Point Vicente Interpretive Center
I loved the view of this venue. The staff was helpful and it was super cheap. I did not like the fact that you can not setup outside until 5pm (and they are super strict on this) but other then that, everything was PERFECT.
This place is absolutely beautiful! If you are looking for a simple, natural setting, this place is for you! We were married in the amphatheatre overlooking the ocean. Your caterer will need to bring in all kinds of rentals, because they only have tables and chairs. Renting this facility will cost you about 5g's, but you can save costs with choosing your own caterer, etc.
My only complaint is their lack of flexibility... When we signed up, the lady told us the music needs to be off by 10, but that most will let you keep it on if the DJ is inside until 11. So, we made plans for music til 11, and the night of our wedding, the lady working pulled the plug on music around 10:15. She was trying to follow the rules, but I guess other employees flex on things a little. Otherwise, this place was great. The people were generally friendly and helpful. The room accomidates 100, so we had half tables inside and half out on the patio. Everyone kept talking about how great the location was!
Location, location...location! This venue, was a must have, for my daughter and her fiancee, the minute they pulled up in the parking lot. We searched around many venues, stressed out about each one, as they all had something different and unique to offer...with a price tag attached.
My daughter called me and said, "mom, we will do anything to have this place, anything!" So I went down the very next day and booked it. I will warn you though, it is a "no-frills" venue, meaning, there will be work involved, plenty of it! I decided against a wedding planner and wish I hadn't! All in all though, the beauty of this venue will by far, make up for the temporary headaches of remembering what I have done so far and not done so far.
The staff at this venue is fantastic too, they are always there to offer advice, show you around and especially if you want to talk whales, they love to talk whale migration! Plan a wedding during the month of May, you will definitely have a few whales as wedding guests. The venue will assign one or two staff members to watch over the big day for you, lock up after you, so be nice to them, offer them food, drinks and plenty of smiles throughout the day or night, they deserve a little fun too!
The venue does have a couple down sides to it, every fairytale has an ending right? So here it is...small venue, no more than 150...MAX! This means do not try to sneak in 151. The reception will be a short one too...realistically, about 3 hours. We put 5pm on our invitations, to allow for guests to arrive and be seated at their oceanfront seats, ceremony should start about 5:30, run until 5:45-6pm, pictures will immediately follow and hopefully our guests will migrate up to have a few cocktails for about a half an hour or so, while they snap a few memorable shots of breathtaking wedding photos. Then the rest of the festivities, should and must stay on track until 10pm when the music has to stop...City ordinance. The room has to be cleaned and put back as if there was never a wedding by midnight, we are calling it the Cinderella Syndrome :)
You will be responsible for bringing in all your own food, alcohol, decorations (if any), bartenders, staff, music, vendors, lighting, heaters, dance floors...the works. All those things can be very costlt, I know! I cut corners where I could and splurged where I could...so it really just depends on what is important to you. I didn't get a dance floor, the built in whale design on the outdoor patio is kind of cool and a neat conversation point, so voila! that is the dance area, hopefully all the boogie woogie moves will keep everyone warm without heaters and most of the over 30 crowd will be seated indoors anyway.
This place is full of natural beauty, so decorating should stay at a minimum really, so you can save a bit there, but lighting, might be an issue and i am still trying to figure that one out, I will keep you all posted on that issue :) As well as let you know how the event ends up...beautifully I am sure!
Our wedding was spectacular here. A true seaside fairy tale!
I feel we got a 5 digit wedding venue for 4 digits, and our ceremony location in the amphitheater was just out of this world. Even whales showed up to celebrate with us - seriously! Lighthouse, the bluffs, the ocean, waves, sunset... What more can one ask in term of location??
