It is nothing new for the UCLA Luskin Conference Center and Hotel to set up large events and welcome guests for a special occasion. It is also not unusual for Luskin Banquet team to prepare and serve an array of delicious foods to a large group. So, when the Luskin Conference Center and Hotel started offering wedding packages, couples started saying ‘I do.’
In fact, Kevin Widjaja and his new wife, Nicole, became the first couple to exchange vows on the property. On March 27, 2022, an outdoor ceremony was held on the terrace in front of 80 guests and was followed by a ballroom reception for 120 people. Twenty-five of their guests also stayed overnight on the premises in hotel rooms.
“The venue is absolutely beautiful, the location is perfect, the catering and food from Plateia is delicious, and the team is so great to work with,” said Widjaja. “Nicole and I looked at possibly more than 15 venues, and none come close to Luskin for the price range that was offered.”
Kevin knew of the venue’s reputation of excellence from his days at a UCLA undergraduate student pursuing a degree in physiological sciences. In fact, he had presented a research poster at an event shortly after the building opened in 2016 and later made its in-house restaurant, Plateia, the setting for a date with Nicole.
“The memories we had walking through campus and actually seeing how beautiful the hotel and conference center, made the place special for us,” said Widjaja.
The Luskin Conference Center opened its doors to weddings just recently and interest is strong, said Stephanie Kerr, senior catering sales manager, adding that the majority of inquiries are from couples who have learned of this venue through popular wedding planning sites like WeddingWire and The Knot. “They tell me that they’re really impressed that we offer as much as we do under one roof,” said Kerr, adding that wedding cakes can even be made in-house by a professional pastry chef. The property and its surrounding campus also offer a variety of beautiful locations for wedding photos, she said, adding that it was particularly special to welcome a returning UCLA alumnus back to campus for their wedding.
“I’m a Bruin through and through,” said Widjaja. “When I first immigrated to the U.S. in 2002, I had told myself that I would one day go to UCLA, so not only having had the privilege to graduate from there, I had my first job at UCLA, and now I can say that I got married at my alma mater,” he said. “On top of all that, to know that Nicole and I were the first to get married at the beautiful Luskin Conference Center made it that much more special.”