We adore the Wildflower Center and work it often. We are regularly asked by potential clients if we are comfortable with the logistical challenges presented by having a wedding at this venue and the answer is a resounding YES! We have developed an amazing relationship with the manager and feel as though our events are smooth and streamline.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
-4PM LOAD IN. Depending on the size of the wedding and all the decor that needs to be placed, take into account the appropriate size staff that is required to set things up in time for the ceremony and reception. The load in time means that the ceremony start time is usually 5:30 or 6.
-RAIN PLAN. While the venue is gorgeous, you are not allowed to tent. The rain options include, but are not limited to:
- Ceremony in the Gallery and then flip the space for dinner. This option requires a longer cocktail time because there really isn't anywhere to "stage" the tables during the ceremony. Though, I can't get over the view from the gallery- it's stunning!
- Second option is to have the ceremony in the auditorium (theater style seating) followed by dinner in the gallery.
- And of course, the third option is California style seating. This is where your tables are set up and guests sit at them for the ceremony. I don't suggest more than 120 MAX in the Gallery for dinner. But of course, we are able to tear down tables after dinner for dancing to provide room to party!
-TRANSITION TIMES. Depending on the spaces that are being used, you will have to allot extra transition time to get guests from space to space. Because the space is so beautiful, guests tend to wander, which is the point, but it can be a bit like herding cats.
WHY WE LOVE THE WFC
-VENUE. The WFC really is a beautiful venue. Especially in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. I have also done fall weddings there, and it is still incredibly beautiful. The view out the gallery window is stunning and the courtyard at night with the string lighting is very romantic. Some of my favorite wedding photos have come from the WFC- even the ones where it was raining.
-MARK. He is truly a wonderful venue manager. He is really responsive and tries really hard to help make all ideas come to life or suggesting other options if needed. Since he's taken over, he's done a really good job a streamlining everything and is very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. Our brides have all been very pleased with him.
-VENDORS/STAFF. I truly believe that part of the reason we have enjoyed all of our weddings at the Wildflower Center is because of the catering staff my brides have chosen to hire. Given the challenges of the venue being open to the public throughout the day, I personally like that they have a preferred catering list. The caterers know the space, how to work it and the staff is always willing to step in and assist with something. There is also a WFC manger and security guard on site during the wedding and they are both very helpful.
-ENDLESS OPTIONS. There are so many wonderful locations at the WFC leaving the bride with a ton of layout options. Guests truly enjoy this venue and basking in the beauty of it- it’s a unique space that leaves a lasting impression on those visiting.
And there you have it! We hope that you will not be strayed from the WFC because of their public hours. We do encourage hiring a professional planner to help you navigate your priorities and their possibilities and limitations in the space. With a strong vendor team, your vision can really come to life and we hope to be a part of that journey with you.