This post is near and dear to my heart. It all started when a bride wrote online that she wished a photographer would take pictures of venues so that she could see her choices all in one place. That sparked an idea that I could reach out to my favorite venues all across California and put together this blog post of amazing venues all in one place so that brides could see, in my opinion, the top ten best wedding venues in California.
This blog post has been in the making for about three months now. Every week for the past three months I have traveled to another wedding venue on this list to take pictures of the space and meet with their coordinator or owner. It has been such a pleasure to meet with each and every one of the coordinators/owners to get a history of the space so that I could truly tell the story of the venues.
Brides, I made this blog post just for you, I hope it helps make your wedding planning a little easier. These venues are not put in any order, I love them all equally! Also, please note these were all shot in winter so no trees or flowers were in bloom. Please enjoy exploring the ten best wedding venues in California!
Switzer Farm: Westport, California
This beautiful wedding venue sits along the coast. For couples that get married here, you can have your ceremony right by the house or in the fields overlooking the ocean view. This venue comes with the use of the house and their entire 22-acre property. The house has many rooms and is perfect for out-of-town family to stay. Switzer Farms has it all, from meadows to gardens, to ocean views to a beautiful house. Let me tell you about the house, every room in this house feels like a fairytale because it is so perfectly designed. This venue is so truly picturesque, if you choose this wedding venue anywhere you take pictures could be a cover of a magazine it’s so beautiful. This venue is just the perfect place to get married if you are looking for a whimsical bluff wedding that overlooks one of California’s prettiest beaches.
Desert Lily: Joshua Tree, California
This venue is a bohemian wedding venue set near the amazing Joshua Tree National Park. The ceremony for one is probably one of the prettiest arcs I have ever seen and the backdrop of mountains is just stunning. My jaw about dropped as I saw the backdrop for this amazing ceremony spot. This beautiful wedding venue has rental properties on site so that your family and friends can all stay on location. The owner is also just a gem! This venue has the perfect spots to park food trucks. Who does not love food trucks?! I can imagine an amazing taco truck at a ceremony site like this. If you are looking for a bohemian desert wedding look no further than the Desert Lily!
Rim Rock Ranch: Pioneertown, California
This beautiful, unique bohemian venue is located close to Pioneertown. If you know me, you know I have a special place in my heart for Joshua trees so this beautiful venue having them at the altar was just picture perfect! The backdrop of cacti and mountain makes for the perfect ceremony pictures. This venue has rental cabins as well as rental airstreams for your friends and family to stay in. They are all newly designed and oh so beautiful. Head over to their website linked above to read more about their rentals. This venue has a pool, fireplace, and games. I love when venues have things for guests and bridal parties to do. One of my favorite things about this venue, in addition to the insanely beautiful background, is the key tree. This tree is full of keys from everyone who has gotten married there over the years. It truly holds a special place in their heart and I can see why. The owners truly pour their all into every wedding. Please check out this amazing venue and consider it for your wedding day.
The Saguaro: Palm Springs, California
This wedding venue is one of the most Instagrammed hotels in America and I think by looking at the pictures you can guess why. It is so colorful, fun and unique. Who does not want to get married in a colorful location with palm trees, amazing weather, and then have a pool party with your guests? I am pretty sure weddings here are ones that your guests will never forget. You get to have the amazing colorful hotel bedrooms or the deck overlooking the pool as your ceremony spot. Guests then are shown indoors for an amazing reception that opens up to the deck. As a late night snack guests are able to roast smores down by the pool in colorful chairs. If this does not sound like the perfect retro wedding, I do not know what does. Check out their website for more information.
Holman Ranch: Carmel Valley, California
This wedding venue is set in the beautiful Carmel Valley. The alter has an amazing backdrop of snowcapped mountains right now and it is to die for! This wedding venue has a Tuscan touch to all of their buildings. The stone, coloring, and plants all just tie into this amazing venue. When brides get married here, they can rent out the cabins and main houses to stay in. There is also plenty of options for the appetizer hour and reception. It really gives each wedding they hold a unique vibe since there are different options brides can choose from. One of the things I love most about this wedding location is that if brides and grooms choose to do a first look, they can do it in a courtyard that has great lighting and is secluded from guests seeing them. It truly is perfect! Also, this location is not too far from the beach which is why I added a picture of a beach nearby to this venues picture sets. If you are looking for a vineyard wedding with a backdrop of the mountains, look no further than this amazing location!
