(Closed) Outdoor Venue search in Northern California (Central Valley/Bay Area/Sacramento)

posted 8 years ago in San Francisco Bay Area
Post # 3
10972 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

@ashleygabrielle387:  We got married at Ruby Hill Golf Club, but that may not be enough greenery for what you’re saying.  There’s another location I’m thinking of that you might love, but i’m drawing a blank at the moment! I promise I’ll poke back in if I remember.

Post # 4
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@ashleygabrielle387:  Hi fellow Bay Area Bride! We are in a similar spot to you, we are inviting about 210 to our wedding and also wanted a winery/vineyard venue, so we are going with Palm Event Center in Pleasanton (just down the street from 

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@pengoala‘s beautiful venue!).

We had a difficult time finding a winery type venue that could accommodate that many guests – most of the places in Napa were 100 people max (not to mention more expensive). We also looked into the Greater Sacramento area for wineries, however many of those properties have noise restrictions (i.e. no music past 7 pm or 9 pm), and since we wanted an evening wedding with music late into the night, those didn’t work out for us. If that isn’t an issue for you guys, maybe look into David Girard Vineyards (Placerville), it’s a little far out there, but they have a beautiful property. Not sure about their site fee though.

You could also look into the Grand Island Mansion….in fact that might be a really good option! Not sure how many people they can accommodate, but their site fee is only $1000 and it’s farther south of Sacramento so if you have family coming from the Bay Area it isn’t too far. They have gorgeous grounds, they are stunning! Here’s a link: http://www.grandislandmansion.com/index.html

Good luck!

Post # 5
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Oh! One more since you said you were open to the Sierras! One of my bridesmaids was married at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys last summer and it was a blast. I have noooo idea about the site fee, but they can definitely accommodate at least 300 people and they do not have noise restrictions (that I know of). The town of Murphys was really fun to hang out in…lots of wine tasting in the historic downtown with a more relaxed feel like you find in the rest of the wineries in CA that aren’t in Napa, if you know what I mean, haha. 😉

Post # 8
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Have you researched the Berkeley area? I know the botanical garden is pretty cheap to rent out. There’s also Nestldown in the Los Gatos area. I had it marked in the 5.5K+ range, but I don’t know what the fees are now.

Post # 9
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I’m also a Northern CA bride, though slightly further south than you (we were looking Santa Cruz to Napa).  We are getting married at Pema Osel Ling in the Santa Cruz area.  Our second choice was Piedmont Community Hall.  There are some great places in the East Bay through their parks system too.  Here is my list from early in the venue search.  There’s not much detail, but it gives you some names to google!  We didn’t visit all of these, but we did visit quite a few!

  • Brownstone Gardens – all outdoor
  • Palmdale Estates
  • Chateau La Joye-all outdoor
  • Saratoga Springs – all outdoor
  • Wildwood Acres
  • Creekside Terrace of Los Gatos ($$$)
  • Holbrook Palmer Park (a bit pricy, 2 events per day)
  • Allied Arts Guild (not many details, $$$)
  • Wedgewood Banquet (does a ton of it for you! Multiple properties)
  • Berkeley City Club (rental fee of 3,000 to 4,000 with food minimum of 8,000-10,000)
  • Redwood Ridge Estates (price?)
  • Nestldown (price? – reviews say pricy but worth it)
  • Dolce Hayes Mansion ( price?)
  • La Pastaia (pricy)
  • Stern Grove (no info but phone number, but lots of good reviews)
  • Taber Ranch (price? A bit further north than I want)
  • Costanoa (Price? A bit further south)
  • Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center (Sunday incl food and drink about $11000)
  • StoneTree Golf Club (price? Marin)
  • Lafeyette Park Hotel (price?)
  • Jefferson St. Mansion (pricy, not indoors – tent with fans, in Benicia)
  • Garden Court Hotel (price?)
  • Bella vista Bed and Breafast ( a bit pricy, in Placerville, but BEAUTIFUL and includes rooms for some guests)
  • Hacienda de las Flores (a bit pricy on weekends, affordable on weekdays, if I understand correctly)
  • Decathalon Club (price? In door only, but lots of plants)
  • Los Altos History Museum (pricy, not so sure the gallery, but garden is beautiful)
  • San Jose Rose Garden – ceremony only, I think(price?)
  • Fort Mason Center (SF-price?)
  • Scotts (Walnut Creek-not much info, but looks cute)
  • SF Presidio (lots of options, price?)
  • Briones Regional Park
  • Dunsmuir Hellman
  • Ruby Hill Golf Club
  • Oceano Hotel and Spa
  • Mark West Lodge
  • Cornerstone Sonoma
  • Meadowood
  • Auberge Du Soleil
  • Trentadue Winery
  • Garden Court Hotel
  • Hastings House
  • Castle House and Garden (Bonny doon, price?, I think only outdoor)

Post # 10
261 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Empire gold mine in auburn. My husband proposed in front of the mansion. It was our original venue choice however, we ended up going with the beach instead. This place is beautiful. The gardens, the mansion, just breathtaking. It’s a state park so super affordable. Just do a google image search of empire mine wedding.

Post # 13
7941 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@calisunshine3404:  We got married at the Grand Island Mansion. While it does offer outdoor options it isn’t really an outdoor reception location. The grounds are more focused on indoor or tented receptions. Outdoor ceremony, not a problem.

The tent which could remain open is really quite huge and can fit 300 or so guests (I am told).

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@ashleygabrielle387:  I would look into the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, CA. We attended a wedding there and it was really pretty. They have outdoor or indoor (industrial building, very pretty) options but still feels outdoor. http://www.oldsugarmill.com

ETA: Check out this website. It is a compilation of Sacramento and Bay Area venues and you can search based on your basic needs. http://www.thevenuevixens.com/

Post # 14
7941 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


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@ashleygabrielle387:  Meadowood and Auberge you are looking at $8,000 minimum most likely for site fee and possibly more. Those are two of the priciest venues in Napa Valley. Mark West Lodge is really cute but small, not sure if they can fit 200 people. It is a little out of the way but really a nice venue.

For 200 people Napa/Sonoma is going to be tough. Not impossible, but tough, for $6,000 based on your guest count. We had 150 estimated and we were looking at spending $8,000 to $10,000 at most places we researched around here. If you want a winery definitely look towards Sacramento area.

Avoid Costanoa like the plague. We stayed there and I do believe our horrible review is still on Trip Advisor. It is beyond rustic, thinking camping with no supplies rustic.

Another suggestion (one of our maybes) was the Thomas Fogarty Winery. Beautiful patio area with gorgeous views! http://www.fogartywinery.com/

Post # 14
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens

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ashleygabrielle387:  We are getting married at Gold Hill Gardens in Newcastle, near Auburn. It’s a small B&B (really their house, with about 30 acres of land). I looked into pretty much all of the places that @DaniLyn listed (side note: JEALOUS about Pema Osel Ling, it is gorgeous!) were out of our price range. Gold Hill Gardens has 4 guest rooms that we are taking the night before our wedding and the night of, and we can have our rehearsal dinner (self-BBQ) the night before – all for about $4000. They will provide tables and chairs as well. The owners are really nice, and they’re just starting as a venue. They’ve had weddings for friends there before, so they know how weddings on their site work.

Post # 15
4 posts

I don’t know if you have found a venue yet, if not look into Bare Ranch in Lodi, we’re getting married there! It is beautiful!

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