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Dunsmuir Historic Estate

Oakland , CA

LOCATION

2960 Peralta Oaks Court
Oakland, CA 94601 US

PHONE

510-615-5555

WEBSITE

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Wedding Venue

REVIEWS

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4.1/5.0
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Leslie
Wedding:
9/5/2016
4.6/5.0
We held our September wedding at the Dunsmuir Estate, with 185 guests. It was a lovely venue, with the ceremony on the lawn in front of a beautiful oak tree, cocktails on the patio, and dinner in the pavilion. It all went very smoothly, and we appreciated that the venue provided the tables and chairs for both the ceremony and the dinner. Rebecca, the event coordinator, was responsive and helpful throughout our planning process, and the staff was great on the day of the wedding. The only downside for us was not being able to lock in a wedding rehearsal time until a month or so in advance, and it would have been great to know more than a week in advance that we could have started decorating on the rehearsal day since there wasn't another wedding before ours that weekend. However, the grounds were beautiful, the pavilion opening to the patio was great, everyone had a fabulous time, and we were happy to have our venue fee go to the Oakland Parks Department.
We held our September wedding at the Dunsmuir Estate, with 185 guests. It was a lovely venue, with the ceremony on the Read more...
We held our September wedding at the Dunsmuir Estate, with 185 guests. It was a lovely venue, with the ceremony on the lawn in front of a beautiful oak tree, cocktails on the patio, and dinner in the pavilion. It all went very smoothly, and we appreciated that the venue provided the tables and chairs for both the ceremony and the dinner. Rebecca, the event coordinator, was responsive and helpful throughout our planning process, and the staff was great on the day of the wedding. The only downside for us was not being able to lock in a wedding rehearsal time until a month or so in advance, and it would have been great to know more than a week in advance that we could have started decorating on the rehearsal day since there wasn't another wedding before ours that weekend. However, the grounds were beautiful, the pavilion opening to the patio was great, everyone had a fabulous time, and we were happy to have our venue fee go to the Oakland Parks Department. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jo
Wedding:
5/29/2016
4.5/5.0
I had my wedding at Dunsmuir on 5/29/16. Overall it went really well and everything was beautiful. The grounds are gorgeous and the mansion itself is spectacular, so it was an excellent location for our wedding; very Gatsby-esque! We had a large-ish group (160 people) and there was plenty of room in the pavilion to accommodate everyone. We added the option to open the mansion for self guided tours during cocktail hour and our guests loved it, I heard from many people how cool it was to walk through the mansion (we did tour the mansion while we were planning our wedding and my inner grandma totally geeked out over it). It was fairly easy to work with the staff at Dunsmuir throughout our planning process. They had one coordinator (Anna) when we started who was very prompt about responding to emails and phone calls and working with us to set up our plan, and then earlier this year they changed coordinators (now it's Rebecca), and she has also been very good about that stuff. Dunsmuir provided all the tables and chairs so we didn't need to rent anything, and they had someone on security at the gate during the event to make sure random people didn't crash the party. The only issues we had were pretty minor: there was a miscommunication somewhere and we thought we could take some wedding photos in the mansion (this was a big part of why we elected to open it during cocktail hour), but Rebecca initially stopped us when we tried to do that. She did let us take photos in a couple of the rooms on the first floor when we talked to her about it though, which was nice. The other issue was that we couldn't set the day and time of our rehearsal until 1 month before, which was a little stressful since our wedding was on a Sunday and we had out-of-town friends in the wedding party who didn't want to take more time off of work than necessary. All that said, we're very happy that we had our wedding at Dunsmuir. It was beautiful and reasonably priced.
I had my wedding at Dunsmuir on 5/29/16. Overall it went really well and everything was beautiful. The grounds are Read more...
I had my wedding at Dunsmuir on 5/29/16. Overall it went really well and everything was beautiful. The grounds are gorgeous and the mansion itself is spectacular, so it was an excellent location for our wedding; very Gatsby-esque! We had a large-ish group (160 people) and there was plenty of room in the pavilion to accommodate everyone. We added the option to open the mansion for self guided tours during cocktail hour and our guests loved it, I heard from many people how cool it was to walk through the mansion (we did tour the mansion while we were planning our wedding and my inner grandma totally geeked out over it). It was fairly easy to work with the staff at Dunsmuir throughout our planning process. They had one coordinator (Anna) when we started who was very prompt about responding to emails and phone calls and working with us to set up our plan, and then earlier this year they changed coordinators (now it's Rebecca), and she has also been very good about that stuff. Dunsmuir provided all the tables and chairs so we didn't need to rent anything, and they had someone on security at the gate during the event to make sure random people didn't crash the party. The only issues we had were pretty minor: there was a miscommunication somewhere and we thought we could take some wedding photos in the mansion (this was a big part of why we elected to open it during cocktail hour), but Rebecca initially stopped us when we tried to do that. She did let us take photos in a couple of the rooms on the first floor when we talked to her about it though, which was nice. The other issue was that we couldn't set the day and time of our rehearsal until 1 month before, which was a little stressful since our wedding was on a Sunday and we had out-of-town friends in the wedding party who didn't want to take more time off of work than necessary. All that said, we're very happy that we had our wedding at Dunsmuir. It was beautiful and reasonably priced. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
We had our wedding here! Feel in love with the venue first time I saw it!!

