Are you looking for a wedding reception venue in Huntington Beach, California? The Hyatt Huntington Beach wedding receptions are a first-class experience that I would highly recommend. Since I wanted to have my ceremony at Wayfarers Chapel I only had a reception at this beautiful venue. However, if you want one location for both your ceremony and venue this resort is a wonderful option. I hope this post helps give you an overview of my Hyatt Huntington Beach Wedding Reception.
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Please be sure to reach out to Hyatt Huntington Beach directly for pricing. I will not be focusing on the costs in this post. I would love to focus on my experience and help provide you with information to help you make decisions. When I was planning my reception I searched online for helpful reviews that could help me narrow down my options on what food to pick and other details like that.
I found several reviews where people raved about their experience but they did not share any specifics. People would state how much their guests loved the food or the cake but no one was sharing what choices they selected. My hope is that this post gives you helpful information to make the Hyatt Huntington Beach wedding reception planning process even better for you.
I have always wanted the beach to be part of my wedding in one way or another. Once I knew I wanted Wayfarers Chapel to me by ceremony venue I wanted to find a reception venue that had ocean views. Since Wayfarers Chapel is located in Palos Verdes I was originally looking at the Chart House in Redondo Beach. However, due to COVID, I was unable to get that venue and at the recommendation of a co-worker, my family and I started looking at options in Huntington Beach.
One thing that was really important to me when picking a reception venue during COVID was having it outdoors. My Mom found the Hyatt through her research and once she shared it with me we knew we had found the perfect venue. After an onsite tour, I was ready to book. Courtney in the events office was the biggest help throughout our whole process.
We picked the lighthouse courtyard as our reception site. There was a backup plan to move to a ballroom if it rained but I would have been so bummed had that happened since I wanted the gorgeous view. One of the biggest perks about this particular location is that there is a bridge that connects this part of the hotel to the beach. It makes for easy access for getting beach photos!
What is included in the Hyatt Huntington Beach wedding reception packages? It varies depending on what you pick. All packages do have a site fee, a food & beverage minimum as well as some required vendors. A two-tiered cake is included but it does not come from the hotel. They partner with four different bakeries for the cake. After reading reviews we decided to pick Sweet Traders.
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What I found out from the bakery is that a two-tiered cake with white frosting is what is included, if you want any type of design or color there is an upcharge. I wished that there had been information and photos provided through the Hyatt of what previous cakes looked like. We ultimately decided to upgrade to do a blue ombre cake and then we had our florist add some flowers.
We decided on one layer of devil’s food cake with a vanilla bavarian cream filling and one layer of vanilla cake with a raspberry cream filling. Most of our guests wanted chocolate but we did not clarify with Sweet Traders that we would prefer the bigger layer to be chocolate. Honestly, with all of the details we had to work on, I just didn’t think to double-check which layer would be which. Sweet Traders gives couples a small cake for their one-year wedding anniversary which we are already counting down the days for. Our guests loved our cake just as much as we did!!
Even though the Hyatt Huntington Beach has its own events team, you are required to hire a day-of coordinator from a list of their preferred vendors. We went with Lisa Simpson. Your coordinator will help you create your day-of timeline and will attend the tasting to help keep track of everything. We had our tasting two months before the wedding. Even before the tasting, we had selected our entree options due to how early we invited our guests since COVID introduced so many changes and unique circumstances.
While we had already selected the meat choices, we still had to pick the side, salad, soup, and make appetizer selections. The package includes a 3-course meal that you can add on to if you wish. You can pick soup or salad, the entrees, and a dessert. However, since the cake is included most people substitute the additional dessert so that they can have soup & salad. That is what we did, and even though the desserts we sampled were amazing, between cake & having s’mores we already had a lot of desserts! You will get an email with the options for you to test at the tasting. You will narrow down what you want to try and then make your final decisions at the tasting.
