General Information:

How far in advance do you book?

We book a year, to a year and a half in advance. Some months are more popular than others and therefore book faster. As with any vendor, as soon as you find someone, or something that you ABSOLUTELY want for your wedding… BOOK IT. Chances are, if it’s that good, someone else will want it too.

How much will this cost me?

You will be charged the menu (per person) fee, plus any package fees (floral, cake, coordination, etc.), then add the service charge, and total. Next, multiply this total for sales tax. After that total and sales tax, add any non-service items (additional rentals, location fee, etc.), and total. Sound complicated?! You know what’s easier? – Make an appointment for a custom estimate!

What is included in the price?

The typical package includes: your catering (menus include a beef, chicken, and vegetarian option, two side dishes, salad, fresh fruit display, and up to five hot hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail hour), location for the day, valet parking, tables, chairs, linens, napkins, china, glassware, flatware, 4 or 4 1/2 -hours of beverage service, elegant coffee bar, all staff needed for the event, the chilling and serving of any alcohol (no corkage fee), cutting and serving of cake (no cake cutting fee), the rehearsal, use of the bride’s dressing room.

Can you recommend other vendors to me?

Absolutely! As a new bride or groom, you have probably never planned a wedding before. How do you know who is good? Our favorite people are the ones included in our Optional Packages, or on our Preferred Vendor List. Just ask! We have seen many vendors pass through our location, and I do not include anyone I do not believe to be the very best.

Some other good links:
www.weddingcelebrations.com
www.herecomestheguide.com

Booking a Date:

How far in advance do you book?

We book a year to a year and a half in advance. Some months are more popular than others and therefore book faster. As with any vendor, as soon as you find someone, or something that you ABSOLUTELY want for your wedding… BOOK IT. Chances are, if it’s that good, someone else will want it too.

How do I book my date?

All you need to do to book your wedding is come in, put down your deposit ($3,000), and sign a contract.

If we sign an contract with you and partially pay you now for a wedding, up until what time could we conceivably cancel and get a refund?

Because we are limited to the number of events we can host per year, cancellations effect the income of our small business, so deposits are nonrefundable. If you are sure you want a date, book it. But if you may need to change, or cancel, you had better wait on it.

Catering:

Can I change things within the menus/rentals?

Yes, Command Performance specializes in all types of cuisine, so if you don’t see what you like, just ask.

Many upgrades are also available within the rentals. We can provide any additional rentals that a rental company can provide, and more. Umbrellas, heaters, head table, sweetheart table, canopies, etc. We have it all.

Contact Justin at Command Performance at (805) 523-3232.

If we book our wedding on a Saturday, and we only have 100 guests, will the caterer still be able to accommodate us?

For Paliuli Gardens, the caterer is able to do a party for 100 guests on a Saturday. But, there is a minimum of 150 guests on a Saturday, so you would still be paying for 150, even if you have 100 guests. We can be more flexible with minimums depending on the date of the event.

For The Lotus Tea Garden, there is always a minimum of 25 Guests

Do we have to use your catering company or can we use our own?

Command Performance is our exclusive caterer. They have sub-contracted with other caterers to provide clients with specialized menus, such as Kosher, but this would be at an additional cost.

Some might think our per person cost is high, but it includes A LOT of things (i.e. food, linens, napkins, china, glassware, flatware, 4 or 4 1/2 hours of nonalcoholic beverage service, and all of the catering staff, servers and bartenders, cake cutting, and the chilling and serving of your alcohol). It also includes some things for the location that are based on a per person (i.e. tables, chairs, the number of valets we hire, and the set up, take down and clean up of all of those items)

How many catering staff will be at my event for a buffet? for a served menu?

As a general rule, there will be one staff member per 20 guests for a buffet, and one staff member per 15 guests for a served menu. Also your bartender and catering coordinator are on-staff to make sure everything is running smoothly.

What type of training does your chef have?

Maya Chrestensen is our Executive Chef. She has been a chef for about 25 years working in both restaurants and catering companies. She graduated from Western Culinary Institute in Portland in 1994 as the class valedictorian. Her culinary specialties are quite varied and can accomplish just about anything thrown her way. While working with Command Performance she has become the Reagan Library chef as well, preparing all the food Mrs. Reagan and her high profile guests whenever she is on site. Guests include former President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, Senator Ted Kennedy and former Governor Schwarzenegger just to mention a few.

Rentals:

Many upgrades are also available within the rentals. We can provide any additional rentals that a rental company can provide, and more. Heaters, head table, sweetheart table, canopies, etc. We have it all.

How many people do the tables seat?

The rental company tells us they seat 8 to 10 guests… They really seat 8, so that is how we calculate the number of tables needed (# of guests divided by 8). If you are having difficulties with your seating chart, you can squeeze a ninth person in. And if you have tables just for children (under 12), you can seat 10 at a table. If you want to seat more, ask about upgrading to the 72″ rounds.

Is lighting included?

