The complete guide to the BRICK San Diego Wedding Venue!
BRICK San Diego is one of the rarest places in California that offers unlimited party opportunities without curfews, lists of required vendors, or noise restrictions. This unusual venue is a perfect blank canvas for a truly personalized out-of-the-box wedding.
In this article, you will find all the details on how to make your DIY wedding at BRICK San Diego unforgettable.
Table of Contents
Location & History of BRICK
BRICK is a unique wedding and event venue in San Diego. It’s very centrally located, right in the middle of Liberty Station, in the historic area Arts District. There are lots of nearby shops & restaurants within walking distance of the venue, just some minutes from the old Gaslamp Quarter and hotels. Plus San Diego International Airport is just 7 minutes away.
Liberty Station has free parking lots, and the Client Concierge offered by the BRICK will show the guests where it’s better to park. The venue also provides parking signage to make it easy because the area is very busy. Some parking places may be found in other nearby streets.
BRICK is a huge event space under high 5,000 sq. ft. ceilings offering excellent party possibilities. The building itself was until 1993 a machine shop at Liberty Station, the site of the former Naval Training Center in San Diego. The machine shop manufactured and repaired parts for the NTC (New Truck Construction machines for railways) and used a large space for it. Over the last several years, Liberty Station has been revitalized as the Arts District including the Brick venue. In late 2014, it was restored and redesigned to become a unique contemporary event site. Since that time, BRICK has hosted over 500 events. It runs under the management of the 828 Way company that also manages several event spaces in California and other states. All their event venues have 4 main points in common:
- 24-Hour rentals
- flexible beverage
- Bring Your Own Vendors (BYOV) option
- freedom to create your DIY wedding + Flexibility to customize your event by adding extras.
So, BRICK as the flagship location for 828 Venue Management Co. offers all this and more.
In the photos below, you’ll see not only BRICK event site, but also beautiful grounds of Balboa Park San Diego. The couple was excited to make the part of their wedding photography there. It was a great idea since Balboa Park is only 10-12 minutes away from the downtown & BRICK by car and has plenty of amazing open air locations for a photo shoot.
Rental Fee & Offered Options of BRICK San Diego
The capacity of the BRICK space is 220 seated persons and up to 300 guests during a cocktail hour or standing event. Your BRICK wedding costs will vary depending on the additional services you may choose. The rental fee is $2,500–7,500 per event.
- venue access for 24 hours (10 AM the day of your event, until 10 AM the following day),
- an hourly rate is also available Monday – Thursday with a 4-hour minimum,
- Client Concierge & Beverage Concierge,
- access to Walk Through Wednesdays (you can make a free tour through the venue on certain days),
- a flexible vendor policy (choose the caterers to your liking),
- and no curfew: no noise ordinance or time restrictions (still, alcohol must stop at 2PM),
- air conditioning,
- two restrooms with wheelchair-accessible facilities,
- free parking,
- market lights,
- clean-up (sweeping, mopping, bathrooms) is included in the fee; the client is only responsible for trash pick up.
- flexible patio space (a west lawn with an additional fee),
- planning service (partial or full),
- photo booth,
- audiovisual equipment,
- layout design & set-up (room divider, linens, etc)
- catering packages,
- additional security,
- parking attendant and/ or valet.
BRICK San Diego does not provide catering, but an in-house beverage service is available for purchase. They have also their list of preferred vendors and yoг can choose from it as well as bring your own caterers (with approval of BRICK).
The venue is pet-friendly.
The BRICK’s event sites
Actually, the BRICK venue has only two event sites:
- an open-concept space, and
- a lawn (or patio) outdoors for cocktails (it’s an add-on for a fee).
The offered indoor site is one big room, which means you’ll have to find creative ways to decorate and lay out the space. It is transformable and versatile so you can personalize it with any decor details you need. Still, considering you’ll have a BYOV (Bring Your Own Vendors) option, this all together may offset the cost of extra decor.
The west lawn you can book in case you are planning to expand your guest list. For inspiration, you can check the BRICK’s Instagram page: you’ll see that every event at the venue is different. Photos in this article I hope will give you some ideas, as well.
Getting Ready Shots at the BRICK San Diego
When booking BRICK, you’ll actually have two options to get ready.
- Just book a hotel room for some hours near the BRICK as the couple from the pictures below did. There are lots of hotels nearby, some minutes away from the venue, and an array of options for getting ready shots indoors & outdoors.
The pictures you see below were made in one of the nice small hotels in the historic part of the city.
- Since you’ll have 24 for your wedding starting from 10 A.M., you can use the space of BRICK for your bridal preparation. Bring a room divider and separate the areas by transforming the entire space into spots for bridal preparations and of the main event. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s also possible, especially if you have a small intimate wedding.
First Look & Couple Pictures Opportunities at the BRICK venue & surroundings
There are lots of photo ops around and at Liberty Station. For over 60 years ago, the district was the Naval Training Center San Diego. Nowadays this area has become San Diego’s Town Square. While walking you will find here the historic grounds, parks, and picturesque open spaces.
