James Irvine Japanese Garden at JACCC
Breathtaking, serene, gorgeous, accommodating and professional. I cannot say enough to express how I feel about this venue.
I am an event planner. I helped my cousin plan his wedding reception here, recently. The staff was completely available, and friendly, to us, anytime we needed really. The couple wanted church wedding, otherwise, we would have done the ceremony here as well. Having a wedding offsite, however, was made very easy for me because I could completely trust the coordinators and staff to handle everything necessary for the reception to start off without me there yet. The entire night went just a smooth. The bride and groom couldn't be happier! And every single person in our family came to me, saying they want their wedding there too.
I would recommend this venue to anyone and everyone who asks! I hope to have the pleasure of working with JACC again!
I recently go married at this beautiful little Japanese garden, a great little gem tucked in the middle of downtown LA. We had a great time there. Anne was so helpful on the day of our wedding, making sure every detail was in order. It's true that she is hands off during most of the planning, but that you may also hire her to plan your entire event. My husband and I felt we got way more than we payed for on the day of the event. Like myself, most brides work in frenzy trying to perfect their big day and don't realize that Anne will make sure it all comes off without a hitch as long as you let her do what you paid her to do. That's how I got hitched anyway. Lots of things went wrong and I was the only one who knew. Remember that ladies!
Back to the venue...absolutely beautiful and intimate, romantic as the sun starts to set. This place is unique and I had so many people asking how I found this amazing place. The price was very fair and Anne was AWESOME! You really felt she cared as much as your big day as you did. Sometimes you need just that to make you feel good. I'd highly recommend this venue. Check it out if you're looking for an intimate garden wedding. Good Luck out there!
We recently had our wedding at James Irvine Japanese Garden. We contacted the garden with less than two months from our preferred wedding date. We met Anne and Janet and both were very friendly, helpful and accommodating. The day of the wedding most of my guest and some our vendors arrived late due to a lot of LA traffic. Anne remained calm and assured me everything would still go as planned. All our friends and family were asking how we found this beautiful garden. It was very intimate, we had our closest of friends and family. The staff at the garden were all amazing and made it a very memorable day. I would definitely use this venue again. Thank you Anne, Janet, and the whole JACCC staff for making our day so special. Gladis & Greg
I'm writing this review because I got married in the James Irvine Japenese Gardens last month. The negative review is because the venue is absolutely beautiful and the venue itself is breathtaking, however, the staff at the venue is absolutely HORRIBLE. The venue's wedding coordinator, Anne, literally ran around the entire morning of our wedding screaming vendors, wedding guests, our families, and the bridal party. I can't tell you how many people came up to us either later in the wedding day or after the wedding to tell us they felt completely disrespected and unwelcome at our wedding. They did not have chairs set up for the ceremony, so guest began sitting in the reception area. Mind you this is our family. They all got yelled at how they couldn't be in there and needed to leave. And speaking of the chairs. Despite having a number of how many guests we had and a final guest list with exact counts, they did not set up enough chairs for the ceremony, and when we looked out into the crowd there were a large number of our guests standing in the back without a chair. And we did not exceed capacity, and were under capacity for wedding guests so this was clearly the venue's problem. And then vendors. Not only were they yelled at, but two of the people setting up were actually friends of ours who were performing at the wedding. Members of our bridal party had to go have a word with the venue's staff to knock it off because not only were they stressing out our vendors, making our guests mad, but they were stressing out the bride and groom as well.
Not only that, the Anne completely freaked out that it had been drizzling a bit the morning of the wedding, and tried to browbeat me into having the wedding indoors despite the fact it was no longer raining. I was at a great place in the morning until the she began stressing me out and trying to force me into having an indoor wedding. Also, since it had been drizzling earlier, they were unwilling to let us use the PA system or microphones, and wanted our officiant to just yell for the ceremony. I had to tell them in no uncertain terms no, and that we wanted to use the PA system, as we wanted our guests to be able to hear the ceremony. Then they made me sign a waiver letting them know that I'd pay for any microphone damages if it began to rain again before the ceremony could begin. I understand that inclement weather happens, but the venue seemed unnecessarily frazzled by this. If it was sunny, I think our wedding would have been a better experience, but the rain seemed to completely blindside Anne, causing her to stress and the entire day to snowball.
