Do you allow photography on the grounds?
Yes, it requires a permit which is a 2 hour time period costing $500. If you are booking a wedding ceremony and/or reception the photography permit is part of the package.
How many gardens do you have?
We have 3 gardens: Fowler Garden, Merritt Garden, and Italian Garden
Do you have a mansion for rental?
Yes, we have 2 mansions:
The Merritt Mansion, which is a historic landmark. It also comes with the Merritt Garden featuring a bridge where brides can get married “in the round”.
Terrace Villa, which is also a historic landmark. It’s a Mediterranean style mansion featuring a fountain in its columned courtyard, along with the Romeo & Juliet Balcony that can be used for ceremonies. This mansion comes with the Great Lawn as well.
How much do they rent for?
The gardens or mansions rent for $5,000 each, if you want to combine a garden and mansion it is $7,500. Each mansion comes with a garden i.e. Merritt Mansion, has Merritt Garden; Terrace Villa comes with the Great Lawn. If you are wanting to combine one of the mansions with Italian Garden or Fowler Garden that is when it becomes $7,500.
What is the capacity of each venue?
Italian Garden 500 guests
Fowler Garden 400 guests
Merritt Garden 350 guests (for ceremonies)
Great Lawn 350 guests
Merritt Mansion- inside in Great room 80 guests sit down, first floor sit down 225, for cocktail party up to 500. The 2 tiered back patio can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Terrace Villa – inside in Great room 100 guests sit down, first floor sit down 200, for cocktail party 400 guests. The interior along with front and back patio accommodate up to 225 guests sit down.
What are the rental times?
The gardens rent from 8a-12mid.
The mansion rents from 10a-12mid
What are the sound restrictions?
All music needs to be off by 11pm and the music cannot exceed 65 decibels.
What are the rental pick up times?
The rental companies can come in after the event at 12 midnite and pick up till 2am. If there is not an event the next day, pick up can be arranged for the following day; but the rentals are left at your own risk, this is not a secured area.
Do you have a site map?
Yes, go to the maps link on the home page of our website for a print out
What is the deposit required?
It’s ½ of the site rental fee: mansions or gardens at $5000, the deposit is $2500; The balance of the site fee is due 2 months out from your wedding date.
Payment plans can be arranged.
Is there a cleaning deposit?
Yes, there is a $600 cleaning deposit; if you return the garden/mansion back to us the way you received it you will get your cleaning deposit back, if we have to bring in maintenance then your deposit will be utilized.
What are the insurance requirements?
We require a $1,000,000 liability policy and $1,000,000 liquor liability policy. The Ambassador will give you the names that need to be placed as an additional rider on the policy. In most cases, the caterers for the event can assist in this area.
What if our caterer doesn’t have insurance?
We can help you secure insurance thru an online source that costs approximately $235.
Do you need a fire permit?
Yes, if you are cooking with fire or propane or utilizing candles at any of the gardens/mansion. If you are using the fireplace at Fowler Garden a permit is not required. The fire guidelines and applications can be downloaded from our website. This has to be handled directly with the Fire Dept. but one of our staff members will assist in filling out the paperwork with you. The permit is normally approx. $200.
Do we provide parking?
We do not have parking. There are several options in the area, please look at our packages in the parking section for complete details.
Maranatha High School is $4 per stall accommodates up to 500 guests
Green St. lots is a flat $250, accommodates up to 200 guests
Elk Lodge is $5 per stall
Valet is $600 plus the number of stalls needed.
Are there restroom facilities at the various gardens?
Are the gardens/mansions handicap accessible?
Is the Italian Garden fountain filled up and does it light up on events?
Yes , the rectangular fountain, known as the Italian Garden is filled on event days only and it does light up at night.
Do the middle fountains at the Italian Garden operate?
We can fill them with water if requested; or other uses such as DJ area, coffee/bar station, sweetheart table etc. have been created in these areas.
Do we clean the gardens/mansion prior to usage?
Yes, the maintenance team cleans the day before the event along with the fountains being serviced.
Can you have a rehearsal the day before?
Yes, if there isn’t another wedding in that area. Please contact Sylvia to book the time needed.
Is there a room for the bride/groom to change in?
If you are renting the “garden only” package, there is only one option for changing and that is at the Fine Arts Hall; please check to make sure it is available on the day of your event. If you want a more elegant setting the mansions can be added on for an additional $500 for the day usage. Merritt Mansion has 5 rooms, Terrace Villa has 3 rooms.
Does the Ambassador have caterers?
Yes, we have caterers we can recommend. We have sample packages on our website to download. Cynthia Brooks and Event Professionals have packages online for you to view.
Can we bring our own caterer in? Alcohol?
Yes, but a deposit of $1000 is required for an outside caterer and to bring in your own alcohol the insurance needs to be covered (see above on liability insurance requirements)
May we have a band?
Yes, but please note that the decibel level is 65 decibels to the property line which is to Orange Grove, Green St., St. John, and Del Mar. If you want a concert type setting it will not work but if you want the same level of music that a DJ provides then that it is doable.
Do we recommend any DJ’s?
Yes, we do; we work with Devin Christopher at Nightlife Mobile DJ – his number is 714 960 3394
Outside DJ’s need to be approved and a fee of $250 paid