Dawn Ranch: Guerneville, California
This gem of a venue is located only 30 minutes from my house. If you have a chance to check it out, please do! The owner is just a delight and he is happy to show potential couples this amazing venue. I am so blessed to live next to one amazing wedding venue! This wedding venue has many many rooms for all your guests and family to stay in. The beautiful redwood trees are the centerpiece for the couple’s ceremony spot. Then the couple is lead to an orchard of beautiful trees and lights for their reception. Talk about a magical location! The couples who rent out the whole property also get access to the modern pool and bar as well. If you are looking for a redwood wedding next to a river look no further than Dawn Ranch!
Nella Tella Cellars: Sunol, California
This beautiful venue is a winery set in Sunol, California. It is a family-owned winery/wedding venue. Let me tell you, this family is the sweetest family ever. They were so welcoming when I came to take pictures of their property. One of my favorite things about this venue is the rolling hills overlooking the mountains. This spot would make for the perfect pictures at sunset. For couples getting married here, you get married under the arch next to the river bed. Then guests make their way to an amazing tent (soon to be a modern barn) for the reception. The tent is not featured as it is not up in winter time due to weather conditions. This wedding venue is beautiful for brides wanting a mix of the mountains and the vineyards! Be sure to look up more information about this wedding venue on their site linked above.
As a teenager and college student, camps were my jam. In fact, my husband and I worked at a nearby camp during the summer growing up. We loved it which is why when I saw this venue my heart jumped for joy. As soon as I arrived to check out this venue Aubrey (one of the event coordinators) greeted me with a big smile and I just knew I was back in a place that I truly love. At this venue, there are cabins to stay in as well as glamping tents. Couples get married under the trees and can have their reception in front of the big log cabins pictured below. Couples are encouraged to stay with their family for the whole weekend. There is a super cool pool with a slide on the property. Often couples have a pool party to start off the wedding weekend. Aubrey also lets me know that some couples choose to do fun camp games throughout the weekend. It truly is the perfect camp wedding location. Plus, can you imagine bridal pictures next to the forest and glamping tents? This venue is just perfect for anyone looking for a redwoods wedding with a unique camp vibe to it.
Olympia Valley Estate: Petaluma, California
This venue is a place that will always be my one of my favorites of all time. I am a little biased because I got married here and the movie Cheaper By the Dozen was filmed here too. Yes, that means I stood where Hilary Duff, Steve Martin and the CW version of Superman stood on my wedding day. I am not one to obsess over celebs but it was pretty cool! This venue has it all! The guys get ready in this cute cabin and the girls get ready in the beautiful white Victorian house. I got married in front of the lake with willow trees surrounding it. Then we went to the bar behind the white Victorian house to have appetizer hour and proceeded to the barn to have the reception. The barn has beautiful chandeliers and hanging lights that make it just so whimsical. The rolling hills make for the perfect sunset pictures. Also, the owners of this venue are just the sweetest ever. Lindsey and Lydia are the sisters that own this amazing venue and they will make your day run just the way you have always imagined it to be. If you are looking for a rustic wedding venue with chic details then check out the link above for more information.
This wedding venue is actually two separate wedding venues. I initially had planned to just feature General’s Daughter but found out that the owners own two wedding properties only a minute walk apart. Therefore, I decided, why not feature both of them? General’s Daughter is the first two rows of pictures you see below and Ramekins is the last two rows you will see. For a wedding at Generals Daughter’s or Ramekins, they both have couples get married outside in front of the fireplaces. Then for the reception, you can choose at each location to have it either indoors or outdoors in the courtyard. Ramekins is a culinary school so there is a full-on bar and pizza oven right on the property, which I think is pretty cool. General’s Daughter has a historical house vibe to it and Ramekins has more of a modern Tuscany vibe to it. Both locations are heavenly and so unique in their own ways. If you are looking for a historical elegant wedding, then look no further than these venues!