Venue Indecision- Ambassador Fowler Garden, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Upper Las Virgenes

Hi all!


I just got engaged a few months ago and have been trying to decide on a venue.  I've narrowed it down to the 3 - Ambassador Campus Fowler Garden, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preseve.  Now I'm having a tough time deciding and have a few questions for anyone out there who may have experience with either of the above venues, especially if youve been a guest


For Ambassador- is the nearby football field a problem during the ceremony with noise?  Also is the cocktail hour space awkward?


For PMCA- is the sun an annoying glare during the ceremony on the rooftop for the guests?


For ULV- Is the drive down Crummer canyon scary at night?  is it windy at night?


I'm hoping to get married next summer and hoping to pin down a date soon!  Thanks for any advice in advance.

Posted on June 25, 2009 at 4:58 pm
jmb
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06/26/2010
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(35) Comments

boobooska
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05/08/2009
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PMCA was the venue we almost got married at.. I was just worried about the costs adding up for having to rent chairs, etc.. since we were on a tight budget.  But I really wish it could have been there.. it's such a beautiful and unique place :)


Best of luck with your decision!

Posted on June 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm
alia21
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05/22/2010
alia21

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Hi JMB,


I am actually getting married in the Fowler Garden at the Ambassador next May. I loved the site, but I do agree the cocktail area would be somewhat awkward and I hadn't even thought of the football game going during the ceremony!!! Thats a great question.



Where did they tell you to have the cocktail area at by the way?

Posted on June 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm
jmb
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06/26/2010
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The coordinator said that there is not a scheduled game on saturday nights but I dropped by one Sunday evening and there was informal baseball practice so I kept hearing the thwack of the bat.  Not major but a little annoying.


She said that most of the cocktail hours are held up on the lawn above the garden.  Its just that the lawn there is somewhat sloped so can be a little tricky for the elderly folk.

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 3:19 am
lenakb
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09/05/2009
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i am getting married in the fowler garden in sept.  i love the fireplace and intimacy of the garden, but i am a little worried since high school football season starts around that time and the white marks at the field will be very visible.  i decided to rent their great lawn just for an hour for our ceremony for an extra charge.  i need to re-work my budget, but i don't want to regret when i get my pictures with the football field in background!

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 4:46 am
PasadenaBride
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10/11/2009
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I am getting married at the Fowler Garden in October on a Sunday afternoon/evening. It was my fiance who mentioned the FB field being a problem one night when we walked to the garden. All the lights were on (soccer practice) and it definately ruined the feel of the place.


I am really hoping the field will not be in use on a Sunday, but if it is, all the lights and noise will definately put a damper on the evening =(


Just keep in mind - EVERYTHING has to be rented, which gets expensive! I know the Art museum is the same deal, though. However, the garden has so much natural beauty, you won't have to spend as much on flowers/decor ... just some creative lighting ideas maybe.


Good luck!

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 11:27 am
alia21
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05/22/2010
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How has everyone's experience been w/ the site coordinator? What about the restrooms, did you see that it was far to walk to? Its very true that it can get expensive bringing everything in (lights, catering, rentals, etc.).... please keep me posted on your weddings, it is so difficult to plan something like this when you are bringing in everything but, the place is beautiful, unique, and in a perfect location so I know we all booked it for a reason! Thank you ladies!

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm
jmb
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06/26/2010
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Thanks for all the discussion ladies.  Fowler is indeed beautiful.  I'm wondering what creative lighting people will be doing for Fowler?  I've always wanted overhead lanterns but I don't think it will be possible at Fowler.  Do you think additional lighting will be necessary?  Unfortunately I forgot to check out the bathrooms when I was there last...


Any former PMCA guests out there for the month of July?

Posted on June 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm
PasadenaBride
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10/11/2009
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Well, the gazebo lights up, as well as the two wall fountains. There are ights in the bushes and twinkle lights on the hedge as well as a light under the awning. At night, with all of that, you will still need a bit more. I am going for ambiance only, so I am only adding overhead paper lanterns, floating fountain candles and I am lighting up my centerpieces as well with LED lights.