At the tasting, you do not sample appetizers so on those you are really just making guesses about what you will like. We chose a ceviche appetizer, sliders, and quesadillas. Since we knew our guests would likely arrive hungry we also added a nacho bar to the cocktail hour. All of the appetizers were a big hit but if I had to pick favorites the quesadilla and sliders were amazing!
My family does not drink so we decided to have a dry wedding so instead of having alcoholic drinks at cocktail hour, we decided to offer two themed drinks. I had so much fun coming up with the names for the drinks and found an amazing sign on Etsy that I was able to customize. We bought a frame and had the sign set up over at the bar. That Touch of Mink was an Arnold Palmer which was a huge hit with our guests. We also offered a Happily Ever Ares which was a cherry coke. Somehow we never got our frame back from the bar so if you do provide your own frame make sure that someone takes it at the end of the night.
During the planning process, we were told that the bartender would have all the drink options (we requested coke products) on display so guests could know what they could order. The resort carries Pepsi products but if you ask for coke products they can make the switch for your event. For some reason, this did not happen so a lot of our guests thought they could only order our signature drinks. I bring this up only so that you can have your coordinator make sure that the bartender does properly display the drinks so that your guests know their options.
For the soups, we tried the tomato basil soup as well as the lobster bisque. The presentation of the soups is really wonderful. For the lobster bisque, you are first given a bowl with lobster and then a serve comes from behind and pours the soup on top. We all immediately agreed that we wanted the lobster bisque. So many of our guests told us that it was the best soup they had ever had!!
I love salads, but I am not a big fan of the ones that have nuts & fruit in them. At first, I was unsure about the salad options as none of them sounded like something I would eat. My Mom reached out to the team and they ended up creating a caesar salad & wedge salad for us to try at the tasting. I loved the wedge salad! The team is really flexible and willing to work with you to help give you the wedding of your dreams and I very much appreciated that.
We gave our guests three meal options to choose from. Chicken, which we did not do a taste test of, filet mignon, and a crab-crusted salmon. We ended up selecting veggies & mashed potatoes to accompany the meat. The salmon and filet were the entrees that our guests raved about. I highly recommend both of those!
We also tested the creme brulee and chocolate cake. Both of these desserts were incredible but we ended up deciding to replace the dessert with soup since we were adding fire pits with s’mores for our guests as well as cake.
For our tables, we decided to use the white linens provided by the resort. We ended up using their table numbers as well. I decided against using flowers for the centerpiece and decided to create a DIY beach wedding centerpiece. I ended up buying sea shell wreaths from Hobby Lobby. After the wedding, I kept two of the wreaths which I use for decoration in my home but I was actually able to sell the other wreaths!
We rented glass cylinders from our florist. She added blue sea glass to the cylinders and then we added led floating candles to the top. The led floating candles are really cool. We found them on Amazon. They turn on when they touch the water and turn off when you take them out.
I found adorable anchor escort cards on Etsy that we used to help our guests find their tables. Once at their table we had a sand dollar with their name on it at their seat. I put the names & anchors on the sand dollars myself using vinyl that I cut on my Cricut machine. This was one of my favorite beach wedding diy items that I did.
Something else that we had waiting for our guests at their tables was a blanket that they could use during the reception and take home with them. These were a big hit.
One of my favorite things to do at the beach is roasting s’mores and the Hyatt made that happen for our reception. We had s’mores boxes for our guests and two fire pits.
For our send-off, I originally wanted floating lanterns or sparklers but the Hyatt cannot allow those due to safety concerns. We ended up ordering light-up balloons from Amazon which worked out really well.
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For music entertainment, I wanted dueling pianos. We found the Dueling Cousins and they were wonderful. Our guests had so much fun getting to request songs and sing along.
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Our florist, Shelby from Greenleaf Designs, did a wonderful job helping enhance our reception with her beautiful work.
For hair & makeup, I used Karissa from Vanity Belles.
Thank you so much to Courtney and the staff at the Hyatt for such a wonderful day!