Recommended by 84%
Nicholas · Married on 05/29/2011
OUR WEDDING WAS PERFECT, THANKS TO ALI AND JACK, AND ALL THE MARK WEST LODGE STAFF! Honestly, I don't think we could have picked a better venue for the biggest day of our lives. Gorgeous location, beautiful grounds, and amazing people. What more could you ask for?
From day one, Ali was absolutely perfect. She was at our beckon call - and I assure you, she was called upon quite often! She listened to us, was patient, calm, and helpful. She took all the time needed to explain procedures, costs, options, and just field general questions. She put up with our panicky moments and our silly friends. She did it all with a smile on her face and patience in her voice. It really felt like we had a friend helping us through an incredibly tough planning process! We really and truly couldn't be happier with her service. Just amazing. Words really don't do justice to how much she helped us overall. Her calm demeanor and professional attitude really went a long way in helping us stay sane!
The actual venue and wedding were amazing. Like any wedding, there were hiccups - but absolutely nothing was their fault. In fact, whenever there was a hiccup, (like a different company losing some of our table cards!) the staff at Mark West went out of their way to remedy the situation. They are clearly professionals there, and it showed. Not a single stone went unturned in making sure that this wedding was perfect. The staff were SO nice. All of the bartenders, (JD in particular!), the servers, the management, everyone - we were treated like royalty. Our guests were constantly commenting on how amazing of a job they were doing. I had a very pleasant chat with Jack, and we really felt loved there. I truly felt that they cared so much about us, our guests, and our big day.
We could not be happier. Straight up. I literally had dozens of people approach me later to tell me that it was the best wedding they've ever been to. I think it's very fair to give much of the credit to the staff of the Mark West Lodge. It felt like family was taking care of us, and it really made a somewhat stressful event way easier to handle. I will recommend Mark West to anyone with ears. We are ecstatic with their service. If I could give them six stars, I would.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Ali and Jack, you really helped make our wedding perfect!
Phyllis · Married on 06/20/2010
Mark West Lodge and Hummingbird Gardens was the perfect venue for our destination wedding. We also used Creekside across the street for the rehearsal picnic. The picnic was lovely. The wedding was PERFECT. It was a pleasure working with Ali and all the vendors MWL provided. Only one slight glitch, the DJ should have had speakers in the eating area, because of the acoustics. We chose Perfect Endings for the wedding cake instead of the bakery provided but that's because we had already sampled Perfect Endings. It was worth the extra cost. I highly recommend Mark West Lodge for a wedding venue. Creek Side was really nice too!
Heidi · Married on 07/26/2009
Ali, the coordinator was wonderful - she made it sooo easy. The day was perfect - everything went without a hitch. The site was beautiful. I highly recommend this venue.
Amy · Married on 08/08/2008
Mark West Lodge was the perfect place for my husband and I to get married. We were looking for a venue that was elegant, yet cozy, and was all-inclusive so we could lighten our wedding planning load. We found everything we were looking for at Mark West Lodge. Ali was amazing, as was the rest of the staff. My husband and I were amazed by how smoothly everything ran, and our guests even commented on it! The vendors that were a part of the all-inclusive package were incredible-- the DJ was AMAZING, the flowers were beautiful, the food was delicious, and the photographer was so easy to work with.
After our wedding, we heard from so many of our guests that it was the best wedding they had ever been to. We couldn't agree more and are so lucky that our day truly was perfect. We wouldn't change a thing.
I would highly recommend Mark West Lodge to anyone, and I already have!
Tammy · Married on 06/28/2008
Mark West Lodge was absolutely a wonderful experience. The packages they have put together include all the top vendors (florist, DJ, Cake, Photographer, Officiant). Every single person we dealt with in the process of planning our wedding was incredible. Mark West Lodge has really gathered the best of the best in the area in order to make the whole experience just perfect. You get the best service, and the best quality and they did all the work of gathering those vendors for you! They were all very very wonderful and willing to work with what we envisioned our day to be. They had great suggestions but also let us "do our own thing" when it called for it! The food was delicious and beautifully presented- our cake was gorgeous AND delicious-our photographer was fabulous- our DJ was fun and warm and made the night flow just right-our officiant was just perfect too- AND, last but not least, the setting and the location was gorgeous and perfect, from the flowers, to the grounds, the hummingbirds...just ALL of it. An lovely, elegant and rustic setting and it just felt incredible.