Everything was beautiful thanks to Rebecca! All of our guests said it was the most beautiful wedding they have ever been to!!!
We had our wedding here! Feel in love with the venue first time I saw it!!

Everything was beautiful thanks to Read more...
We had our wedding here! Feel in love with the venue first time I saw it!!

Everything was beautiful thanks to Rebecca! All of our guests said it was the most beautiful wedding they have ever been to!!! Read less
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
2.0/5.0
This was a very beautiful venue and you cannot find a better spot in Oakland, except for the service of the event coordinator. She was rude, unhelpful and changed her story constantly to my caterer and event planners and myself. She takes weeks to get back to you on any issue and throws fits if you do not use the vendors that she recommends. If you can stay away from her or she is fired, I would recommend this venue.
This was a very beautiful venue and you cannot find a better spot in Oakland, except for the service of the event Read more...
This was a very beautiful venue and you cannot find a better spot in Oakland, except for the service of the event coordinator. She was rude, unhelpful and changed her story constantly to my caterer and event planners and myself. She takes weeks to get back to you on any issue and throws fits if you do not use the vendors that she recommends. If you can stay away from her or she is fired, I would recommend this venue. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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doctorbride
Wedding:
8/7/2010
3.4/5.0
I got married in the garden of the Dunsmuir and had the reception in their reception hall. The space was absolutely beautiful, and it looks great in the photos. The staff of the Dunsmuir was a little difficult to work with and didn't return phone calls promptly, so that was frustrating, but I don't regret having the wedding there. It was a lovely location.
I got married in the garden of the Dunsmuir and had the reception in their reception hall. The space was absolutely Read more...
I got married in the garden of the Dunsmuir and had the reception in their reception hall. The space was absolutely beautiful, and it looks great in the photos. The staff of the Dunsmuir was a little difficult to work with and didn't return phone calls promptly, so that was frustrating, but I don't regret having the wedding there. It was a lovely location. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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fritz1
Wedding:
9/12/2008
5.0/5.0
The Dusmuir House is the most beautiful wedding venue you can imagine, that is why it is so popular. Roz Mathews was prompt in responding to my request for booking my wedding there and very helpful with vendor selections. Everyone associated with Dunsmuir was friendly and helpful and I was able to pay for everything over the phone which was very easy and convenient. The cost to book a wedding there is very reasonable considering the beauty of the location. In fact, I looked at a number of locations prior and many were easily 2 to 3 times the price and nowhere near as beautiful! They even had contact with a golf cart company that we could hire to drive some of the elderly guests from the parking lot to the wedding site. I had a perfect wedding.
The Dusmuir House is the most beautiful wedding venue you can imagine, that is why it is so popular. Roz Mathews was Read more...
The Dusmuir House is the most beautiful wedding venue you can imagine, that is why it is so popular. Roz Mathews was prompt in responding to my request for booking my wedding there and very helpful with vendor selections. Everyone associated with Dunsmuir was friendly and helpful and I was able to pay for everything over the phone which was very easy and convenient. The cost to book a wedding there is very reasonable considering the beauty of the location. In fact, I looked at a number of locations prior and many were easily 2 to 3 times the price and nowhere near as beautiful! They even had contact with a golf cart company that we could hire to drive some of the elderly guests from the parking lot to the wedding site. I had a perfect wedding. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Dan
Wedding:
8/17/2008
4.0/5.0
we used the garden pavilion- the reception was on the deck and we then moved to the meadow for the ceremony, everything was exactly as we asked for and we were very happy. A word of caution- beware of the acoustics in the hall, there is no real area for the band and so it was a bit too loud in there for some of the guests.
we used the garden pavilion- the reception was on the deck and we then moved to the meadow for the ceremony, everything Read more...
we used the garden pavilion- the reception was on the deck and we then moved to the meadow for the ceremony, everything was exactly as we asked for and we were very happy. A word of caution- beware of the acoustics in the hall, there is no real area for the band and so it was a bit too loud in there for some of the guests. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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howremarkable
Wedding:
6/28/2008
2.5/5.0
While the actual estate is beautiful, the fact that it is city owned causes problems. They are very particular about timing and setup. It seemed like too much money for 8 hours when two of those hours are setup and one is breaking down.
While the actual estate is beautiful, the fact that it is city owned causes problems. They are very particular about Read more...
While the actual estate is beautiful, the fact that it is city owned causes problems. They are very particular about timing and setup. It seemed like too much money for 8 hours when two of those hours are setup and one is breaking down. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Patti Wang Cross
Wedding:
7/29/2006
2.9/5.0
Dunsmuir is a 50-acre estate surrounding a historic mansion in the Oakland Hills.

