The Inside Scoop
FROM THE KNOT EDITORS
The First Look
The Garden Room. Decorated with the flowers of the season, this space is always a delight. The Garden Room features floor-to-ceiling windows, giving plenty of natural light to your event. It also features a stone gas fireplace as well as stunning views of the grounds.
Terrace. This outdoor spot, connected to the Garden Room, is the ideal location for a wedding ceremony or cocktail hour. A gazebo serves as the entrance for this stunning space, and you and your guests are treated to views of the gardens and pond. Tent rental is also available.
Elizabeth Park Gardens. There are a variety of gardens in the Elizabeth Park that would make a stunning backdrop to either a wedding ceremony or photo shoot. Some of these include the Rose Garden and Perennial Gardens. Surrounded by the flora of the season, you and your guests are sure not to forget a wedding celebrated here.
What You Should Know
Pond House Cafe offers a few different packages for marrying couples on their wedding day. For a wedding reception that includes a plated dinner or a wedding buffet, you get five hours of facility time. The reception must go from either noon to 5 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. For a Sunday brunch or dinner, there is a three-hour reception window, and the times are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., noon to 3 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For both packages, menu options must be confirmed at least a month beforehand. A non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a date for the event. The final guest count is due seven days before the event. A second deposit is due halfway between the initial deposit and the date of the event. The final deposit is due three days before the event date. Chiavari chairs are included as well as glassware, silverware, china and floor-length table linens.
For the plated dinner, some food selections include grilled filet mignon, braised lamb shank, surf and turf and grilled Mahi Mahi. Some wedding buffet options include duck confit, crab cakes, chicken coq au vin and veal Oscar. The Sunday brunch options include chicken Marsala, Pond House scramble, stuffed pork medallions and jambalaya.
Some of the perks that come with hosting a wedding at Pond House Cafe include:
- Wedding cake
- Wedding coordinator
- Professional wait staff
From the Vendor
The Perfect Setting For Your Wedding!
♥WINTER WEDDING PACKAGE NOW AVAILABLE♥ As you walk into the Garden Room you will image all those dreams about your wedding day being realized when you see the high ceilings adorned with twinkle lights, floor to ceiling cathedral windows beaming with sunlight, a glowing field stone gas fireplace and the beautiful park setting in the backdrop. The Garden Room is beautiful any time of day and any time of year. Meticulously decorated with seasonal flowers and plants, attention is given to every detail. Step outside the side door of the Garden Room onto our brand new Terrace overlooking the pond and the park! The Terrace provides a beautiful space for your cocktail hour, ceremony, pictures, lounge area and even dining.
Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
$$ – Affordable
Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Service Staff
Beautiful and intimate!Reviewed on 1/08/2014 Sherryl H
My husband and I picked the Pond House Cafe because it was a special date location. Everyone we worked with was warm and accommodating. Our coordinator answered all of our questions and helped us meet any special requests. On the day of the wedding, everything ran smoothly. The wait staff was friendly and even danced with the bridal party while we waiting in the wings to get started. The hall was decorated for Christmas and they really outdid themselves. It was stunningly beautiful and more than we expected. The food was fantastic too! We got tons of compliments from family members and friends about the Pond House and are so happy with our choice!
Our Wedding 10/26/13Reviewed on 11/18/2013 Laura A
My husband and I loved this venue from the start. The dramatic floor to ceiling windows, along with twinkling Christmas lights, a fireplace and seasonal decorations were exactly what we were looking for for our theme of "rustic elegance." The food was amazing and unique - presentation to match. The one downfall is that there is no bridal suite for the bridal party to hang out in prior to introduction. Other than that we could not say enough positive things about this venue!
Gorgeous Venue -Wonderful Food- Best ValueReviewed on 7/12/2013 PinnyB B
Since Ii planned my vow renewal to be held in Elizabeth Park Rose Garden I decided to check out The Pond House Cafe which is located with-in the park And am I glad I did. I worked with their event planner Dianna and thanks to her and her attention to detail ended up with a perfect day and incredible reception. The cafe itself looks quite casual from the outside but the venue room is gorgeous. Twenty foot ceilings and enormous floor to ceiling windows look out over a small lake surrounded by trees. Depending on your event and number of people the cost for the venue includes, venue room , table,and linens. The food was amazing by far the best value and great service. We had their in-house pastry chef make our Lemon, Mascarpone,2 tier vow cake and the guests swooned. Best cake we've ever tasted! Perfect!
I chose the Pond House because when we walked into the banquet area, it looked just like a barn to me. They have Christmas lights wrapped around the beams on the ceiling and I loved the huge fireplace. I really wanted something farmhouse rustic, but actually using a barn would have been in the end too expensive. I also liked that before I booked the venue, I could at least sample the food that came out of the kitchen so I had an idea what we were getting into, because food is so extremely important. Most other venues that JUST do weddings and functions did not allow you to try the food at all until you were booked and had forked over a substantial amount of money, which made me uncomfortable. I also loved the Pond House's proximity to Elizabeth Park for the purposes of group photos, which turned out amazing. EVERYONE at my wedding said that it was the best wedding they'd been to, and I think in addition to my DJ (Aaron Topfer, USE HIM) - this venue was the reason. It was beautiful, reasonably priced, and the food was excellent, one of the best meals I've had in my life. They are also MUCH more accommodating with family that wants to help - my sister-in-law did the flowers, and a friend of the family did the cake - they didn't force either of them to get a rider on their insurance policy or get a license from the state to make the cake. I am so happy that I overruled my now husband and went with this place, and he told me he's happy I did too. If you're looking for a place to impress on a budget (mine was under $17K) this is the place for you.
Susan at the Pond House was amazing. Our reception was beautiful, the food was great and our guests had the time of their lives. I couldn't have asked for a better evening.
We had the most wonderful wedding at the Pond House Cafe at the end of June. It was truly fantastic. We had Susan as our coordinator and we loved her. She is so knowledgeable and gave us so much valuable advice. The whole night was perfect they executed everything beyond our expectations.
The Pond House is a great option if you are going for a rustic Connecticut feel. It is also really affordable given the prices in the area. We had a reception of just over 100 people there and everyone complimented the venue and service of the Pond House; absolutely beautiful and high attention to detail! I highly recommend the evening option for a wedding! (Suggestion: do the plates dinners!)
The pond house was the first venue that my husband and I looked at. I knew the minute we walked in that it was "the one"! We put a deposit down that day and quickly viewed about 8 other venues in 1 week and none of them compared. We are so happy we went with our gut and chose this amazing venue (if your reading this review you will not be disappointed in them) We got married August 8th, 2015. The venue has a very unique vibe to it which we LOVED. It's very pretty with a modern and eclectic twist which fits and compliments Elizabeth Park. The windows are from floor to ceiling, the exposed beams have small twinkle lights that add a romantic feel and along with window tea lights that are on for the whole reception. They decorate the venue for each season, but you can easily add more to give it a personalized feel. Even if you aren't the decorator or you don't have a wedding planner, the venue still looks stunning with their seasonal decor. The food. It's absolutely amazing. The chef does a fantastic job with unique but very tasty creations. They had a great presentation from apps to dinner. You choose from two bakeries for your cake - we used Cakes by Donna. It was the exact cake that I imagined and it tasted delicious. I added extras to our menu like pasta with vodka sauce and mini cannolis to each table. The staff was great. We worked with Diana for all the booking and deposits and she was awesome. Very organized and easy to work with. We started with Susan for our wedding coordinator but a few months before our wedding Andrea took over. Both Susan and Andrea were fantastic. Andrea is the one who took our vision and made it reality. She was also in charge all my decorations. She wrote down every detail and it came out beautifully (I did all my own wedding planning and brought in about 12 tubs of decorations!) but she displayed everything perfectly. Our total wedding was about 170 people, and while we were close to the max number of guests, we still had a great size dance floor near the DJ. The outdoor patio was amazing and was great extra space for an August night. We had our photo booth outside which was a big hit. We got married in the perennial garden in Elizabeth Park which was a beautiful outdoor setting. The Pond House location made it so convenient for guests to park and walk from our ceremony to our reception. Everyone loved the convenience of our wedding. All in all, the Pond House is a beautiful venue for a modern but not over the top rustic feel. There were a few things I wished were different, such as the bathrooms and the bridal suite. In the grand scheme of things, neither were a big deal. The reception room shares a bathroom with the cafe guests and I really wished there were separate bathrooms for the price. Also, they do not have a bridal suite, which might bother some brides. We were very happy with our decision and would not have changed our day at Elizabeth Park and the Pond House!
Amazing!Reviewed on 7/11/2015 Hannah E
The pond house was amazing! The waitstaff and wedding planner, Lexie made everything run smoothly and the food was delicious! Everyone was talking about the appetizers and the meal. Lexie worked with my venders to make the night magical and was even amazing with some of my guests food allergies ! The space is gorgeous and a perfect venue for a wedding!!!
MagicalReviewed on 12/15/2014 Stephanie B
We had our wedding at the Pond House and we couldn't have asked for anything better. Susan, our wedding coordinator, was amazing. She made sure our special day went smoothly. The food was absolutely amazing. I had specially requested a squash risotto and the presentation was breathtaking. My husband had the short rib and he said it was delicious. The food was definitely a big hit. The waitstaff was so helpful and friendly. Since I have Celiac Disease I had to keep asking if things were gluten free, but they came back to me with the answers so quickly. The decor was holiday themed and absolutely beautiful. Overall it was the perfect evening.
Beautiful Venue with AMAZING Staff!Reviewed on 9/23/2014 Jenn M
I am a bride who lived out of state and had to select a venue in one weekend of visiting. Doing my reseach beforehand I found The Pond House Cafe and just from the pictures on their website and menu selections I could tell that this was probably the place I wanted to hold my reception. After visiting the gardens surrounding the venue and finding out we could hold the ceremony in the park (done via the City of Hartford) I was sold! The venue itself and the surrounding gardens are so beautiful even when not in bloom! On my first visit I met with Diana who showed me around and answered all of my questions. She was very thorough and went through all of my options for the room setup and alternatives if I had to do my ceremony in the venue vs the gardens if there was inclement weather. She was very down to earth and easy to work with even though we hadn't actually booked there yet. She was excited about their venue but wasn't pushy or too "salesy" to try to convince me to book there, unlike some other venues I visited. Those who live in CT know how expensive things are there and while our wedding total rounded out close to the national average these days, I found that The Pond House was on the lower to moderate end of the spectrum and what you got for the price was well worth it - open bar with quality brands, more hot appetizers than most other places, cake included and another dessert option. I immediately knew that it was the place for me! After booking I was passed over to the coordinator for my event, Susan. Although Susan was now my main contact, Diana was still always available and willing to help with whatever I needed. She was fabulous! The same goes for Susan! I can't even put into words how much I loved her as out site coordinator! Working with her was so stress-free. By the date of the event I was so comfortable just dropping my stuff off and letting her go at it. I just knew she understood my vision and would make the room beautiful! Susan is so kind and sweet and really went out of her way to make sure our day was perfect! Even when there was a little mix-up with our credit card billing, she took it upon herself to work with our CC companies to resolve the issue so that we could enjoy the night and our honeymoon with no worries. Susan was so accomodating with everything! We opted out of a champagne toast but still made sure that my new husband and I had some to toast with ourselves, she accomodated my grandmother with a special meal due to dietary restrictions, and she let me bring in an additional outside treat for a late night snack - something most other venues don't allow. She was also fabulous at making some last minute adjustments to our meal counts as we had some unexpected changes. If I could do it all over again I would most certainly choose The Pond House for my wedding, or any other event for that matter! The service, staff, and location are amazing! I could go on and on and on even more about this venue.....if you're considering looking here you won't be disappointed!
Perfect unique venue!Reviewed on 8/28/2014 Susan F
The Pond House was the perfect venue for my wedding... you get the beauty of Elizabeth Park and a unique setting that is not just a hotel ballroom. They even have a new outdoor patio area where we had our cocktail hour that is gorgeous! Beyond the space, my coordinator Susan was amazing. She was so patient as I changed my final count and tweaked food choices what felt like a billion times in the weeks before the wedding. On the day of she helped execute all the details I had worked so hard on flawlessly. Oh and the food was so good... the appetizers were a hit with all the guests (tempura asparagus and potato bar amongst others!) and we loved the buffet. They even provided me my own plate of gnocchi since I don't eat meat. I cannot say enough about everyone at the Pond House, they made our reception great!
Amazing ExperienceReviewed on 6/14/2014 Charity S
We really wanted this venue, so we booked it about a year and a half out. Compared to some of the other venues we looked at, this was fairly affordable. We knew of it from going to the cafe all the time so we knew the food would be good - it was. We got so many compliments on everyone's meals and appetizers! Susan was a delight to work with (although not the fastest by email if that's your preferred method of contact, as is mine). She guided us through the whole reception process - what we should bring, what they would provide, when to have things checked off our list. She worked with the DJ to take care of the whole evening schedule and set up all of our decorations, which turned out just like I wanted. She's personable and easy to work and get along with. The venue itself is GORGEOUS. If you've never been, I recommend you take a peek. Just the right amount of rustic romance while still keeping it classy. We didn't need to decorate the room really because they keep the venue so beautiful with all of their own foliage and flowers and twinkling lights. I'm so happy we had our wedding here, it was exactly what we wanted!
Our garden weddingReviewed on 9/19/2013 Allyson W
Although my husband and I were very happy on our wedding day, there are several reasons I was disappointed with The Pond House Cafe. One being that the staff chose to ruin our place cards by marking them with highlighters to indicate meal choices. Now this wouldn't have been a problem, but we paid $0.30/Swarovski crystal (which were different colors) to indicate the meal choices, as well as we gave a list by table number with the meal choices. Another annoyance was how understaffed they are, especially since this venue isn't exactly inexpensive. More than half of my guest did not receive the butlered hors d'oeuvres, including the grandparents of myself and my husband and my father. Literally my mother had to ask the waiters to make rounds, rather than going to the same people. I do have to admit that the venue is very beautiful, but the staff is lacking. Another big deal was the fact that my florist had to wait over an hour past the time told to be there due to the fact that they did not have the room setup and ready. This also prevented my photographers from getting into the room and taking pictures prior to the guests arrival. Even though I love eating in the cafe, I wouldn't recommend this venue for a wedding, unless they add more staff.
Beautiful, Unique Wedding VenueReviewed on 6/18/2013 Kaleena C
My then-fiance and I had checked out a bunch of places for our wedding venue until we stumbled upon The Pond House in West Hartford, CT, and immediately fell in love. The Pond House is a whimsical-looking building overlooking a little pond in the middle of a stunning park. (We had our ceremony in the Rose Garden Gazebo, which was just a short walk away from The Pond House). The space for the reception was gorgeous, airy, and beautifully decorated even before we brought our wedding decor. Susan, the reception coordinator, sometimes took a while to get back to me, but she was extremely helpful and answered all my questions. I also didn't like the fact that the contract said the menu could change and the prices could go up later. (The menu did change, but we were able to still go with the 2012 menu choices. The bar prices didn't change at all. It was just turned into all five-hour options.) With that said, the food was phenomenal (except they forgot to bring out the mashed potatoes), and I didn't have to worry about a thing on our big day. I can't wait to go back to the restaurant part of The Pond House for our one-year anniversary, and of course, visit the beautiful gardens again!
Absolutely magical!Reviewed on 11/13/2012 Mia G
We almost didn't work with Pond House because of our first encounters with Lisa. Long story short--don't work with her--go straight to Susan and you can't go wrong. Susan convinced us to give them a chance and they were the best possible venue for us. Susan is fantastic, relaxed, highly competent and remained that way until the very last detail was done. We were also extremely impressed with the chef and kitchen. They designed an entire vegetarian (and some vegan plates) buffet from some suggestions we offered about favorite ingredients and dishes we'd had at a vegetarian restaurant. The chef went above and beyond in creating little masterpieces. The food was so good, we still think about it! Even our meat-loving guests were raving about how delicious everything was. The decor was elegant and beautiful; including the hand-built bar. The bartender got rave reviews from our guests too. Everything was perfect; we're glad we gave them a chance. Totally recommend!!
