Event space for a (smaller) Memorial Gathering near Orange County, SoCal
July 13, 2013 2:26 PM   Subscribe

My mother recently passed away and we are looking to rent out a function space to have a gathering for 25-30 friends and relatives to get together, have a little lunch, trade stories, and generally remember her. Low-key is the general idea. Looking for recommendation for locations (hotels, inns, converted barns, restaurants) around North Orange County, California — or web resources that will have good listing of the same.

Further details:

- Very important: Can't be in a loud location, as we'll have a significant number of people with difficulty hearing.
- Very important: The setting should be very lovely. Not fancy or elegant, but with gardens and plants nearby. Best would be a function room that opens on to a garden area that guests could walk around in, or even sit in. Converted barns?

- We're imaging having a 1-2 hour luncheon, with a self-service buffet where people can get a plate of food and then go sit at some tables and talk with others.
- We don't need a bar or music.
- We don't need to be on the ocean.
- We don't need an amplification system; there will be at most 30 people.
- We live in Northern Orange County, right near Long Beach. Within 20-25 miles is best - I'm thinking as far south as Irvine. I don't know stuff in LA County as well, but we're open to going there.
- Ideally we're thinking of having a catered buffet. (If you know a company that will do Swedish-style smorgasbord catering in SoCal, I'd love to hear it). But if we settle on a restaurant that doesn't permit outside caterers, and end up using their menu, we can go that way.

- We're concerned that we don't have that many people, so we don't want to end up with a room that's too big so that the guests feel swallowed up by the space. Intimate and friendly is the idea. Rooms where they hold business seminars are the exact opposite of what we want. There should be natural light and some decoration in the room, not fluorescents and bare walls
posted by benito.strauss to Grab Bag (3 answers total)
- Westminster manor
- Angelo and Vinci's

Other options (can't remember names) on birch or nearby in Brea

(from my roommate - I have no personal knowledge)
posted by mercredi at 4:45 PM on July 13, 2013

I have been wracking my brain, trying to come up with someplace suitable for you. We had my dad's memorial service at the golf course where he spent most of his time and that worked well for us.

Did your mother perhaps belong to a Women's Club? The Ebell Club in Long Beach is a tad on the pricey side, but may work for you.

Gerdes Park in Norwalk appears to have a space they rent out for parties which might work for you.
posted by jvilter at 11:56 PM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: [Following up after the event.]

Thanks for the responses. We ended up using the Community Center in the city my parents live in. It wasn't very fancy, but the rates were reasonable and the facility is very nice and clean, with lots of natural light and attractive grounds. They also had a room that was just the right size for 45 people, although we had to stick a tree in front of the colored pencil sketch of Elvis that was permanently fixed to the walls.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:45 AM on October 20, 2013

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