Recommended by 92%
Jessica · Married on 06/08/2008
We loved the Darlington House. They were so accomodating and the venue looked perfect. The gardens are gorgeous.Sent on 09/22/2008
User3010569 · 2+ years ago
We had our ceremony at a church, but had our reception at the Darlington House.Sent on 10/08/2014
This was the perfect venue for us as it is charming, beautiful, unique, and personalized to what you want -- this is not a cookie cutter banquet hall or hotel -- yuck!
The grounds are absolutely breathtaking. You have use of the entire property so it almost feels like a personal mansion (think Father of the Bride glamorous backyard affair). It was exquisite and the guests (many from the east coast) LOVED it and could not stop complimenting the grounds. Some people said they felt they had been transported to Europe!
All of the staff were courteous and helpful throughout the entire planning process. I had no issues with any of the personnel and they let us tour the grounds multiple times when I was in town with different vendors; they were always very accomodating. (I was planning from the east coast).
I must go through the potential downsides for future brides... I don't know how the value compares to other places, as you do have to hire a caterer off a list and bring in ALL rentals including tables, chairs, linens, etc. so the price can add up pretty quickly. There are also noise constraints which we were concerned about, but did not impact us because our crowd definitely partied all night and danced the night away, creating the party atmosphere we were worried we wouldn't get at this venue, even if it wasn't PULSATING LOUD music (in fact, the other guests who wanted to chat actually liked that it was not a nightclub-like decibal of sound). We also had an after party at a local brewery which kept the party going since you do need to be out of there by 10pm (highly recommend an after party and providing transportation).
It sounds like I am focusing on the negatives, but in truth, it was the best day of our lives and everything about this venue was gorgeous and made for amazing memories (and photos!). I wish I could throw a party here every weekend!!!
Dana · Married on 09/24/2016
I would absolutely recommend the Darlington House to anyone looking for a wedding venue. It offers stunning beauty at an affordable price. The wedding industry can be crazy with price gouging but the Darlington House is one of those rare gems that offers a quality product at a reasonable price in beautiful La Jolla.Sent on 11/07/2016
User3235239 · 2+ years ago
The Darlington House is a beautiful place for a wedding (or any event). Rain interrupted our big day but they worked with me to change plans and make more use of the house than we were originally planning. Absolutely love the grounds...only downside is music/food/drinks stopping at 9 and rushing to get everything and everyone out of the house at 9:30.Sent on 10/29/2014
Curtis · Married on 10/27/2013
Darlington House did a great Job felicitating the my wedding. There were beautiful gardens and great pictures taken at every turn. Great venue!Sent on 10/29/2013
Brent · Married on 08/02/2013
This place was perfect for my wife and me. Outdoors, sort of vintage/rustic. The staff was crazy helpful and nice. It was amazing.Sent on 08/21/2013
User3021128 · 2+ years ago
I fell in love with the Darlington House immediately. I knew we had to get married at such a beautiful venue. The look of the property and house went perfect with the style of the wedding we were planning. We had 115 guests and it worked perfectly!Sent on 10/30/2013
In reading some reviews leading up to the event I was just a tad nervous about the volunteer workers that would be at the event to "watch over" the house. I completely understand that the Darlington House would have to have such a person making sure there weren't kids sliding down the banisters or spilled red wine in the house...but in previous reviews I read that some volunteers were a little rude to guests. Well, I can say that they were nothing short of perfectly pleasant! She helped guests find the restrooms and even gave a little history to those who asked.
Furthermore, Maria was on site the whole event and she was wonderful! She took care of anything behind the scenes and was very friendly.
Samantha · Married on 04/22/2013
This location was perfect for us. we were expecting 100-120 people at our wedding and the entire set up was exactly what you could hope for.Sent on 07/21/2014
The staff is responsive and helpful.
The venue cut decorating costs and provided its own allure.
market lighting over the rose garden for a reception was very helpful though.
Inexpensive to start your wedding earlier than 5pm since they close at 10pm. they were not flexible with that time due to regulations on them.
