Ambassador Mansions and Gardens Photographer
The Ambassador Mansions and Gardens are located off South Orange Grove Boulevard in an area formerly known as "Millionaire's Row," known all over the world as the location of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. As a Pasadena wedding photographer who specializes in events at the Ambassador Mansions and Gardens, this impressive local garden wedding venue and reception area is one of my favorites. It offers an impressive variety of photogenic locations suitable for wedding photography and is incredibly unique for this area and for Pasadena.
There are two mansions on the property, both of which offer an amazing backdrop for getting ready photos and bridal portraits on your wedding day. The Merritt Mansion, also known as the "Hulett C. Merritt Mansion" or the "Villa Merritt Ollivier," is a stately, aging mansion. If you approach the mansion from the east you'll see a long, steep staircase of Italianesque steps flanked by tall, green cypress trees. I've created some particularly amazing wedding portraits of the bride and groom here by using the mansion as the backdrop. From the west, visitors are presented with a sweeping double stair that faces a small courtyard. Just beyond the courtyard are the impressive Merritt Garden and Olympic sized fountain. Construction on the mansion started in 1905 and was completed in 1908 at a cost of $1,100,000 (which is almost $28,000,000 in today's adjusted dollars). The Ambassador Mansions and Gardens are adjacent to Ambassador College, a liberal arts college founded by the Worldwide Church of God and which was in operation from 1947 to 1997. The College built two modern classroom buildings flanking the Merritt Mansion and the Italian sunken garden. The three buildings were once the academic center of the college. The two modern classroom buildings were recently demolished.
Next door to the Merritt Mansion is the Terrace Villa, another mansion of epic proportions. For interior wedding photography, this location is actually my favorite of the two because of the incredibly beautiful light that floods most rooms and the sweeping circular staircase. Outside the Terrace Villa and to the west, a small reflected pool is flanked by symmetrical pillars (and folks who follow my wedding photography know that I love symmetry), that lead up to a Juliette balcony with French doors. On the east side of the building is a large balcony and impressively wide staircase where I photographed my now famous 46-person wedding party! Also noteworthy is the Italian Garden located on the east side and down the hill from both mansions. In many cases, wedding ceremonies and receptions are held in this area of the property.
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