Recommended by 92%
9 User photos
Monica · Married on 05/01/2018
We got married here earlier this year since it had been my dream venue for a couple of years. Tiffany and Kathleen are so great to work with! They both were very responsive to my emails and was able to answer all my questions. Tiffany was very attentive and thorough with any/all of our requests. We absolutely LOVEDDDDD getting married here.Sent on 10/24/2017
bianca · Married on 08/19/2017
This review is half for the venue and half for Tiffany! Venue - amazing, you can't get married in a better place. The flow is perfect , from ceremony to cocktails, to dinner, to dancing. Our guest flowed in and out of the venue with ease and everyone loved how it felt so private and tucked away in the middle of the South Bay. Now...the only downside, the price. It is EXPENSIVE, twice as much as some other venues. But you do get the whole place to yourself...and the venue is so amazing, you save in decoration. And with such a beautiful venue, there's no end to beautiful photo ops.Sent on 10/20/2017
The venue comes with chairs (though most couples upgrade since they're the ugly white folding ones), but all the tables are avail for you to use. There is a set of preferred Vendors, you have to use a preferred caterer, but the rest is up to you to use anyone you wish. My one complaint was no drone footage, which we found out AFTER we signed the contract, as it was not stated anywhere on their contract.
Now the real star of the place was Tiffany, she was our contact person. She's amazing to work with, and was so responsive and sweet. She answered all my emails right away and helped us with everything. Kathleen, we met once, knows the place in and out and is strict on protecting the venue, which is understandable. Talk to Kathleen and she'll help you design the wedding layout in five seconds.
Overall, we are very happy with our experience and are glad we can return here anytime as it's a public park, to reminisce on our magical night.
Nicole · Married on 06/03/2017
We had the most amazing experience at Montalvo. We toured the facility with Tiffany and she could not have been more welcoming and easy to work with. She was actually one of the key reasons we loved the place. Tiffany and Kathleen are so organized and made sure the entire event went off with no issues. It doesn't hurt that the venue is completely gorgeous! We had the perfect day and all of the guests couldn't get over the grounds and the setup for our wedding. I would highly, highly recommend Villa Montalvo - not only for the setting but the wonderful people you get to work with!!Sent on 06/09/2017
Rosemary · Married on 09/16/2016
Kathleen and Tiffany go above and beyond to ensure your wedding is over the top. Easy to work with and very responsive.Sent on 02/13/2016
Rachel · Married on 08/13/2016
If you are looking for a classy venue that is full of elegance and magic, Villa Montalvo is THE VENUE in the bay area. We were beyond pleased with the service and day of coordination. As for the venue, from ceremony to dinner on the patio, to dancing in the hall, we had the time of our life and our guests did too!Sent on 09/07/2016
Angela · Married on 06/25/2016
Villa Montalvo is a beautiful and enchanting place for a wedding. I actually went to Villa Montalvo for a science class outing and fell in love then. The grounds are impeccably kept. The mansion is beautiful and an incredible place to be. The scenery alone is worth it. We booked an extra hour early because there isn't much flexibility staying late, and we were very happy with how the timing worked out. The Villa worked with us on some of our requests, and they were very understanding and always helpful.Sent on 07/19/2016
User5636954 · 2+ years ago
DREAM WEDDING LOCATION!!!!Sent on 11/23/2015
Villa Montalvo is the most gorgeous wedding venue in the Bay Area! All of our wedding guests said that it was the best wedding they had ever been to! The Villa and the grounds are absolutely stunning! We loved that we could get married outside and then each part of the reception was in a different section of the Villa so that guests could flow from inside to outside and around the villa with ease.
Every part of our wedding day was even better than I dreamed of as a little girl! From getting ready in the bridal suite over looking the great lawn, to walking down the long, grandiose aisle and saying our vows in the gorgeous Italian Garden, to cocktail hour in the courtyard next to the fountain, to dinner on the veranda watching the sunset, to cutting our cake in the stunning floor to ceiling glass-windowed room, to dancing the night away in the ballroom, everything was just spectacular! I felt like a princess marrying my prince in a castle!
I have nothing but love and praise for the staff! My husband and I live out of the country so planning the wedding from afar could have been quite difficult, but Kathleen and Tiffany made everything so easy and fun for us! They were so flexible and detail-oriented and had such great advice & recommendations. They are true professionals and are so sweet!
