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

123twentyten
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01/23/2010
123twentyten

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wow - i didn't realize fowler garden was so big! the set up looks really great. i always thought the reception would have to be set up after the ceremony - during cocktail hour - but it looks like there's more than enough room to have both at the same time. (good job sneaking in to get those pictures.)


just talked to the mister and he's not too keen about having our ceremony at the fowler and reception in the italian garden. maybe the merritt garden...? is the german-looking house you're talking about the merritt mansion? hmm, i wonder what it could be. thanks for your help girl!


ps. we're also going through event professionals for our rentals and catering, and i highly recommend them. :)

Posted on August 6, 2009 at 5:47 pm
jlosantos
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10/24/2009
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I am too!  Great choice!  : )   I think the merritt mansion is the one with the grand staircase.   I don't know what the german looking house is called.   Good luck deciding! : )

Posted on August 6, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Medilee
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10/18/2009
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I love the Ambassador Garden & Mansion.

Posted on August 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm
ltan227
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09/04/2010
ltan227

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Hi Ladies,


I'm so excited that so many others were also booking the Ambassador so we can at least bounce ideas off one another.  I'm getting married in September 2010, and decided on the Italian Garden with the option to rent the merrit mansion.


I was wondering does anyone know how much the fire permit is?  I've been trying to contact Pasadena Fire Dept, but i just get transfered around.


Also, is anyone planning on bringing in their own alcohol, and needing to purchase their own insurance.  It's strange but WedSafe doesn't offer a $2mil insurance policy if you do not have a licensed bartender.


 


 

Posted on August 7, 2009 at 4:30 am
ltan227
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09/04/2010
ltan227

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123twentyten - how many people are at your reception?  I think the mansion only sits 100 people from what I recall.


The difficulty of having the ceremony and reception in two different locations, is the moving of the chairs, unless your planning to rent seperate chairs for the ceremony and the reception.  Moving the chairs within Fowler Garden is easy, but from Fowler to Italian is quite a hike.  I think that you can see if you can talk your caterer to move the chairs for you. 

Posted on August 7, 2009 at 4:35 am
lenakb
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09/05/2009
lenakb

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jlosantos, thanks for the picture.  the table set up looks great!


i love the intimate ambiance of the fowler garden for reception, but i did not want to have my ceremony at the same location.  instead of renting one of the mansion, i decided to rent the great lawn next to the fowler garden just for an hour.  it is additional $500, but my florist told me i do not need any decoration since the tree itself makes such beautiful statement.  instead of spending money on flowers for our ceremony, we'll just use a little extra and have better and separate space for the ceremony.


the site coordinator at the ambassador campus will be taking over the responsibility of fire permit from now on, per pasadena city fire dept.  they said they are overwhelmed with all the inquiries for the venue.  i think the permit costs about 250, including the processing fee.  pasadena has very strict rules with regards to fire/candles and i am afraid that my candles and vases won't pass :(


i will be purchasing alcohols from bev&mo.  the pasadena bev&mo delivers for $45 and said they'll take back un-opened, un-chilled beverages.  they'll also provide ice and mixers.  i found them to be cheaper than any other beverage catering companies.  our catering company event professionals will provide a bartender and insurance, so we are covered. 


 


 


 

Posted on August 7, 2009 at 5:52 am
jlosantos
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10/24/2009
jlosantos

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Hi ladies,


             Great to see more ambassador fans!  : )   lenakb that's a great idea having the ceremony on the great lawn next door and not have to pay the extra for the mansion.  also,  i'll check out bev&mofor the alcohols. 


            Also,  are you all wearing wedge shoes since it's in the garden?  i'm having a hard time finding them.   any suggestions?  thanks!

Posted on August 7, 2009 at 7:14 am
KG123
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09/01/2009
KG123

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Hi!  I just got married in the Italian Garden last weekend!  I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!!  I booked the site back in December before it had gained this momentum and it is so nice to see it getting booked up and becoming so popular!  I grew up in the Pasadena are so it was very special to me to get married there.  I had a tough descision between Fowler and Italian but Italian was just so grand, I couldn't pass it up.  Everything worked beautifully there and we were able to take lots of photos on the grassy side on the Great Lawn and in the mansions.  I can't wait to see my photos!  Since we booked Italian, the bathrooms were right there in the Fine Arts Hall.  My guests absolutely loved the set up of the garden with the house in the background.  Another thing I did not like about Fowler is there is definitely a problem wearing heels in grass.  I noticed it while we walked around on my wedding day taking pics...so keep that in mind.