Pros: beautiful location, close to freeway and airport, convenience of hosting both ceremony and reception at the same site
Cons: poor coordination, disorganization, time constraint, minimally equipped outdoor spaces.

You get two options for time: a morning slot of 9am - 4pm, and an evening slot of 5pm-midnight. We opted for the evening slot. The first hour is reserved for set up, and only the bridal party (and other participants in the wedding) and vendors are allowed on site. The last hour is for clean-up. So, basically your actual event is confined to five hours. I found the time constraint restricting, since we had to stuff all the usual reception stuff - dinner, toasts, dancing, cake, bouquet and garter, send-off - into about three hours. But, it didn't seem like our guests felt rushed. Basically, our bridal party and our families, along with our vendors, arrived at 5pm, during the setup hour. We got dressed and took about half an hour's worth of portraits - separately: the groom with his men and his family, me with my girls and my family, in order to minimize the time needed between the ceremony and reception for additional photos. The ceremony was about a half hour long, from 6:30-7pm. Then, our party and families went to the mansion steps to take additional photos, while our guests enjoyed a cocktail hour. The reception began at 8, and guests left at 11pm.

You have a number of options for location. For small weddings, you can use an indoor space like the mansion or one of the other buildings on the grounds. For a big wedding (ours was about 200 guests), you have two: the pond/pavilion and the meadow/canopy. The pond has a nice little gazebo and bridge for the ceremony, and a large, newly-built indoor space called the Garden Pavilion, which seats about 300, plus an additonal 100 on the outdoor terrace. We used the meadow/canopy option, which uses the south end of a large, expansive meadow for the ceremony, and a few steps away, there's a large open-air canopy. The canopy is basically a tent with no doors, but it's a permanent fixture - so you do have to worry about cold (you can rent heat lamps), but not about the thing getting blown away! The meadow is basically a huge plot of grass surrounded by a few trees, and a nice view of the mansion. It's kind of a blank slate - which I liked, but some brides like something a little more pre-packaged - meaning that you have to rent/bring everything but the chairs and the grass! For instance, we rented an arch which our florist decorated, a refreshment table, a small canopy for the string quartet, and some lattice panels to hide me from the guests and the groom. The canopy is also a bit of a blank slate. It's nice - newly floored and has some spotlights and fabric swag on the ceiling. It's got one generator to set up an outdoor kitchen (your caterer will have to provide this, Dunsmuir just has the generator. We wanted to use hanging paper lanterns (we had an Asian fusion theme), instead of the spotlights, and we also need to power a live bluegrass band, so we had to find and rent an additional generator. I had the decor provided by my wedding coordinator (who was not through Dunsmuir - more on that later!).

My biggest complaint was about the event coordination.The booking person, Roz, was great. She showed me around the grounds and was responsive. The in-house coordinator was less than stellar. Not organized - she asked me several times for paperwork I'd already given and asked me the same questions multiple times. She didn't see to it that the bathrooms near my location were usable - they were either dirty or locked, I'm not sure which - so our 200 guests had to use 2 porta potties. She was not very responsive. Also, there was another event happening at the same time (which you should be aware is possible) at the pond/pavilion and you'd think the site coordinator would facilitate this, but there was no support there. At the beginning of my ceremony, you could hear music blaring from the other event, which somehow my coordinator put a stop to. Also, the mansion steps are a popular spot for portraits, so I wanted to make sure they'd be available after our ceremony (not being used by the other party), but they for some reason couldn't coordinate our schedules and said it would be on a first-come first-serve basis. Apparently you can hire the site coordinator to coordinate your wedding for $100 an hour, but I don't know what world possess someone to do this.