Getting married at Villa Montalvo was truly a magnificent experience and one that we will never forget!
User5501401 · 2+ years ago
Fairytale Wedding!!Sent on 10/06/2015
Villa Montalvo is the best wedding venue in the bay area, hands down! It exudes elegance, art, sophistication and grandeur. You will feel like a Princess and your husband will feel like a Prince! It felt like getting married at a castle.
I can't say enough about the venue and the staff is excellent as well.
Kathleen and Tiffany are very professional and had the experience to put me at ease. I loved the quality of the vendors they recommend and the flexibility to use my own vendors.
Villa Montalvo is absolutely stunning!!!
Veronica · Married on 08/29/2015
Perfect. Absolutely perfect. We chose this venue based off my dad's recommendation (he used to study on the lawn in front of the villa back in the 70s), and we were absolutely thrilled with the outcome.Sent on 10/16/2015
- Event Coordinators: Tiffany and Kathleen are fantastic to work with. I was a young bride who had not been to many weddings prior to this, and I chose to do all the wedding planning on my own. They were extremely responsive, helpful, and pleasant in all interactions.
- Event flow: Each segment of the event (ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, cake cutting, etc.) was in a different section of the villa, which helped keep our guests engaged throughout the event.
- Decor: The villa and the grounds are so beautiful on their own that we ended up saving a TON on decorations (no lighting was necessary, too!)
- Event window: Your rental contract states that you have access to the grounds from 2PM-11PM, with all guests needing to leave at 10PM on the dot. Though they have beautiful dressing rooms for the bridal party, I recommend doing the more intensive services like hair and makeup off grounds in order to allot yourself enough time for pictures and everything else. The girls ended up getting ready at a salon in Palo Alto and then carpooling over, so it really wasn't an issue for us.
- Hotels: Not many in the area. Again, not that big of a deal for us.
KATE · Married on 05/22/2010
GLORIOUS & HISTORIC, every step you take is memorable! Steeped in art, politics and elegance, Villa Montalvo is the classic "it" venue in Northern California, if it's good enough for a U.S. Senator... (say no more.)Sent on 02/23/2011
Assal · Married on 09/05/2008
My husband and I had our wedding at Villa Montalvo and it was absolutely magical. I might be bias when I argue it's the most beautiful place in the world. Such an extraordinary location. Kathleen Kirkpatrick was a great coordinator - very helpful and kind, she really made our dream wedding come true. It's a beautiful setting and an amazing experience.Sent on 09/23/2008
Thank you so much Kathleen for all your help!
Assal and Serge Maskalik
Patricia · Married on 08/01/2015
We held both our ceremony and reception at Villa Montalvo. It's such a beautiful venue and our guests kept commenting on how amazing it was. We are truly fortunate to be able to get married here.Sent on 10/30/2015
Kathleen and Tiffany were so great to work with - they provided great advice throughout the planning process and were always extremely responsive to our questions.
Loved · Married on 07/30/2017
My husband and I just got married at Villa Montalvo and it was the wedding of our dreams! The venue is so majestic, and the day was just magical! All of our guests kept saying how beautiful the venue was. Tiffany and Kathleen were great to work with, so kind and courteous and helpful. The venue hosts many different events, including concerts, so scheduling can be a bit tricky, but Tiffany went above and beyond to accommodate us as much as possible and everything worked out great in the end. Although the rental fee costs a pretty penny, we would do it again in a heartbeat because it was such an amazing experience and well worth it for once-in-a-lifetime.Sent on 08/18/2017
Tammi · Married on 08/09/2014
Kathleen was a true professional who provides great advice and is very on top of things. The Villa was perfect for our wedding of 140 guests, but easily could have accommodated up to 200. We got a ton of compliments on the venue and loved the indoor/outdoor feel of it. We provided shuttle transportation from the hotel, which was a great move to get everyone there and home comfortably and safely!Sent on 01/10/2016
There is plenty of room to get ready and, while there are rules (as expected) about setup and tear down, everyone was flexible and reasonable during the entire event. One added benefit is most of our vendors had worked at Villa Montalvo before and had also worked with one another, so this made the entire event run smoothly.
