The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
Couples in Southern California looking for a wedding venue often turn to Happy Trails Garden located in the hub of Old Pasadena. Looking at the company's small storefront, people would never guess what lies behind it. Charming brick pathways lead to a private hidden courtyard with enough space to host a wedding ceremony and reception. A lush lawn, charming patio, ivy-covered walls, bamboo stands and palms surround a massive camphor tree growing from the garden's center. The park-like setting offers a myriad of wedding photo opportunities.
Available entertainment spaces in the garden include the grassy areas, the brick patio adjacent to the catering kitchen and the raised deck built around the large camphor tree. Hanging from the tree's branches, Craftsman-style lanterns lend a warm glow to evening festivities. The spacious garden space accommodates up to 200 guests.
What You Should Know
Happy Trails Garden hosts weddings from April 1 through November 30, with event hours ranging between 9 a.m. and midnight. The event staff makes a warm and personal wedding celebration a priority. To offer couples undivided attention and privacy, the venue hosts just one event per day.
Happy Trails Catering provides a number of menu choices for a memorable event, from delicious appetizers like phyllo triangles to unique entrees like grilled tequila chicken or lasagna Bolognese. Seasonal dishes are created from the freshest ingredients and prepared just prior to serving. Couples have options for plated or buffet-style dinner service to suit their personal style and budget. By incorporating vegetarian meals or family recipes into the menu plan or omitting certain spices from dishes upon request, Happy Trails Catering bends over backwards for each and every couple.
Rentals of tables, chairs, dinnerware and linens are included as part of the catering services. The venue also provides setup and cleanup and a friendly and professional serving staff. Couples may purchase alcohol through the venue or bring in their own with payment of a corkage fee.
In addition to delicious cuisine, service and basic catering equipment, the venue offers event planning expertise. The team is happy to coordinate rentals for other wedding services like flowers, photography and music or equipment rentals like outdoor heaters, dance floors, rain tents and more.
When looking for a wedding venue, couples lean toward those that provide a few extra amenities. Additional perks available at Happy Trails Garden include the following:
- An interactive online map of the space to lay out potential seating arrangements
- Street parking or valet parking for an additional fee
- Allowance of amplified music in the garden
- A dressing area for the bride and groom
From the Vendor
A Secret Garden in Pasadena
Located directly behind our sparkling kitchen, Craftsman-style gates open onto the relaxed, carefully tended garden. Intimate outdoor wedding ceremonies are held on the raised deck at the base of a huge camphor tree that umbrellas the entire garden. Receptions fan out on the expansive lawn and brick patios surrounded by manicured flower beds and ivy covered walls.
Amenities + Details
Outdoor - Not Covered
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$$ – Moderate
Bar + Drinks, Food + Catering, Planning, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff
Amazing!Reviewed on 9/06/2013 Meaghan T
We got married at Happy Trials on August 24th and from beginning to end, Happy Trails was the perfect location for us. Kathy Black is the owner/ caterer and she is fantastic, friendly, warm and easy to work with. She knows her venue inside and out so she has clear direction on how to do things, however she is totally open to doing something different as well which is what we did. Food: The food was so delicious and plentiful. My guests loved all of it and I did too! I'm a picky eater and she helped personalize the menu for me. The decor: The place is so beautiful and pre-strung with lights so we really didn't have to do any decorating/ flowers which saved us a ton of money. Everyone is still talking about how amazing and beautiful the tree was. Overall, it was a perfect venue for our outdoor, 75 person, intimate and romantic wedding. We loved it!
a great placeReviewed on 9/25/2012 sofia s
we had a very casual wedding on one of the hottest days of the summer. it was so easy working with kathy. her experience was truly appreciated and noted. she made everything easy and simple and definitely had great ideas that helped us make the day great for our guests.
beautiful!!Reviewed on 8/22/2011 Caroline P
Happy Trails garden was absolutely beautiful!! With the sun setting through the huge tree, our pictures (even from our friends' simple point and shoot cameras) turned out amazing! We loved how intimate and unique the venue was. You almost felt like to you were taken into a secret garden! In addition, Kathy was so great to work with! As a bride who likes to "dot all her i's," Kathy was helpful and patient with me throughout the entire wedding process. She was very easy to communicate with whether in person or through email. Last but not least, the food! Oh the food was soo good. My husband and I made a point that evening to enjoy our dinner! Our guests were especially raving about the crab cakes and the artichoke parmesan turnovers. yum!
My fiance and I just looked at Happy Trails over the weekend and we went back 3 times in 1 day because we liked it so much. It is a beautiful "secret garden" that you would never know was there. They maximize all of the space they have in a beautiful way. However, in the end we decided it was just too small for us. I think they advertise up to 200 guests, but I'm not sure how. We are looking at a wedding for 150-175 people and luckily there was a wedding that day for 170, so we got to see what it would be like for us. It is definitely do-able, but it would be TIGHT! In the end it was just too small for our numbers, but if you're having a smaller wedding (I would say 125 or less) definitely check this place out. It was beautiful and included almost everything in the very reasonable price.
Happy Trails To You. . .Reviewed on 7/22/2014
Don't let the name fool you. Happy Trails is nothing to do with cowboys or horses. It is, however, everything to do with creating magical, sparkling, last-for-a-lifetime wedding memories. And it all begins with the Proprietress Katherine. Beyond her obvious experience and skill as a caterer and event manager Katherine was, during nearly a year of wedding planning, a kind of anchor for me—answering questions, clarifying possibilities, offering suggestions, when asked—and bringing an invaluable sense of calm, patience, and reassurance to what can at times be a very harrowing, if joyful, process. Add to this the simple, natural beauty of the garden itself—flowering walkways, stretches of lush lawn bordered with softly-lit lanterns, underneath the shade of a gorgeous Eucalyptus tree, sparkling with hundreds of miniature lights; delicious and beautifully prepared menu options (NOT your typical blah wedding food); and an excellent wait staff—add all this in and you have what we found at Happy Trails—a perfect intimate—even magical—venue for your outdoor wedding or other special occasion. Run—don't walk—to explore Happy Trails for yourself!
Meet The Owner
For the past 30 years, I have been helping couples plan and execute their dream weddings in our garden. We offer full service catering, with gourmet menus, food made from scratch, customized to your preferences and sensibilities. Our professional staff love working together and get rave reviews from our clients. We handle all the equipment required for serving food and drink, from set up to clean up, so you can be a guest at your own party. Let's discuss the details of your wedding!