Which is frustrating because up until this point we had had a very positive experience with both Anne and the venue, but Anne's inability to cope with the rain made us wish we had chosen a different venue and/or coordinator.
All in all, I'm not saying don't use the JACCC as your wedding venue. It's a beautiful venue and I'd get married there again in a heartbeat. However, I'd say if you use this as a wedding venue, make sure to hire your own coordinator. If you hire your own professional/certifed coordinator, you are not required to use the JACCC's wedding coordinator. Leading up to the wedding I had no indication what sort of a problem Anne would be, and had I known what kind of experience we would have with her on our wedding day, I would have done this in a heartbeat.
UPDATE: After viewing the venue's response to my review, I though I would add a quick follow up. It's hard to accurately describe the amount of stress that was felt the morning of the wedding. While we were very appreciative of having our rehearsal dinner there, we didn't feel like a free rehearsal dinner venue excused the amount of stress the morning of, or the attitude with which our guests or vendors were dealt with. If it were just a person or two who had an issue we would have written it off, but when multiple people approach you after the wedding to let you know about issues they had, it is hard to ignore. Our concern was never the issue or having problems resolved. We understand they have policies and needed to protect themselves from a legal standpoint, but the attitude with which they went about enforcing these policies is was what bothered most people.
We did not blame the venue or its staff for any issues with our catering vendor because we understand catering is not their responsibility, so we did not seek to bring in an unrelated issue into this review. As far as other vendors go, we were told each of our vendors would receive a walkthrough before the wedding day to make sure the venue's terms of service were upheld. I'm not sure if this didn't happen, but at no point was the fact our vendors were not in compliance brought to our attention, otherwise we would have gladly resolved this. And no, we did not raise further issues the day of the wedding because we were already stressed enough and did not want to pick a fight on the day of our wedding. I was trying to focus on marrying my husband and did not complain the day of because I wanted to enjoy the day rather than arguing.
Yes, we forgot to bring forks and plates for the wedding cake. The staff approached us and let us know, before the cake was cut but didn't make it seem like it was that big of an issue, and said they would take care of it. We didn't think it was that big of an issue and honestly had I realized the venue would be this upset about it, I would have sent a friend to the grocery store with some cash to buy them.
And we understand our ushers being late frustrated the venue, but we don't understand how ushers being late excuses the fact that they did not set up enough chairs for our guests at the ceremony, resulting in a large number of guests having to stand in the back for the entire ceremony. But in regards to usher arrival time, the venue told our ushers to arrive at 1:30pm, and they arrived at 1:40pm, which was in fact ten minutes late. But, guests actually began arriving before the time the venue told our ushers to arrive. Guests began arriving at 1pm, and had the venue asked our ushers to be there at 1pm, they would have been there earlier. It was more of a problem of guests arriving earlier than anticipated, rather than usher arrival time. Even so, we don't understand how ushers being late excuses the fact that they did not set up enough chairs for our guests at the ceremony. Not only were there not enough chairs, but the chairs were not set up on time either, so even if ushers had been there at 1pm there would not have been chairs for them to sit in anyway. Regardless, it is not our usher's fault that a large number of people had to stand in the back, but the venue's fault for not setting up enough chairs despite having an exact guest count (which was provided in advance).
Last but not least, at the rehearsal dinner, Anne passed out her business card which had her cell phone number on it and said that for any issues from that point on to call her rather than the bride and groom. My parents (the parents of the bride) had called Anne multiple times the day before the wedding with seating & handicap access questions, but never received a call back despite messages being left. I understand vendors not receiving a call back, but for the parents of the bride one would expect a timely response.
