AGUA HEDIONDA LAGOON FOUNDATION / WEDDINGS

WEDDINGS

The Discovery Center is the perfect place for your small coastal and boutique wedding, with sweeping views of the lagoon and sunsets and a variety of outdoor spaces and gardens. Whether looking for a reception space, or ceremony and reception, we can cater to your needs. Wedding packages are designed to use the entire Discovery Center Space (detailed and outlined below).

 

If you are looking to book a smaller wedding, and do not think you will utilize all the offering’s and spaces, please contact samantha@aguahedionda.org for further assistance, or visit the rental page to look through our a la carte options.

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INTERACTIVE EXHIBIT SPACE

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150 MAX ATTENDEES SEATED*

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65 AVAILABLE PARKING SPACES

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PANORAMIC LAGOON AND SUNSET VIEWS

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5 MILES FROM CARLSBAD VILLAGE

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ECO FEATURES

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NATIVE LANDSCAPE

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ANY VENDORS WELCOME

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MULTIPLE EVENT SPACES

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SUPPORTING FUTURE LAGOON STEWARDS

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DJ OR LIVE MUSIC ALLOWED

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1 MILE FROM SHERATON / WESTIN LODGING

ABOUT

Looking for a Great Venue in Carlsbad?

The AHLF Discovery Center overlooks the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, a 400-acre estuary and wetland situated in Carlsbad, California. The Discovery Center is a 3,800 square foot building that features both indoor and outdoor facilities.

The Discovery Center has hosted a wide variety of events, including lectures, business meetings, anniversaries, birthday parties, gala dinners, book signings, yoga classes, fundraisers and weddings. 

This intersection in Carlsbad is at the tip of the spear, the very vanguard of technology for clean water, drinking water, emission free energy and environmental stewardship, for not just Carlsbad but for our state and our nation." – Peder Norby, April 7, 2014

 

An 8.9 kW solar system installed in our parking lot and on the roof above the Executive Office provides the Discovery Center with 45% of its electric needs!

 

The gutters and downspout connected to the roof of the Executive Office collects rainwater and spreads it across the patio pavers. Rain water seeps into the soil, sustaining the garden and helping protect the quality of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Gardens and Patios

All rooms in the Discovery Center open to patios and gardens. The patios weave around the building, creating cozy gathering spaces amongst +750 native plants.

 

Special Features: The gardens feature art, murals, informational placards, and more. Have a sharp eye? When you are wandering the gardens, look for all of our amazing Eagle Scout projects! ​

NEARBY LODGING

The Discovery Center is less than one mile from the renowned Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa and the Westin Carlsbad Resort and Spa. If you need to block a set of rooms (minimum requirement is 10 rooms) a special discounted rate will be applied, determined by the date. *Rates subject to change and availability.

Download Carlsbad Lagoon Weddings PDF flyer, CLICK HERE.

Need a Wedding Officiant?

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DISCOVERY CENTER SPACES

 

Wedding packages include the entire facility, thus all of the below spaces. These are the different rooms and outdoor areas to help you visualize your experience and understand a general capacity and dimensions.

Wedding coupledancing inthe Rotunda Room

Rotunda Room (max 45 seated, 100 standing)

  • The Rotunda Room, located in the heart of the Discovery Center, is a magnificent 624 square foot space (dimensions: 26 feet by 24 feet). This airy room features wood beam cathedral ceilings, a candelabra chandelier, and two sets of double doors that open to the back patio and native gardens. The western doorway frames the lagoon at her most spectacular time of day – sunset!

  • The overall room color scheme consists of white and beige, allowing for both dressed up or dressed down décor. Perfect for any occasion.

  • Special Features: Touch tank. Fish tanks. Reptile enclosures. Educational Displays. Smart TV. Projector Screen. Tinted Windows. Optional Shade Blinds.

Great Room (max 30 seated, 50 standing)

  • The Great Room is a 338 square foot open space (dimensions: 22.5 feet by 15 feet). The room features three sets of glass double doors, which open to the back patio, front sidewalk entrance and main building. The Great Room is decorated in white and beige and is carpeted. This room has been used for business meetings, birthday parties, lectures and educational opportunities. 

  • ​Special Features: Projector Screen. Optional Shade Blinds.

  • Lagoon Fact! Deer grass is one of the materials used by the Luiseño Indians to weave baskets.

AHLF Kitchen

  • The Discovery Center has a small but fully functional kitchen. Appliances available in the kitchen include a glass-top four-burner stove, oven, microwave, dish washer, refrigerator/freezer, and stainless-steel double sink with a U-shaped faucet.
  • The kitchen features a glass door that opens onto the main patio and has been used as a food preparation and staging area for events.

Back Patio (max 80 seated, 150+ standing)

  • The main patio is a favorite setting to Wine, Dine, and Dance! The panoramic lagoon views make a gorgeous backdrop and captivating sunset. The patio consists of three circular nodes of open space along the west side of the Discovery Center. Couples enjoy exchanging their vows under the gazebo and then celebrating with their intimate friends. See diagram for exact dimensions. 

  • Special Features: Market Lights are strung across the entire north portion of the patio for use and a twinkling atmosphere at night. A Succulent Living Wall frames one of the double door entrances to the Rotunda Room.

Nature Node #1 (max 35 seated, 60+ standing)

  • This paved outdoor space adjacent to our extended parking lot is a newer addition and perfect as an a la cart rental space, or cocktail gathering before the big event. See diagram for exact dimensions.  

  • Special Features: Shazeebo brand shade sails cover the entirety of this space with market lights strung across and views of the lagoon in the distance. 

Nature Nodes #2, #3 and #4 (max 12 seated, 25+ combo with seated/standing)

  • The outdoor educational spaces feature a variety of natural seating areas such as stones, wood benches and tree stumps. Each node is shaded and perfect for a small gathering of up to 12 people. 

Nature Node #1 Dimensions

Native Garden Circle (max 20 seated, 35+ combo with seated/standing)

  • An outdoor space on the southernmost point of the building featuring a line of benches overlooking the lagoon and cleared space. This outdoor area is great for a cocktail before the big event, or a small gathering of up to 20 people. This area features a new exhibit – an observation “Bee-Aquarium”. 

Learning Island (max 20 seated, 30+ combo with seated/standing)

  • Featuring many exhibits such as our paleontology digs, miniature nature library, Fairy Land, and Tortie the Sulcata Desert Tortoise, this outdoor area is shaded by solar panels and includes three picnic tables. This space is great for a small gathering of up to 30 people.  

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AHLF MEMBERSHIPS

Discovery Membership $150

  • Two-year membership to the AHLF

  • Waived rental deposit fee (this acts as your deposit fee, and the amount is subtracted from the packages below)

  • 3hr minimum rental requirement waived

  • 25% off your next rental at the DC

  • 50% off two additional rental items on your next rental at the Discovery Center (coffee machine and set-up of chairs/tables only)  

  • No ABC License or Insurance required

  • Discovery Membership is non-refundable 

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Click on map to view pdf

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WEDDING PACKAGES

Natural Package: $1200
  • Discovery Membership to AHLF (allows you not to have an ABC license, membership good for two years, and discount on second rental)

  • Facility Venue Space after 4pm (this includes any third-party vendors, décor etc.)

  • AHLF Set Up of our Tables and Chairs​

  • 10 - 5ft round tables (60 inches diameter x 29 inches height) - comfortably seats 8, tighter squeeze 10

  • 5 -  6ft Rectangular Tables (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - comfortably seats 6, 8 tighter squeeze

  • 2 4ft rectangular tables (48 inches length x 24 inches width x 29 inches height) 

  • 6 - Circular Belly Bar Tables (32 inches diameter, 43 inches height

  • 1 - Rollaway Bar Table (77 inches length x 21 inches width x 33 inches height)

  • 1 - 6ft Telescoping Table (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - 2'' Increments from 24'' up to a 32'' max height. 

  • 50 white folding chairs

  • Black Trash Can Covers

  • Market Lights on Back Patio and Nature Node #1

  • Smart TV Indoors

  • Third Party Cleaning Team at end of night – coordination covered by AHLF

Add On’s: 

  • Closing the Facility down before 4pm: $150 per hour

  • Closing the Facility down from 8am – 4pm: $850 additional 

  • AHLF Decorates/puts table cloths on/centerpieces/glassware & plate ware set-up: $500

  • AHLF Team Member During Rental (pending availability): $50 per hour

  • Rental of Exquisite Coffee Machine (includes cups, creamers and sugars): $100

  • AHLF Coordinator (prior to event): $500 (We coordinate all pick-up and drop-off logistics with Party Rentals, help with design and layout of tables, and general logistics up to the event) 

    • Includes 3 walk-throughs onsite with coordinator.

    • If coordinating additional items (i.e. food and bar, entertainment, equipment etc.): $1000 total

      • Includes 5 walk-throughs with coordinator.

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Coastal Package: $2200
  • Discovery Membership to AHLF (allows you not to have an ABC license, membership good for two years, and discount on second rental)

  • Facility Venue Space after 2pm (this includes any third-party vendors, décor etc.)

  • AHLF Set Up of our Tables and Chairs​

  • 10 - 5ft round tables (60 inches diameter x 29 inches height) - comfortably seats 8, tighter squeeze 10

  • 5 -  6ft Rectangular Tables (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - comfortably seats 6, 8 tighter squeeze

  • 2 4ft rectangular tables (48 inches length x 24 inches width x 29 inches height) 

  • 6 - Circular Belly Bar Tables (32 inches diameter, 43 inches height

  • 1 - Rollaway Bar Table (77 inches length x 21 inches width x 33 inches height)

  • 1 - 6ft Telescoping Table (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - 2'' Increments from 24'' up to a 32'' max height. 