If you want a lot of light, you might need to rent a moon light or even garden lanterns. It is up to you. Just remember, they have strict rules about candles and lighting, so you need to download those rules on the website and meet with the fire marshall beforehand to approve all ideas.


The site coordinator is really easy to work with and she does day-of coordinating, too, if you want it. She is pretty flexible with allowing you to do what you want in the garden as long as it follows the fire laws. Unfortunately, the restrooms are a bit of a walk for guests. They are in one of the high school buildings ... left side of the lake/pool thing. Does that make sense?


Good luck all!

Posted on June 28, 2009 at 9:12 am
jenkim13
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05/02/2010
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hi - i love the ambassador garden & mansion and i am very close to booking the site for both the ceremony (fowler garden) and reception (italian garden).


for those who have already booked the ambassador, will you please share some of the vendors you are using for your wedding? i am most interested in caterers and party rental companies. 


also, it seems like the ownership of the entire ambassador campus is split among various entities.  does anyone have information about what would happen if any of the garden properties are sold? thanks!

Posted on July 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm
lenakb
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09/05/2009
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i actually hired my catering company event professionals (they have good reviews on this site) first and they referred me to ambassador campus.  they have never done a wedding there before, but recommended this venue since it was within my budget.  we met and toured the site together before i officially book them as my caterer!  what i like about event professionals is that you can rent everything from them (tables, linens, lighting).  this was a smart choice since i didn't have to deal with multiple vendors.  now, they are a preferred vendor of ambassador campus.


my wedding is not until sept. 2009, but i really like working with my caterer.  they seem organized and very responsive to my emails and phone calls.  i also like that i can bring my own alcohols, yet not need to worry about insurance, license and bartenders since they take care of all these.


has anyone dealt with pasadena fire dept for permit?  how strict are they?  also, does the site allow bio-degradable confetti? 


 

Posted on July 9, 2009 at 5:16 am
jlosantos
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10/24/2009
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I'm also getting married at the Fowler Garden in Oct. 2009 and having event professionals cater.   Like lenakb, I  also love working with event professionals .   It's so convenient that you can rent everything from them!   Also,  the fact that they own their equipments,  they can be more flexible with prices and try to work with your budget.


 


As for the fire permit, haven't dealt with it yet but will  let you know if i find out more about it.  


 


which garden are you getting married at lenakb?   


as for others that are getting married at the fowler garden,  are you renting the bathroom from the high school?   how about parking?    thanks in advance.

Posted on July 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm
PasadenaBride
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10/11/2009
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Bathrooms - do we have to rent them? I was not aware of that!


Various entities - Sylvia (site coordinator) told me that the Italian & Fowler Gardens are fine to get married at in spite of the sales, but the long staircase, inside of the mansion and one of the other buildings (for getting ready) could be iffy if someone buys.


Parking - I think we can utilize one of the HS lots close to the field (for Fowler Garden weddings)


Vendors - we are having Greenstreet Cafe cater (our fav restaurant!) and the manager there is taking care of our rentals (Dolphin Rentals) and our cake (Porto's).


Fire Permit - check out the restrictions/rules on the website & download the application. You also have to meet with the fire marshal in charge of that venue. Yikes! I hope he approves floating candles for the fountains! lol


Alright, here is a question ... are sparklers considered fire crackers? do you think that is possible at this venue? My heart is set on them, but my fiance says, "ya right."

Posted on July 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm
alia21
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05/22/2010
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Hi Ladies,


So far, I have not booked my caterer yet. We were looking at Jays Catering, where they do rentals, bar, and food as well.


I am holding both the ceremony and the rception in Fowler, and I am renting the bathrooms from the high school. That is extra, you do not need to rent bathrooms if you are using the hall on the other side of the church, the reason we are booking the high school's bathrooms (which arent very nice when we saw them) is because it is such a long walk to the ones that come w/ the venue. The bathrooms and pending sales are definitely a down fall with this venue.


