When people step into the Abbey, they’re often so awestruck they just stand there with their mouths open. They can’t believe what a stunning building it is, and that they can actually have their wedding or special event here.
This striking embodiment of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture boasts two enormous domed stained-glass skylights that bathe the interior in a pale yellow glow, while 12 luminous stained-glass windows cast their own heavenly light. Standing in the middle of this former church, you feel as if you’re in a Renaissance cathedral: Dark, polished redwood molding and woodwork is everywhere—framing doors, railings, walls and in curved balconies. Exquisite fixtures made of hand-blown orange-yellow glass are suspended from 50-foot ceilings. No longer a church, the Abbey is a nondenominational venue open to couples of all faiths.
This century-old landmark has undergone several incarnations, and in 1984 an award-winning renovation transformed it into a popular restaurant christened “The Abbey.” The statue of Gabriel that crowns the roof was coated in gleaming gold leaf, but with the exception of a little wood refinishing and the replacement of some light fixtures and stained glass, nothing was done to alter the facility’s vintage beauty.
Today, The Abbey is a private special event facility managed by Hornblower Cruises and Events, two-time recipients of the prestigious “Finest Service Award.” They invite you to stage your party, wedding or corporate function in this unique setting, where both traditional and themed events feel equally at home.
Wedding ceremonies take place where the pulpit used to be, and no matter where guests are seated—on the ground floor or up on the mezzanine—they can easily see the goings-on. Add a few candelabras and you have the perfect place for a classic black-tie affair or a Renaissance-themed party (one wedding couple and their entourage actually wore tights!). People have also hosted gothic and Halloween bashes.
When it’s time for the reception, guests are treated to an elegant meal featuring gourmet cuisine prepared on site and overseen by Christopher Schlerf, the executive chef here for more than 20 years. Wedding and reception packages are available, but if you prefer, Hornblower’s professional planners can custom-design your celebration.
With their expert staff and full services, Hornblower will ensure that your event makes the most of this historic and romantic location.