Q: How many guests can the Center comfortably accommodate?
A: The Center can accommodate up to 150 people indoor only (banquet seating in our multi - purpose room), 75 people outdoor only (Patio) or 200 people with a combination of indoor and outdoor seating . The amphitheater may seat over 200 guests.
Q: Does the Center host more than one event at a time?
A: No, this is your day and only your wedding is scheduled at the Center.
Q: At what times may events be held?
A: All wedding events have an 8 hour time allotment that may be scheduled for day or evening events. Additional hours may be purchased on an hourly basis. No event shall extend beyond 12pm.
Q: What does the facility rental fee include?
A: Your day includes 8 - hour use of the complete facility (includes setup and take-down time ) and a 1 hour rehearsal time prior to the event date. Rental also includes use of a commercial - grade kitchen, tables, chairs, white linens, an on - site coordinator and access to the animal exhibit hall.
Q: Can I rent the facility for a ceremony only?
A: Yes, ceremony rental includes 3 - hour use of the Center’s amphitheater only (includes set up and clean up time; main building not included) and a 1 hour rehearsal prior to the event date.
Q: Is there access to the waterfront?
A: Our loop trail does NOT go down to the lake. However, you will be afforded many picturesque views of the lake from various places around the facility.
Q: In case of inclement weather, what happens to an outdoor wedding?
A: For smaller groups, we may be able to designate both a ceremony and reception area inside our main building. For larger groups, the ceremony and reception could be held in the reception hall.
Q: Is outside catering allowed?
A: Yes, you may choose most any caterer for your event upon approval by the Center. All caterers must be able to provide proof of liability insurance to the Center. A professional caterer is not required, however, at least one member of your kitchen personnel must hold a current Maricopa County Food Handlers Card. The propane and charcoal grills are available, but you must bring your own grilling tools. The Center also has a large walk - in refrigerator available to keep food & drinks cold.
Q: Is there a specific list of other vendors?
A: Your choice of vendors is at your discretion. We can provide a list of local vendors upon request. Please provide the Center's event coordinator with your vendors' contact information at least 2 weeks prior to your event.
Q: Are tables, chairs & linens included?
A: Yes, the Center has a variety of tables available for your use, including 60" round and 5', 6' and 8' rectangular tables. Tables are also provided for buffet, gift, cake and DJ. All tables will be dressed with white, lap-length tablecloths, unless otherwise specified. The chairs supplied by the Center are plastic stackable chairs.
Q: What is your alcohol policy?
A: No hard liquor is permitted on the premises. Only beer, wine, champagne and malt beverages (like wine coolers) are allowed. Outside alcohol is permitted but it must be served by a designated bartender in a pre-approved area. Also, alcohol cannot be served in glass containers and must be transferred by the bartender into plastic containers before being served to guests.
Q: Is smoking permitted?
A: There is no smoking permitted inside any of our buildings, however, smoking is allowed outside at least 20 feet away from an exit. Ashtrays are available on both our front and rear patios.
Q: Is music allowed?
A: Yes, a DJ or live band is allowed both inside and outside. There is a stage in our reception hall that can best accommodate either a DJ or band.
Q: When can I start setting up for my event?
A: The Center will set up all requested tables and chairs before the event time. The 8-hour time allotment allows for 2 hours prior to the start of the event for setup and 1 hour of take-down. Additional time may be purchased on an hourly basis.
Q: Are there any restrictions on decorations?
A: Yes, please read the Wedding Decorations Guidelines for further information about decorating restrictions and allowances.
Q: Are there restrooms in the Center?
A: Yes, we are a full-service, modern facility with indoor restrooms and drinking fountains. And yes, we have air conditioning too!
Q: Is there a dressing room?
A: Yes, the Center has convenient private areas that are large enough to be used as a changing/ready room by the entire bridal party.
Q: Is there parking?
A: Parking spaces are limited, however, the Center will provide a staff member to help guide guests into overflow parking areas.
Q: Is there handicap access?
A: Yes, the Center's buildings, amphitheater, and trail are all handicap accessible.
Q: Are children allowed at the Center?
A: Yes, however, all children under the age of 12 must be fully chaperoned at all times in the Center. Please let the Center's event coordinator know if you are expecting a large number of children, as special programming may be arranged specifically for children.
Q: I understand that there is a privacy gate at the entrance. How do I get in?
A: There is a gate at our entrance for security purposes since we are a reservation-only facility. A personal gate code will be provided at reservation time for the bridal party and vendors. Please do not give the gate code to your guests as there will be a staff member posted at the gate to welcome your guests on the day of your event.
Q: How do I book an event and hold the date?
A: All reservations are made on a first-come first-serve basis. To secure a reservation, a Wedding Special Use Permit Application must be completed, signed and returned to the Center. Also, a non-refundable reservation deposit of $500 is due at the time of booking, which will be applied towards the total balance.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, purchase orders, and checks made out to the Desert Outdoor Center, or any combination of the above.
Q: When is payment due?
A: The reservation deposit is due at time of booking and is nonrefundable. The remaining balance of your event is due 30 days prior to the event date.
Q: Are there seasonal discounts available?
A: Yes, off-season discounts are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day.