Photography By: Jessamyn Harris
The Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley has been an active part of the community since the 1930's. The Art Center is located at the heart of the village and has a burgeoning artist and gardening guild. The charming rustic building was built and designed by famed local architect Bernard Maybeck in a Craftsman style, including beamed ceilings and the building's original light fixtures along with many other vintage touches. If you're hoping to create a vintage affair for approximately 120 guests, then you'll love the old-world charm offered by the Outdoor Art Club.
The Outdoor Art Club has two primary ceremony locations. Some couples enjoy the simplicity of a garden ceremony on the lawn area behind the building, while others prefer to exchange vows under the ancient oak trees that have kept watch over the Art Center for over 100 years. Both locations offer a unique feel. The garden gives you visual impact and the quiet serene setting of a simple French-style garden. The facility provides white lawn chairs and does not allow rental chairs on the grass, to prevent damage to the lawn. You can enjoy a ceremony of about 75 guests in this setting. The brick-bordered patio set with artisan benches and surrounding picturesque gardens and arbors has an abundance of charm and natural beauty. If you don't plan on using the patio for your appetizer and cocktail period, the space can host a memorable ceremony for up to 120 people.
As your guests travel up the cobblestone path from the garden to the patio, bright new blooms around each small curve pop out to greet them. On the patio they are welcomed with small vignettes of cocktail tables and large market umbrellas, creating dimension and shade. A bar set in the corner is a great place to congregate, and the building's craftsman style paned windows that look into the room will give your guests a sneak peak of the evening's coming festivities.
The facility has one main reception area that is divided into two sections by paned glass doors. The focal points of the rustic facility shine through its beamed ceilings, period light fixtures, paned French doors, and dark wood paneling and trim. The main room is best set up with eight tables, each set to seat eight guests. The facility provides mission style chairs. In order to preserve the integrity of the facility, they do not permit rental chairs.
An adjoining room can be used for additional seating; however, some of your guests may have limited visibility of you and your groom. If you will be seating guests in both rooms, your guest count should stay under 120 in order to allow for mingling and dancing. If you can limit your guest count to under 100, the adjoining space is a great location for a buffet food service and additional bar stations. The facility has a great kitchen for a venue of its size, making it easy to facilitate either a seated meal or a buffet.
As the hub of the very active community for many years, the Outdoor Art Club promotes local vendors. They have a great list of preferred catering companies, all of which offer a wide variety of menu options and price points.