Many buildings of the Liberty Station are built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and will be a nice remarkable background for couple shots. Since BRICK is located on one of the busiest streets right in the city center, you can explore these historic landmarks of San Diego. So, use this perfect opportunity to walk in the middle of Old Town and add to your pictures a historic charm.
Right after their preparation in a hotel nearby, the couple did their First Look in the Balboa park — in the multi-arched pavilion in Italian-Renaissance style. So, you can easily choose any other options for your First Look in case you decide for a photo shoot outside the BRICK area.
Group Photos at BRICK San Diego & surroundings
The best time to take group shots when celebrating at BRIСK is cocktail hour. It’s much easier to organize large or small groups of guests for the photography while they are enjoying their cocktails on the outdoor patio of the BRICK. The moments when you are collecting congratulations from your family after the ceremony may be the most emotional and candid shots in your entire wedding photography. The skyline of San Diego, pale red walls of the BRICK building, and green trees surrounding the lawn will be a nice backdrop for your open-air group shots.
Also, we made some couple & group shots in the Balboa Park. It was right after the First Look. Green open areas, a beautiful amphitheater, and arches served as an excellent background for wedding party shots. We had enough time to walk in the area and snap some pictures (thanks to a thoughtfully made wedding timeline). Afterward we moved to the BRICK for the ceremony.
Ceremony & Reception at BRICK San Diego
So, here we come to the BRICK space itself, a very large, greatly transformable, and versatile room. Very high vaulted beamed ceilings give the room to breathe. The brick walls provide an industrial feel. Or rustic — it depends on how you will decorate the space. The great advantage of the room is its over 100 windows which bring in natural light and create a unique ambiance.
Here you will have endless layout options. If the guest count is high, after the ceremony, when the guests will go out for the cocktail, the staff will set up the place for the dinner. If it’s about a rather small wedding, you can use a room divider to separate the areas and set up the dinner tables at any convenient time. In our case, there were simple white draperies that completely enclosed the ceremony site and separated it from the dinner site. Though that wedding was in no way small, still, it was enough space to place all the guests and functionally transform the room into two areas.
In the evening, you will have the market lights provided by the venue. You can also hang chandeliers under the 30 ft ceilings to make the space more elegant and classier.
I won’t say you have to decorate the BRICK space. But surely, any spacious room will look more organic with even small yet thoughtful decor arrangements (chandeliers, hanging floral installations, etc.). It’s good to create focal points the eyes can concentrate on. Besides, your wedding photos will only benefit from this. It’s especially important for the ceremony site where all eyes are fixed on the couple and the arch/altar spot. At BRICK you will have the freedom of doing as much DIY as possible. So, use it to your best advantage.
The BRICK space is also an excellent canvas for multiple installations. For example, there is a huge rollup door that lets you into one of two outdoor patios. During the reception party, it is usually open to make the evening breeze come in. At the wedding where I was photographing, the couple used this door as a screen to play on the videos and photos of their relationship story.
You can also book a photo booth as one more activity for the guests. Don’t forget that you have no curfew: if you’re planning to celebrate until late at night, care that your guests will have enough entertainment.
Here are a couple of tips on how to make your celebration at BRICK even more comfortable for you and your guests.
- BRICK is located next to the departing plane flight path of San Diego airport. Sometimes, especially at night, you may hear the planes passing overhead. Take it into account when you will install AV equipment for speeches.
- There are only two restrooms onsite. If your wedding is really huge, you may rent another portable one (or even two) to put it outside.
- Care to hire enough security staff. Liberty Station is one of the busiest streets (as well as a high vehicle traffic area), also at night. You may see some tourists peeking through the windows during the ceremony and throughout the reception. If you need your event to remain private, draperies on the windows and security would not be superfluous.
- The space is air-conditioned, but if you have (again) more than 150 people in one room (even big), it’s probably reasonable to bring some fans.
All advantages of your BRICK San Diego wedding
BRICK is a great space if you are a fan of DIY weddings when it comes to personalizing the offered space. The vaulted ceilings and concrete floors will be your black canvas to embody your ideas and create your personal style. At BRICK you will never see a wedding or event that looks the same.
You will get your space for the full 24 hours starting from the morning 10 A.M. Since there is no curfew, be ready to enjoy the all-night party.
The BRICK venue is a perfect solution for someone who is looking for a wedding venue without limits and any kind of restrictions. You are free to bring your own vendors — as long as they have insurance. If however, you need support from the venue’s staff, they will provide you with their list of “Epic Vendors”. These preferred vendors had previously worked with BRICK and couples like to use a proven service— with the exception they bring their photographer with whom they feel comfortable 🙂
The team of BRICK San Diego will also offer lots of wedding planning options including a month-of coordination, full-service planning, partial planning & design, and à la carte planning. Many couples opt for the Coordination package (extra charge) which makes them far from the pressure of planning and keeps their nerves calm. With the coordination service from BRICK, you can be sure that everything will go perfectly and with little stress.
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