  • 50 white folding chairs

  • Black Trash Can Covers

  • Market Lights on Back Patio and Nature Node #1

  • Smart TV Indoors

  • Third Party Cleaning Team at end of night – coordination covered by AHLF

  • AHLF Decorates/puts table cloths on/centerpieces/glassware & plate ware set-up

  • Team Member onsite during event for 4 hours (assists with light clean-up, moving chairs and tables as desired, checking bathrooms, taking trash, and general support and logistics) 

Add On’s: 

  • Closing the Facility down before 2pm: $150 per hour

  • Closing the Facility down from 8am – 2pm: $600 additional 

  • AHLF Team Member During Rental in addition to the included 4 hours (pending availability): $50 per hour

  • Rental of Exquisite Coffee Machine (includes cups, creamers and sugars): $100

  • AHLF Coordinator (prior to event): $500 (We coordinate all pick-up and drop-off logistics with Party Rentals, help with design and layout of tables, and general logistics up to the event) 

    • Includes 3 walk-throughs onsite with coordinator.

    • If coordinating additional items (i.e. food and bar, entertainment, equipment etc.): $1000 total

      • Includes 5 walk-throughs with coordinator.

Green Package: $5000
  • Discovery Membership to AHLF (allows you not to have an ABC license, membership good for two years, and discount on second rental)

  • Facility Venue Space from 8am – midnight (this includes any third-party vendors, décor etc.)

  • AHLF Set Up of our Tables and Chairs​

  • 10 - 5ft round tables (60 inches diameter x 29 inches height) - comfortably seats 8, tighter squeeze 10

  • 5 -  6ft Rectangular Tables (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - comfortably seats 6, 8 tighter squeeze

  • 2 4ft rectangular tables (48 inches length x 24 inches width x 29 inches height) 

  • 6 - Circular Belly Bar Tables (32 inches diameter, 43 inches height

  • 1 - Rollaway Bar Table (77 inches length x 21 inches width x 33 inches height)

  • 1 - 6ft Telescoping Table (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - 2'' Increments from 24'' up to a 32'' max height. 

  • Third Party Cleaning Team at end of night – coordination covered by AHLF

  • AHLF Decorates/puts table cloths on/centerpieces/glassware & plate ware set-up

  • Team Member onsite during event for 8 hours (assists with light clean-up, moving chairs and tables as desired, checking bathrooms, taking trash, and general support and logistics) 

  • Rental of Exquisite Coffee Machine (includes cups, creamers and sugars): $100

  • AHLF Coordination with third-party vendors and logistics. 

    • Facility Manager 

    • Day of Coordinator

Our preferred vendor for renting extra party items is Ara's Party Rentals as he abides to all delivery windows/times. Ara (the owner) can be reached at 760-613-7725 via text or phone. 

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DISCOVERY CENTER WEDDING FAQ's

How much does it cost to have a Wedding Discovery Center?


See wedding package pricing and details above.




Do I get the entire center with the wedding package?


Yes.




How long can I stay?


We do not have a required end time, but encourage midnight. Carlsbad has a noise ordinance of 10pm (if you are playing music outside, live band, speakers or DJ, you must end at 10pm). If you are playing it inside, it is okay to continue after 10pm. It is recommended that you call the Carlsbad Police non-emergency line ahead of time to let them know of your party: 760-931-2197.




Can I bring in Alcohol?


Yes.




Can I bring in Catering?


Yes. No Styrofoam.




Do you require certain vendors?


No. No Styrofoam.




What is the lighting like outdoors?


There are lights that automatically turn on the surrounding building at dusk and market lights strung across the back patio.




Do you have heating and air conditioning?


Inside, yes. We do not have outdoor heat lamps. You can rent them.




Can I bring outside rental items in?


Yes. The drop—off of these items needs to occur at time of rental. Pick-up needs to occur before our opening hours the following day. We encourage you to use Ara’s Party Rentals, as they abide to the timeframes and know the center well.




Can I bring in decorations and put up items?


Yes. You will be charged a $100 fee if the decorations do not come down at the end of the night, or if any items destroy the paint on the walls, or furnishings.




Are the animals covered up or moved in the main room?


All habitats and displays on wheels are moved into the back offices and executive office. The reptile corner (reptile city) is not, besides the one on wheels. We do not have covers. You are welcome to drape over them though.




Do you have linens?


No. We encourage you to use Ara’s Party Rentals.




How many tables and chairs do you have?


