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Maravilla Gardens is a family owned and operated, Outdoor Garden Wedding Facility in Camarillo, California, located on Santa Rosa Road just a few miles from the 101 freeway and about 50 minutes from Downtown LA. My basic Maravilla Gardens Review is simple – I feel that it still qualifies as a Los Angeles Garden Wedding Venue, and it’s one of the best.
As one of only 2 Preferred DJ Companies at this property, I thought it only appropriate to write a review article of their facility, especially since we know it so well. I want to bring a perspective of someone who works there all the time as an outside vendor
Our DJs have had the privilege of working over 75 Weddings at Maravilla Gardens in the past 5 years and I have personally DJ’d almost 50 of them myself. I know this property and it’s owners and staff like it was my own family estate, and believe me, I wish it were! This place is truly magical, it embodies the spirit of “family” and togetherness, joy and celebration, and offers it’s guests a truly intimate and personal feel, as if you were in your own backyard having your wedding, only if your backyard was filled with beautifully manicured gardens and lawns overlooking the Santa Rosa Mountains and rustic rolling farm fields.
It’s owners are Jo & Tony Maravilla, husband and wife and owners for over 40 years. They’ve raised their children here, and their daughter Jen is now working as the on-site wedding coordinator and with other aspects of the business. Tony is the master gardener, and he gives so much love and attention to the grounds, you can feel the love he’s poured into every flower, plant, shrub and tree.
Jo is the business manager and she is currently the main contact person for the business. She’s been tireless and instrumental in the growth and success of this beautiful property since they turned their attention from their nursery business to providing their property for weddings. There really are no 2 nicer people in this entire wedding industry and I’ve been blessed to work with them as much as I have, and every client of ours says the same thing about them.
As for the property, it offers 3 distinctly separate areas for Ceremony, Cocktails, and Reception. You begin your tour by walking from the parking area to a paved path and look to your left to see the cage of doves cooing beside a great little putting green, a huge hit for the gentlemen. There are restrooms and a private Bridal Suite for the Bride and her attendants to be hidden from view and to dress in the cool air conditioning!
The ceremony site opens on a large and lush green grass seating area surrounded entirely by trees and shrubbery. The Ceremony Stage is a large concrete, step terraced alter large enough to accommodate a very sizable wedding party, yet intimate enough to support just the Bride and Groom if you have a small wedding. You can place your own chuppah, or decorate an arch with florals for the ceremony. In addition, the facility rents a large shade cover to protect your guests from the sun during the hotter months, and it looks great from a design standpoint as well. The musicians or DJ set up just to the right of the stage on a small raised concrete pad outfitted with electricity for your sound system, which your DJ or musicians or minister must provide. Our DJs can play all of the music you need for your ceremony, as guests arrive to be seated they are greeted with citrus flavored water and music of your choice. We’ll play all of your entrance and exit music as well as any music you want during the ceremony. We can also provide the microphone for your minister. We’ve found that the accoustics here are good enough to place 1 wireless microphone on a stand and we can hear the minister/officiant as well as your vows. If you have a reader or singer, we can provide a separate mic for them.
Once the ceremony ends, your guests are invited to take a short stroll down a flower and tree lined path which opens to the cocktail area, complete with a bar, umbrella covered high top tables, benches and shaded seating areas, a gorgeous fountain, and just beyond the cocktail area are the nicer portable restrooms with electricity. The entire lower half of the property (reception and cocktail areas) are overlooking the beautiful mountains and farmland. Depending on the time of year, the fields can be rustic, lush green, or corn as high as an elephants eye. The sunsets provide beautiful lighting here as well, the photos are going to be gorgeous.
Now to discuss the food. It’s simple, Command Performance Catering is the Exclusive Caterer, and if you’ve never heard of them, let me tell you, our DJs work over 80 weddings a year with CP Catering and we all LOVE their food, and I’ve never heard anything but amazing compliments on the food and service. They happen to also be exclusive caterers at Ronald Reagan Library, so they have a big operation and 25 years of trusted, excellent food and service. You’ll have a lot of choices for food during cocktail hour and dinner, be it passed hors d’oeuvres, appetizer stations, full buffet, or plated meals. You’ll also have several opportunities to attend open houses, showcases, or private tastings to try their food.
The service staff is always impeccable and attentive. Currently, the head of service and food staff is our friend Robert Yamada and working with him and his staff is a true joy, they are perfect every time.
During cocktails, Brides and Grooms and their Wedding Party are taking full advantage of all the nooks and crannies of the property for photos, and you can find so many interesting, rustic, beautiful spots to shoot…it seems endless.
Finally, we open to the reception area, which can accommodate roughly 300 people but can also feel very intimate for smaller parties. There is a large stone tile dance floor for all the dancing we’ll create for you! The grass is always beautiful, towering trees with twinkle lights, a slightly raised concrete nook for the DJ, giving him/her a nice view of the entire reception area. The Buffet is placed along a large shrub hedge, the tables overlook the fields and mountains. The Wedding Party will make a Grand Entrance to the reception by strolling down a grassy knoll overlooking the reception, and step down a few stone stairs and out to the dance floor to begin the party. Be assured, your guests will be in awe and inspired to celebrate all night long!
All Weddings here must end at 10pm, which at times causes a Bride and Groom to complain that it’s too early, but my comment and experience is this: your guests arrive there at 4pm, this is a 6 hour day for them and probably a 10-12 hour day for you and your immediate family, it’s plenty of time. The other thing I tell my clients is, you want to end the reception on a high note, leave your guests wanting more, they’ll talk about your wedding for years and years. We still get compliments 5 years later from clients who had their wedding at Maravilla Gardens. If you still want to party into the wee hours, consider hiring a bus to take your party to a nearby night spot such as Saphire Lounge, or Bogies at Westlake Village Inn.
The Grand Exit is a highlight at maravilla…Brides and Grooms can be sent off as their guests hold large sparklers and the Bride and Groom run through them to an awaiting car, bus or limo. This is a wonderful way to end your wedding and makes for fabulous photos.
Hire us to DJ your Wedding at Maravilla Gardens, you’ll see how important it is that the DJ knows your venue and it’s staff so intimately. Your guests will think you are personal friends of all of the staff and the Maravilla’s themselves, that’s how close we all are and how much all care about the success of your event. From the caterer, to the onsite coordinators, to the owners, and outside vendors like Elegant Event Entertainment DJs, we all care immensely and we put all of our energy into making your Wedding or event a magical night that you’ll never forget.
Contact Maravilla Gardens for more information about hosting your wedding there, or visit their Yelp Site for a ton of photos and some great customer reviews, and contact us if you need DJ and MC Services for your Wedding throughout Southern California.
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