For the fire permit...do this WAY in advance!  They have lots of silly rules and they will not budge.  I had to buy a whole new set of centerpieces and candles in order to pass.  It costs about $250 after they add in all the "fees".  Some of the important rules, the container that your candle is in cannot have an opening at the top or sides wider than 2.25" (so nothing bigger than a votive!) and the flame lit has to be more than 2" below the top of the container.  There are other rules so make sure to read the permit before buying your candles.


I used Truly Yours Catering and they WERE SUCH A GOOD PRICE!!!  Food was amazing and they own all their own rentals.  I ended up paying less than $50 a person for everything.  The only things they do not have are dancefloors and lighting.  But you can get those at most local rental companies.


Beware of people saying you can return alcohol though.  Costco WILL NOT do it anymore (they now have signs up all over the alcohol section) and I had problems with BevMo.  Even though I had asked when I bought the beer when I returned the beer they refused to take back anythign except red wine becasue they do not know what temperature changes beer and white wine went through so they are not supposed to take it back.


All in all I am SO HAPPY with my choice at Ambassador!  I highly recomend it for a wedding "the way you want" with a beautiful backdrop for photos.  It was my dream wedding!

Posted on September 14, 2009 at 11:05 am
clui
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09/25/2010
clui

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hi ladies,


  Thanks for all the suggestions and comments on Ambassador.  When we went to visit, we couldnt belive how gorgeous the place is.  So we finally decided to go with Ambassador for a Sept 2010 wedding, but it seems like the management company is in transition so they wont take a deposit.  Without having that deposit to secure our date, I'm concern that it could fall through.  Any suggestions?  Or has anyone else heard anything about booking 2010 weddings at Ambassador?


Thanks! 

Posted on October 2, 2009 at 7:34 am
happie
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06/01/2010
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Hi Ladies, I was googling for the latest information on Ambassador Campus and found this discussion thread.  I had booked a wedding at Ambassador Campus for next year but recently received a letter from Sylvia indicating that she will no longer be managing weddings here after March 2010.  Did anyone else receive this notification and know any new developments or what will happen for bookings after March 2010?  Any information would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Posted on October 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm
yerene
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06/05/2010
yerene

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ME TOO.  I am also still waiting to hear what's going to happen.  Has anyone heard anything as to whether we'll be able to confirm our dates/location here? 

Posted on October 28, 2009 at 9:27 am
willow411
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06/12/2010
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My fiance and I just heard that Ambassador Campus will not have the necessary permits to hold the weddings past March 2010, so we were told that we would not be able to resign with the new management company. Some of us couples have been in touch and are trying to help each other with advice on where to relocate our weddings. Very unfortunate!

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm
Elocin626
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06/26/2010
Elocin626

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I can not believe that they cancelled my wedding! My fiance and I received an e-mail this past Monday stating that the Ambassador Campus was canceling all events past March 2010. This was our dream venue and we were thrilled to have it booked for our May 2010 wedding. Now, we are scrambling to come up with another venue, but most likely will have to chose another wedding date. Ugh! Good luck to all you other displaced Ambassador Brides!

Posted on November 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm
cammiewammie
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08/30/2013
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The Fowler garden is so gorgeous!!!  I just saw the place earlier this evening and I think this might be the venue :)  My concern is with catering...Have any of you ladies used Cynthia Brooks Catering or Events professional catering?  I read some reviews on Cynthia Catering and it seems far from glowing reviews...Do you guys have any experience with them?  if not, would you suggest using a different caterer?


Thanks for your help! xx

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm
DnE2013VR
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08/08/2013
DnE2013VR

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If the reviews aren't good, it might be wise to further check their references.  Or to continue your search.  

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm
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