Blanco Urban Venue is an absolutely stunning modern wedding venue located centrally in downtown San Jose, right off San Pedro Square.
Despite being pretty new (it opened in late 2020), it is popping! It’s already become a firm favorite San Jose wedding venue. It hosts many other events too.
Blanco Urban Venue combines the historic allure of the 150-year-old building with a stylish contemporary aesthetic.
The place is a photographer’s dream! Much of the space is outdoors and the walls are white, meaning flattering, light-filled backdrops wherever you look.
Let’s dive into more about this venue while I share photos from Magdalena & Vijay’s gorgeous wedding that I recently photographed here this summer.
About this wedding
Sweet Magdalena and Vijay are one of my rockstar couples! Their story is so fabulous, too. They met in Seattle and dated for a few years, one of them being long-distance while she was in Scotland. Magdalena is from Arizona and Vijay grew up in Kuwait and is originally from Kerala, India.
They had their legal ceremony already and had been waiting a long time to finally bring family and friends from the many parts of their lives and places they’ve lived. Vijay was planning to propose on the exact day the first lockdowns started, but still managed to pop the question officially at Timber Cove at the end of 2020.
They booked me for two wedding events. The day prior to this extravaganza, they had a religious ceremony at a Catholic church in San Francisco followed by a lunch reception with Indian food. Then the big day of dancing, eating and partying at Blanco Urban!
For this long-awaited celebration, the buzzwords they mentioned to me were real, colorful and joyful. Though they are proud of their respective traditions, they didn’t want their wedding at Blanco Urban to feel too traditional.
They nixed personal vows, a first look (they got ready together), a wedding party, a first dance, and cake-cutting – though there was a surprise cake for Magdalena as it was her wedding was on her birthday!
This wedding event was described as a ‘sangeet cabaret’ which I think is so perfect!
During a sangeet, family and friends perform for the couple! There were dances and songs galore, including from Maggie’s beloved Abba.
What can you do at Blanco Urban Venue?
This venue is HUGE, spanning three floors and over 8,000 square feet of space which would ALL be yours! The rooftop terrace alone is over 1,700 square feet (and don’t worry, it’s shaded from the scorching San Jose sun).
It works as an all-in-one venue if you’re not planning to have a ceremony off-site or at a place of worship like M&V did. The rooftop is the best place for a wedding ceremony as it holds 180 guests. Then it can be flipped for cocktail hour. For smaller events, you can continue to enjoy the olive trees and cozy fireplace of that upper level.
The indoor space, known as the Great Room, is 4,200 square feet and works as the perfect blank canvas for your reception and dancing. It accommodates 200 for a seated function and 350 for a cocktail reception.
There’s also a more intimate mezzanine level that spans 850 square feet. Maggie & Vijay used this as an overflow area for their cocktail hour, for a photobooth setup, and so guests could look over the Great Room prior to entering for dinner. The sofa setup with disco balls, petite tables and wall-mounted floral garland installations was exquisite.
Blanco Urban holds up to 500 guests spread across the different levels. While that may make it sound like a questionable choice for smaller weddings, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Because there are distinct spaces, you can use them in a way that compliments your event and guest count.
There is on-site event staff to help figure out the best usage of the space, but that definitely doesn’t negate the need for a planner – which Maggie and Vijay leaned on heavily throughout their planning process.
You’re free to bring in your own caterer or use a trusted recommendation from the venue. There is a full-size commercial kitchen as well as an onsite food and drink team.
Blanco Urban Venue doesn’t have its own parking. There is a multi-story paid parking garage nearby. One great thing to note about the venue is that though it’s so central in downtown San Jose, it feels self-contained and is its own private world.
Photos from Blanco Urban Venue by Zoe Larkin Photography
Plus some film photos (120 and 35mm)
Photography: Zoe Larkin Photography
Venue: Blanco Urban Venue
Planning: Harlene Events
Floral design: Freckled Floral
Suit: Seymour Fashions SF
Hair & Makeup: D&A Bridal
Catering: New Delhi Restaurant
DJ: Deejay Gagan
About Zoe Larkin Photography
Oh and you can learn more about my services at the links below, then reach out via my Contact page. Hoping I’ll be back at Blanco Urban Venue, San Jose soon, shooting your lovely wedding!