HALLS (for weddings or parties)

Having provided music for many years throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, we're intimately familiar with at least 80% of the halls. We know which ones can accommodate large groups, which ones are beautiful garden settings, which ones have a grand piano available, which ones allow outside catering, which ones are expensive and which ones are not. We will be compiling a list of our favorites, and making that pamphlet available upon request in April 2006. (if you need the info earlier, please call or email us). In the meantime, if you're having a large wedding and need suggestions for a hall in the East Bay, here are a few (along with my comments).

EAST BAY HALLS (accommodating 175 or more)

CAMRON STANFORD HOUSE -holds 250, and even more with the adjoining lawn...is the last Victorian on Lake Merritt (in Oakland). Beautiful and charming. Hopefully they're still allowing wedding there...Gorgeous.

SCOTTISH RITE TEMPLE -would easily accommodae 250..built in 1927, and is spectacular (as most Masonic halls are), with hand carved ceilings, grand staircase, etc.

DUNSMUIR HOUSE -- is a mansion on a very large estate up in the Oakland hills. It has about 40 acres of lawn..plenty of space, but I would say that they have rules, making people park a way away from the house...so it's hard for the elderly guests to walk the distance...make sure you clarify that "can't park close" policy with them.

CLAREMONT HOTEL (Berkeley) --is beautiful large white castle like building...though a bit more plebian in the interior. Has at least one banquet room that can hold 250. One of the smaller banquet rooms has a "wall of windows" with a stunning overlook of the Bay Area and is spectacular at sunset. Parking lot which is on a hill, often fills, so wedding guests have a strenuous walk (though elderly can be dropped off at front door).

BRAZILIAN ROOM - (Berkeley hills, actually in Tilden Park..This is, in my opinion, one of the most charming locations...It would only accommodate c. 150, though...beautiful garden in front, stone building, impeccable wooden floors, French doors looking onto patio and expanse of green hills. PIano on site. Some restricted rules about candles. Pricey and books up quickly.

MONTCLAIR WOMEN'S CULTURAL ARTS CLUB - up in the Oakland hills, this is a wonderful restored and maintained structure...dark polished wood, grand piano, stage,...it may or may not accommodate as many as 250, but their manager Barbara could let you know...she's one of the most meticulous yet easy going hall managers I've met.

HILLSIDE CLUB - after a fire, was rebuilt in 1923 by a partner of the famous architect Maybeck...Tudor style..piano, stage, etc...the capacity is close c. 200 or 250. Lots of charm...in a residential area of Berkeley.

INTERNATIONAL HOUSE (Berkeley, near the University). It's a beautiful Spanish Mission style building (1930)..lots of room, and probably affordable..Drawback is parking is difficult around there.(is in frat row).

CROCKETT COMM CENTER - A few minutes north of Berkeley, just off Hwy 880..it's got a lot of charm, more of a rustic look...large stone fireplace..has an adjoining park, so can easily accommodate 250 or 300.

PRESERVATION PARK - the name is apt...they've renovated an old area of Oakland, as in the Victorian days. There are a few buildings that are rentable...beautiful outside patio with large working fountain. It doesn't feel absolutely safe in the adjoining streets, though they've got a beautiful wrought iron fence that surrounds the wedding area to make up for it.

CALIFORNIA BALLROOM - I'm not sure if that's still rentable under that name..but it was a "hidden" gem in downtown Oakland..built in 1926, was one of those old grand ballrooms (45' gold leafed ceiling, huge stage, and dance floor).. Drawback is -it's not on the ground floor.

OAKLAND ROTUNDA -Unique restored building in downtown Oakland...tends to be a little prone to echo inside, since there's so much marble (don't hire a D.J. that's too loud or a large band there). Spectacular ceilings.

WILDWOOD ACRES (Lafayette) -if you want to rent this place, because of a bride's tale to me, make sure their contract is very clear, with no cancellation possible by them.

RAVENSWOOD (Livermore) This has lots of charm...rose gardens, veranda, estate, (building from 1885)..not sure of the cost.

SHADELANDS RANCH (was in Walnut Creek, I'm not sure if they're still renting out). Victorian house, large grounds...accommodates 300.

WENTE BROTHERS (Livermore)..this is a winery which has an outdoor garden area that can accommodate a huge wedding.. which would work only for non rainy dates. Very beautiful location.

ST. MARY'S COLLEGE (Moraga). Beautiful large building on a bucolic college campus..rHall rents for weddings. Parking is easy.

SAN RAMON COMM CTR. Isn't really charming; it's modern, and will accommodate a moderate to large wedding, I believe.

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(415) 391-6203 (San Francisco/Marin County)
(650) 851-9277 (peninsula)
(510) 222-6994 (East Bay)
(408) 996-0646 (South Bay)

email us: linda@finesseproductions.com
or send us your needs in a questionnaire