The price was quite reasonable given where this place is located, but you have to want to do the work. They just provide you with the walls, a well equiped kitchen, chairs and tables and the unbelivable view. The rest is on you and your team. AND YOU WILL NEED A GOOD TEAM! The advantage of this place is that it is a blank canvas, you can transform it in any way you want, and I saw some very interesting pictures from other parties people had there. Lots of posibilities! Ask for past event pictures to get ideas.
Also, try to think of everything: rentals, heaters, light, sound, EVERYTHING. You don't want to get there on your wedding day and realize that all your tables are set outside where there is pitch black at 8:00 p.m. and you have no lights...
The downside - and it is a big downside - is that they are own by the city and hence rather strict in their rules of what you can and can't do. ASK! Most importantly, you can't set up anything inside the day before (most likely there will be a wedding there the day before), and you can't set up anything outside before 5:00 p.m.. Also, you need to get out of there by midnight without leaving a trace so you can get your deposit back.
Bottom line, if you have a good crew and are willing to do the work, you will have a wedding as spectacular as one at the Trump estates next door for a fraction of the price. But if you are not very organized, or not the do-it-yourself, or do not have a good team to help you, get a different venue where everything is included and there are no zillion moving pieces.
We felt like movie stars and people talked about our wedding for days, but I put over 200 hr worth of work in this wedding... So think twice.
And if you do book this place, try to be nice with the staff there. It would be a smart move on your part, without mentioning that would be also a kind gesture. For some bizzare reason many couples treat them like dirt, which is quite sad. They work hard for not much money, and they are there in the weekend to man your event when they could be at home with their families. Give them some food, some desert, and a party favor. When cleaning time comes, you WILL BE HAPPY YOU DID, because they will help you even when they don't have to...
We got married August 24, 2008 on a warm and sunny day with 150 guests. We used the amphitheater for our ceremony and sunset room and patio for our reception. As my father was walking me down the "aisle" (from the lighthouse side), 3 whales were spouting out of the water behind us! NO lie!!! I can't even imagine how amazed our guests must have been? Point Vicente is perfect for an outdoor wedding because it is naturally beautiful and right on the ocean, and it has built-in seating! We could not have been more pleased with the staff and location! Every time I called with a question, I received an answer and if I left a voicemail, I received a phonecall the next day.
The blue chairs they had were pretty dated, so we were going to rent 150 chairs and have them delivered for the reception. About a month before the wedding, the Interpretive Center purchased 150 very nice folding white chairs. They called me and welcomed us to use them at no additional charge, so we did! They turned out to be very similar to the ones we were going to rent for over $300 from a rental company. All we did was tie a sage organza sash onto the back of the chair and it was perfect!
Also, originally we had to be off the premises with the area all cleaned up by midnight, but the Interpretive Center wanted to try a new schedule. They called me and offered the patio and sunset room to us until 2am, again at no additional charge since it's a trial phase. I don't know if they are going to implement that new extended schedule or not, but it was so nice to know that our coordinator/caterer wouldn't have to be shooing out our guests by 11p to get everything all cleaned up by midnight.
We were able to get a resident discount, which is quite significant, because our friend who is a local resident co-signed with us. It was no charge or inconvenience to her because all she had to do was show an electric bill with her address to verify residency. Unfortunately, point Vicente has raised their hourly rates since our wedding.
Our wedding was beautiful!!!!
Great venue!!! Very economical for all that you are getting. Makes it so easy for the guest...no need to travel to the reception after the ceremony. Everything is right there!!!! The ocean views are fantastic. One word of caution. When booking this venue take time to make a couple of trips out to get to know the staff. Depending on the number of guest the center will assign staff members to work with you during the ceremony. I met a wonderful guy who was invaluable and made a special request to have him work our event. It was a good thing because the second person they assigned was knit-picky and had a major attitude. My guy more than made up for the other persons bad people skills. All in all I would highly recommend this site.
Leasa E. Photography
Photographed a beautiful wedding there... great views of the ocean, charming lighthouse in the background, lovely staff! Banquet room opens up to the awesome stone patio. Highly recommend!