The location is lovely and convenient, and it is nice not to need to rent 2 different locations for your ceremony and reception. If you're going to rent here, though, make sure you've got your owncoordinator who's going to manage everything!
Dunsmuir is a 50-acre estate surrounding a historic mansion in the Oakland Hills.

Pros: beautiful location, Read more...
Dunsmuir is a 50-acre estate surrounding a historic mansion in the Oakland Hills.

Pros: beautiful location, close to freeway and airport, convenience of hosting both ceremony and reception at the same site
Cons: poor coordination, disorganization, time constraint, minimally equipped outdoor spaces.

You get two options for time: a morning slot of 9am - 4pm, and an evening slot of 5pm-midnight. We opted for the evening slot. The first hour is reserved for set up, and only the bridal party (and other participants in the wedding) and vendors are allowed on site. The last hour is for clean-up. So, basically your actual event is confined to five hours. I found the time constraint restricting, since we had to stuff all the usual reception stuff - dinner, toasts, dancing, cake, bouquet and garter, send-off - into about three hours. But, it didn't seem like our guests felt rushed. Basically, our bridal party and our families, along with our vendors, arrived at 5pm, during the setup hour. We got dressed and took about half an hour's worth of portraits - separately: the groom with his men and his family, me with my girls and my family, in order to minimize the time needed between the ceremony and reception for additional photos. The ceremony was about a half hour long, from 6:30-7pm. Then, our party and families went to the mansion steps to take additional photos, while our guests enjoyed a cocktail hour. The reception began at 8, and guests left at 11pm.

You have a number of options for location. For small weddings, you can use an indoor space like the mansion or one of the other buildings on the grounds. For a big wedding (ours was about 200 guests), you have two: the pond/pavilion and the meadow/canopy. The pond has a nice little gazebo and bridge for the ceremony, and a large, newly-built indoor space called the Garden Pavilion, which seats about 300, plus an additonal 100 on the outdoor terrace. We used the meadow/canopy option, which uses the south end of a large, expansive meadow for the ceremony, and a few steps away, there's a large open-air canopy. The canopy is basically a tent with no doors, but it's a permanent fixture - so you do have to worry about cold (you can rent heat lamps), but not about the thing getting blown away! The meadow is basically a huge plot of grass surrounded by a few trees, and a nice view of the mansion. It's kind of a blank slate - which I liked, but some brides like something a little more pre-packaged - meaning that you have to rent/bring everything but the chairs and the grass! For instance, we rented an arch which our florist decorated, a refreshment table, a small canopy for the string quartet, and some lattice panels to hide me from the guests and the groom. The canopy is also a bit of a blank slate. It's nice - newly floored and has some spotlights and fabric swag on the ceiling. It's got one generator to set up an outdoor kitchen (your caterer will have to provide this, Dunsmuir just has the generator. We wanted to use hanging paper lanterns (we had an Asian fusion theme), instead of the spotlights, and we also need to power a live bluegrass band, so we had to find and rent an additional generator. I had the decor provided by my wedding coordinator (who was not through Dunsmuir - more on that later!).

My biggest complaint was about the event coordination.The booking person, Roz, was great. She showed me around the grounds and was responsive. The in-house coordinator was less than stellar. Not organized - she asked me several times for paperwork I'd already given and asked me the same questions multiple times. She didn't see to it that the bathrooms near my location were usable - they were either dirty or locked, I'm not sure which - so our 200 guests had to use 2 porta potties. She was not very responsive. Also, there was another event happening at the same time (which you should be aware is possible) at the pond/pavilion and you'd think the site coordinator would facilitate this, but there was no support there. At the beginning of my ceremony, you could hear music blaring from the other event, which somehow my coordinator put a stop to. Also, the mansion steps are a popular spot for portraits, so I wanted to make sure they'd be available after our ceremony (not being used by the other party), but they for some reason couldn't coordinate our schedules and said it would be on a first-come first-serve basis. Apparently you can hire the site coordinator to coordinate your wedding for $100 an hour, but I don't know what world possess someone to do this.

The location is lovely and convenient, and it is nice not to need to rent 2 different locations for your ceremony and reception. If you're going to rent here, though, make sure you've got your owncoordinator who's going to manage everything! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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