Long Beach Wedding Venue
Earl Warren Drive
Long Beach, California 90840
Breathe deep, relax, and let yourself fall into the lush embrace of the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden. Situated in a tranquil enclave on the campus of Cal State Long Beach, the Miller Garden melts away any stress associated with hosting an important celebration. Not only are you instantly enveloped in beauty, you’re relieved of any lingering concerns by your experienced in-house event coordinator.
The same careful attention is bestowed on the meticulously maintained garden. Rocks and plants are artistically transformed into poetic compositions of form and texture; living things play amidst a harmonious world of earth and water, light and shadow. This powerful place enhances your appreciation of subtle aesthetics, like the velvety lavender of bearded irises or the rustle of the breeze through the weeping willows. In this state of heightened awareness, the joy shared with your friends, family, and that “special someone” seems almost tangible.
Arriving guests gather in a rectangular courtyard outside the main garden. A row of lemon eucalyptus trees screens the courtyard from the outside world and flavors the air with a tangy aroma. Bonsai trees are grouped around the perimeter, and a wooden entry gate is flanked by stone “lion dogs.” Lest they seem threatening, a cluster of bamboo bends gently towards the entrance and beckons you inside.
Spread before you is a vision of nature’s nirvana: A pathway winds around a curvaceous pond rippling with the movement of over 200 brightly colored koi. Nearby, the graceful branches of a Chinese flame tree frame the wedding cake, dynamically showcased by a spotlight hidden within the leaves. Other decorative accents whisper rather than shout—stone lanterns peek out from lacy greenery; a three-tiered pagoda rests among rare black-stemmed bamboo; an ebony-pebbled beach glistens in the sunlight. Seasonal offerings include a springtime rhapsody of rainbow blooms, and a fall aria by the flame tree, bursting into scarlet song.
The garden’s structural elements help define your celebration. At the far end of the pond a Moon Bridge arches across a waterfall that cascades down moss-covered rocks. Dressed with tulle and garlands, or unadorned against the watery backdrop, the Moon Bridge puts the bridal party on dramatic display. While the immediate family is seated at the base of the bridge, the rest of the guests have a view across the pond from the wooden Zig Zag Bridge alongside another waterfall. Feel free to add multicultural flourishes. For example, one bride had African-American “prayer dancers” parade through the crowd, and a Jewish chuppah is a standout on the Moon Bridge.
During the cocktail hour, guests adjourn to the courtyard while the garden is set up for the reception. When everyone reconvenes at the pond, guests are wined and dined around the water’s edge, while the newlyweds snuggle at a sweetheart table on their own pondside platform. As dusk falls, the bridges and pathways come aglow with romantic lighting.
The garden invites creative adaptations to the usual wedding rituals: Whether or not you hail from the Land of the Rising Sun, you might get into the spirit at the Tea House (reached from a small side path), and greet your guests with a steaming cup of tea. The adjacent Zen Garden, featuring loose gravel in patterns resembling the sea, is a peaceful spot for a hired masseuse to give guests a few minutes of pampering. Rather than showering the newlyweds with rice, loved ones toss food to the koi, symbols of strength and longevity. The possibilities are virtually endless, and so are the memories created at this very special place.
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Garden holds 200 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The Garden accommodates 160 seated or 200 standing guests.
For ceremonies, a $900 deposit is required to reserve your date; for receptions and other social functions, a $1,100 deposit is required. The balance is due 60 days prior to the event. Rental fees are $2,400 for a ceremony and $4,500 for a wedding and reception plus the cost of catering and equipment. Special rates are available on Friday and Sunday evenings and Saturday mornings. Meals by Choura Venue Services and Jay’s Catering range $38–80/person. Tax, alcohol and a 20% service charge are additional.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided by Choura Venue Services and Jay’s Catering
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: available
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: available
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: available
Parking: ample, included in packages
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: yes
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: CBA
View: garden, waterfall
Other: site coordinator
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: provided by Choura Venue Services and Jay’s Catering
Smoking: courtyard only
Music: amplified OK with volume restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: included in packages
Other: no rice, birdseed, confetti or rose petals
Ceremonies: mid-March through mid-December, Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. Receptions: mid-April through mid-October, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Alternate Info: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, California State University Long Beach Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, Cal State Long Beac