Friday, November 20, 2009

Feature Friday: The Victorian at Hemphill Mansion

Why is it when you return from vacation you feel like you need an extra day to recover from your vacation? At any rate, we're back and ready to roll with Lindsey's Red Hot 30th Birthday this weekend!

Today's Feature Friday highlights the venue we selected for Katie and Jon's wedding earlier this year, The Victorian at Hemphill Mansion in Roseville, California. The Victorian is just that-- a beautiful Victorian style mansion located in old town Roseville at 315 Washington Boulevard.
The Victorian style home, at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Grove St., built in 1909 for Wallace Hemphill, served as a showplace and social center for Roseville society.

Hemphill's Roseville Water Co. provided Roseville its water and electricity from 1906 to 1925. He also owned the local sand and gravel business when Roseville was going through it's first boom. Dr. James McAnally purchased the mansion in 1936 and used it as his residence until 1969.

At one time the property served as a stage coach depot and later as Roseville's bus terminal.
Things we liked about The Victorian...

  • Price: Reasonable for a Saturday evening wedding during "prime" wedding season.
  • All-inclusive: When we booked the venue we were getting locations for both the ceremony and the reception, a DJ and catering. One stop shopping.
  • Space: There was ample room for the ceremony in the garden, cocktails inside, dinner outdoors in a separate grassy area, dancing, parking, restrooms and places for the bridal party and vendors to prepare.
  • Flexibility: The staff was willing to let us decorate and orchestrate the evening pretty much any way we wanted (Katie wanted, that is!)
  • Ease: Their staff set up, broke down, and cleaned it all up. We love that part.
  • The garden/outside areas: Beautiful and well maintained. The greenery and architectural accents made for gorgeous twilight photos.

Things we didn't like about The Victorian...

  • Parking: Katie and Jon's wedding consisted of about 85 guests and many had to park down the street.
  • Trash: There is a staircase leading from the house down into the garden where guests enjoyed dinner and the area beneath the staircase were literal PILES of trash. We hoped this was something only we noticed but still, extremely unattractive.
  • Our assigned DJ: He was awful. And we don't give negative reviews or feedback on a whim. First, we hadn't met with him before the day of the wedding because The Victorian's owners assured us they had years and years of DJ experience and they knew exactly what we wanted, which songs to avoid and which ones to play. Second, about a half hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin he told me he couldn't find his list of songs for the ceremony so we gave him a program to use to prepare and follow along. When it came down to it, he missed a cue for music and after I brought it to his attention that a song should be playing, he didn't know Bach. Dead air is not good during a ceremony! Also, we had chosen a specific version of the Wedding March and it wasn't right. Awful. Thankfully, Katie and Jon were so into the moment they didn't notice, but WE did. It irks us when things don't go perfectly for reasons that could have (should have) been avoided. Add to that, the DJ was cheesy and came off as unsure of himself and disorganized. We will take some responsibility here and say that we should have insisted on meeting with the DJ during the rehearsal. Lesson learned.
  • Availability of staff: We found it difficult to find The Victorian staff the day of the wedding. Groomsmen were downstairs getting ready in the dark because there weren't enough functioning lights in the basement and one of the toilets upstairs in the brides room wasn't working properly AND there wasn't any toilet paper (tragic)-- yet we couldn't find anyone to help. We will say that once the wedding ceremony began the staff was present and attentive through the end of the event.

If you are considering The Victorian at Hemphill Mansion for your wedding or another event, it is a great choice. Just be sure meet with the people helping coordinate the day ahead of time and walk the grounds to look for anything out of place early so you can get it corrected before guests arrive.

All in all, we will definitely recommend this venue in the future for those wanting a budget-friendly event at an "all inclusive" location. If you've been to the Victorian and have other feedback please leave a comment below! We welcome reader opinions.


  1. Dori Caudle now runs the Victorian. She is on call with one other staff person during that period when just people are changing clothes. The garbage under the stairs was soon after taken care of. it was construction materials that the contractor left under the stairs before puting up the new siding. This was not gargage sitting out. It could only be seen from a certain angle through the steps and was boarded inside during construction, that is why we didnt spot it right away. we had to take the siding down to get to it. All in all we apreciate your review.

    p.s. DJ is now present at the detail meetings as well as the rehearsal. And because your review we put the dj in charge of making sure there is toilet paper in all the restrooms. lol Thanx again

  2. That is great news and we certainly appreciate your follow up and for taking the time to comment. We hope to use the Victorian in the future!

  3. After reviewing "Anonymous's" comments it is obvious Mrs. Caudle didn't consider professionalism when writing her response. Good luck with future business to Dori and her staff..LOL!


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