35 User photos
Lauren · Married on 02/16/2020
So Glad We Found Asilomar
We happened upon this venue one day and fell in love with its historical charm and beautiful natural surroundings. Grace Chapel was perfect for a small indoor wedding where my dad could still walk me down an aisle, and on top of that it was walking distance from the Seascape Room reception area.
The site coordinator Marisa was my hero. Her patience with people far surpassed mine, and I'd even call it superhuman. Throughout the whole wedding planning process, I always felt like we were in good hands. Even when I had no idea what I was doing (which was most of the time), as soon as our check-in calls were done I'd feel like I was okay without hiring a planner and could probably pull this wedding thing off.
Having a rehearsal the day before was absolutely essential. On the day of our wedding Marisa helped everything run rather smoothly. The ceremony timing and music went pretty much according to plan, plus the Chapel's built-in sound system worked perfectly. It was truly a beautiful place to have a ceremony and it felt so right for us. Many of our guests later expressed how beautiful the architecture was. When we all meandered to Seascape, we also utilized the jitney service for our older guests with mobility difficulties. We were only able to use the Seascape deck for cocktail hour because the patio had been reserved, but it worked out fine with the number and age range of guests we had.
The reception area had been set up as planned, with ample room for guests, buffet and dessert tables, and dancing. It was absolutely gorgeous.
The entire staff was just lovely, friendly, and so helpful. I heard that the food was very good, too. (Besides that incredible mushroom appetizer and a bit of salad, husband and I didn't get to sample much of dinner. Oops.)
Accommodations for us were cozy and we loved the thoughtful little care package. The view of the ocean and the dunes outside our window the next morning was amazing, and it was so peaceful.
Some minor cons: Guests should not expect luxury hotel rooms. They are definitely historic (To Asilomar I would recommend weather stripping on the doors-it got windy!) but they're clean and have their own charm.
Overall we highly recommend Asilomar Conference Grounds.
We are looking forward to coming back on our anniversary and hopefully before then, too. We are so grateful for all of the help and hard work that went into such an unforgettable experience.Sent on 05/07/2020
Malli K. · Married on 02/15/2020
I had the most beautiful wedding at Asilomar. I had a beach ceremony followed by cocktail hour across from the meadow and the reception on the seascape room. Marisa the wedding coordinator at Asilomar is great at what she does. She was very responsive to mine and my mother's millions or questions and requests. She was always willing to work with us and make sure we had exactly what we wanted. Asilomar is the most beautiful combination of forest and beach. The staff there works very hard to meet every need. The only real downside to Asilomar are the rooms. A handful of the rooms did not have heat (and it was pretty chilly when we were there) They worked hard to try and fix the problem and I believe everyone with room trouble did receive a refund. It really is the best venue in the area for the price!Sent on 02/15/2020
Elaine C. · Married on 09/22/2019
Would do it all again!!
Marisa and her team were wonderful to work with. They made sure things were exactly as we wished them to be.Sent on 10/15/2019
Megan · Married on 09/11/2019
Best weekend of our lives, thanks to Asilomar!
We feel beyond lucky that we chose Asilomar for our wedding venue!!!
Atmosphere - beachy, woodsy, casual, but also elegant. I had a hard time describing the uniqueness of Asilomar conference grounds to guests before they arrived, but everyone LOVED the venue and couldn't stop talking about how beautiful it was.
Staff - Literally all Asilomar staff members I interacted with over the course of the wedding were fantastic. You get a site coordinator (no extra cost) to help you through the whole planning process, during the lead-up, and through the day-of events. I can't emphasize how helpful this was in making everything go smoothly and reducing my stress, both in planning beforehand and during the wedding itself.
Value - of all the wedding venues we considered, Asilomar was BY FAR the best value. Total cost was likely more than if you did a simple DIY venue, but also probably at least ~$10,000 cheaper than other beach resorts. You get a stunning setting, site coordinator, excellent food, and guest lodging at the venue. Since Asilomar does weddings regularly, they know what works and what doesn't. They will do everything they can to make planning easy and the wedding go smoothly!
I cannot recommend Asilomar enough!!!Sent on 10/28/2019
Alycia · Married on 02/24/2019
A Picture Perfect Venue
The minute my husband and I saw Asilomar, we knew we had to have it for our wedding venue! We loved the rustic look of the polished wood, fireplaces, and all the natural light let in by the many windows in the Chapel and reception hall. Natascha was a big help at walking us through everything and was not only a great venue coordinator, but also a day-of coordinator. We had a morning wedding and the brunch menu designed by chef Greg Lepesh was delicious! We got so many compliments on the food and the venue in general.
Sent on 04/14/2019
Christine · Married on 10/24/2018
Best Day Ever.
When my then fiancé (now husband) and I were in our early stage of wedding planning, after seeing couple venues, we knew Asilomar was THE venue because of the convenience of having both ceremony and reception sites in one vicinity. We love the ocean and nature so Asilomar was the perfect location for our special day. We had our ceremony at the Asilomar State Beach and reception at Seascape Room. We were very lucky & privileged to have Natascha VonThiele as our event coordinator. I can’t tell you how thankful we are for her. She was very responsive to any form of communication from start to finish. She is reliable, organized and on top of things. Our wedding day ran so smoothly all thanks to her. I give Natascha so much credit for how our wedding day turned out. My husband and I couldn’t be happier having Natascha as our coordinator. She is truly a gem.Sent on 10/30/2018
Brittany B. · Married on 10/20/2018
Perfect location, perfect wedding!
When my husband and I began looking for venues we knew we wanted to get married somewhere in Monterey. Neither of us had been to Asilomar before and as soon as we got there we knew we had found our venue. Not only was it convenient to have the ceremony and reception all at one place, we also had the pleasure of working with Natascha!! Seriously, she deserves an award for being so awesome and amazing. Natascha was so responsive and made sure everything turned out perfect the day of our wedding. We had our ceremony in the meadow area and it was absolutely beautiful! Also made it super convenient for our guests to walk a few steps to cocktail hour and then right to the reception. They also have a wonderful service, the jitney, that would offer rides if anyone needed to go back to their rooms. We are so happy we chose Asilomar for our wedding. Our guests kept commenting on how beautiful everything was. It was the perfect day and we could not have done it without Natascha!Sent on 11/03/2018
Anna · Married on 03/25/2017
We chose the beach for our ceremony location and Seascape hall for the reception. This property is a beautiful blend of beach and woodsy, which was exactly what we wanted. We live locally and surveyed a number of locations for the wedding and found ACG to be competitively priced.Sent on 03/28/2017
Coordinator - the wedding coordinator, Joselynn, is a dream to work with. She is very responsive via email and really willing to work with you and help you get the very most out of your budget. I loved working with her and cannot recommend her highly enough.
Food/Wine - My family is extremely picky when it comes to food (they are foodies for sure) so I was very worried about having bad wedding food, but everyone raved about the food. We didn't know exactly what our wedding food would be; the chef will design the meal based on what is local and in season, so we had a general idea of what we would be getting but we didn't know exactly.
Lodging - since this is a conference grounds, the lodging here is more rustic and does not include some amenities that people might look for (TV, updated rooms, etc.) Included in the wedding package (if available), is a complimentary room for the couple the night of the wedding. We had a room right by the water and could hear the waves crashing all night - it was heaven. We were secured a small meeting room for during the day as a getting ready local for the groomsmen - cheaper than selecting an overnight room.
Ceremony - Asilomar contracts with a local company to handle the ceremony, (chairs, sound, arch, etc.) The vendor requires that you bring your own music for the ceremony, which I found to be a bit overwhelming (others may not!), planing pre-, during and post-ceremony music felt a bit daunting. You had to provide the music to the vendor on a phone/mp3 player yourself. We did not get the arch we requested nor did he play our recessional music, but otherwise everything was perfect.
I loved getting married here and wouldn't change a thing.
Jem · Married on 07/25/2015
When we were in the early stages of planning our wedding, my then fiance (now husband) told me that he only has 2 non-negotiables: 1) it has to be a beach wedding and, 2) dinner has to be plated. I was trying to look for beach locations that are not too common and Asilomar perfectly fit our needs.Sent on 07/30/2015
Asilomar was the second location we visited and at the end of the visit, we already knew that this is the place where we want to get married. We were supposed to visit another location after Asilomar but decided to cancel because it really felt like we have already found the perfect location. We both loved the rustic look of the entire conference grounds (I love the Hearst Social Hall!) and my fiance especially loved the beach area. The entire area has a lot of picturesque locations where you can take post-ceremony bridal party photos and that was actually the part that my husband was most excited about. One thing to note though is that the beach is a public beach so prepare yourself that you won't have the beach to yourself on the wedding day itself. But the beach-goers are respectful of the wedding ceremony and they try not to be in the way.
Aside from a very nice beach location, Asilomar also had really nice service. The event coordinator was very responsive and very pleasant to work with. The food was amazing - a lot of our guests told us how much they enjoyed their dinner. The waitstaff was also very attentive and made sure all our guests have what they need.
We are very happy that we found Asilomar!
User5012356 · 2+ years ago
It was a beautiful event and a beautiful day. My memories will last forever. Thank youSent on 04/25/2015
Laura · Married on 05/24/2014
Asilomar was a beautiful place to have my wedding. Everyone was so supportive and nice through out the planning process, and even though there were issues on the wedding day, the staff never hurried me they kept me calm and made the day one I will never forget! The grove where we had the wedding over looked the beach, so you have this amazing view but no one got dirty! The reception hall that we rented was perfect for my wedding and had the style of a $100,000 wedding, but on my beer can budget, Asilomar made my dreams come true of having a wedding I could never afford made possible! The staff and food catering was also above what I could have ever expected. The only thing I would change is that more people should know about the secret of Asilomar, so more people can have the dream wedding they never thought possible. Thank You Asilomar!Sent on 05/08/2015
Pamela · Married on 12/30/2014
Asilomar Conference Grounds was a dream location for our wedding. The wedding coordinator, Christina, was professional and very helpful. We had a quaint ceremony in front a roaring fire. Our guests all commented on what a beautiful location it was. There were deer roaming in the field near us, which added to the natural beauty around us. The appetizers we had served were delicious, and served timely. I would highly recommend this venue. The only reason for the 4-1/2 rating on value was because the bathrooms in the rooms could use a little updating (although that put no damper on our day). Thank you, Asilomar!Sent on 04/20/2015
Lia D. · Married on 10/19/2019
Best Wedding Venue in PG!
Asilomar Conference Grounds was the perfect venue for our wedding! A rustic setting surrounded by the ocean and forest. We got married onsite in the cypress meadow, had our cocktail hour a few steps away and then dinner and dancing in the beautiful Seascape room. The coordinator Marissa is a joy to work with and truly loves what she does! She was responsive to my emails and was always able to get an answer to our many questions. Asilomar makes wedding planning easy with food and drinks included, as well as tables, linens, plates, glasses and ceremony seating. I was nervous about having enough room for dancing with our 120 guests, but the staff easily moved two tables and we had plenty of space! We finished the weekend with our guests by having post-wedding breakfast onsite at Crocker Hall! Only negative was that a few guests had poor experiences with their rooms on the grounds...As two kids who grew up in Pacific Grove we were so happy to get married at Asilomar! Definitely the best venue in Pacific Grove.Sent on 01/29/2020
Diane · Married on 05/09/2015
Our wedding was beautiful and everything we expected. Christina did a fabulous job working with us, providing information and making sure everything was how we wanted it. Dustin helped us with the music and set up and he was right on top of it! They were both essential to our wedding being amazing! It was so beautiful being on the beach with the waves in the background and made it great for pictures.Sent on 05/26/2015
Monica · Married on 07/07/2018
Natascha was very helpful and we had an amazing wedding! Would definitely recommend getting married here. Pictures turned out great and the weather was gorgeous for an early July wedding. It was also within our budget and I liked that the entire wedding was at the same location.Sent on 08/02/2018
Katie · Married on 10/25/2014
Asilomar had some employee turn over while we were planning, so for a while it was difficult to get responses from them, or figure out who was able to help us. They are owned by a large conglomerate, Aramark, so any dealings with Aramark should be avoided at all costs. Asilomar itself, and the people on site, were just wonderful, so accommodating, so helpful. They made everything really easy on us, which most of the other venues we looked at would have charged a small fortune to do, but Asilomar was totally reasonable. Our wedding was perfect.Sent on 04/13/2015
User5574231 · 2+ years ago
Perfect Beach Wedding Location! Event Quality Lacking.Sent on 11/12/2015
This place is stunning!! We chose Asilomar to host our wedding ceremony on the State Beach just steps off of their property. The beach is gorgeous and the conference grounds are beautiful. The package with Asilomar included permit for the beach, set up of chairs and arch and use of their sound system. All in all it is a great value.
While we were planning our event Asilomar went through 3 event managers. I think that this led to our less than exceptional service. We were disappointed that the event staff was unwilling to hold any of our ceremony items and would not help in any set up of any items other than chairs and arch. We brought our own table to place out water and parasols for our guests.
Overall we really love this place and hate to have to put negative marks against them as we do see the value in their offering. We set up our own extra items and our ceremony was all that we had dreamed of.
Lauren · Married on 09/02/2017
Like many other couples, we went through 3 or 4 different main contact points at Asilomar. For the most part information was transferred from person to person and each individual was nice enough to work with. Everything went well on the day of and there were no big surprises. Our guests loved the beautiful grounds and proximity to the beach during happy hour. During the day, the Seascape room shows its shabbiness but we didn't notice this at night. I appreciated that we had rented a few uplights though to bring the room to life. I would recommend Asilomar to other couples looking for good value for money who want to have a relaxed, friends-and-family centered affair.Sent on 10/08/2017
PS. The buffet was delicious and definitely highlighted California cuisine at its best!
Alisa · Married on 07/18/2009
Our wedding was absolutely beautiful and most of the staff was friendly, quick, and very helpful. Many of our guests also had rooms to stay there and the rooms are clean and the atmosphere very relaxing. The wait staff at our reception was great and took care of everything. We were unable to taste the food before since we live about 3 hours away, but the food was wonderful!! There was some problem with communication with our event coordinator, but all turned out great. The value is amazing since this site is a state park, the costs are very reasonable and the grounds are beautiful.Sent on 07/20/2009
Amber · Married on 07/20/2019
I am a bit disappointed in my experience here. I was very lead on during my initial apt on what they can do for me the day of my wedding. But did not realize until it was too late.Sent on 08/01/2019
Here is a list of mistakes made:
-Table chart and arrangements. I sent a very detailed chart. But people were missing chairs at their table. And they were not in the right spot. I wanted my family to sit together and they were on opposite sides of room.
-they were suppose to save the top of my cake. But they didn’t so now my husband and I can’t do the traditional eating the cake a year later for good luck.
There was more things that upset me. But I won’t go on more.
My day of coordinator was very sweet and professional and I did enjoy working with her.
Christine · Married on 06/10/2017
The setting was very beautiful and I could not ask for a better place. You have to like outdoorsy rustic to appreciate this place. We had a night before bonfire and rehearsal dinner. We reserved the Surf & Sand Room. It was a beautiful room for about 30 people. The food for the rehearsal dinner was excellent. In fact this venue has excellent food! The bonfire was a two hour event of S'mores and an open bar. It was a great way to get our guests informally acquainted with each other.Sent on 06/28/2017
Our ceremony was in the Cypress Meadow and it turned out to be a beautiful day! Just to note this venue does not provide a room to change so be ready for that. The cocktail hour was right across at the BBQ Pitt. It was beautiful and the boardwalk was right next to the area so guests could grab a drink and walk around the property. We reserved the Seascape Room for the reception. It holds ups o 100 but we had 80 guests and there was plenty of room. It is a beautiful room. The entire day was wonderful. Here are my pros and cons:
Staff was willing to work with us on lay out and changes.
There was a transition between coordinators and the communication was a but slow at first but this improved once they hired a permanent person.
The communication between the staff and events coordinator was a bit sketchy. I think it was because the transition was new and this I am sure is something they are working out.
The staff was great but they would take drinks away before guests were done and sometimes these drinks were full. That is my only complaint.
The drink menu did not have a lot of variety. I think they could do better with this.
We paid for two bartenders but we only saw one.
We paid for non-alcoholic beer but because they do not have a menu of the drinks served (You can print one up the same day) no one knew and we paid for something we didn't use.
*Not sorry we selected this place but there is always room for improvement!
