A romantic, old-world setting in Oakland? We found one! It's the Bellevue Club, a gem from a bygone era located on the edge of Lake Merritt. Opened as the Women's Athletic Club in 1929, today it's a private coed club, available for nonmember functions with member sponsorship.
Designed by architects Roeth and Bangs, this six-story building is more of a grand, Louis XIV-style French manor than a clubhouse. You enter a spacious, elegantly furnished lobby and take an elevator to the fourth floor for your celebration. You have your choice of four lovely rooms which, depending on the size of your party and budget, may be used in a number of combinations.
The Mural Lounge and the Main Dining Room (the two largest rooms) have billowing draperies, gilded moldings, marble fireplaces and two-story high ceilings, all reminiscent of a European castle. In fact, a 1949 book about the Club's history describes the interior decoration as "inspired by Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon." The Mural Lounge, a picturesque place for a ceremony, is named for the pastoral scenes painted over the fireplace and entryway. Other treasures fill the room: a whimsically hand-painted Mason Hamlin grand piano (that works), delicate porcelain figurines and a pair of bronze cherubs who sit atop a marble mantle clock. Rose-colored walls are punctuated with gilded moldings and decorative flower baskets done in gold relief. An additional benefit is that both the Main Dining Room and Mural Lounge have sweeping views of Lake Merritt.
The Main Dining Room is the Bellevue Club's pièce de résistance. Hand-carved ornamentations, including small reliefs of women's faces, grace the walls between enormous arched windows framed by flowering draperies. A crystal chandelier and wall sconces cast a soft glow over evening parties. And if you want to give your wedding a truly regal flair, conduct your toasting or bouquet-throwing from the fifth floor interior balcony, a lofty perch from which to survey your "kingdom" below. It's also a wonderful vantage point for a photographer to capture aerial photos of your event.
Two smaller spaces, connected by a sunny enclosed terrace, are also highly detailed. The Wisteria Room is named for the flowered pattern on the hand-blocked linen drapery that frames two large brass windows with lake views; the Terrace Room is distinguished by a hand-painted mural above a black marble fireplace. And if you and some of your guests want to extend your stay, five guestrooms with full baths and some with private lakeside balconies provide pleasant and convenient overnight accommodations
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Recommended by 93% of couples
Sarah · Married on 12/29/2018
Fairytale venue with world-class service
I had the honor of having my wedding at the Bellevue Club this past December and while this review is long overdue, I want to take a moment to recommend this space to brides and grooms.Sent on 07/16/2019
I feel like the Bellevue Club is a well-kept Bay Area secret. Most of my friends and family members had never heard of it despite its ideal location on Lake Merritt.
When I first visited the club, my family and I met with the wonderful event coordinator there, Mr. David Darwish. David was a wonder to work with and I now consider him a dear friend of the family. Truly, we could not have asked for a better coordinator. David walked us through the gorgeous venue and listened to what we wanted to see. The service in this place is as classy as the venue; I never felt nickeled-and-dimed by the Club like I did when I visited other venues in the Bay Area. David even met with me and my family on several other occasions, helping me walk-through various elements of the day.
David and the Club accommodated all of our needs, including ones as specific as needing a halal meat option for our guests, to the more general of helping coordinate day-of operations between various vendors.
The food was incredible. My family and friends raved about it — the chef on staff is incredibly talented and designs a meal that feels like it is unique to the day, not just another run-of-the mill wedding dinner. We had both a chicken and salmon option and I thought both were delicious. And the dessert — I didn’t even care to try a piece of our wedding cake after eating the chef’s exquisite tiramisu!
I loved everything about the Bellevue Club. It may be an older space, but it has all of the charm and grandeur of a French castle, and it was certainly nice feeling like its queen for a day!
Lois · Married on 10/20/2018
Wonderful Wedding Experience
We recently were married at the Bellevue Club, and couldn't be happier with our choice! As I planed the big day, I became more and more appreciative of all that was included in the Bellevue venue - the food, tables, chairs, linens, etc... It was so great to not have to make all those "little" decisions - it allowed for the focus to be on what was the most important to us: the day itself. The beautiful rooms meant little additional decor was needed - a few flowers and centerpieces completed the look.Sent on 12/14/2018
David is wonderful to work with - he's creative, flexible, and went above and beyond for us. Chef Henry's food was delicious and the staff was extraordinarily helpful and kind.
The space was perfect for our night - room for kids to get creative and play, plenty of dance floor, and a space for folks to step away from the music for more quiet conversations.
Some wedding guests also stayed there at the Bellevue Club (there are a few rooms), and were happy with the rooms and location.
Thanks, David, Henry, and team for helping make our day special and fun!
Melody · Married on 10/16/1999
The club is a very elegant location to be married. They are very organized and have the wedding thing down but that means that they are not very flexible with things. They have a set and very basic menu and you must use them as your caterer. Other then that a nice location to have an eventSent on 10/09/2008