I Do Venues is the ultimate California wedding venue resource, featuring the hottest venues with expert advice and real wedding photography! Our blog posts offer venue-specific topics and design inspiration to help you visualize your perfect place to say "I Do.” Also, be sure to check out our Venues Directory and Rehearsal Dinner Directory for all your wedding planning needs!
Summer is quickly approaching…
That means warmer weather, cold drinks and fun in the sun! But before you get your summer wedding party started, wedding and event design expert Chanda Monique Eddens of A Monique Affair offers some great tips on keeping your summer wedding SMART and SAFE!
General Guidelines for the Great Outdoors
1. Follow good rules for food safety. This will rely on the caterer and it might be a good idea to ask about their good food practices. Ask your caterer where they get their stock from and how far in advance they purchase. Request that they check expiration dates, just to be extra cautious. If it’s warm on the day of, make sure things aren’t sitting around in the sun breading bacterial.
2. Watch alcohol consumption. Outdoor weddings are usually held during the warm weather months, and we all know the risks involved when it comes to heat and alcohol. Make sure you stock plenty of bottles of water and remind guests to stay hydrated. Also provide adequate food, and it may not be a bad idea to add coffee to the beverage list. Most importantly it’s about safety, make sure that if any guest accidentally over does it, that they have a designated driver.
3. It’s not a wedding unless you’ve got entertainment and when it comes to outdoor settings, there are usually generators involved, extension cords, etc. Be sure to double check your connections to prevent unexpected electrical malfunctions. Make sure wires are properly disclosed. You wouldn’t want any guests to accidentally trip and fall over any loose wiring, it also reduces the risk wires will expose and start a spark.
Glowing Spanish Space
What do you get when you mix the glow of a Spanish-style estate with the beauty of Carmel Valley? Holman Ranch gives you a kind of flavor that will warm the hearts your guests. As a historic estate with scenic vineyard grounds and olive orchards (plus, the rustic cobble stone architecture) there’s so much to inspire your theme and color palette. With many locations on-site to choose from, including the Chapel and the Rose Patio, your wedding is custom made to your liking!
Looking through the Lens with Photographer Kelly Boitano
“Rebecca and Jimmy’s wedding was a dream. Not only did I fall in love with their charming venue, Holman Ranch, but I fell in love with them as a couple.”
Lawns, Rooms…and Game Rooms, Oh My!
We love how today’s wedding utilizes Holman’s spectacular property. If your looking for a vibrant, cultural ambiance, this is your place. The Terra-cotta tiling and exposed walls add texture and depth to your wedding photography. There are several rooms that you can use for lounging, cocktails and appetizers, or special spots to take photos. Look how this bride and groom use the Game Room — billiards anyone?
Take my breath away!
Golden rays, green landscape and perfect weather intersect with breathtaking beauty at the lush StoneTree Golf Club! Located in Northern Marin County’s countryside town of Novato, this bountiful property stands out as a memorable setting among Bay Area wedding venues. With a special sparkle, StoneTree will light up your wedding celebration complete with delectable catering, a friendly staff, accommodating services and not-to-mention their prime-time location (only 20 miles from Wine Country and a mere 30 miles to San Francisco!).
This gorgeous Jewish wedding is filled with sweet joy as they celebrate their love at the stunning StoneTree Golf Club! Known for its natural beauty and unmatched ceremony location, your wedding will be nothing less than magical! Sparks will fly as you smooch on the sun-kissed terrace, with all your guests cheering with glee. Any color palette or theme works beautifully at StoneTree, but the classic white roses of today’s wedding give off a romantic flair that works so well!
Find design ideas, catering details and more info about StoneTree Golf Club!
Find more inspiration in the extended gallery…
You had me at Merlot!
Dream of winery weddings? Search no further! Bianchi Winery will make any self-proclaimed wino rejoice at this scenic venue boasting with rolling acres of vineyards and lakeside sunsets. Located atop a gentle rise in Paso Robles, Bianchi Winery is a family started business, prided in their premium selection of award-winning wines! This highly versatile location along California’s central coast offers you the opportunity to choose form four event sites, combining Old World charm with modern day architecture.
Brides grab a glass of merlot and relax! This perfect destination is available year round for you perfect afternoon celebration! Ceremonies no larger than 135 guests take place on the expansive lawn complete with a circular redwood arbor, creating a serene lakeside environment. Parties are encouraged to make use of the beautiful three-bedroom guesthouse, conveniently located on site.
Wedding Credits: Venue - Bianchi Winery in Paso Robles, CA; Photographer – Tempting Weddings Photography; Coordination – All Traditions Wedding Coordination; Floral Design – Lori Boe Floral Design; Cake – The Cakery; Catering – In Good Taste Catering
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Nestled inland, in the hills of San Ramon, holds one of the most rare sights from the selection of Bay Area wedding venues. One that gives unmatched photography options! From the Tuscan-styled rooms to the extensive golf course grounds, The Bridges Golf Club makes a photographer’s artistic dreams possible. Here’s a little something different for all couples who decide to tie the knot at this special spot — a tunnel that creates magically lit photos! The tunnel is located on the golf course, connecting both sides of the course together. Whether or not you choose to have the halo effect arch over you and your groom, this tunnel adds a fun industrial photo to your album!
