Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wedding Venue: Hearst Castle

You've probably heard about Hearst Castle. But if you haven't been to Hearst Castle, then you probably don't know exactly what I'm talking about when I say the place is spectacular. Wait, spectacular doesn't even do it justice. Let me just say that the natural surroundings of Hearst Castle will take your breath away, but Hearst Castle itself will engulf you.

My husband and I went on a road trip up the Central Coast of California for my 30th birthday in the last week of May, so of course Hearst Castle was on the itinerary. Hearst Castle, if you don't know, was once the residence of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hoo, boy, if only newspapers were as profitable now as they were when Hearst was around... But not only did Hearst know his newspapers, he knew his prime real estate and he knew his architecture.

My husband and I were fortunate enough to visit in late May, after a rare, gloomy weekend in L.A., so we arrived in time for a great show of color from the gardens between the estate's guest houses.

And of course, always thinking of this here blog, I asked our tour guide whether weddings can be held at Hearst Castle. Basically, if you can afford to have a wedding at Hearst Castle, you probably aren't reading this blog.

Just to rent the place, you need to pony up $15,000. California Weddings has more, specific information:

...it'll cost you $7,500 to reserve the Castle for 1 to 50 people for up to 3 hours, and $15,000 for parties larger than 50 people or for weddings lasting longer than 3 hours. That doesn't inlcude the nonrefundable deposit of $500 to $1,000, as well as a $50 scheduling fee and the cost of staff reimbursement. Oh, and insurance for up to $1 million is required.
If you do decide to have the wedding of American quasi-royalty (which I think is fair to say about the Hearst family), then you probably want to have your reception on this patio, in front of the main guest house (which is pictured before the Neptune pool, above). This patio seems to have the most flat open space ideal for more than 10 round tables. Check out that gorgeous ocean view.

Also, I would recommend working with a florist or decorator with experience with Historic National Landmark like Hearst Castle. With a cursory search, I found at least one who has done a party here -- Camilla Svensson Burns of Santa Barbara. You can find a few pictures of her work at Hearst Castle on her Events page.

No comments: