Post # 1
Our wedding is planned for Spring or Summer 2013 in CA and I’m trying to plan it from NYC which is challenging to say the least. I’ve looked at a bunch of gorgeous rustic locations online and next week we’ll do a road trip to scout some of our favorites BUT I don’t feel like I’ve found the spot that works yet. We are both from LA, so our ideal spot would be Central CA, but I would consider venturing farther up north to Mendocino, Monterey or Sonoma as well.
- Ceremony & reception should be on the same property (no shuttles between)
- Need wheelchair access for my mom
- I’d love a bride’s suite on the property to get dressed in
- I would like on-site bathrooms — I’ve never quite gotten over the trauma of seeing my friend having to use a Port-a-Pottie in her wedding gown. Even the VIP ones still freak me out.
- Wild card option: we want someplace that is flexible enough to allow us to land a helicopter (marrying a heli pilot). It seems like if we do this, we need a spot that’s not your typical wedding venue.
- Reception should be inside barn, not set up outside.
- I’d love to say our vows under a tree
And here’s my list so far:
- Santa Margarita Ranch
- Camarillo Ranch — have to bring in everything
- Cayucos Barn
- Firestone Vineyard
- Hammersky Vineyard (Paso Robles)
- Coquelicot Vineyard (Santa Barbara)
- Hummingbird House (Paso Robles)
- Sea Ranch (Mendocino) — might be too foggy, wheelchair access might be tough?
Would any Central CA brides be willing to share their budgets, if you have chosen any of the above? I’m having the hardest time deciding whether it’s cheaper to go ahead and bring it all (we will be hiring a DOC) or whether we should just bite the bullet and go with a Vineyard or Winery that provides more on site.
What have the other brides decided? Please share your story and help!
And one more question…has anyone ever just stopped on the side of the road and asked someone to use their barn or property? I’m so curious if that ever works out.
Post # 3
I was going to suggest the Camarillo Ranch House. I have a friend getting married there this summer and she doesn’t have a huge buget (probably 10-20K range for about 150ish guest i think). We looked into it when we got married, but they didn’t have a date available for us. I got married at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. This is a beautiful location and you could land a helipcopter there for sure (they have a pad! we joked about it when we toured the grounds). They don’t really have an old rustic barn but they do have a beautiful stable you can use for reception depending on the # of guests. AT this location you would have to bring in EVERYTHING (yes, including bathrooms for guests…we got the VERY fancy trailer bathrooms and I think I peed in there just fine). Good luck!
Post # 4
We are getting married at the Arroyo Hondo Nature Preserve in Gaviota (30 minutes from downtown Santa Barbara). You do have to bring everything in but they are flexible with time and all the venue costs are reinvested in the Land Trust education programs for kids. Also check out Milk and Honey Ranch in Santa Barbara/Goleta, and Heartstone Ranch in Carpinteria. Happy Hunting!
Post # 5
I got married at Camarillo Ranch and I think it meets all of your criteria! We were able to do everything for about 13k. The only thing I’m not sure about is the helipad but it might be worth asking about. I loved CR and have lots of helpful thoughts, feel free to PM me if you’re interested! Good luck 🙂
Post # 6
@calismama: Hi! I found your reply to this thread. I am also getting married at Arroyo Hondo Preserve in Gaviota September 2013! YAY! Maybe we can share ideas with each other? for example, my fiance wants to have the ceremony in one of the meadows up above. It is going to be hard to transport guests that cannot walk, as well as transporting chairs. One we have the ceremony, we will need to bring the chairs back down to the barn area for the reception, unless we rent 2 sets of chairs for our guests. What is/was the format and layout plan for your wedding? It’s a little bit stressful to think about. Any suggestions are most appreciated. Thanks so much!