Average Base Cost: $23,000
Average base cost for a Descanso Gardens wedding is calculated by figuring a 110-person guest list on a Saturday night using catering costs for food/beverage of $150/pp using the Boddy House Lawn + Terrace ceremony and reception venues. Transportation to venue, entertainment, photographer and decor not included. Average price includes gratuity and state sales tax. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.
How it breaks down:
Facility Rental Fee:
- Stage, Magnolia Lawn, Japanese Garden: $3,600
- Rose Garden, Oak Grove, Main Lawn: $4,000
- Boddy House Lawn: $4,500
- Van de Kamp Hall: $4,100
- Rose Pavilion: $4,500
- Boddy House Terrace: $5,000
Wedding + Reception site combinations
- Main Lawn + Van de Kamp: $5,700
- Rose Garden + Rose Pavilion: $6,200
- Boddy House Lawn + Terrace: $6,500
- Detailed meetings with Special Events Office
- 1-hour rehearsal at ceremony site
- Bridal Room for dressing
- Admission at 3 p.m. for photography
- Tables and chairs
- 15×16 dance floor
- Liability insurance
Food/Beverage: Patina is the exclusive caterer for Descanso Gardens. Their packages run between $65-$105/pp including beer+ wine and well liquor (at the $105/pp) option for 3 hours with multiple upgrades available for appetizers, entrees, and desserts. To upgrade to a premium full bar for four hours add $51/pp. This is an all-inclusive price which includes tax and service charge as well as the following:
- Standard linens (not floor length) and napkins
- Wait staff
- Bartender and event supervisor/captain.
- Cake knife & server set and tables numbers for use during your event if you wish
Space Type: Inside/Outside depending on venue choice
Size: Up to 500 guests
Bridal Suite: Yes
Food Service Type: Your choice
How Will Grandma Get There? The closet hotel options for out of town guests would most likely be in Burbank or Pasadena.
Party On! The Gardens stay open to the public until 5 p.m. Ceremonies typically run between 5–7 p.m. and receptions from 5–10 p.m. However, you can opt for an extension and have the bar close at 11 with guests out by 11:30 p.m. for no extra charge.
Descanso Gardens is a botanical garden situated on 150 acres. It was owned by Los Angeles Daily News owner E. Manchester Boddy (where he ran a commercial camellia garden) until the property was ceded to Los Angeles County in 1953. The 22-room Boddy House is the original and was designed for the publisher by architect James Dolena in the Hollywood Regency style in 1937. In 2007, the Boddy House was rehabilitated for the 43rd annual Pasadena Showcase House of Design. Fun fact: The interior of the Boddy House was used in the movie Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon as her mother’s home.
Woman Getting Married Says:
Believe it or not, good garden venues in and around Los Angeles are not that easy to come by. And, when you dig in and look for garden venues that offer both inside and outside options (AND have a somewhat reasonable price) it’s even more of a stretch. Which is why Descanso Gardens should definitely be on your list to check out if a garden vibe is what you’re going for. While some elements of the garden aren’t necessarily my favorite, it does offer nature, space, gorgeous flowers, and a bit of a blank slate. I’m not a huge fan of pavillions in general (they remind me of summer camp for some reason), but I think you can definitely make this one look elegant for a more casual wedding. However, my venue/combo of choice here would be the Boddy Lawn and Terrace.