A bride and groom walk in Elizabeth Park during their Pond House Café wedding

Wedding Venue Feature: Pond House Café

Vibe and FeaturesIndoor/outdoor ceremonies, flower garden, pond, banquet hall
Guest Capacity165
Location1555 Asylum Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06117
Similar VenuesCascade, Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park, Aria, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

Sitting right on the HartfordWest Hartford line is the popular Elizabeth Park. Famous for its beautiful Rose Garden and gazebo, the park also holds one of Connecticut’s great garden venues venues. Due in part to Elizabeth Park, Pond House Café weddings are truly special.

History of Elizabeth Park and Pond House Café

A bride and groom walk through the Rose Garden during their wedding at Elizabeth Park.
The bride poses with her bridesmaids during her wedding in Elizabeth Park.

Covering 102 acres of land in Hartford and West Hartford, Elizabeth Park was gifted to the City of Hartford by a wealthy banker in 1894. Its famous Rose Garden (which is one of about a dozen in the park) opened 10 years later in 1904. This 2.5-acre oasis is actually the oldest city-owned rose garden in the country.

A bride and groom pose for a portrait in Elizabeth Park during their Pond House Café wedding.

Remember the banker who used to own Elizabeth Park? Well, his last name was Pond and his wife’s name was Elizabeth. The park is named after her. Also, theirs is also the namesake of this restaurant and event venue, which is privately operated with the building being leased from the City of Hartford.

Pond House Café Venue Vibe and Features

Inside, Pond House Café is sort of a banquet hall-style wedding venue. The facility has a restaurant on site (by the same name) and is located in Elizabeth Park. The north entrance of the park, on Asylum Street, is closest to the venue.

A bride and groom enter the reception of their Pond House Café wedding.
The maid of honor toasts the bride and groom during their Pond House Café wedding.

Ceremonies at this venue can take place outside on the patio between the pond and the venue building. These can be in the open air or under a tent. Receptions take place in the venue’s single banquet room, which features high ceilings, huge windows letting in lots of light, and a beautiful fireplace.

In colder months, wedding ceremonies are hosted inside, in front of the fireplace. Pond House Café will set up about 30 chairs up front with this setup.

Elizabeth Park for Weddings

A groom raises the bride's floral bouquet over his head during their wedding in Elizabeth Park.

Getting married at Pond House Café is like winning two prizes because you’ll partly have a wedding in Elizabeth Park. Due to the venue’s central location within the park, walking around for portraits is really easy. Like Boston Public Garden, Elizabeth Park is open to the public, even during a wedding.

A covered walkway adorned with plants before a wedding in Elizabeth Park.
A bride laughs with her bridesmaids during her wedding in Elizabeth Park.

Another thing to note is that it’s possible to have a wedding in Elizabeth Park without booking the Café. Couple who are eloping in Connecticut can have their ceremony in the park. They’ll just need to inquire with the City of Hartford about obtaining a photography permit.

Pond House Café Wedding Costs

This garden wedding venue is one of the more affordable ones in Connecticut. Here are some pricing details and considerations:

  • In 2022, the ceremony fee was $1500 for Saturday events. This has likely increased for 2023 and beyond.
  • When you inquire with the venue, they’ll talk to you about the minimum Pond House Café wedding cost based on food and beverage. In other words, there is no minimum guest count, but a minimum spend on in-house catering (the venue is a restaurant, after all). A service charge of around 20% is also applied.
  • Night weddings run from 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM. A daytime wedding at Pond House Café is either from 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM or 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
  • Regarding food and catering, the venue has lots of seasonal options. The venue offers buffet service and plated meal options. The entrée route is more expensive than the buffet, ranging from about $85/person up to $180/person. They can even include your wedding cake.
  • Conveniently, your booking includes pretty much everything for the reception, from furniture to linens to a mac and cheese bar after dinner.
  • The off-peak wedding season for this venue, where prices are at their lowest, is January through March.

Hotels Close to Pond House Café

A bride walks with her bridesmaids before her wedding at Pond House Café.
A bride gets help from her mother while preparing for her Pond House Café wedding.

As a pure ceremony and reception wedding location, this venue doesn’t have any facilities for getting ready. Naturally then, you may want to look into accommodations nearby for the two of your and all of your guests. Here are some hotels near Pond House Café and Elizabeth Park:

  1. Delamar West Hartford
  2. Candlewood Suites Hartford Downtown
  3. Hilton Hartford
  4. Goodwin Hotel (Hartford)
  5. Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Farmington

Pond House Café Wedding Photos

Learn More

Ready to talk with the staff of Pond House Café about your wedding? Reach out using the links below.

Still looking for your wedding photographer? I’d love to hear from you! Use the links below to learn more about my work.

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