A few months ago, I put together a post on 16 beautiful venues in the Bay Area with redwoods. Being born and raised the Bay Area, I am a huge fan of majestic redwoods–the fairy rings they grow in make for the perfect wedding ceremony setting! To get photos for the aforementioned blog post, I visited a handful of wedding venues around the Bay. One of my favorites was the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden and Mather Redwood Grove. I actually can’t believe I have never been to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden before! I grew up right next to Berkeley and have been on campus dozens of times, but never made it up the hill to the Botanical Gardens.
The UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens have several options for both ceremony and reception sites. For ceremonies, there is Mather Redwood Grove and the Garden of Old Roses. Within the garden are two buildings, the Julia Morgan Hall and the Conference Center, which serve as lovely reception options. The true draw to having your wedding at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, however, lies in the gorgeous ceremony sites.
Mather Redwood Grove is a stunning grove of redwoods with a beautiful amphitheater built right in the center of a ring of redwoods planted in the 1930s. It is, unquestionably, one of the prettiest amphitheaters in the area and absolutely perfect for an intimate wedding ceremony. Located right across the street from the main Botanical Gardens, it is closed to the public when there is a wedding being held there.
The Garden of Old Roses is up near the top of the main Botanical Gardens and filled with dozens of varieties of beautiful roses. It features a beautiful view of the bay and you can even glimpse the Golden Gate Bridge of clear days. A lovely wooden pergola covered with climbing roses makes the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony. Make sure to do your research to see if roses will be in bloom on your wedding date!
Couples can slip away from their guests between the ceremony and reception for some quick photos in the lovely Botanical Gardens. There are many different areas in the gardens, ranging from a beautiful Asian area with a Japanese pool to the cloud forest area in the Central American portion of the garden. My favorite is the Arid House & Xerophytic Fern Display, a lovely greenhouse filled with beautiful cacti and other plants.
One thing to keep in mind is the Botanical Gardens are still open to the public during your wedding. Mather Grove can be closed off for ceremonies, but the main garden remains open. The Botanical Gardens are also very popular, so there can be multiple events on one day. This means that wedding times are strictly set to avoid conflicts and cannot be lengthened or changed.
Number of Guests: 200 in Mather Redwood Grove, 82 in Garden of Old Roses + Julia Morgan Hall
Average price: Prices range from $1100-$3000 for ceremony only, with Mather Redwood Grove being more expensive than the Garden of Old Roses. With receptions at either Julia Morgan Hall or the Conference Center, prices range from $4600-$6100. Full rates are available.
Standard package: The standard package includes seat cushions for Mather Redwood Grove, a dressing room, rehearsal time, chairs, tables and umbrellas for reception, access to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden for wedding photos, day of garden admission for all guests and a one year family membership for the bride and groom. Admission is $12 for adults, so it’s a great chance for your guests to visit the gardens for free before your ceremony!
Alcohol: Beer, wine and liquor can be served at the Conference Center and Julia Morgan Hall, but not at the Garden of Old Roses or Mather Redwood Grove Amphitheater.
Catering: Choose from a list of required vendors.
Contact Christine Jegan at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your wedding at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden!
Contact me or email me at email@example.com to book photography for your UC Berkeley Botanical Garden wedding now. For similar woodsy wedding venues, take a look at Saratoga Springs, OVY Camp + Event Center, Mountain Terrace.
Alice Che is a San Francisco Wedding Photographer based in the Bay Area specializing in intimate, emotional wedding, engagement, couple and boudoir photography. Serving the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas.