La Canada Flintridge Wedding Venue
1418 Descanso Drive
La Canada Flintridge, California 91011
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 flowerbeds 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.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: Various outdoor locations hold 25–400 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Van de Kamp Hall and the Courtyard hold 180 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 theateror conference-style, Classroom Minka holds 20 seated.
The rental fee starts at $3,600 for a ceremony only, $4,100 for a reception only, or $5,700 for both. Discounted rates are 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. Wedding packages start at $100/person. Tax and service charge are included, alcohol is additional.
For meetings, rental fees run $425–2,500, 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.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: PA system, 2 microphones
Parking: two large complimentary lots
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: emergency use only
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: n/a
View: rose garden, stream and koi pond, lawns, woods, estate home
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg
Smoking: designated areas
Music: amplified OK
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required
Indoors year-round, daily, except Christmas. Business meetings, 8am–4pm or 5pm–10pm; wedding ceremonies 7am–9am or 5pm–7pm. Evening receptions, 5pm–10pm; at some reception venues, the time can be extended until 11pm for an additional fee.