We fell in love with the Captain’s Mansion at Mare Island as soon as we laid eyes on it. There are two mansions (plus a chapel) available to rent for your wedding ceremony and reception on Mare Island: Admiral’s Mansion and Captain’s Mansion.
We chose to have our wedding ceremony and reception at the Captain’s Mansion. A two-story mansion built in 1901 on a street called, Officer’s Row. It’s tucked between nothing but a photographer’s or an urban explorer’s dream. It’s meant for smaller weddings; it was a tight squeeze with 38 in the main room and 12 at the bridal table in the room closest to the kitchen. However, the backyard could accommodate twice that amount.
The rules at the Captain’s Mansion are relatively easy to follow if you’ve got basic common sense. Whatever you brought with you…take out. Whatever you moved…move back. Leave shit where you found it and don’t muck anything up. Also, you cannot fasten anything to the walls, windows, ceilings, floors, banisters, fixtures, furnishings, schrubs or trees without approval. And definitely no tape, nails, screws, tacks, staples, wire or adhesives. It limits the DIY decorating fo’ sho.
Deposits: There is a non-refundable 50% “save the date” deposit plus a refundable $200 security/damage deposit.
Ceremony: No tossing shit. No rice, confetti, flower petals, bird seed, glitter, condoms, or anything else remotely close to any of the aforementioned. So, for those who imagined their exit off the aisle to the tune of Gaga’s Applause with various confetti cannons going off…sucks for you. Change your stupid plans.
Catering: You bring in your own caterers. Any caterers. There’s no preferred list. You can even self-cater/pot luck that shit. You can also cook outside, as long as it’s not on the grass. Alls that required is that your caterers schedule a pre-inspection any time before the wedding date.
Caterers have access to a full kitchen with stove, oven, fridge, freezer, sink. However, you have to bring your own everything…down to the trash bags YOU MUST REMOVE TRASH FROM SITE YOURSELF. Or, hire someone to do it for you.
Booze: Is allowed. You can have a self-service open bar station, like we did. Or, if you’re bringing in a bartender, they have to have their own licenses and insurance.
You bring your own: chairs and tables, linens, booze, 3-prong adapters…viturally everything. There is a bridal table that sits 12 you can use and a round table you can use for the cake.
Music: Amplified music is allowed. Before you go renting one of those self-automated speaker system thingies, you should know this…music and sound systems for both mansions shall not exceed sixty-five (65) decibels. A telephone rings at 85dB. So, iPod deejay that shit like everyone else these days. We bought some legit speakers to attach to our laptop (to bump some Shalamar) and another wireless speaker (for the Iron & Wine) for the ceremony music used outside.
Dressing Rooms: There are four rooms upstairs. One is an on-suite with a shower (if your pits start to sweat). All of which can be used for bridal and groom dressing rooms. We used the on-suite for bride’s room and it was ample room for us to dress, hair and makeup. There’s also a closet, which is a San Francisco studio, for those who are modest.
Parking: Anywhere that isn’t blocking shit. There’s some parking alongside the mansion in the alley. There’s also a parking lot and spaces across the way by the park. Parking shouldn’t be an issue.
Insurance: You have to provide your own insurance and they need the certificate. You can use WedSure. We paid $115, which was a lot lower than anyone else was quoting. Plus, AAA wasn’t even trying to hear our renting asses when we approached for some wedding insurance.
Total for site: $1,050.00 for an 8-hour block
Important to know: You should plan on bringing three-prong adapters for outlets, there is NO WIFI and NO REAL CANDLES can be used. Has to be LED candles.