Jun 11, 2011

Gorge Crest Vineyards
This review could not be verified

( 5.0 / 5.0 )
Before we began searching for a wedding venue, we had already made one very important decision: Lawry’s would cater our reception. We had enjoyed so many fine meals at Lawry’s the Prime Rib that for our special day, we wanted to capture the magic of Lawry’s.

From the minute I spoke with Melissa, the catering manager, I knew that we were in good hands. Melissa provided us with a list of venues where Lawry’s Catering had catered events, and that list guided us to the location that became our reception venue. Melissa rocked - she was responsive, friendly, knowledgeable and just professional. Our venue had numerous restrictions and requirements (for example, we had to rent ovens and other kitchen equipment because the venue did not have a kitchen), and Melissa took them all in stride and worked hard to make sure everything was done properly.

Having a Lawry’s-catered wedding has so many benefits: (1) a first rate catering team, (2) VIP reward certificates – issued based on the cost of food (which means we are going back to Lawry’s next week with my large extended family to celebrate my grandma’s birthday, courtesy of the certificates we earned from our wedding), (3) presentation, presentation, presentation (from the spinning salad to the impressive cart), (4) BYOB, which saved us money and allowed us to craft our own drink menu, (5) tasty multi-course food tasting – and it was neat to visit Lawry’s when it was closed to the public, (6) tabletop rentals at excellent, below market prices, and of course (7) the delicious food that Lawry’s is known for (including Yorkshire pudding, which was a delightful wedding day surprise for us). My husband still can’t stop raving about the coconut shrimp appetizer - we wished the restaurant served them.

When we booked Lawry’s Catering for our wedding, we knew the food and service would be phenomenal – and we were right.
Services used: Wedding Venue

Pasadena Museum of California Art
( 3.6 / 5.0 )
I would rate the PMCA between 3 and 4 stars, so I gave it 4 stars due to my bridal bias because of our magical reception here. Though the PMCA had something to do with it, our vendors collectively made that happen. There are a lot of details involved in any wedding, but having one at the PMCA increased the number of items and costs we had to worry about. The special events manager left PMCA a few months before our wedding, so before her departure, we were rushed to make decisions that we would not have needed to make until much later on (the new person in charge was a lot more accommodating). Thank goodness our wedding coordinator Sassy Girl Weddings helped us pull all the details together.

The other brides describe all that is wonderful about the venue. It is a modern open space that is a touch different due to the rooftop setting. When we saw the venue, we fell in love with it. It is within walking distance to a few hotels and restaurants/shops - which makes it convenient for out of town guests.

However, here are a few things I wish I had considered more seriously before we booked:

-The PMCA rooftop is also the patio of the museum owners who live at the museum. We only saw them twice, but there is a sign that says Private Residence right on the rooftop so that felt a bit strange.
- There is a list of required and suggested vendors, depending on the category. They are strict about this list. You will pay more for the vendors on their list.
-The PMCA is very picky about their floors, though neither the outdoor rooftop floor nor the indoor gallery space floor is in good condition. You will be forced to rent additional items to “protect” the floors from further damage.
-Your caterer will be working with many restrictions. They must cook in the parking lot as there is no kitchen. You will need to rent a tent for the caterers to work in the parking lot. You will need to rent stoves and equipment for your caterer. Your guests will see the caterers cooking the parking lot when they arrive.
- The indoor space (gallery room) is limited - the indoor space accommodates 135 MAX. If your guestlist is anywhere close to that, you may then need to move the seating outside on the rooftop, which leads to my next point.
- No propane heaters allowed. The photos on the PMCA website show propane heaters, but they are not allowed. Your guests will likely get cold because the rooftop gets windy. Though we told our guests to bring coats, some still complained about being cold though it was a typical June night.
-You must have a fire official and security guard on site during your event.
Bottom line, we absolutely loved our wedding reception at the PMCA, but there are a lot more details and $$$$ involved than first expected due to PMCA’s restrictions, requirements, and limitations.
Services used: Wedding Venue