Vendor response to review
We are so sorry that Cailtin and Dereck were unhappy with our staff. It is difficult to contend with rain under any circumstances. We had a responsibility to our venue to protect our equipment. It would be a big liability for us to place a microphone for use by an outside vendor in the rain. It was not a drizzle. It was a heavy rain, on and off. As a matter of fact, I was concerned that the bridal party would be drenched and that attempted to advise the bride that she might want to consider how her portraits would look.
As for her guests, the registration attendants did not arrive as scheduled and were over 40 minutes late to report for their duties to receive guests. We really did our very best to make sure that things were perfect under the circumstances. Considering that her food service was provided by Kogi Taco Truck, I made every effort to let her know that the two hours of her reservation was ending and not all her guests had been served. Guests had to wait in the rain for their food while her videographers were in line for second and third helpings. I had to ask them to wait so that all the guests could be served.
All plans for use of our venue are based on approval. We had a rain plan that we are able to use without extra charge to our clients. However, the bride opted to have her ceremony in the rain and did not want to use the plan. Unfortunately, again, the operations staff would not approve use of electrical equipment in the rain. I am so sorry that this seemed unreasonable to Caitlin and Dereck, however, the officiant ran the risk of being injured and our equipment destroyed had it been exposed to any water.
When I spoke with her about the chaos that had ensued because of the rain, late arriving vendors and vendors that were not prepared with the proper equipment, as well as the fact that her guests were arriving in the rain and there was no one to greet them at the gate with their place cards and parking validations, she responded that she understood and that she did not have a problem. In spite of slow food service and the fact that she did not provide plates or forks for her guests to use for their cake, we ensured that everything went smoothly, that her guests were fed and we provided the plates and forks that she did not supply, without an additional charge, so that they could enjoy the wedding cake.
The JACCC provides in-house coordination, which we are confident is top-of-the-line as evidenced by our other reviews. Like all other venues, we have policies and procedures which we have a legal responsibility to adhere. This information is always reviewed verbally and in writing with our clients.
In addition, to doing our very best to accommodate Caitlin and Derek's requests to continue with their ceremony in the rain, we provided the Garden Room for her rehearsal dinner free of charge because she had been such a fantastic client. This was an added value to her of more than $800 for the cost of the room rental, as well, I remained behind to service the event at no extra cost.
Hi wanted to thank Anne, Janet & all the staff that helped our wedding go without a hitch. :) This place is a hidden gem in the Los Angeles Area. I would recommend this place to any one who wants an intimate wedding or even big celebrations but I believe there is another room for groups over the 100 people. Anyhow the staff walked us through all the way up our wedding day. Anne the event coordinator was a pleasure to work with as well Ms. Janet Hiroshima both responded in a timely manner and made sure all the vendors where in position prior to our bridal party arriving. If I have another party we will definately use this venue as well as all the vendors. Everyone did an AWESOME JOB!!!
Everyone loved the Japanese Garden and the quality of service I can not thank you all for such great time. :)
My wife and I were married on October 30th at the JACCC. We couldn't have had a better experience. The venue was absolutely beautiful and Anne and Janet were incredible. They helped so much with the little things at the venue and on the day of the wedding - everything from the from the lighting to the venue was even better than we expected. We couldn't have had a better experience and I'd recommend the JACCC and Anne and Janet to anyone. You can't find a more beautiful and unique spot in LA!
Overall we really did love our venue for our wedding ceremony here at the James Irvine Japanese Garden, however the process of planning and booking with this venue was frustrating at times. At the time of our booking we received special pricing for our wedding so + 1 star for that.
The reason why I did not give 5 stars is due to the coordinators promising 1 thing verbally and in the written contract, it stating another. We had to reiterate and reconfirm many aspects of our ceremony and cocktail hour before the day of and had to be sure that we were not be charged any extra fees or panalties due to some rules and policies that were vaguely written out in the contract.