provides great scenery with lots of character
Maribel · Married on 04/25/2009
The Darlington House is such a beautiful vintage romantic location. Very private and so many colors. Indeed you can save on flowers do to the lush landscape and beautiful flowers and greenery all around. I only needed flowers for the wedding party. Not much decorating is needed. The house manager Emily was very pleasant and helpful (A+). Only issue is flexability with dropping things off prior to event can be a problem if location is being used.Sent on 05/12/2009
Alexis · Married on 07/21/2007
We had a great experience with the Darlington House. I would highly recommend them. The only draw back is you can't use any caterer but you have a list of about 12 to choose from.Sent on 07/22/2008
Geraldine · Married on 03/12/2016
My husband and I chose Darlington House for our reception because of the beautiful mediterranean feel of the house in gorgeous La Jolla. The price of the venue was not only reasonable, but knowing that it went to support the Social Service League of La Jolla and the League House next to the Darlington House which provides housing to low-income, seniors. The volunteers at Darlington House were incredibly helpful and made us feel at home right away.Sent on 11/02/2016
Amanda · Married on 05/28/2011
This is the first reception venue we looked at and I fell in love with it instantly. Barely two blocks from the beach and if it weren't for the luxury retirement home in front of it, you would be able to see the ocean from the front door. Gorgeous Spanish-style villa with beautifully decorated interior. Receptions happen in their terra-cotta tiled rose garden which can fit up to 200. There is also two other courtyards perfect for cocktail hour - one with a blue and white tiled fountain in an Egyptian theme and the other with Moor-inspired pillars.Sent on 06/29/2011
The privacy and intimacy offered by the beautiful house is a definite plus as well as the fact that the fee for use of the home goes toward a non-profit committed to taking care of senior citizens. That being said there are quite a few restrictions and the cost per hour is quite high considering that you still have to pay for rentals and catering (all chosen from their required vendors list). If you're looking for flexibility and value, this may not be the best option. However, it is a must if you are going for an intimate ambiance.
For the most part, the staff was very professional. There was a bit of a mix-up with my paperwork but I think this is because they non-profit and rely on volunteer office help. Also, while you have your wedding volunteer docents are present in the house to make sure that your guests respect the historic home. For the most part, they were very helpful but one of the older docents became very annoyed with the children of my guests who were playing in the house and scolded them. Unlike me, you probably want to consider hiring a babysitter if you're planning on having a lot of children at the reception to avoid this.
Tara · Married on 09/01/2012
We looked at about 15 different venues around San Diego before finally touring The Darlington House and we knew right away that's where we wanted to have our ceremony and reception. I couldn't have imagined a better place to have it and that was the main thing the guests commented on over and over again was how beautiful the venue was. Emily was also so helpful leading up to and on the day of the wedding. She helped coordinate with the vendors, wedding party, and guests to make everything run as smoothly as possible. The only downside is they don't provide tables and chairs, which we ended up paying about $1000 for through the caterer. Not a big deal, just added cost. We loved the Darlington House for all it's character and natural, timeless beauty!Sent on 11/08/2012
Sarah · Married on 09/24/2011
Everyone absolutely loved the location and how beautiful the house and courtyards are. The place has so many different areas that we could have an area for the dance floor and music, a separate area for socializing near the bar, an area for smoking, and multiple areas for groups to hang out. Absolutely a wonderful place to have your reception.Sent on 10/11/2011
Christina · Married on 09/01/2011
Lovely place if you are looking for a small gathering, which we were. The Music and Bar must stop at 9:30 p.m. not bad if you are ready to end the party, paid extra to stay until 10:00 p.m. but most guest left once the bar and music ended. You have to be out at 10:00 p.m. on the dot, but we were aware of this from the begining. People were friendly- again the Darlington House is a very lovey place.Sent on 09/08/2011
Lisa · Married on 08/22/2009
The Darlington House was a lovely venue. I had both my ceremony and reception there. My only disapointment is the fact that although you do have use of the upstairs suites 2 hrs prior to your event 2 hrs was not sufficiant time for my bridal party and myself to get ready which meant we all had to get ready somewhere else. I just felt if my event was the only one being held that day, it shouldnt have been a problem to let my bridal party up for more time.Without charging more. This small issue made me late for my wedding. Other than that the staff was very helpfull and especially Emily was just wonderfull. The Darlington House is lucky to have her as an employee.Sent on 09/08/2009
Julie · Married on 07/13/2013
I love this venue. Our experience was amazing. The style of this house complimented our day creating a one stop location for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. The only bump we ran into was with the bar. in order to save some cash we arranged to have a keg dropped off the day of the wedding at 10am. Our ceremony was at 4pm and the staff waited until after our ceremony to tell us we could not have a keg. It would have been nice if they had told us that morning. They are not very flexible with their rules but if you go into the day knowing what you can and can't do it isn't a big deal. The staff is nice, friendly and helpful. I had a great experience even with the keg mishap. I received rave reviews about the location from my guests. Keep in mind that no ceremony or reception rentals are included so you should be prepared to pay a little more for this space. You will also need to arrange for valet because parking here is not accommodating for large events. Well worth the cost in my opinion. Loved getting married in this beautiful location.Sent on 08/10/2013
