The Reef, Long Beach, California - Event Venue Spotlight - Long Beach Wedding Photography
Updated: Aug 25
Los Angeles and Long Beach Wedding Photography Tom Keene The Affordable
The Reef is located in Long Beach, across the bay from the Long Beach Aquarium and right next to the Queen Mary. The venue has a few options for rooms you can secure for your reception based on the size. The roof location is a perfect place for your wedding. We HIGHLY suggest you not have a night wedding at this location due to lighting since there isn't any light other than smaller tea lighting. This will force us to use flash for the entire ceremony or if we are doing videography we can set up additional lights for you.. As with most outside wedding ceremony locations, we recommend you have your ceremony 2 hours prior to sundown regardless on the time of the year.
LAdigitalPhoto Tom Keene the affordable wedding photographer
The property has a good size parking lot that is entirely valet. There is some street parking behind it but pay close attention to the parking signs.
*updated August 25, 2023. During the last wedding we shot there August 18, 2023, there was no valet parking and the street parking appears to not exist anymore as well on the backside. You may notice the long staircase leads down to the street but it is now locked since there is no reason to get out that way.
The Reef is located on the peninsula just next to several hotels, like The Maya and the Queen Mary.. Despite this, there are few places to do romantics. As of this writing on August 17, 2023, we recall having a smaller cocktail area that has been used for ceremonies as well, but I will confirm this tomorrow when I shoot my next wedding there.
*updated August 25, 2023. This location is no longer a restaurant so you can move freely on the property. The front of the entrance near the pond can work for romantics as well as the ceremony location just after the family photos are completed.
We love going to The Reef for a wedding. It's always very pretty. As with all weddings we do highly recommend hiring a day of wedding coordinator. Venue wedding coordinators are focused on their side of the event, leaving you to handle your timing of events etc on the DJ, not always going to happen, or just hoping things happen as they should. We do also recommend you read the reviews for this location as you will find a wide swing of results from couples and guests. This once was a restaurant but since Covid it is now only a venue so hopefully this will have fixed many of the concerns.
Overall lighting for this location can be a challenge. Ensure your photographer is knowledgable of off camera lighting and if you have a videographer also make sure they will be bringing lighting as well. This is among the few still affordable wedding venues around. I did hear while I was there last as one of the venue's team was walking a potential couple saying that the dance floor cost $1500. My jaw dropped. So make sure you have the option to use someone else. It cannot be that expensive for a normal dance floor.
The Reef on the Water
880 South Harbor Scenic Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802
View our work at this location - We have no travel fees to this location!