Five 6ft rectangular tables, two 4ft rectangular table and ten 6ft round tables. 50 white chairs, 6 circular belly-up bars, 1 high rolling bar table and 1 6ft rectangular telescoping table (all included at no cost).




What are the Dimensions of the Tables?


  • 6ft round tables (72 inches diameter x 29 inches height)
  • 4ft rectangular tables (48 inches length x 24 inches width x 29 inches height)
  • 6ft rectangular tables (72 inches length x 30 inches width x 29 inches height)
  • Roll Away High Bar (77 inches length x 21 inches width x 33 inches height)
  • 6 Circular Belly Bar Tables (32 inches diameter, 43 inches height)
  • 1 - 6ft Telescoping Table (71 inches length x 29 inches width x 29 inches height) - 2'' Increments from 24'' up to a 32'' max height.




What should I bring?


Your own kitchen items (we do not have any serving trays, wine openers, utensils or accessories), your own lighter (to light candles), no Styrofoam (we are a no Styrofoam zone).




How do I reserve?


The Discovery Center Membership acts as your deposit. It is non-refundable, but you can move your event date up to one month prior should you need to.

In the months of June and December, we require a 50% non-refundable deposit of your venue rental price, on top of the membership. This is nonrefundable due to the high demand of the Discovery Center in these months. If you were to need to move the date for any reason, the 50% deposit can be moved to this date, as long as we have a one-month prior notice; it is still non-refundable.

Full payment for your rental is required two weeks prior to the date. A credit card must be kept on file for any associated fees or charges if the rental agreement is violated.

We can tentatively hold a date with no membership/deposit. If someone else were interested in that same date, we would give you 24 hours to pay the membership.




Can I store things at the Discovery Center Prior to My Rental or After?


No.




Do I Need to Lock Up at the End of the Night?


YES. If you choose to use the Third-Party Cleaning Team ($200), they will put all chairs and tables away, take out trash, clean and return the Center back to normal. You are still required to lock the doors because they come early in the morning, as not to cut your party short. If you chose not to use them, you are required to put the Center back as you found it.




Can I hire an AHLF Staff Member to be onsite to help with My Wedding?


YES. The cost is $50 per hour, and cannot work past 8 hours. Dependent on staff availability. Some packages include this.




Can I do a Rehearsal Walkthrough Prior?


YES. We just need to coordinate availability.




Can I throw Flowers Down the Aisle?


YES. But you must pick them up at the end of the night (or a $100 charge will be added). Some flowers are harmful to wildlife, so therefore we need them collected and it is a tedious job for the cleaning team.





 

What are folks saying about their experience renting the facilities at AHLF for Weddings

My daughters small (16 people total) wedding ceremony and dinner after was held at this venue this past weekend, 10-10-20. We were so very lucky to have been able to have her event here, due to COVID there were very few options available. When my daughter first told me about the "discovery center", I have to admit I had reservations, until I actually saw the outdoor space. I was very happy and relieved to see there was a very nice wedding arch in place, with gorgeous sunset views overlooking the lagoon, as well as a perfect patio strung with market lights in which to have a sit down catered dinner. The staff at the Discovery Center was extremely responsive, answering all our questions promptly and professionally. I am a perfectionist, and am very often disappointed in venues or events, but Agua Hedionda Discovery Center exceeded my expectations in every way. There was handicapped parking available just steps from the ceremony site, no steps or stairs to navigate, restrooms very easily accessible, was well lighted and the Discovery Center provided the tables and chairs needed so we did not have to rent or bring those in ourselves. The Discovery Center is truly a hidden gem!

- Vivienne

Mother of the Bride

 
Deposit and Cancellation Policy

 

The Discovery Center Membership acts as your deposit. It is non-refundable, but you can move your event date up to two weeks prior should you need to. 

 

In the months of June and December, we require a 50% non-refundable deposit of your venue rental price, on top of the membership. This is nonrefundable due to the high demand of the Discovery Center in these months. If you were to need to move the date for any reason, the 50% deposit can be moved to this date, if we have a two weeks’ prior notice; it is still non-refundable. 

 

Full payment for your rental is required two weeks prior to the date. A credit card must be kept on file for any associated fees or charges if the rental agreement is violated.

Rental Agreement 

*This agreement is constantly being updated, and this version could not be the most up to date. When you work with your coordinator, you will receive the most updated agreement.

Closing

 

All wedding packages include a third-party cleaning team to do the heft of the end of night closing duties (cleaning, putting away chairs and tables, taking out trash). With the third-party cleaning team, you will still be responsible for taking your own items (catering, décor etc.) as well as locking the doors, shutting off the lights and closing the front gate. The cleaning team arrives in the morning, as to not rush your end time of your event.

*This checklist is constantly being updated, and this version could not be the most up to date. When you work with your coordinator, you will receive the most updated checklist.