Romantic Countryside Estate
The lovely ladies at Kai Squared Events invited us to look around a new wedding venue nestled in the rolling hills of Petaluma called Olympia’s Valley Estate. Lydia and Lindsay Tresch have converted the charming property that includes a newly renovated 130-year-old barn and a beautiful Victorian house, which is now available for weddings!
I toured the property with Lydia Tresch whose family has been organically dairying across the street from the estate since 1905. It was actually her sister Lindsey’s upcoming wedding that gave them the idea to branch out from using it for commercials and photo shoots, and to make the move into the wedding industry.
The Grooms Cottage next to the barn can be used for the groom and groomsmen to hang out during the day, or as a little hideaway for the bride and groom on the night of their wedding. It has a restored fireplace outside the door with vintage bottles perched on top, surrounded by wildflowers. Inside, the quaint cottage can sleep up to 6 people and has a kitchen complete with a vintage-style, coal-burning oven.
The barn is a fabulous space for hosting a reception with a dance floor area, that has a stage for a live band or DJ. The beautiful bar is made out of an old tree on the property that can be used to serve drinks or as a dessert table. It is a versatile space suitable for a rustic or modern-themed wedding with a beautiful mix of vintage and industrial style lighting!
“We wanted to stay true to our roots while making the barn modern and elegant,” says Lydia Tresch.
The jewel in its crown is the striking Victorian house built in 1875 in the center of the property. The wedding party has access to the lower half of the house during the day of the wedding that includes a vintage style bridal suite for the brides to get ready in complete with a roll-top bath in the en-suite, a kitchen and living room with original light fixtures and crown molding.
The house has a wrap-around porch where most people host their cocktail hour, near a brick fire-burning oven where pizzas or bite-size apps can be created. This is just one of the many charming details of this serene property, including a picturesque lakeside meadow shaded by weeping willows, that acts as the backdrop to an organic ceremony site.
“Most couples like the natural un-landscaped feel of the property, and how they are not locked into doing their wedding in a certain way. They can make it their own and make it really special,” says owner Lydia Tresch.
Wedding Credits: Venue – Olympia’s Valley Estate in Petaluma, CA; Main Picture Photos – Sophie Davies; Professional Photography: Nathan Lairmer Photography; Coordination and Styling – Kai Squared Events; Floral Design – Meredith at M.Design; Linen & Rentals: Encore Rentals Events; Attire – Bliss Bridal
Take your wedding celebration to one of the best Livermore wedding venues in the Bay Area’s mainland. In the foothills of Livermore, Wente Vineyards makes wedding bedazzlement possible. There’s no mistake Wente Vineyards is a true winner. Grapevines, a beautifully landscaped golf course, a historic winery and a mission-styled event center all contribute to Wente’s spectacular scene!
If you’re looking for something a little more rustic, we love the wooden barn-like architecture of the historic 100-year-old winery! If this doesn’t already have you hooked, here’s another unique fact: Wente Vineyards Pastry Chef Lisa Shaver customizes your wedding cake, designed specially for the happy couples — included in all weddings. Now that’s a real treat! For more unique reasons to love Wente Vineyards, visit here.
Welcome to Timber Cove!
Located just north of the serene and relaxing Bodega Bay, Timber Cove is the perfect place to host your oceanfront wedding! This region of the Sonoma Coastline is known for its extensive wineries and world famous chefs. Timber Cove Inn sits right along this historic coastline offering an extremely peaceful setting for your celebration! With views of the cliffside as well as the expansive Pacific Ocean, this cozy venue hosts’ accommodations and amenities any water-loving couple would drool over!
Looking through the Lens with Susan Adler Photography
“Nestled along the rugged Sonoma coastline is a gem of a location: Timber Cove Inn. This is a naturally beautiful and unique wedding location that offers an incredible background for an intimate wedding ceremony and reception. I appreciate the views of the mighty Pacific Ocean and beautiful tranquil setting. The Inn can accommodate the bridal party and guests for a perfect wedding weekend. It is the quintessential Northern California experience!”
For your wedding up to 120 guests, you can choose from several outstanding coastal wedding venues (or indoor spaces) at the Timber Cove Inn. The Inn also provides wedding planning services and customized catering menus with world-renowned chefs from their own Alexander’s Restaurant! After the celebration, unwind with nearby attractions and activities such as wine tasting, kayaking, hiking, or visit the historic art galleries of Gualala. Enjoy a relaxing ocean front getaway at this enchanting destination!
Wedding Credits: Venue – Timber Cove Inn in Sonoma, CA; Photographer – Susan Adler Photography; Coordination – Timber Cove Inn; Floral Design - La Belle Fleur in Santa Rosa; Catering – Alexander’s at Timber Cove Inn