The Rotunda at San Jose City Hall
Working with Jennifer Garcia in Event Services to make the day special was truly a delight. The day of the event (a wedding) the staff was on time, helpful, professional and took extremely good care of any needs that arose.
San Jose City Hall's Rotunda Building was absolutely gorgeous! This venue was worth every dollar we put in!! From the rentals to the lighting to management of the entire event - everything was flawless. Jennifer Garcia, the events manager, was continuously in communication with us. She ensured that everything will run smoothly on the Rotunda's end on the day of our wedding and she surely followed through on everything we contracted for. Moreover, she had back-up plans in place should anything go wrong. We received raving reviews from our family, friends, and guests about how beautiful the venue was. We are glad to have done our wedding there and would definitely make recommendations to other people!
I DO NOT recommend this venue to anyone. Working with the City is like pulling teeth - no one in the office communicates with other departments. We had all these random charges at the last minute for all these city fees that we were not informed about earlier. Additionally you have to use a list of their approved caterers - which is what we did, and our caterer was running a fraud business and ran off with several thousand dollars - which the city has not addressed. The venue has SOO much red tape you have to follow and the red tape changes arbitrarily. Find another venue - this venue is not even remotely worth the hassle you will have to endure. I regret signing the contract for this venue - which is in no means cheap either.
The people working at Rotunda were a pleasure to work with. They were very helpful, straight forward, and understanding. They are great with emails, which worked best for me as I was planning the wedding while working. I thought the value was great, as the venue is extraordinary and not as expensive or complicated as San Francisco. We had no problems with security or parking. Our vendors did not have any complaints about working at the Rotunda (lighting, florist, cake, catering, tables, linens). We had to choose from a lister of preferred caterers and our caterers delivered 100% on the day of.
The San Jose City Hall Rotunda is a gorgeous venue, full of light, space and style--just what we were looking for our wedding party. (We held the ceremony a couple of weeks before in another state.) We filled the space with multiple food stations, tables for sitting at, a jazz band, displays about the bride and groom, lots of candles and flowers...and our family and friends loved the celebration!
Jennifer and Connie, the event coordinators, offered very helpful expertise and support all along the way, from recommending caterers to providing tables to providing parking information we should share with our guests.
A few things we learned along the way: there is a limited list of approved caterers; there is limited space/equipment in the pantry (so we needed to rent the courtyard and a tent for our caterer); there are requirements for event insurance; there are strict windows of time for set-up/clean-up, etc. These all add to the cost and complexity of planning....but in the end, it was worth it for us.
All in all, the Rotunda is a beautiful venue for a memorable celebration!
Everyone was very helpful and responsive, but keep a few things in mind here. The event coordinator is a coordinator, not a wedding planner -- they will make sure you have everything you need from the facility, but they do not work for you the way a wedding planner does. On the day of your wedding, you will need someone else to keep guests to your schedule and keep your vendors coordinated. But they had great recommendations for vendors that really helped out with those things on the day of the wedding.
I highly recommend going with vendors that have worked at that location before just to reduce the amount of paperwork and headache of coordinating with all of the legal regulations. It is essential to pick a good DJ or get live music so you don't pierce your guests ears or drown out the music with bass. Most DJs don't realize the huge difference between playing in a concrete hall and a glass dome. We splurged on the DJ to get someone who had a degree in sound engineering and it turned out really well. A friend of mine got a live band and that turned out beautifully.
We were able to save quite a bit of money because our caterer allowed us to purchase our own alcohol that they served for us from an open bar. I loved that it's not a hotel, so I didn't have to block rooms or sign crazy one-sided contracts (make sure you read the fine print for any hotel contract -- you're signing up for a lot more than you would think!)
All in all, there's more work required here than some other wedding sites because you have to cover more bases and get the vendors coordinated to make sure you have all the plates, linens, chairs, tables, mics, etc. that you need, but it's a beautiful venue and it was totally worth it for me!
The Rotunda was an awe inspiring venue for a reception. The staff was very professional and helpful. The only downside was the red tape of using a city run facility, but when all was said and done it was worth it.
Jennifer Garcia was an amazing event manager. She far exceeded what I expected of her and was always available when I had any questions! Thank you for making my wedding at San Jose City Hall a dream come true!
The Rotunda building is an art piece in itself. Your photographer is going to love the infinite amount of angles that are potentially there for amazing photographs to document your day.
It is a very unique building that can be anything you want it to be. The possibilities are endless. You can make it simple chic, elegant and extravagant, or even modern sci fi. The structure is all white, so it can work with any theme colors you have. There's also lots of windows to capture natural light (the best lighting there is), the floors are marble/granite stone, and the spiraled stair case is breath taking.
Just make sure you adhere to all the policies and regulations as it is a public venue owned by the city, but don't worry, the event managers of city hall will guide you through all the policies and make it very easy for you.
The Rotunda really is one of the very few modern facilities that exist within the south bay area, so when it came to choosing a facility for our wedding the decision was fairly easy.
We had a wonderful experience with the staff throughout the year leading up to the wedding. In fact, we wish our other vendors were even half as dedicated or professional.
The only potential things to consider is that the facility has a lot of costs not associated with the actual rental fees. These were detailed to us before we signed our contract, but you shouldn't write them off. Also, make sure that your caterer does a full walk through well in advance of the wedding, as the caterer may require you to rent additional rooms or the Rotunda's outdoor space in providing for your wedding. Our caterer waited until the last minute and required the City to save the day.
The Rotunda at San Jose City Hall is a beautiful venue for a wedding reception, banquet or other event. Plenty of natural light and very elegant. The Event Services staff, especially Jennifer, was extremely helpful and made the entire process much more enjoyable. The venue itself is great for photos as well!
1. Great helpful event services staff
2. Plenty of natural light (being a glass dome)
3. Plenty of Parking underground and in the parking garage across the street
4. Mezzanine level that can be used in addition to the main floor
5. The building itself is great for photos outside and inside
6. Fits a good 250 people with a decent dance floor (about 300 w/out dance floor)
1. The City Hall as a list of pre-approved caterers. It takes a great deal of time and effort to get a caterer that is not pre-approved to actually get approved due to the insurance and other criteria they need to adhere to
2. As there is plenty of light, you really have to wait till the evening time to use a projector
3. Pantry is very small and has no cooking area - If your caterer needs to cook onsite, then you need to rent space outside including tents
4. Rental rate is by hour and your event needs to end at 10PM and everything out by 11PM
5. Since they removed the potted plants (due to budget cuts) the venue is very bland in color and therefore pretty sterile. You'll have to add plenty of decorations/color yourself
Beautiful venue to have your wedding. The architecture and design of the rotunda is one of a kind. This is a glass dome with white walls inside so if you're looking for a venue that is already dressed up pretty like a hotel, this isn't the place for you. Bold and bright colors really accent the inside of the rotunda. Jennifer Garcia and Connie B. were a pleasure to work with! Jennifer will give you advice on what she would recommend and wouldn't. She does work part-time but is super helpful and will do what it takes to accommodate what you want for your wedding day :) Highly recommended!
Awesome venue!! Great value for what you get. The hall provides an excellent canvas for the perfect dream wedding. Jennifer was awesome too! She's very responsive and gives you great advice to avoid pitfalls so your wedding can go smoothly. It was a day I won't forget. Thanks Jennifer!!
The city hall rotunda is a huge round glass dome that's basically an empty white canvas inside. We had about 280 guests and it looked pretty comfortable. Its pricey but if you're the type that likes to decorate and get creative then this is worth checking out. They rent by the hour so cost really depends on how much time you want (my cost included 10hr & table rentals).
Draw back, doors must close by 11pm (includes clean-up). There isn't much time for partying but don't forget it's in downtown so there is potential for after parties. Since it is city hall there are lots of regulations to abide by. I highly recommend following them if you want your deposit back (close to $1,600).
Jennifer is very easy to work with. She only works part-time but there is an assistant on-site at all times. Depending on when you e-mail her it might take a few days to get a response. The best recommendation: ask every question you can possibly think of and let the coordinator know of all your little details. You can always discover new options and answers to questions you never even thought of.
Amazing venue; the event planners are super professional and friendly. Moroccos Restaurants are proud of its association with such an amazing venue!
Create your special event in the landmark Rotunda at San Jose City Hall. Distinctive and dramatic modern architecture suited for those looking for something unique. The glass Rotunda and white interior provide a blank palette for your event designs.
We have a highly recognized list of caterers who offer extensive menus with various types of cuisine. Our superb City Hall staff will put you at ease throughout the planning process with our professional coordination.