“If anyone here has any objections to this couple getting married, speak now or forever hold your peace.” The last thing you’d expect is a city official speaking up, wanting to see your permit to use the event space in the first place. Let’s anticipate and prevent that eventuality right now. If you’re interested in putting together an event in the Santa Cruz area and you’re wondering what special permits or licenses you might need, look no further. We specialize in customized private events, big and small, and we’re here to alleviate some of the stress of planning.

Private venues immediately lift some of the restrictions and pressure that you would otherwise experience in public and semi-private spaces. In those latter cases, you are required to apply for a Santa Cruz special event permit and follow certain restrictions when your event will be set on public property, including urban and park locations; when it will inhibit the flow of traffic, even that of pedestrians; or when it will otherwise block public facilities from use beyond your event. In other words, when you plan your event on public property—whether on a Santa Cruz beach, in a park, or even on your home block—you need to consider not just the interests of your event and your guests, but you must also plan for the interest and convenience of the general public because the county authorities will make sure that you do. There is certainly a better way.

What Is Allowed at a Private Event Venue in the Santa Cruz Area Without a Permit?

When you reserve a private event venue for your party, picnic, reunion, wedding, or other special event, you don’t need to procure a permit as you would for an event in a public space. You may be called to observe the venue’s rules and restrictions, but it’s their responsibility to operate within local ordinances and limitations—and to make you aware of those.

Noise Ordinances

The Santa Cruz County noise ordinance prohibits noticeable parties, music, and other loud noise that could disturb neighbors between 10pm and 8am. This is a restriction you can’t get around with outdoor events, even at private venues. However, venues may have indoor spaces that are also available for events to continue at a reasonable decibel level past 10pm.

Wine, Beer, and Liquor Service Restrictions

The allowance of alcoholic beverage is another condition that your private venue has to carefully adhere to. When you begin to plan your event, you can review with the event coordinator what their own licensure allows in the way of wine, beer, and liquor service. Any of their policies that let you bring alcoholic beverages of your own will still be bound by their legal right to serve certain types of alcohol.

Again, a major benefit to working with a private event venue is that you can rely on them to know which conditions are allowed in Santa Cruz and which are not. Your risk of being fined for overlooking certain restrictions or permit requirements is far lower because your venue has extensive experience operating within the rules. In fact, they’ve probably had plenty of experience getting creative to make the most of the space and freedom that does exist within those limitations.

Extra Benefits of Booking at a Private Event Venue in Santa Cruz, CA

These days, people are passionate about envisioning parties that are truly unique and personalized. You may be one of those people, but you may find yourself constrained by rules about decorations and other event details when you opt for a public space. When you go the private event route in Santa Cruz, you’ll enjoy these additional advantages:

  • Flexibility with your decor and personalization options
  • Assistance from in-house coordinators and staff
  • Access to furniture and equipment that the venue offers for client use
  • Up-front cost estimates that are difficult to come by when you are planning your event from scratch at a more-or-less empty venue
  • In-house catering and beverage services that free you from seeking outside vendors
  • Recommendations for local vendors that offer impressive and reliable services
  • An exclusive event that is truly your own without the influence of county tensions or interruptions from public passersby

No matter how much time and effort you put into the planning, at a public space, your event will necessarily come with uncertainties and unpredictabilities. It may be within your right to maintain a row of cones marking off the reserved area of your event, but it won’t be within your right to ask that a crying baby be taken from the surrounding area because she’s disturbing your guests. Likewise, you may not be able to ensure ultimate convenience for your caterers or other vendors if the local area restricts where they can drive or park to unload supplies.

Beyond applying for the necessary permits and speaking with a county representative to ensure that you have all of your legal ducks in a row—unfortunately, the best advice I can give is to plan for some unexpected stress. As you’re considering where in Santa Cruz you’ll host your event and how all of the details will come together, it’s important to consider your own sanity and ability to enjoy yourself because that will certainly reflect on the enjoyment of your guests.

Do you have more questions about how private event venues in Santa Cruz, CA compare to their public counterparts? We’d be happy to answer your questions. Kennolyn is a Bay Area leader in all-inclusive special events, and we would be honored to help you envision and bring to life your own celebration. Get connected with us today.


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