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Monday, May 20, 2024

Couples say “I do” to marrying on campus

You met the love of your life in your chemistry class your first year at UC Davis, and soon enough you’re weighing the options of where to have your wedding ceremony.

Look no further, because the UC Davis Conference and Events Services is ready to help make those plans, right here on campus.

According to Adrianne Bataska, sales and business development coordinator for UC Davis Conference and Event Services, this is one of the biggest reasons for students and alumni wishing to get married on campus.

“Current students and alumni often want to have their wedding on campus because they met at UC Davis and have fond memories of their courtship,” Bataska said.

Take Kate Baker and Dennis Muldoon. The couple, who both graduated in 2007 with degrees in engineering, met while marching with the Cal Aggie Band-Uh! and elected to have their ceremony at the Buehler Alumni and Visitor’s Center in July 2010.

“Davis was the only place for us to get married,” Baker said. “This is where we fell in love, and this is where our lives began.”

Some of the other benefits UC Davis has to offer for weddings include convenient location between Sacramento and the Bay Area, beautiful gardens, reasonable prices and the unique appeal of a university setting.

The unique appeal is something that was clearly present in the Muldoon-Baker wedding.

“I was a mechanic for Unitrans while we were in college, so that was a big memory for me. I thought it would be fun, so after the ceremony, we left together on a double decker bus,” Muldoon said.

Currently, UC Davis hosts anywhere from 50 to 75 wedding ceremonies per year, but Bataska is expecting to see an increase in that number in the near future due to marketing efforts and facility renovations.

UC Davis Conference and Events Services offer many locations that are suitable for a wedding. These locations include Freeborn Hall, the Activities and Recreation Center Ballroom, Shields Grove Gazebo and the Putah Creek Lodge.

“There are several areas on campus suitable for a wedding ceremony. Of course, this entirely depends on the clients’ vision for their ceremony,” Bataska said.

Depending on the resources available, the ceremony may even be hosted in the very building the couple met, assuming there are reasonable accommodations to do so.

“There have been requests beyond what is listed, but the logistics can become difficult when there is no electricity available for sound and lighting,” Bataska said.

To reserve an area on campus, which allows private access to the reserved area, rates start at $800, and the pricing from there depends on what the bride and groom decide in terms of their reception.

“It is hard to say what the average price is because many clients have their ceremony and reception at the same site, which means the reception costs are included. Each client’s needs are different in regards to extra rentals, extended times, catering, etc,” Bataska said.

According to the brochure from UC Davis Conference and Event Services, prices generally range from $675 to $4101, which depends on the location and time the location is being reserved for.

All facilities, with the exception of Shields Grove Gazebo, can be booked up to 11 months in advance. Shields Grove can be reserved no earlier than 6 months prior to the event date.

After couples decide on a date and venue, they must simply submit an application to reserve the date and time. Upon the completion of the application, an event coordinator is assigned to all couples, who assists them from start to finish throughout the wedding planning.

Event services can also help with all other aspects of the planning process. They have an approved list of caterers on hand ready to bring in food, drinks and alcohol upon request. They are also partnered with Tableaux and Fiore, which both offer selections of china and linens.

MICHELLE STAUFFER can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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