Don · Married on 08/31/2008
"Not bad for a starter house" joked one of the guests at my wedding. Not too shabby - the Villa is a 1920's era mansion on sprawling grounds with expansive lawns and hiking trails that serves as an art school during the week and an event/concert venue on weekends and evenings.Sent on 09/04/2008
We quickly decided it was the venue for us after one visit. We loved the relative seclusion, as well as the look of the building and the surrounding space. The price was also competitive with other top-tier venues like the Kohl Mansion and Nestledown. They have also recently reduced their fees in response to the slowing economy. We took advantage of the fact that the venue is thousands of dollars cheaper on Sundays, including holiday weekends, when Sunday is just as good as Saturday (well, from the having to get up and go to work the next day perspective anyway). A good part of the fee is also apparently a tax-deductible donation to a non-profit.
The space is almost tailor made for a wedding - the small garden in the back is a common site for the ceremony, and from there, there's a logic to the flow of the crowd moving down into the back courtyard for cocktails and then onto the beautiful veranda for dinner.
Kathleen the event coordinator is helpful and very experienced. No, it's not cheap. It can be very hot there - our rehearsal was a real barn-burner in the 100's but luckily it cooled down to a pleasant high of 77 on the day of our wedding. If you do an evening wedding here I can't recommend Enhanced Lighting more to accentuate the beauty of the venue at night. So if the non-religious venue and antique Mediterranean look appeals to you you should check it out. Overall, it was the right place for us, and I'm 100% satisfied.
Michelle · Married on 11/08/2018
Words cannot describe how magical Montalvo was.
I got married at Montalvo on 11/8/18 and it was an amazing backdrop for our wedding. Bruce Munro's light installations made our wedding all the more magical!Sent on 11/27/2018
We toured 14 wedding venues throughout the Bay Area, but after we toured Montalvo, we knew it was the one. The estate is incredibly gorgeous and vast and it makes you feel like you're transported to a different country. It was the perfect setting for our elegant and romantic aesthetic and everyone had a blast exploring the grounds and taking pictures.
We had both our ceremony and reception at Montalvo. They have a few different spots on the estate you can choose from to have your ceremony and cocktail hour. With our 120 guest count, we were able to hold our ceremony in the beautiful Italianate Garden at the Love Temple. We held cocktail hour in the lovely Spanish Courtyard and had our reception on the veranda where we could get an amazing view of the light exhibits.
There were some hiccups with event management initially. Kathleen, the event manager, was sweet but she was the only one running her department after her assistant left. So in the first several months after we signed the contract, Kathleen was incredibly busy and difficult to reach. We understood she was a one-woman team so we only reached out to her when it was urgent, but I can understand if some couples were unhappy with the lack of communication. Eventually Kathleen hired a new assistant and things were smooth sailing from there. Her assistant, Caitlin, was responsive and friendly in the months leading up to our wedding.
We had such a blast at our wedding and I'm sad the party's over now. I really can't wait until our wedding photos arrive to relive our special day!
Brittney · Married on 06/14/2008
It is a beautiful outdoor venue with plenty of room and space to really enjoy and spread out the day. I would have my wedding there again in a heartbeat. They arent super flexible on rules and space, due to the historical nature and preservation of the place, but it ended up not even being an issue and the most beautiful ceremony and reception.Sent on 06/04/2009
User3302495 · 2+ years ago
The venue is gorgeous! I live around the area but never knew it was there until I searched for wedding venues. Very private location but open space. Lots of greenery and flowers that allow for a natural backdrop (don't need to spend too much money on decorations). I love how the villa is divided into different areas (oval garden, love temple for ceremony, spanish courtyard for cocktail area, solarium for cake/dessert table, dinning room for coffee and tea, main room for dance floor, library for guest lounge area, front terrace for reception dinner, bridal suite upstairs with enough rooms and lounge area to accommodate the wedding party and family, beautiful glass window and stair case that I used for first look photos) - great flow throughout the event. The venue itself is a great way to set the tone for the event. Though it is definitely on the higher price point, I do believe it is worth it and was able to cut down on decoration & flower costs to make up for the budget. Kathleen was great to work with (very professional and helpful in providing suggestions and sharing experiences from other weddings), but due to high volume requests and the amount of events to plan for, her responses may be delayed (please be patient).Sent on 06/05/2013
Marie · Married on 08/19/2010
I loved the Villa and I always dreamed of being married there since I grew up down the road. The day went perfect and the staff was easy to work with. They let me bring in my own vendors and worked well with all of them. The parking can be an issue so it's best to think about that when planning your invite list. My wedding photos are like a dream with this beautiful Villa as the background. Picture perfect!Sent on 11/19/2010
Sima · Married on 06/09/2018
Terrible Customer Service!