Communication with the garden staff was also a challenge. I would leave a message via telephone and receive an email response an hour or two later or I would send an email to one coordinator and the other would answer in her stead.
In the very end the staff at the garden did pull through and the ceremony went off without a hitch.
I would recommend this venue to another bride however I would stress the fact to get everything and anything and writing.
Vendor response to review
As with all venues, we strive to do provide the best possible customer service. It is unfortanate that Lynette was unhappy with our staff response time and the clarity in which we communicated any adjustments to her billing based on her changes. Our contract is very clear, as well, we expressed our policy regarding the storage of rental items on several occasions to her coordinator. As well, we were not informed that a cocktail hour was going to take place at the time the wedding was booked, and as would be the case at any venue, we adusted our fees accordingly.
As for customer service, while Lynette used her own coordinator in lieu of contracting with the in-house coordinator, our staff assisted her planner with many aspects of the set-up and ceremony that Lynette may not have been aware of. We provided our linen for use during their cocktail hour because the linen that was brought from home was inappropriate. In addition, we assisted with setting up the floral and other tasks that should have been handled by her coordination staff. In this regard, I believe this review is slightly unfair.
The James Irvine Japanese Garden at the JACCC is fast earning a reputation for quality customer service and highly competitive pricing.
I highly recommend the James Irvine Japanese Garden for a wedding or other special event! My husband and I got married got married in the garden June 2009 with a very small ceremony (immediate family only).
The garden is beautifully maintained and provides a true escape from the urban surroundings. The special events staff are kind, helpful, and on top of things.
Granted our wedding was very small, but we managed to have a virtually stress free wedding day in a picturesque setting. In addition to the garden and JACCC being wonderful, the location is great too because there are many hotels and restaurants within a few blocks for guest accomodations/reception, etc. And of course, the financial part - the garden use was very reasonably priced and was actually less expensive than other comparable gardens.
All in all a wonderful experience!
This is such a lovely place to have a wedding. I had a wonderful experience with Anne Bagasao. She was so helpful and attentive to my needs. I would definitely recommend this location to anyone!
A BEAUTIFUL hidden gem in Downtown Los Angeles. Once you see how beautiful the garden is you will fall in love with it and will think of a reason just to have an event there! It is a definite must see. The James Irvine Japanese Garden provides a professional and courteous staff that will assist you in planning your event.
As you exchange vows beside a 170 ft. stream that flows from a waterfall at the upper reaches of the garden, the gentle murmur of cascading water fills the air. Your guests will enjoy being a part of this memorable event as they witness your ceremony from various viewpoints throughout the Garden. Its Zen design creates an aura of intimacy and peacefulness making it possible for everyone to experience, more closely, the significance of the moment.
The Garden is an eco-friendly space utilizing water-saving irrigation methods and solar lighting. Be among the very first couples to exchange vows in the newly restored James Irvine Japanese Garden. Now booking for all of 2009 with most weekend dates available.
Juxtaposed against the urban landscape of Little Tokyo, the James Irvine Japanese Garden is the perfect alternative to the usual wedding venue. Choose from several facilities within the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center that include the Aratani Japan America Theatre, the George J. Doizaki Gallery, the Community Gallery and a large outdoor plaza, designed by Japanese-American artist, Isamu Noguchi. Reception space within the JACCC can accommodate parties of 50 - 700.
JACCC would like to thank the following WeddingWire vendors for their recent contributions to our portfolio: Stem Floral Events, Flowers On Mars, Rengie Mendoza Photography and More Than Just Weddings....by Wenda.
Times available are : 10am - 12pm., 1pm - 3pm and 4pm. - 6pm(Spring and Summer only)
Fee: $1,600 Saturdays (Weekdays, Fridays and Sundays are lower.)
We have all weekends in June and October of 2010 still...