RudenessReviewed on 10/03/2012 Janet F
I never bothered to see this venue, but I do hear it's gorgeous. However, the woman I had talked to before deciding if I wanted to pursue them or not was quite rude. She told me that I better book the place before even seeing it or else I'd lose out,and I told her that we'd really have to look at the venue before booking, and she said " well I can't hold it and we are busy so I guess you will just lose out." I just did not like the woman's attitude that I dealt with, so I never bothered to take a look. And my coworker's daughter said that the woman at this venue was rude to her as well.
Absolutely LOVED the POND HOUSEReviewed on 9/21/2012 Jennifer P
We had our wedding at the Pond House in late August. Everything went perfectly. The food was excellent, guests had a great time, and the Garden Room looked beautiful. My guests continue to rave about how pretty the room was. Maxine was a great from the moment we met to the last second of the wedding. She was on top of everything, set up all my decorations,etc perfectly, and made sure I had everything I needed at the reception. We did have another coordinator that was hard to get a hold of and not as easy to work with, but once Maxine stepped in, I was at ease!
Great VenueReviewed on 9/16/2012 Darcy R
The Pond House was a perfect venue for our wedding of 95 guests. It felt intimate, but not too small! The staff was accommodating and helpful with everything, from picking the right food to helping with my falling updo by the end of the night. I would highly recommend the Pond House to any bride, it look absolutely stunning with soft lighting during the evening and beautiful foliage inside and out. The food was also delicious!
Fantastic!Reviewed on 7/29/2012 Cassie D
Excellent food and service for a bridal shower
Great place!Reviewed on 3/23/2012 Laura P
The service was great! the location is beautiful and all our guests said that the food was just amazing!!!The Pond House wedding planner did a great job during the planning phases and the day of the wedding.
Almost PerfectReviewed on 10/18/2011 Chloe M
I grew up a block away from Elizabeth Park and the pond house, and when my mom suggested having my wedding there, I was pretty much sold! It was the only place we looked at, and we pretty much booked it on the spot. They were very helpful with everything, including the fact that they take care of all the centerpieces and decorations themselves. Most everything at the reception was perfect, the food, the organization, the beautiful decorations (that just so happened to exactly match our color scheme... nice job Pond House!). However, there are a few things that annoyed me a little bit. We decided to do a challah blessing before the meal, and payed a lot of money for a huge challah that was supposed to be cut up and served with the buffet... well they forgot, so most of the challah went to waste. Also, I believe a champagne toast was included in our bar price, and they never did one.... Also, don't be fooled into getting their "breakfast bread table" if you have a brunch here, it is very small, and not really worth it. But all in all, the put on a wonderful reception for us, and many of our guests proclaimed it the most beautiful reception they had been to.
BeautifulReviewed on 10/17/2011 Jamie R
The Pond House Cafe is a gorgeous wedding venue. It is set among Elizabeth Park overlooking a pond. The main room has floor to ceiling windows with tealights and twinkle lights throughout. Its very romantic. The food is delicious and the staff are extremely helpful!
Fantastic food, atmosphere and serviceReviewed on 10/10/2011 K J
I would highly recommend the Pond House, as you will not find better food anywhere! There is not a separate bathroom for the Garden room, and your wedding reception guests will have to share a bathroom with the restaurant and park guests, but if that doesn't bother you then you will be in good shape. The room is just beautiful at night (and during the day), and you can do all of your photos in gorgeous Elizabeth Park. You can really tailor your reception to fit your budget, and although this is not a budget reception venue, you don't have to spend $40,000 for a 130 person reception. One point to note- I would not have a sit down reception for more than 130 here. Their info on their website says they can accommodate up to 200, but it would be extremely cramped. Great to work with, we loved having our reception here!
I had a great wedding experience at the pond house. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was because they wedding planner that organized everything was not always organized and at times hard to get a hold of.