To an extent. The area is lit with twinkle lights and landscape lighting, which is sufficient for a nighttime reception for 150 guests. If your party is larger than that, additional lighting is a very good idea. Additional lighting can be provided through the caterer at an additional charge.
A popular upgrade are the Bistro Lights (small light bulbs strung across the reception area), or Chandeliers. Chinese lanterns can also be attached to the Bistro Lights.

Are heaters included?

Not every wedding requires heaters, so we don’t include them. Heaters can be provided at an additional charge.

Can you provide canopies?

Yes. Our rental company can provide canopies, at an additional charge. Advance notice is required.

Can I pick out my linen/napkin colors?

Absolutely! We have over 40 different colors of linens and napkins to choose from. Sit down with our caterer to choose the colors you like.

Ceremony:

Do you use the same set of chairs for the reception, that are used for the ceremony?

We always supply double the amount of chairs needed. We don’t want your guests waiting for a seat, or have staff moving chairs in the background of your photographs. It’s just too awkward.

Can we use one set of chairs and move them to the reception area to save money?

If you have less than 150 guests, and we can host the cocktail hour in an area other than the reception area (Lotus Tea Garden), we may be able to move chairs from the ceremony to the reception. It requires additional staff, so contact Trevor with catering regarding costs.

Can we throw rice or birdseed?

No. Rice and birdseed sprout. They are VERY difficult to cleanup. Same goes for confetti.

Any type/color of flower petals are acceptable, or bubbles.

Can I do just the ceremony?

Yes, we schedule ceremonies only for any 3 hours between 11am and 2pm. Included is valet parking for your guests, the set-up and take-down of chairs for the ceremony, and a ceremony coordinator to help get you down the aisle.  Email Barbara for more information.

Can I invite guests to the Ceremony, but not the Reception?

Rude! Refer back to your Miss Manner’s Guide to Wedding Etiquette. No.

Reception:

Where do they set up the bar?

Generally, for a Buffet, a separate bar is set up across from the catering bar, in front of the reception area’s center aviary. For Seated, the beverage service and coffee buffet are both on the 60′ service bar. This configuration depends on the size of the party, and what you design with catering.

Where does the Head Table / Sweetheart Table go?

Anywhere and everywhere. I believe I’ve seen it all. In general, a Head Table is set up next to the band stand. Sweetheart tables can go anywhere.

How many people can the dance floor hold?

The concrete dance floor is deceptively small. For parties under 150 guests, the dance floor we have is adequate.

Can we bring in a dance floor?

Dance floors can be brought in. Contact Justin at Command Performance Catering for pricing on the dance floor rental for your size party.

Will I need to bring in additional lighting?

This depends on the size of your party, and how much lighting you want. With the average party being 150 guests, you will not need additional lighting. With larger parties, it’s a good idea. Additional lighting can be included in you package for a very reasonable price.

Can we have sparklers/confetti/streamers in the Reception?

No. Confetti and streamers are almost impossible to get out of the lawn and planters. Damage like this comes out of the security deposit.

Sparklers, when they burn and spark, burn table linens, and melt the chairs, therefore are not allowed in the reception area. However they do make for a grand exit, and can be used down the driveway. Ask us about a Sparkler Exit Package!

Can we have candles on the tables?

Absolutely. Candles are a romantic touch, at night. We only ask that they be enclosed in a votive, or hurricane cover. No tapers.

Can we go later than 10:00pm?

Yes, our permit allows us to have amplified music until Midnight.

What are overtime charges?

If the location is occupied past the six and one half-hour period, there will be an additional hourly fee of $300 per hour. If the catering staff, and or beverage service is utilized past 4 1/2 hours, there will be an overtime charge of $30 per staff member, per half hour, plus $3.00 per person per half hour for beverages, rounded to the nearest half hour. These charges cover the cost of overtime for all valets, catering staff, and other personnel.

Rehearsal Dinner:

Can I have my Rehearsal at the gardens?

Of course! It’s included in the price. Just schedule it! click here

Can we cater the Rehearsal Dinner at the gardens?

Because our permit from the county is only for weekends, we cannot host the dinner on-site during the week. Ask us for a list of recommended restaurants!

When can I schedule my Rehearsal?

The Rehearsal is scheduled after you pay your 60-day deposit. That way we can schedule it, so it won’t conflict with other events that are booked. Your one-day event coordinator (included in the price) will schedule your rehearsal with you.

Rehearsals are scheduled Monday through Friday.

In General:

Will you spray for bugs before the event?

We don’t have an excessive problem with bugs in the gardens. There would be no way to keep a small outside area bug-free. And, most of the bugs in our garden are beneficial to its ecological system. REMEMBER… It is a garden, you are outside, be realistic.

What if it rains?

Our rental company has the entire area measured for tenting. They can get us a quote very quickly and usually give us priority on tenting. We can order tenting up to 5 days prior to the event.

Where are the bathrooms located and how many are provided?

Bathrooms are at the front of the garden where the valets take your guests’ cars.

Are the timeframes strict or can I stay longer/come earlier?