As for the sparklers idea, I too have my heart set on them but, I have a feeling the fire dept wont allow them... if anyone goes through that process w/ the fire dept. please let us know how it goes. I dont even know how I would begin that whole process.


 

Posted on July 11, 2009 at 9:36 am
alia21
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05/22/2010
alia21

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P.S. The merrit mansion (the big white mansion) is for sale, the merrit garden is also pending in that sale which is why they arent allowing anyone to book wedding ceremonies there until 120 days out from the wedding date.


The terrave villa which is next to it on the left just got sold along w/ the great lawn which is that large grassy area next to it. The new owners are asking for 500.00 an hr to hold a ceremony there (ridiculous). The fowler garden is the only garden w/out concern as it belongs to the city of pasadena and is marked as a historical landmark.


 

Posted on July 11, 2009 at 9:40 am
PasadenaBride
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10/11/2009
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Wow thanks for the insight!


BTW - is anyone getting married at the Fowler Garden on Oct. 10???


 

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 9:08 am
jlosantos
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10/24/2009
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I'm  getting married at the fowler garden on Oct. 24th.    I"m renting the bathroom at the HS since the other bathroom available is quite a  bit of a walk for guests.   Also,  my wedding will go till 10 in the evening and it might be too dark for guests to walk to the bathroom at the italian garden.   HS bathroom rental is $75/hr.   It's cheaper than renting those portable bathrooms. 

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 10:39 am
PasadenaBride
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10/11/2009
PasadenaBride

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Hi ladies ...


For those of you who do not want your guests to have to trek up hill to bathrooms, but also do not want to pay for bathrooms either, there is a compromise. I talked to the site coordinator and the HS has bathrooms that can be used free of charge, but they are not directly across from Fowler, but two buildings over. That's what we will be doing. It is a bit of a walk, but at least its not uphill!


 


 

Posted on July 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm
Drea
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10/17/2009
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Hi jmb!  Congrats on your upcoming wedding!  Just wanted to say that from the standpoint of someone who works in the wedding photography business, the Ambassador Campus Flower Garden will probably be the best venue for some really amazing rich, vibrant, and romantic looking pictures.  It would probably be my first choice for that reason, with the ULV second and the Museum third...but when it really comes down to it you should pick whichever venue you think best matches you and your groom's personality.

Posted on July 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm
123twentyten
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01/23/2010
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hi ladies! i'm so excited to see that so many of you are getting married at ambassador campus - i am too! (but every time someone asks where we're getting married, nobody knows what i'm talking about.)


my fiance and i booked the italian garden for both our ceremony and reception, but lately i've been thinking about having our ceremony at fowler garden instead. it's too beautiful to pass up and i can't wrap my head around how to set things up if we were to have both at the italian garden. anyone else doing their ceremony and reception in the italian garden? what about a fowler ceremony and italian garden reception?

Posted on August 5, 2009 at 1:17 pm
jlosantos
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10/24/2009
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Hi ladies,


             My fiance and I went to check out a set up for a wedding and reception at the Fowler Garden couple of weeks ago.    This is where I will be having my ceremony and reception.    Event Professionals  is the catering company I am using and I have to say they did a beautiful job.   The florist Matt from Fowler Garden in Pasadena also did an amazing arrangement with the flowers.   I'm looking forward to having my wedding there.


               I know what you mean 123 twetyten.  Most people don't know about this hidden gem venue of ambassador campus.  I also took a quick photo set up at the Italian Garden.  I believed the bride and groom had their ceremony on the grass area in front of the the german looking house.  dont' know what it's called.   Let me know what you guys think of the set up. 


 


Hi ladies My fiance photo 790817-1Hi ladies My fiance photo 790817-2Hi ladies My fiance photo 790817-3Hi ladies My fiance photo 790817-4

Posted on August 5, 2009 at 9:01 pm
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