If you’re considering the Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto for your wedding, I applaud your choice!
I photographed this outdoor wedding at the Lucie Stern Community Center back in Summer 2021 and I can’t wait to share the photos with you finally! Yadira and Pablo had their ceremony over at the Stanford Memorial Church as they met at Stanford, then the party really started once we arrived at the Lucie Stern.
I love the touches they had to honor their Mexican heritage: the mariachi band, their papel picado and the incredibly fun money dance and ‘la vibora de la mar’ dance.
The whole event overall was incredibly well-executed and ran flawlessly! The weather was perfect and the vendors did a top-notch job. It didn’t hurt that the bride is the spreadsheet queen, that had everything planned down-to-the-minute, yet actually let loose and enjoyed her wedding day!
I will also share some helpful insight into the Lucie Stern Community Center as well including more about the spaces, what’s included and behind-the-scenes tips and tricks. I truly believe it’s one of the Bay Area’s best affordable wedding venues!
Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
About Lucie Stern Community Center
Lucie Stern Community Center is located in central Palo Alto, a few minutes from Stanford University. It is just over 20 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and about 40 minutes from Oakland International Airport.
This Spanish-style complex was built in 1937 and incorporates Spanish Colonial Revival elements. It’s a perfect space for both indoor and outdoor weddings, though the wedding I’m about to share with you was entirely outdoors (such a treat in the summer months!)
Being home to the City of Palo Alto’s Recreation Department, the Lucie Stern Community Center boasts affordability, versatility as well as history among its primary reasons to book.
Features of Lucie Stern Community Center
The space has historical touches yet retains and simple elegance where you can add your own decorative touches to make it your own. Some of the architectural and other details include:
- White stucco archways
- Low-pitched red clay tile roof
- Brick courtyard
- Decorative iron trims throughout
- Well-tended planting including white roses
- Spacious lawn
- Range of beautiful photography spaces
Navigating the Lucie Stern Community Center
You’ll walk in through glass doors into the 2,800-square-foot ballroom which boasts a hardwood floor, two fireplaces and six art deco chandeliers hanging from a wood-beamed cathedral ceiling.
In the rustic ballroom, there are seven large windows that frame views of the front lawn and allow natural light in. It can accommodate up to 300 standing guests or 200 seated.
The 1,125-square-foot Community Room is the ideal setting for a small, indoor wedding. The area accommodates 125 standing guests or 75 seated. The windows overlook a Mission-style promenade with French doors opening to a secluded stucco patio with vine-covered walls.
The patio has a two-tiered lawn with mature planting. The upper level here works well for your ceremony or live entertainment.
The Fireside Room is a more intimate setting, accessed by French doors off the patio. As you can imagine, the centerpiece is a brick-and-stucco fireplace. This area measures 650 square feet and can host 70 standing guests or 45 seated.
Included in your booking at Lucie Stern
At the time of writing this article, rental packages included the below items or they may be available for purchase as an add-on. However, please check directly with the venue as the availability of included items may change without warning.
- Use of all the rooms
- A facility attendant
- Full kitchen
- Use of all equipment including:
- Tables and chairs
- Sound / PA system
- Wireless microphone
- Grand piano for ballroom use
Bear in mind
- Lucie Stern Community Center books out a long time in advance especially for summer months.
- A planner is highly recommended. This is a budget-friendly venue that will need some TLC.
- Reviewers on Yelp have noted the venue does not come with a rain plan.
- The venue does not allow hard liquor.
- City-run venues are unlikely to give you the same amount of flexibility and responsiveness as privately-run venues that come with a much higher price tag.
Photography: Zoe Larkin Photography
Venue: Lucie Stern Community Center
Event consultant: Savant Garde Events
Ceremony: Stanford Memorial Church
Catering: Los Moles
Decor: Flores Events
Floral design: Expressions Floral Designs
Rentals: Unica Party Rentals
Rings: Shane Co
Cake: Buttery Bakery
DJ: DJ Vetz
Music: Mariachi Guadalajara
Video: JKapture Studios
Bar: A Twist of Lime
Photos from Lucie Stern Community Center wedding
About Zoe Larkin Photography
Looking for a Palo Alto wedding photographer? You can learn more about my services at the links below:
Hoping I’ll be back at Lucie Stern Community Center soon, shooting your lovely wedding!