Wedding Venue: Annenberg Community Beach House

I first came across the Annenberg Community Beach House earlier this summer when I was looking for a splash pad where I could hold my youngest son’s first birthday party. The Annenberg Community Beach House would have been so awesome, but it would have been a logistical nightmare, trying to hold a party in Santa Monica, more than 30 miles away from where we live.

Having a wedding here is more feasible, considering you will have vendors and likely a wedding coordinator helping you out. And when a coworker recently Instagram’ed photos of her and her son here — I knew it was time for a blog post about the venue.

You might think its name — Annenberg — associates itself with the University of Southern California, but it does not. The Annenberg Community Beach House is actually a public facility, run by the city of Santa Monica. The site is a mix of old and new — the whole facility itself is 5 acres, right on the beach, and includes the Marion Davies Beach House, where Hollywood types like Clark Gable and Greta Garbo used to party. The facility reopened in 2009, having been retrofitted after the Northridge earthquake, and now includes the old-school beach house, the pool and pool house and the event house, which is where I believe most wedding receptions take place.

Flickr photo by virgojennie

As far as event spaces go, its pretty straightforward, but Annenberg has some special considerations. Its largest indoor room can accommodate 130 people, but if you were to combine indoor and outdoor spaces, you could have a party of up to 900 people. Smoking is prohibited — even outdoors — and food can only be provided by the facility’s list of approved caterers. Decorations are also a special consideration — they have to be approved by the event services department and cannot include anything that has to be attached to the walls, furniture or ceilings. And if you’re thinking of a party here, balloons are only allowed indoors.

Flickr photo by virgojennie

(By the way, I love the branch centerpieces and the tablecloths used for this wedding. The centerpieces are basically long willow branches in a tall cylinder vase, with seashells, and anchored down with what looks like rice. And the use of dark, satiny textured tableclotes and napkin rings really softens the modern glass and steel lines of the room.)

Flickr photo by virgojennie

But as far as beach venues go, I don’t think you can really go wrong with having your wedding at Annenberg. It’s gorgeous, its on the beach, and even though its on Pacific Coast Highway (having lived off PCH for about a year, it can be a pickle when it comes to traffic), its actually pretty central to Southern California.

For more information about the Annenberg Community Beach House, visit their website or check them out on Facebook, where they have posted a lot of great wedding photos. Oh, and for a little bit more wedding photos from Annenberg, check out these amazing photos from Extra Medium on Flickr.

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