Photography By: Andrew Weeks
Ceremonies at the Bently Reserve will take your breath away. The history of the facility paired with its detailed architecture creates a ceremony that is elegant and awe-inspiring. As your guests arrive, they will be greeted by a series of magnificent white-washed Corinthian columns safely guarding the old-world elegance and detail that lies within. The two story grand foyer is the perfect location to host a pre-ceremony reception, and serving glasses of bubbly or champagne cocktails will set the perfect mood for the festivities to come.
The Bently begins as an entirely blank canvas. Since all furniture and decorative accents must be rented, you are allowed the rare opportunity to design a celebration that is uniquely you! As the large formal doors are opened for the first time, the beauty of the room will evoke a gasp of anticipation from your guests. The elaborate features of the space make it necessary to use chairs that create a statement, so we recommend either using a chiavari or chameleon style chair as more understated styles will get lost in the grandeur. Set the room for approximately 200 for the best viewing results. You can fit up to 250 people, but a handful of guests may have limited visibility of the main event. The bride and groom deserve a backdrop that creates as much of a statement as the room itself. By using a pipe and drape treatment in a translucent material, soft filtered light is brought in which doubles as great lighting for your photography! At the Bently, the service staff will need to transform the room from ceremony space to dining hall, it is therefore a wise idea to incorporate elements that can be used in your ceremony and then transition directly for use in your reception.
Directly after the ceremony, allow your guests to adjourn to the foyer. Greet them on the mezzanine level and welcome them with a round of toasts to mark the beginning of your new life together. This transition is a fun and inviting way to thank all of your guests for taking part in your special day while at the same time allowing the service staff the necessary time to transform the room for your luxurious party! The Bently brings plenty of inspiration to everyone, even your vendors. Passed hors d'oeuvres and specialty cocktails will be well received by your guests. As they enjoy the beauty and detail of the opulent historic building, guests can revel in the culinary treats offered by one of the Bently's premier preferred catering companies.
As they enter the dining room, your guests will marvel at its incredible transformation. A selection of 20 to 25 tables is the perfect fit and still allows for an ample dance floor. The chairs for the ceremony need to be reused for dinner, as the facility offers limited storage. If you prefer creating a different look for the reception, change the chairs' cushions or add toppers or decorations to their backs. Have the bridal party announced, making their grand entrance from the balcony down the grand staircase and onto the dance floor, finishing off the processional with the bride and groom sauntering down right into their first dance.
The Bently Reserve offers the very best of San Francisco on their vendor list. Choosing vendors that are not on the list is not recommended, as the facility has many unique challenges that vendors who frequent the Bently are already familiar with and can easily navigate. Each catering company suggested is amazing, and all of them will offer you inspiring cuisine that meets the high expectations set by your celebration's venue and design. The Bently has a liberal alcohol policy but of course requires a licensed and insured company to facilitate all beverage service.
Insider Notes & The Bottom Line
The Bently is very liberal with its rental period. The building rental period and its security coverage start at 9:00 am, giving your vendors plenty of time to set the stage for your amazing event. Many couples will choose to host an off-site ceremony; however, remember that if you plan to exchange vows on site, the room will need to be flipped for your reception. If this is the case for you, we recommend hiring a great planner. Using a designer will allow you to get the most from your budget and minimize any challenges that hosting the ceremony and reception in the same room tends to pose. Renting space at the Bently Reserve for a wedding celebration will range from about $10,000 to $12,000.