The Berkeley Faculty Club
Thanks to Amy and her team, my wedding ceremony and reception at the Faculty Club was absolutely perfect!!! I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful, historic venue for my spring wedding, and Amy was phenomenal to work with.
After the Events Coordinator we originally started working left four months before our wedding, I was in a panic that all of the details we had discussed with her would slip through the cracks. In steps Amy a month later. She immediately began diligently working on our event to make sure that our event was as we had discussed with her predecessor. She calmed my nerves and answered my millions of questions with style and grace. She was extremely responsive and accommodating from the moment we started working together right up until the big day. She listened carefully and executed on my vision for the wedding. She is a HUGE asset to the Faculty Club.
The venue itself, an old Bernard Maybeck building, is simply gorgeous. Our ceremony and dinner were inthe Great Hall, with cocktails in the Heyns Room.
I've received countless compliments from guests not only on how beautiful the venue is, but also about how great the food and service was...and that was so important to us. Every staff member I encountered over the course of the evening was a pleasure to deal with and bent over backwards for us. I highly recommend the Faculty Club to any bride... You'll love it as much as...
I loved our venue. It was so beautiful outside under the oak tree and the great hall was a wonderful place for a reception. Our guests raved about the food, the service, and the scenery. It was also great to have a small conference room in the venue to get ready in and to store our things. They only complicated part was some of the logistics since it is on campus and parking is kind of difficult. But that is what happens when you have an event on a college campus in the middle of a city!
The Faculty Club is set on the Berkeley Campus and was a truly a beautiful setting for our wedding. We had our ceremony on the Faculty Glade, where they set up chairs and a lattice wedding arch with a backdrop of a beautiful oak tree. Following the ceremony we had drinks and passed Hors D'oeuvres while our guests were serenaded by mariachi's. We then took it inside to the Great Hall and had a wonderful meal surrounded by our family and friends. The venue was all we dreamed of, the food fantastic and truly the best day of our lives!
The Faculty Club was an excellent spot for our February wedding - enough space for guests to spread out during the reception. The food, while disappointing during our tastings, ended up being excellent during the actual event. The staff moved the wedding along seamlessly, and were very efficient and professional.
We are having our wedding there at the end of May. I will write a more detailed review after the wedding, but all I want to say right now is that our wedding day and site was double-booked.
It turns out one can reserve the Faculty Glade (the place the Faculty Club uses for the wedding ceremony) through the University. The University MUST check with the Faculty Club to make sure the site has not been booked through the Club already. The Club must check with the University too. However, in our case, someone in both places did not do his or her job, and our date and ceremony site was double-booked. We would not have found out about it until the wedding day UNLESS my FI had called the university to check something, and they told him, "funny you are asking, because we have ANOTHER WEDDING at that site that day." If FI had not called the University, NOBODY WOULD HAVE KNOWN THE SITE WAS DOUBLE-BOOKED.
The Berkeley Faculty Club claimed it was not their fault and refused to deal with it. My FI had to settle everything on his own, calling the other party, negotiating with them, and arranging for a mutually agreeable plan. In any case, since we had put down the deposit for the Faculty Club, we have the right to use the spot, since the other party was using it for free through the University.
What I am really unhappy about is that the Faculty Club refused to settle this down and we had to deal with it on our own. We put down the deposit and our contract says we have the date and site so it's their responsibility to make sure the site is available, right????
If you are having a wedding at the Faculty Club, insist that their event manager CHECKS WITH THE UNIVERSITY to make sure the Faculty Glade has not been reserved separately. It's probably even better if you call the University and make sure they know you have reserved the site.
JUNE 4, 2008 - UPDATE
The Faculty Club event manager was difficult to reach, but the site looked beautiful the day of. We were really worried when at 2:30 pm (the wedding was at 4 pm) not much was set up. But the staff did a great job setting up in an hour and a half. Nevertheless, we were a bit anxious how it would look with such little time to set up. The banquet manager (the manager on duty the evening of the wedding) was not very helpful and gave my bridesmaids an attitude. If we hadn't had a wedding coordinator, I am not sure the Faculty Club would have lived up to our expectations since someone had to oversee their work. The wedding coordinator made everything happen - so if you are planning a wedding there, consider getting a Day of Coordinator. In any case, the wedding ran smoothly and everything was beautiful! The staff was friendly and efficient!
If you're vegan you probably don't want to get married at the Berkeley Faculty Club unless you want to be ironic. Their large reception area called the Great Hall has moose and deer heads and mounted antlers. It looks like an awesome hunting lodge and was designed (I think) by Bernard Maybeck in a distinctive Arts & Crafts style.
I think that along with reserving the big reception area you get the adjacent small lounge with a fireplace. It's very cozy.
The combined ceremony and reception costs (not including catering) is around $1800. They charge extra for lighting a fire in the fireplace, which you know can be taxing.
Unfortunately the Berkeley Faculty Club has two things working against it:
1) They use in-house catering and require a 100 minimum guest list. Basically you have to pay for 100 people even if you only planned to invite 70.
2) Ceremonies are held on the Faculty Glade. Basically that's the lawn just outside which is only okay ambiance-wise. Since it's on the Berkeley campus anybody can walk by while your wedding is taking place.
The Faculty Club is a beautiful old wood building in the middle of the UC Berkeley campus. It is an amazing site with reasonable prices and good food. The site coordinator, Kenna, was a little hard to work with and sometimes seemed a little flaky. As long as you are on top of it, she is fine. Everything went smoothly the day of.
Allison Fairfield Photography
I have photographed four weddings at the Berkeley Faculty Club and every event went smoothly and efficiently with every attention to detail taken care of by the staff. The grounds are - of course - stunning...and the building itself has more than enough rustic charm for anyone! I was able to stay overnite there as well - which made carrying my equipment much easier. The staff was accommodating and helpful. I highly recommend this venue for anyone wanting an intimate and somewhat private venue in the middle of Berkeley.
Allison Fairfield Photography