As long as the hours are available, you can add overtime hours to arrive earlier or stay later. Overtime for the location is $300 per hour.

Can I do an evening timeframe in the Lotus Tea Garden / morning timeframe in the Paliuli Garden?

The Lotus Tea Garden can be available for the evening timeframe if a) it is being booked 90 days in advance and the evening timeframe is still available.

The Paliuli Garden can be scheduled for either a morning or evening timeframe.

Valets:

What do the valets wear?

Valets dress in uniform. Blue button-down shirts, and black pants. If you would like them to dress in alternative attire, it must be provided for them.

If we don't have valets, can it reduce the price?

Valet parking is required. People generally come dressed up for a wedding, and it is too much of a liability, let alone an inconvenience to your guests, to have them walk through a gravel parking lot in high heels. Also, being a nursery, there is a lot of above ground irrigation. It is very easy for someone, not familiar with the grounds, to damage water pipes and channels.

General Information:

When you are planning a wedding for the first time, you don’t always know who is the best. Being in the wedding industry, and having years of experience with weddings at our location, we have seen a lot of vendors come through our doors. We know who is good; we’ve tasted the cakes; we’ve seen the DJ perform; we can help you!

If we don't have valets, can it reduce the price?

Valet parking is required. People generally come dressed up for a wedding, and it is too much of a liability, let alone an inconvenience to your guests, to have them walk through a gravel parking lot in high heels. Also, being a nursery, there is a lot of above ground irrigation. It is very easy for someone, not familiar with the grounds, to damage water pipes and channels.

Payment:

When do I pay for my event?

Your event is paid in three payments. The first is your initial deposit, second is your 60-day deposit. The 60-day deposit is based on your educated guess of the head count. Obviously, you won’t know your final count at that time so we take a final third payment. This last payment is due 10-days before your event, and will be your final count. After the 10-day mark, your guest count can only go up, not down.

What if I don't know my final count when the payment is due?

At 10 days prior to your date, you should know how many people are coming to your wedding. Invitations should be sent out one to two months prior, with an RSVP due two weeks before your date. This allows enough time for you to contact those who have not yet replied. If we don’t have a final count by 10-days before the event, we use the most recent count we have (the 60-day count). If payment is not made at 7-days prior to the event, there is a 1% late penalty fee.

What if my payment is late?

If any payment is late, there will be a 1% late penalty fee.

What form of payment do you accept?

We take any form of payment except for credit cards. We cannot swipe a credit card. Personal checks are fine.

Insurance:

Do I need to get additional insurance for my event?

Yes. Our insurance cover general liability for the property (i.e. someone trips and falls on the grounds). But it does not cover if, for example, a guest gets drunk at your party, gets in their car, and causes and accident. Additional insurance protects you and us.

The best way to obtain this type of insurance is through a homeowner’s ore renter’s insurance policy. Insurance companies can usually give you a Certificate of Insurance for no charge. This depends of your policy and your insurance company.

What if I can't get insured?

We work with a few local insurance agencies, who know what you need, and the most cost effective way to get it. We highly recommend Lynda Rommelhoff of State Farm Insurance in Moorpark (805) 553-0355, or contact WedSafe at www.WedSafe.com.

What if you don't receive the proof of insurance?

If we do not receive your proof of insurance, your event can not take place. No special circumstances accepted.

What about the other vendors I hire? Do they need insurance?

Yes. Anyone you hire that will be setting foot on the property on the day of your event MUST have a certificate of liability insurance on file at the location. If they do not have insurance, they will not be allowed to work on the property on your date.

Alcohol:

Can we bring our own alcohol?

Yes. We do not include any alcohol in the packages, because every party varies so greatly in what they want to do. If you would like alcohol included, that can also be arranged. Alcohol must be received by the catering staff at least 2 hours prior to being served, so it can be properly chilled. Please, don’t bring boxed wine. We have no refrigeration units, only ice. We cannot properly chill boxes of wine… plus it’s gross.

Do you charge a corkage fee?

Uncorking, chilling and serving alcohol is all included. No corkage fees!

Are there any fees associated with having alcohol at my event?

Not with the location or catering. There are no additional fees associated with having alcohol at your event. Your insurance company may charge a little more for the policy, but that’s about all I can think of.

Final Guest Count:

Should vendors be included in the final guest count?

Yes, for any vendors staying through the reception: Photographers, Videographers, Photo Booth, or DJ/Band. Vendors are charged at the Kid’s Price.

What if I don't know my final count when the payment is due?

At 10 days prior to your date, you should know how many people are coming to your wedding. Invitations should be sent out one to two months prior, with an RSVP due two weeks before your date. This allows enough time for you to contact those who have not yet replied. If we don’t have a final count by 10-days before the event, we use the most recent count we have (the 60-day count). If payment is not made at 7-days prior to the event, there is a 1% late penalty fee.

More:

None of these FAQs answer my questions, what should I do?

Please e-mail your question to us at barbara@hartleybotanica.com. We will e-mail you back, and you may see your question and answer on these pages later! Thanks for your help.