcohol, tax and a 20% service charge are additional. A deposit is required to book all events, and the balance is due 7 days prior to the event.
For meetings, rental fees run $425–2,000, depending on room, guest count, day of week and time frame. Half of the estimated event total is required to reserve your date; the balance is payable 1 month prior to the event.
Indoors year-round, daily, except Christmas. Business meetings, 8am–4pm or 5pm–10pm; wedding ceremonies 7am–9am or 5pm–7pm. Evening receptions, 5pm–10pm; morning receptions can be arranged.
BYO w/ Corkage Fee
Special Events, Parties
Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg
Alcohol: provided, or WC corkage fee
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