Photography by Tom Spaulding
Church wedding not for you? Here are some familiar—and not-so-familiar—spots to tie the knot.
Looking for that movie-star glamour on your wedding day? Consider capturing the Hollywood vibe with a film-themed wedding at the Crest Theatre. The Crest opens its doors several times a year to couples wishing to exchange vows amid the theater’s art-deco ambiance. Built in 1912, with an interior redesigned in 1949, the Crest offers a marquee, stage and even a red carpet for nuptials with an Oscar-night feel.
“We have some weddings that have incorporated a film component,” says Sid Garcia-Heberger, general manager of the Crest. “We had one couple where the groom was a unicyclist and did a kind of vaudeville act on the stage as part of the wedding entertainment.”
Couples can put their name in lights on the marquee, fill the outdoor glass cases with mock movie posters of themselves and use the concession stand to serve wedding cake. The theater can accommodate about 80 guests for a sit-down dinner in the lobby, about 300 for a stand-up reception. The theater is available any day or night of the week, year-round. Rates range from $1,250 for a bare-bones four-hour wedding with no lights or sound to about $3,000 for a wedding that includes light, sound and cleanup by Crest employees. Couples must provide their own catering. 1013 K St., Sacramento; (916) 442-5189; thecrest.com
Love local history? You might enjoy exchanging vows aboard the historic Delta King, an authentic paddle-wheeler permanently moored on the river at Old Sacramento.
“It’s the old river boat gambler days mixed with the new modern,” says Jenny Johnson, catering, sales and wedding manager of the Delta King.
As a wedding venue, the Delta King provides a quintessential Sacramento setting. You can get married by a uniformed captain, or an officiant of your choice, in the Mark Twain Room, outside on deck with views of the Sacramento River or anywhere else you choose. Catering is taken care of by the Delta King staff, offering everything from chicken cordon bleu to prime rib. Johnson says they prefer to keep weddings at 150 guests but can go as high as 220. The riverboat also can accommodate overnight guests, with 44 staterooms including a honeymoon suite and captain’s quarters.
The Delta Dream Yacht also is available to couples seeking a venue that actually cruises up and down the river. Run by the Delta King, the 78-foot yacht can hold wedding parties of up to 110 people.
Weddings, which run $2,000 to $8,000, can be held year-round except during Memorial Day weekend, when the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee takes place in Old Sacramento. 1000 Front St., Old Sacramento; (916) 444-5464; deltaking.com
If you and your betrothed are die-hard baseball fans, you might feel like you hit a home run by getting married at Raley Field in West Sacramento.
Couples can marry before a Sacramento River Cats game, on the field when the team is out of town, or in a secluded area on the concourse. Some wedding parties have used the party suites for receptions or the Jackson Rancheria Home Run Terrace, which holds up to 120 people. The Leinies Sunset Party Deck holds about 100 guests.
So far the ballpark hosts only a handful of weddings every year, but it’s available for many more year-round (though most are held in spring and summer). Catering is provided by the in-house Ovations Food Services. Because every couple has unique ideas about how best to use the facility, there are no set wedding packages or costs; contact the ballpark for specifics. 400 Ballpark Drive, West Sacramento; (916) 376-4676; raleyfield.com
Croatian American Cultural Center
The Croatian American Cultural Center offers Mediterranean-style glamour in a garden setting for your wedding.
Tucked away on Auburn Boulevard near Watt Avenue in Sacramento, the venue is a popular spot for weddings among members of Sacramento’s Greek community, with its Mediterranean-style hall, spacious grounds and outdoor stage. It also offers ample parking. The center hosts roughly 100 weddings a year, supplying everything from full-service catering to tables, chairs, tablecloths and decorations.
“It’s very elegant,” says Mike Zupan, business manager for the cultural center. “It has a touch of Europe in it.”
Zupan says the site can accommodate as many as 250 guests, and that weddings only can be held on weekends. He declined to estimate fees, as he says it depends greatly on the services provided. 3730 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 489-0339; cacc.com
The Old Auburn Courthouse
Thinking about having an intimate outdoor wedding with a touch of the Gold Rush? Then check out the Old Auburn Courthouse, high on a hill in historic Auburn. The domed, can’t-miss-it granite structure, built in 1898 and refurbished in the 1990s, has two long, outdoor staircases where couples regularly hold nuptials on the landings.
“Everybody loves the courthouse setting . . . it’s got a historic look to it,” says Grace Mata, a property manager for courthouse events. “And it’s good for wedding pictures on the steps.”
You can hold your ceremony on either the north or south steps. The grounds near each staircase can accommodate only about 50 people, so weddings here tend to be small. Judges are available.
You can get married at the courthouse any day of the week, year-round, at no cost. While most people wed in warm-weather months, Mata says that’s not always the case. “I’ve had couples who’ve been there with umbrellas,” she says.
Mata warns that parking is limited during court business hours if there is a jury trial going on. Receptions must be held at another location off courthouse grounds. 101 Maple St., Auburn; (530) 886-4900
Crocker Art Museum
The Crocker Art Museum is coming back online as a party venue in 2011 after being unavailable for outside private events since June 2007 due to the construction of its new wing. (Grand-opening festivities of the new wing take place Oct. 10, 2010.) Wait-holds for events in 2011 already are being accepted as of July 2010.
The original building is one of the finest Victorian-Italianate structures in the country, and the Crocker has added 125,000 square feet, large portions of which are available for private weddings. The new space includes a 4,000 square-foot atrium, which can hold up to 400 guests for a sit-down dinner reception. The new meeting room space is an elegant smaller option for receptions of up to about 100 guests, with windows that look out onto O Street and Crocker Park. Space in the new wing is designed to flow back and forth with spaces in the original building.
Of course, old favorite wedding sites in the original wing are still available, including the ballroom.
Couples planning a small wedding often hold the ceremony in a gallery, then move to another venue within the Crocker for the reception.
Weddings may be held year-round when the museum is closed to visitors, typically in the evenings. The museum is finalizing details with a catering company, so price estimates are not yet available. 216 O St., Sacramento; (916) 808-0177; crockerartmuseum.org
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