I cannot say enough fantastic things about our wedding. It was a destination wedding for all of our guests, and everyone left just gushing about what a fabulous and wonderful wedding we had. We are extrememely happy and we wish we could have a wedding every year! Our wedding day was everything we wanted it to be, and more.
Sarah · Married on 12/22/2007
Ali, the event coordinator at Mark West Lodge, was incredible. She was so good about keeping in contact with not only us, but with all of our vendors as well! She was amazing with the phone calls and emails. Ali kept everything calm and organized on the wedding day. She truly ran the show. In fact, she did so many little things, that I hardly even knew that they had been done. She paid great attention to detail and followed through on all of the little things that can slip through the cracks. Although we had a time limit, we never felt rushed by the Mark West staff. The location was beautiful, charming, comfortable, and inviting! Our guests had a great time and are looking forward to visiting the venue on their own in the future. We are so happy that we chose Mark West Lodge, it helped make our wedding memorable.
Joannah · Married on 11/11/2007
Our November wedding at the MWL was perfect in every way. We first looked at the MWL in June. We were taken in by the site's lovely garden and casually elegant lodge. Ali was personable and helped us with all the details. We thought the mini-Hummingbird package was a great value. All the vendors that came with the package provided us with outstanding service. The day of the wedding, we felt very comfortable as Ali handled all the coordination. As the bride, I just had to get ready and enjoy the day.
I would highly recommend the MWL. I wish we could do it all over again!
nancy · Married on 09/23/2007
The Hummingbird package is the way to go!
We priced it out, each vendor separately, and we realized a significant savings (in the $thousands!) by going with this package. The best part about it is that it was completely personalized to our wedding colors and theme.
The venue was spectacular, the first day of Autumn with all the grapes dangling from the largest grape vines in North America--it couldn't have been more romantic--but it was! The attention to detail that Hummingbird Gardens took made our wedding day exceed far beyond any expectations we had. The calls and letters afterward to my husband and I were the proof--we got them even on our honeymoon! It was total perfection!
Beth · Married on 08/29/2009
Mark West Lodge was the PERFECT place for my husband and I to get married. We went to look at it and knew right away that's where we wanted to have it. Everything about it was amazing. Ali was INCREDIBLE. She seriously made everything so much easier! To put it lightly, wedding planning is not my thing, at all. Ali was a savior! All of the vendors they recommended were fantastic as well. Cake, flowers, food, DJ... I could not have imagined any of it any better. We have received a ridiculous amount of compliments, and have been told by numerous guests that it was the best wedding they ever attended.
I absolutely LOVED everything about my wedding and wish I could do it over and over and over again because it was so perfect :)
Colleen · Married on 10/04/2008
If we could get married again, we would return to Mark West Lodge without a second thought! Ali DeLuvio, the on-site coordinator, was so much fun to work with -- her warmth, professionalism and intimate knowledge of weddings made our special day a pleasure instead of a headache. The setting is unique and intimate, and the choice of indoor or outdoor ceremony sites came in handy when it almost rained on our wedding. We cannot say enough positive things about this gem just off the beaten path.
jennie · Married on 03/29/2009
The Mark West Lodge was the first venue on my list to look at, and after that meeting I was done looking! The gardens were breathtaking and completely admirable. The building inside was beautifully and simply decorated. The whole feel was just warm and inviting. As I was planning my wedding I knew there was nothing to worry about when it came to all the final details on the day because Ali, the venues coordinator, kept everything moving smoothly... I felt like she really cared about making my day special and she really did! I had my wedding on off season which kept the cost low and well worth it. I would absolutely recommend all of you to make a visit.
Christina · Married on 08/26/2007
We used the Hummingbird Package at Mark West Lodge for our August 2007 wedding for 100 guests. Included in our package were MWL ceremony/reception site and wedding coordinating, catering with Park Avenue Catering, flowers with Wine Country Flowers, and photography with Timeless Treasures. We used our own DJ and Officiant. Ive reviewed the vendors separately.
Jack and Ali at MWL are friendly, personable, mean well, and their calm, laid-back attitude is comforting, but sometimes it is hard to figure out if they are calm because they have everything under control or if they are just laid back. Keith and I left many unreturned phone calls and e-mails and before finally learning that Aquarius, Jacks co-owner who sold us the package, and the wedding coordinator left the business. Ali, who started helping us a few weeks beforehand the wedding, was much better at corresponding and answering our specific questions, but perhaps because she was new to the job, she never took the lead on helping us make sure everything was in order. When we picked up the slack and did this ourselves we found a number of miscommunications between MWL and the other vendors, which made us uneasy. As clients who had purchased all inclusive wedding package, my husband and I are not Bridezillas but we do need to know that everything is taken care of, and we expected more from MWL since they promised 4 hours of pre-event coordination and 12 hours of day-of-coordination.
