Los Angeles River Center & Gardens
Visiting the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens is like getting an unexpected gift. Only minutes from downtown Los Angeles and just over the Los Angeles River, this gorgeous event facility will fit many bride’s idea of the dream wedding location. The Center is a hidden jewel, sequestered behind thick, ivy covered walls. A wide, circular brick driveway with a spreading ficus tree in the center marks the entrance, and through the arched, wrought-iron gate you get your first glimpse of the fountains, flowers and serenity inside.
The small courtyard at the entry is a charming introduction to the Center, but before long the carved wooden doors at the back beckon you into the Main Courtyard, the ideal spot for a special event. The expansive multi-level patio is enclosed on three sides by the arcaded terraces of the Center’s buildings. Pepper trees rustle in the breeze, and beds of roses, agapanthus, and daylilies soak up the sun. A three-tiered fountain stands in the center of a tiled reflecting pool, hugged at its four corners by a multitude of flower-filled terra cotta pots.
From the Main courtyard, an arched entryway in a stucco wall leads to the San Fernando Courtyard, another broad patio with an adjoining lawn. A magnificent old ficus tree keeps this patio dappled in shade, and lends the space a quiet dignity. The lawn, enclosed by tree-lined walls, is often used for ceremonies; the patio offers an alternate space for dining or dancing. Bordered by the California Building on one side and high walls on the other three, the San Fernando Courtyard is its own private little world.
Indoor celebrations or large meetings take place in the California Building. The main event space features a Mexican-tile floor, arched windows and a huge, peaked skylight that floods the room with natural light. Tables and chairs are set up beneath the skylight, with additional seating available on the second-story walkway that runs around the entire perimeter of the room. The Los Feliz Room can accomodate smaller meetings and conferences.