On WeddingWire since 2008
Located in Saratoga, California, Hakone Estate and Gardens is a historic wedding ceremony and reception venue. Unique in its appearance, Hakone Estate and Gardens is the oldest Asian estate and gardens in the Western Hemisphere. The beautiful Japanese gardens are the ideal place to exchange vows with the person you love the most. Cascading waterfalls and koi ponds are just some of the relaxing features that Hakone Estate and Gardens has to offer. With breathtaking Japanese flora and architecture, some straight from Japan, Hakone offers an international experience without the hassle. This hidden gem nestled between Silicon Valley and the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains provides a convenient retreat for a peaceful and truly unique wedding experience. If you want to give your guests an unforgettable cultural experience in a timeless oasis, Hakone Estate and Gardens is the place for you.
Facilities and Capacity
With a maximum capacity of 180 people, Hakone Estate and Gardens offers both indoor and uncovered outdoor settings. The overall feel of the 18 acres private venue is classy and outdoorsy. Small ceremonies with up to 30 guests can utilize the beautiful Moon Bridge over the koi pond for an intimate ceremony. The main garden area showcases the sprawling gardens as the backdrop for your wedding ceremony with up to 180 guests. Small receptions with up to 50 guests may be held in the Cultural Exchange Center with its viewing deck showcasing Hakone's fantastic view of the Santa Clara Valley. Receptions with up to 180 guests can use the outdoor Madrone Mound area surrounded with bamboo and showcasing an exquisite 100-year-old oak tree. Hakone Estate and Gardens also provide the Lower House as your bridal suite, overlooking a tranquil zen garden.
The wheelchair accessible venue offers nearby parking for its guests. Although the venue does not provide catering or event rentals, they do have a list of trusted preferred vendors who have years of professional experience. The long list of preferred vendors that Hakone Estate and Gardens provides range from caterers and florists to entertainment and officiants. Each of their preferred vendors have worked with Hakone Estate and Gardens before and is familiar with the venue’s policies and regulations.
As mentioned above, this 100 year old garden is one of the oldest Asian estates and gardens located in the Western Hemisphere. Hakone has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2013 and is known as one of the premier sites of the Nation Trust for Historic Preservation. It originally started as the private estate of a San Francisco philanthropist and his wife in 1915. A half a century later, the gardens were sold to the city of Saratoga, and Hakone ceased to be a private estate. Since then, Hakone has flourished as a non-profit public garden with the help of its dedicated staff, frequent visitors, and event hosts who help keep this garden beautiful for generations to come.
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6 User photos
A million stars for Hakone!
Tony was amazing through multiple site visits and the planning process, coordinating seamlessly with our wedding planner and helping us understand how to enjoy the property while also preserving the precious and authentic Japanese environment. Tony is a master event planner and contributed great ideas and finishing touches. The day of, amidst a blustery wet storm, we were blessed with a window of surreal sunshine and beautiful blue skys that appeared five minutes before our ceremony started and lasted just long enough to conduct our ceremony on the bridge and through to our reception in the Cultural Center and it's patio overlooking Silicon Valley. Tony and Melia worked seamlessly behind the scenes, ushering guests underneath tents and wiping down wet chairs so that, just as the sun burst out, we were able to have the most magical morning, exchanging our vows in the bright sun with rainwater still dripping from the stately and solemn trees around us. We feel so blessed to have been able to be married in this very special environment, and we will forever have warm feelings for Hakone and the team of amazing humans that supported us on our special day. Thank you Tony, Melia and Hakone!
Beautiful Ceremony Venue!
The staff at Hakone (Tony and Melia) were extremely helpful, friendly, and easy to work with and they went above and beyond to make sure our rehearsal and ceremony went smoothly. We requested a unique setup with two aisles and we had a large decoration to attach to an arch we rented through a vendor, and they worked with both us and our vendors to make sure that everything was set up just right with plenty of time to spare. They also helped us work through all the important details of the ceremony without being overwhelming, and they did a perfect job executing on the actual ceremony, queuing our party to walk and managing the music and sound system.
The garden itself is beautiful in any season. We visited multiple times throughout the year leading up to our wedding and enjoyed different plants in bloom every time. In October, the garden was still lush and green with redwoods, bamboo, and the Koi pond providing amazing variety. Our guests had a great time strolling through the gardens before and after the ceremony, and there were tons of amazing backdrops for our wedding photos. They even gave us a complimentary year-long membership following our wedding so we could come back to relive the memories!
In summary, we highly recommend Hakone whether for a wedding ceremony or just a visit!
Beautiful venue & a perfect wedding!
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