Soka University of America Reviews

5 | Aliso Viejo, CA
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5 Reviews for Soka University of America

Recommended by 74%

5

3.7 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 3.4
  • Professionalism 3.6
  • Flexibility 3.8
  • Value 3.8
  • Average response time 3.9

11 User photos

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  • F

    Felicia · Married on 07/15/2017

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    Absolutely stunning!! The water and fountains made my wedding look like it cost a million bucks. The landscape was so beautiful and the architecture makes for wonderful photos. We loved that Soka made the fountain area private and peaceful, including blocking off the parking for our guests only. So there were no wandering strangers into our wedding. All my guests commented on how beautiful the location was. The blue of the water makes our photos pop. And added with flowing drapes that we used to provide our guests with shade....the perfect "wow" combination. We couldn't be happier!

    Sent on 07/26/2017
  • M

    melody · Married on 08/15/2015

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    This venue is breathtaking! There are no words. You drive in and immediately your mouth drops open and the beautiful fountains and waters that are before you in the middle of orange county! Trees and mountains surrounding you and beautiful stone walls and buildings around it as if you just fell right in the middle of Italy. I just got married there and I have to say that every one of my over 200 guests have commented on how stunning the venue was. It is such a unique location. My contact was Fae Monroe who is nothing short of AMAZING! She made the process so easy, so fun! I love her!!! She followed up on everything so quickly and efficiently and helped me through any "freak out bride moments" I had. I love Soka so much! I wish I could drive in and sit by that Peace Fountain every day. Our ceremony was by the Peace fountain, cocktail hour on the balcony and reception in the Founders Hall Art Gallery which has hard wood floors! Thank goodness because I cannot have those hotel carpets in pictures that take a way from the beautiful decor brides work so hard for. Everything was perfect!

    Sent on 08/28/2015
  • C

    Courtney · Married on 03/15/2014

    5.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    This venue is literally the most beautiful place! Upon driving into the campus, our guests were immediately in awe of the peace fountain lake, and from start to end of our wedding, it was nothing but comments of amazement about how truly beautiful the venue was. Fae, the coordinator at Soka, is also an amazing, responsive, and just plain nice person, and we were so lucky to find this gem. And as far as our pictures go, there was no such thing as a bad backdrop area, every part was absolutely breathtaking!

    Sent on 03/30/2014
  • Dominique

    Dominique · Married on 06/30/2018

    2.6
    • Quality of service:
      1.5
    • Responsiveness:
      3.5
    • Value:
      2.0
    • Flexibility:
      3.5
    • Professionalism:
      2.5

    This venue is seriously gorgeous! I recently got married here & It was beautiful. We got married by the fountain area & had the reception in the Art Gallery. The best thing about this venue is the fact that your guest don't have to drive to different areas, It's all right there.
    Unfortunately, this venue has a lot of unexpected cost & requires a ton of unnecessary things. In addition to the rental fee, you have to pay per hour for setup, an event monitor & security. They require you to hire your own event planner, insurance, lots of paperwork, contracts, etc. 2 days before the wedding, the event coordinator at Soka was emailing us saying we need to bring our own fire extinguisher & that the required dance floor we bought was not good enough. It seemed somewhat unorganized. Also, this venue offerers absolutely nothing, but the facility. It is completely DIY, even tables & chairs. Since they have tables, & chairs on-site, it's disappointing that they don't let you use them.
    They need to put up signs warning the public that there is an event going on. We had random people walking around, dogs in the fountain, etc.
    We were unable to have the rehearsal here because the allowed time would require everyone to take off work, Mon-Fri 10am-3pm. Also, you would have to pay for event insurance for the rehearsal, which is ridiculous.
    We had to have family & the groomsmen set everything up the day of the wedding, which was no fun.

    There is TONS that this venue can improve on. If I knew what we were getting ourselves into, we would have chose another venue.
    Overall, the venue turned out gorgeous because of all the HARD WORK.

    Sent on 07/25/2018
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    Soka University of America's reply:

    We're glad to know, Dominique, that you enjoyed the venue and that your wedding was beautiful. Soka University does require that couples hire their own wedding planner who will coordinate all events on-site and who will provide insurance for any time that you are using the facility. The good news is that couples can hire their own caterers, rentals, decorators, etc. The bad news is that couples must hire their own caterers, rentals, decorators, etc. We're happy to work with couples who are interested in doing this for their wedding.
  • J

    Janice · Married on 06/16/2018

    0.8
    • Quality of service:
      0.5
    • Responsiveness:
      1.0
    • Value:
      2.0
    • Flexibility:
      0.5
    • Professionalism:
      0.5

    We had our wedding here in June 2018. The photos look great and the price looks reasonable, right? But it was not. Do not read this and say that you weren’t warned.

    Soka is incredibly difficult to work with during planning. Weddings are not their primary business, so they are not eager to have you as a client. Frankly, they treated us and our professional wedding planner with contempt. Be prepared for simple clarifying questions to be answered with hostility and suspicion, if at all, and requests for basic coordinating information to be answered with stonewalling. Be prepared for strange and arbitrary changes to the basic conditions imposed on you for using the space (like the start and end time) - yes, even after you've signed a written contract. Be prepared for what feels like active, deliberate obstruction with your plans, including in the last days before the wedding. Expect the process to be a constant struggle and a source of anxiety. By the wedding, we felt that Soka saw us as the enemy, and treated us accordingly. They even imposed restrictions on us because another couple - employees of Soka University - were getting married the same day.

    In the end, we loved our wedding, but only because of (1) Herculean efforts by our wedding planner and other vendors to overcome Soka's obstinacy and unreasonableness through creative problem-solving (2) our ability to compartmentalize all the stress Soka imposed on us away from the day itself and enjoy our time with our friends and family, and (3) a healthy dose of luck that we managed to find ways to work around the various problems Soka created.

    If you're confident in your wedding planner, you don't mind a lot of unnecessary stress, and you're willing to gamble, Soka might just be the place for you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

    Photo: Soka University refused to even discuss redirecting traffic for the 2 minutes it took us to walk down the aisle, which is why this bus is there on a Saturday. A BUS.

    Sent on 09/15/2018
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    Soka University of America's reply:

    Soka University is so glad that Janice loved her wedding and found SUA to be a beautiful location for her special day. Soka has many weddings on campus every year and we enjoy hosting them. The university requires alcohol service to stop one hour before the end of an event for the safety of all attending. This has not changed and it was communicated when the ABC application was being submitted several weeks prior to the event. We were not able to accommodate the request to take photos at another location on campus because that location was already booked for another event. Please also understand that a university cannot stop traffic on campus for any one event. We’re sorry that Janice felt some of these requirements were unreasonable. A positive outcome is that SUA has updated our contract to spell out the alcohol policy in detail for better communication in the future.

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