Our wedding went fairly smoothly, but a couple of problems made us wonder what would have happened if we hadnt taken the reins in organizing the event and gave us a little more stress that we would have liked.
1. Jack didnt play our recessional music until we were half way down the isle. Ali later told us that, although we never discussed ringing the wedding bell, Jack was busy trying to ring the wedding bell for us. It is hard to dislike Jack, especially since he was trying to do something extra for us, but I was disappointed because I had selected a unique song for our recessional.
2. Keiths dad is a wine enthusiast and he gave us his favorite wines for our wedding, so we upgraded to the indoor/outdoor bar service and Ali promised to pour a full champagne toast immediately after our wedding and have a white wine toast waiting in the dining hall for Keiths dads welcome toast.
After our ceremony Ali had champagne for the two of us, but none for our wedding party. This was embarrassing for me because I told our wedding party that there would be champagne waiting for them and we ended up with the only gasses, while they stood around empty handed. Ali later told us that they were saving it for the welcome toast! When our friends asked for drinks at the bar, they insisted on IDs. I assumed that since Ali promised to have champagne for everyone this wouldnt be an issue. But they should have discussed this with us before the wedding so we could work out a plan to ID and mark guest over 18(which was everyone except for a 1 year old baby).
At the reception they forgot to pour the toast again! This was embarrassing as Keiths dads toast was about celebrating the blessings of good friends with good wine. Ali later told me that they were saving it for the best man toast! I am not sure what happened, but they never really served the wine and beer. They eventually poured the champagne and came around once to serve the red and white wine, but they didnt come back again and our guest were left toasting us with empty glasses. At one point, our best man, had to ask over the microphone to refill the glasses at the head table. They did, but then didnt refill everyone elses glasses! Ali wasnt there and there were no servers to be found so we just enjoyed the moment as it was. They returned several cases of our wine, but we were frustrated because although this was a wine country wedding our guest barely had wine at dinner and it really wasnt served during the dancing either. MWL would have earned hundreds more in corkage fees if they served the wine, so I dont know what happened.
Overall, we are still very glad that we choose MWL. It has a great layout for a small to medium sized wedding so our wedding flowed nicely. And since hey already had so many flowers in the garden and the place was already set up for weddings we didnt have to work hard to make it a beautiful wedding. Jack and Ali are good honest people. Some of the problems we faced may have been because they were going through so many organizational changes in 2007. But, now that that is settled, Jack and Ali have the potential to make it the perfect place for a wedding and I hope they do. Just quiz them before you sign up to make sure they are prepared. When we worked with them they only had a rudimentary file folder holding our names and contract. So, asking to see a sample file of how they keep track of and manage a couples event would be a good place to start. Good luck!
Alysha · Getting married on 10/10/2020
I ended up canceling the wedding. Kinda glad i did at this point. Marina used to be very prompt but i haven't heard from her since may. Ive been trying to get ahold of her for a month now, still no response. Im seriously thinking about calling the BBB.
Phuong · Married on 10/13/2018
I am less than a month from my wedding, and I have not heard from the owner of the venue, Marina, since I've paid my last payment. Communication with this venue was fine until about February this year. Since then she would go weeks, then months, without answering my emails. I would try to call, and the number for the venue would be disconnected. Marina gave me no other contacts or numbers/emails to reach out.
In May, Marina writes an email to all of the brides saying her email was "hacked." She claimed she put someone else in charge but they weren't doing their job. She assured us she would give each of us a call to check in, but I never received one. Fast forward to this month - I was tired of never hearing from her, and I said I would not make a final payment in August until she emails me back. Boom, get an email right away from her saying she'd call. We jump on the call and make plans to meet that weekend with some vendors. Since I received word from her again, we decided to make the final payment. Ever since then, she has not contacted me. I went to the venue for a walk through at our agreed time, and she doesn't show. I drove two hours and came to a locked venue with two other vendors. I've sent her countless emails and voicemails asking for response and contact info of her back up. It's been radio silence.
This type of service is totally unacceptable. I tolerated it before when I still had months until my wedding. We are only a few weeks away and I can't even trust she will show up on my wedding day. Can you believe the stress we are under after planning for a year and a half? This place is such a let down, avoid this place at all costs. You don't want to have the same experience as me.