Jessica · Married on 03/19/2011
The Darlington House was the perfect place for our small, intimate wedding. We loved the privacy offered by the venue, the indoor space, and the beautiful courtyards. It made a big difference that I had an event coordinator, though. It would have been a little unpleasant to have to deal with all the ins-and-outs of an historical venue on my own. It was an additional cost and a pain to have the rehearsal when I needed it and to have the venue for an extra hour in the evening. Everything was beautiful, though, and I had a perfect wedding. All of my guests thought that the Darlington House was just wonderful.Sent on 05/10/2011
Emily · Married on 09/25/2009
The Darlington is absolutely gorgeous, and is cheaper than almost all the locations nearby in La Jolla. It has a couple of drawbacks though...they are strict. Everyone has to be out by 10, the sound volume limits (they tell the DJ they will check with a decibel meter!), no red wine in the house, no kegs, etc. They also don't have any parking, so you generally will need a valet. The money goes to a good cause (the retirement home next door is supported by money from Darlington), and at least if you have to be out by 10 it is so low-income old people can sleep!Sent on 10/15/2009
Jennifer · Married on 09/14/2008
This venue is beautiful. As a professional event planner myself, it was the perfect place for our wedding. I did think the people in charge were vague and just assumed you knew everything, all the rules etc. Most importantly, they didnt offer suggestions on weather patterns (its all outdoors) so sometimes its windy (get containers for candles) or very hot or chilly...However, overall, everyone was friendly. They are very strict and not flexible about any overtime, the band MUST quit 1/2 hour prior along with the bar to the end of your event. Sometimes it's hard to control, but our wedding worked well and it was stunning.Sent on 10/02/2008
Parada · Married on 03/31/2012
My fiance and I wanted a wedding venue that was not a hotel and that had a lot of character. The Darlington House was the perfect choice. We had about 75 guests, which we thought may be too small of a wedding for the venue, but everything turned out better than we could have anticipated. We had the ceremony in the Egyptian patio, which has a beautiful water fountain Mrs. Darlington curated from Egypt (hence, the name of the patio). The cocktail hour was held in the Andulusian Patio, and the bar was located in the Library, which is the most charming and interesting rooms in the Darlington House. The reception was held in the Rose Garden, which had a great, charming ambiance and perfectly accommodated the size of our wedding.Sent on 04/08/2012
The Darlington House required more planning and work as you would have to bring in all the vendors (they do provide you a long list of required caterers), but it was absolutely worth it. With the right vendors, all you have to do is highlight the natural and history beauty of the Darlington House to make it the wedding venue of yours dreams. One thing worth noting is that we hired valet service, which our guests really appreciated since there is no commercial lot in that area, and street parking is quite limited.
The venue is located in a residential area in downtown La Jolla, about a few block from the beach. Our wedding was on the earlier side (ceremony began at 3:30pm) as the municipal code would not allow outdoor noise/music after 10:00pm. The time restriction was not a problem for us at all, and our guests thought the venue was beautiful. We did experience one minor confusion with the Darlington House's Director of Reservations regarding receipt of a payment (they sent an email indicating that they hadn't received our last payment check, but in fact they had), but that was quickly straightened out. Our initial contacts appear to be a few different volunteers at the Darlington House. However, about a month or two before the wedding, Emilie became our contact person, and she was great. Overall, my fiance and I were very happy with the Darlington House, and would recommend the venue.
ashley · Married on 04/10/2010
I will start by saying that I LOVE the Darlington House and can't imagine a more beautiful spot for my reception. I wouldn't change a thing. I will warn potential brides that there are a lot of hidden costs, since you have to rent EVERYTHING- tables, chairs, dance floor, flatware, dinnerware, etc. You can save a major cost because you can bring in your own alcohol (and have a licensed bartender serve it), but just beware when you are checking out venues. Also, it's a historic home, so during your wedding there will be ladies who "supervise." Beware, these women are AWFUL! I heard from multiple guests that they were outright rude to them. At the end of the night we went outside to do sparklers, and the ladies would not let my own mother go back inside to grab the flowers and table decorations. My bridesmaid left her purse in and the docent wouldn't let her go back in! Just know that once the alloted time is up, you have to be out, no exceptions.Sent on 04/27/2010
Jackie · Married on 07/08/2016
It was incredibly unpleasant to deal with Summer Ray. She consistently got our names wrong not he contract and didn’t remember our details from one meal to the next, even if they were on the same thread. It was a huge pain to deal with. I liked the Darlington House for how it looked, but needing to use their valet service definitely increases the cost, as well as, using one of their caterers. That definitely makes it less valuable as a find.Sent on 11/09/2016
Darlington House's reply: