It all started in 1991, when Tony and Jo Maravilla’s oldest daughter asked them to host her wedding in their yard. It was to be just a simple backyard wedding. She thought maybe they could plant a few flowers, and they could rent all the tables and chairs, and even do their own catering. And that, is exactly how it happened. With the help of family and friends, they did all their own florals from what was growing on the property. The food was mainly Filipino, and the groom, who was in produce, picked up produce at the LA Produce Market. A small Latin jazz band was brought in. The bride’s grandpa drove the wedding shuttle, a van that went back and forth to the nearby parking lot at the water district office. The ceremony was in the back, to enjoy the beautiful view. The reception was in the front yard and driveway. It started at 1:30 and was all over four hours later. Simple. It was happy, peaceful, relaxed, and full of joy. Guests laughed, ate, danced, and celebrated with the young couple. And the Maravillas thought to themselves, that was a great wedding!
Following the wedding, life went back to normal. Tony continued his work as a landscape contractor. Jo continued to run the plant nursery that was also on the property. The newlyweds went back up to Sacramento, where they were living. About nine years passed, when Tony and Jo started thinking about that wedding and the idea of building a site. They started with the ceremony area. The first year they had four weddings. Guests moved to the front yard for cocktails, while the ceremony site was turned over. The following year, Tony started developing the reception area, while Jo sold it as a pile of dirt, explaining how it would be laid out. They continued to design and develop the site during the off season, doing a little more each year. And the business grew. Eventually, their landscaping and nursery businesses were overshadowed by the weddings and both companies were put to rest. Tony handled the maintenance of the grounds, while Jo covered sales and the office. It worked!
Over the past few years the business has been going through transition. As Tony and Jo began looking toward retirement, that same first couple to marry on the property in 1991, began thinking about carrying on the business. Jen joined the company in 2010, providing marketing, sales, and site coordinating. Rob joined in 2011 as the general manager, taking over the grounds for Tony, and coming alongside Jo in the office. As a couple who truly knows what it feels like to get married at the estate, they are now working to share Tony and Jo’s dream. And so, Maravilla Gardens continues to celebrate with couples and their families and friends, just as it did one Saturday in May, over 20 years ago.