Katrina · Married on 10/18/2014
Our wedding was truly beautiful. The close proximity of the beach and the reception hall was a great plus. We had amazing weather, couldn't have asked for a better day.Sent on 12/04/2014
We had a little trouble with the planning of the wedding as the coordination was always out of the office. but in the end it all worked out. I was told she would be present the day of but never saw her after the ceremony started. I was bothered by this as there was no one over seeing the flow of the reception and I had to ask the staff myself for many different tasks to happen. The wait staff did a great job prepping the reception and during as well.
I would not recommend using the facility for you wedding cake. Although you do have to pay a fee to bring in a cake from another vendor, I wish I had done this instead.
We really loved this site and would recommend it to people who aren't too high maintenance. It is beautiful but there are a tons of restrictions.
Lisa · Married on 06/18/2016
I want to start this review by saying that Asilomar is the most BEAUTIFUL venue I ever could have imagined for my wedding. That is nonnegotiable. The food was also fantastic. My average review comes in because of having such an incredibly frustrating planning process with them it became laughable to us. I fully understand that some of this is beyond their control and each of the individuals I came in contact with were great but the overall experience needs some serious work!Sent on 12/19/2016
We paid our deposit and booked the venue in March 2015 for our June 2016 wedding. In the course of that time we had FOUR different event coordinators through them. Five if you count the fact that we had one of them twice. I was constantly catching the coordinators up to speed and often times my questions or concerns got lost in the continual transition from person to person. Because of all the transitions it took me a year to get an answer on how/when to have a tasting. Additionally, when we originally booked, our ceremony space had a woodchip covered aisle. Somewhere along the line, they decided to close that space to the public and remove the wood chip aisle making it a dirt path, without letting anyone know that had a wedding for that space that their venue changed their space. I was told they had an aisle runner for ceremonies. Then the week before the wedding I was told that wasn't true and it will just be dirt. After putting up a bit of a fit (I really tried to contain any bridezilla behavior but after a year of my chain being yanked I was done) they obliged to get one for the day of. It ended up failing because it was windy and they didn't have the means to secure it.
The icing on top of the cake was when we were booking into the wrong cabin for the weekend for our entire wedding party. It all worked about but working with this venue was hands down the most stressful part of wedding planning.
User4971752 · 2+ years ago
The venue itself is GORGEOUS. The conference centre is very convenient to have a beach wedding. There is ample parking and your guests can simply take a 3 minute stroll to your beach wedding ceremony and return for the reception. Everything about the day itself was fabulous. Food, facilities, sound, etc.Sent on 04/13/2015
HOWEVER, the planning stage was really very difficult! 1) I dealt with three different event managers in succession while I was planning my wedding so was constantly having to re-explain to a new person what i wanted 2) I had a difficult time communicating with them, I would email with specific questions and either would not get a response, would get a response that was inappropriate, or one answering only some of my questions 3) They kept asking me questions about details I had explained multiple times and wrote in detail on the event planning forms they had me fill in.
Overall I had a clear and extremely simple plan of what I wanted for my wedding and the event managers were very difficult to work with and did not seem at all experienced. But the venue itself is lovely and I would recommend to people if you are prepared to deal with the hassle.
Joanna · Married on 01/02/2016
Asilomar is a beautiful place to get married. I loved the location - our wedding was on the beach and reception in historic Merrill Hall. However I have to say that working with their staff was a very stressful experience. I worked with multiple event managers - I kept getting passed to different people who would then suddenly no longer work there. At the end Samantha came though, but everything was rushed and there were some mistakes made in the process. My disappointment began when I had been promised an ocean front balcony room, and that did not happen. It took extensive complaining and several room changes to get a room that was decent, not great. No bridal suite here, even if you are spending tens of thousands of dollars on site (we had a large wedding here). The front desk staff wasn't willing to help with gift bags, even though most any hotel will do this. We held both our rehearsal dinner and wedding reception here, as well as a Sunday brunch. The food at the brunch was far better than the food at the wedding reception. All weekend signs on the property were minimal so people kept getting lost, and they were not staffing events like they should. For example I had to actually kick some random hotel guests out of our rehearsal dinner bonfire who had assumed it was a public event! I don't think this happens at most properties hosting weddings as it can be prevented with a bit more effort on the part of the event staff. So in sum, the location is beautiful, but do not expect the same service as having your wedding at a full service hotel or event space.Sent on 06/14/2017