Beautiful, yes. As a concert goer, guest, visitor, you are completely oblivious to how Montalvo Arts is run, hence the many positive reviews posted here. But as a BRIDE, GROOM, or WEDDING PLANNER, you should STAY AWAY. This place has atrocious customer service, and the staff are racist, even if subconsciously so. The main culprits: Kathleen Kirkpatrick and the CEO Angela McConnell. Both incredibly rude and unprofessional. The CEO said she gets money from other brides, so our concerns are not of great importance to her; she hung up on us. Wedding planning is already stressful, and having Villa Montalvo as your venue will only make your life painstakingly miserable. The following is a snapshot of my experience (I have limited characters to write down everything that happened) so message me for more details/to talk. I am happy to help and direct you to better venues:Sent on 10/19/2018
1) Two of our friends got married here. Both of them had the same terrible experience. Clearly we didn't learn from each other's mistakes in picking this venue, so hopefully you will.
2) Be prepared to pay 17k+ for just the venue, another 30k for the front of house and alcohol (they require you to go to 1 of 2 preferred vendors) and $1000 an hour for any additional hours you need outside of 2-10pm, with one hour for clean-up ending at 11pm. This is really difficult for Indian weddings such as ours. Other venues will give you the entire day at no additional cost.
3) After you pay extra for your hours, be prepared for the staff to bug all of your vendors such that they can't complete their tasks on time. Our florist was nagged by Kathleen Kirkpatrick's assistants during the two extra hours we paid for such that she wasn't able to finish all the floral arrangements in time/place rentals in all the correct spaces. They also told her she couldn't place a floral arrangement over the Spanish doors even though they've allowed it at other weddings, as evidenced by pictures and remnants of wires above the door on the railing. She argued with them and they finally allowed it, but they shouldn't have argued one bit. The assistants also moved my videographer's equipment without telling him and he had to go looking for it, wasting his time. We rented a horse for our baraat, and the venue staff wouldn't let my wedding planner go and meet the horse vendor at the staging area for payment and coordination.
4) All tables and chairs come through Montalvo. Despite working on a site map with them, they still placed tables in the incorrect location. We also asked them to place high stools in the dressing rooms for the makeup artist but they didn't. On the wedding day I had to track down Villa staff to remind them to get the chairs. We also rented drapes to cover statues in the Oval Garden. They didn't follow through. By the time I noticed they were missing (which should not be my job as the Bride) it was too late, the ceremony was about to start. We had to go without the drapes. Kathleen didn't seem phased at all. She didn't do her job, but it didn't seem to bother her one bit.
5) Communication is terrible. Be prepared to send emails, make calls and have them go unanswered. And they have a ton of rules, so you'll need approval on almost everything. Evidence of this is attached. Oh, but anything they need from you or your vendors, must be done in a jiffy. Kathleen can take a month or never to respond, but she expect your vendors to resubmit COI's within 48 hrs. My wedding planner couldn't get Kathleen to return her emails or calls, such that I had to take over and complain to Kelly Hudson. Kelly promised it would get better and it didn't.
6) They went through our personal belongings to confiscate champagne and alcohol that were gifted to us by our friends; some were never returned. The assistants fought with my husband the day of our wedding saying that Kathleen told them to take our alcohol that was packed away even though they verbally told us they wouldn't do that.
7) If you're Indian, they only have one preferred Indian food vendor. Their final rationale: "We don't want more than one Indian food vendor on our preferred list." American food vendors? More than one is fine! If that doesn't sound like racism, I don't know what does.
8) When we saved our date at the venue and begin going over our contract, we sent an email to Kathleen asking for changes to the contract. When did Kathleen get back to us? The evening of the day the contract was set to expire, the same day we were at our friend's wedding at Montalvo, a wedding for which we were part of the bridal party. She saw us at the wedding and belittled us by telling us that "contracts our hard to understand." No, they aren't, we just needed her to respond. I had to take my phone out during my friend's reception and sign the contract. She could have come down, talked to us, and taken care of it, or given us more time to sign so we could enjoy our friend's wedding but she didn't.
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