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San Francisco Wedding Venue ~ Beach Bargin

Posted Apr 24, 2014 by I Do Venues


Photography By: Vivian Chen

About the Venue

The installation of your wedding design is paramount to “organized chaos.” A two to three hour window for “set up” provides a challenge for even the most seasoned professional. Therefore, venues that carry a liberal policy are praised.  The budget bride will appreciate the low fees and flexible time line associated with The Stinson Beach Community Center. The rental fees are very moderate and the policy allows for access on Fridays for set up and Sundays for clean up for an additional $200.00. Brilliant.



Photography By: Vivian Chen

 The Beach Soiree

A casual seaside celebration can provide sustenance for your inner DIY Wedding Diva, while allowing your wedding budget to stay in check.  If you are headed to the beach for a barefoot celebration be sure to add these items to your checklist.

  1. Easy sounds perfect; but Breezy can be your wedding day nemesis. An intimate cove or inlet, beneath overhanging cliffs provide the necessary wind break, a sense of privacy, and better acoustics so the guests can hear the exchanging of vows.
  2. No matter the size of the ceremony, check with the local Parks and Recreation department to ensure you are aware of any permits that may be required.
  3. Be considerate of your older guests, if you are not seating the entire congregation provide a few chairs for the elderly or those that may not be able bodied.
  4. If you are planning on seating all of your guests make sure there is a plan for delivery, set up, and breakdown of the furniture.  Inquire about “portage” charges for locations not directly accessible by delivery vehicles.


Photographer: : Vivian Chen
Venue: Stinson Beach Community Center
Catering: MWoodward Catering


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Bohemian Expressions ~ Marin Wedding Venue

Posted Apr 23, 2014 by I Do Venues



Photography By: Andi Hatch

Bohemian to the Max!

I absolutely adore the Marin Headlands.  This clandestine patch of Northern California Coastline epitomizes why brides get married in The Bay Area: panoramic ocean views, a sun drenched beach, mountainous terrain filled with native grasses, wildflowers and the sweet song of about a gazillion species of birds.  This is Nirvana for the Boho Chic bride. Today we would like to introduce you to the quirky and cool Marin wedding venue ~ Headlands Center for the Arts. 

A collection of forgotten military buildings (formerly known as Fort Barry) has been re-imagined by the “artists in residence.” In collaboration with the Golden Gate National Parks Department these artists set out on the unique mission to “rehabilitate” these former army barracks without abandoning their architectural, artistic or historic relevance.   If we have peaked your curiosity, make sure to inquire specifically about Building 960.   This entire building can be your playground and every room from the social hall to the latrine has been whimsically redesigned as a living “art” instillation.


DIY Ideas

The sweet simplicity of this celebration is the perfect design adaptation for the Bohemian vibe of this eccentric wedding venue.  The ceremony and or celebration hall features floor to ceilings windows, a fireplace, architectural columns and a beautifully restored tin ceiling.  These elements provide an inviting canvass for a vintage or shabby chic design.

Your ceremony and reception will not skip a beat if you include the artisan benches which are hand crafted and include a rustic space.  A creative aisle runner, flowers hanging from vintage mason jars (be sure to re-purpose these later in the celebration) are simple and inexpensive. Also, these elements of style require minimal effort to clean up as the social hall needs to be  “flipped” and transformed into your dance club and after dinner lounge. 


Photography By: Andi Hatch


FEATURED-Vendors-ButtonPhotographer: Andi Hatch

Florist: Chestnut & Vine Floral Design



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Wedding Zen at Hakone Garden ~ Bay Area Wedding Venue

Posted Apr 22, 2014 by Gloria Atherstone



About the Venue

The moment you step foot onto the breathtaking Hakone Gardens, you are instantly greeted with tranquility. Bay Area wedding venues offer a range of picturesque scenery – from coastal to city venues – but nothing is quite like marrying the one you love among the peaceful, natural beauty at Hakone Gardens. Nestled in the hills of Saratoga, 15 miles west of San Jose, the whispers of the waterfall and lavish Japanese landscaping send you into a serene state of mind! Cherry blossom and bamboo trees line the entire property adding fun and unique character. Guests can stroll the twisting paths along the elegant koi pond to the Moonviewing house where they are greeted with enchanting views. Subtle lavender hues engulf the Wisteria Arbor, as you can see nothing but gorgeous greenery for your ceremony backdrop!

Photography by Chung Li

Looking through the Lens with Photographer Chung Li

“Marie and Alex’s wedding was beautifully done at one of my favorite venues — Hakone Japanese Gardens in Saratoga! I absolutely love all the details of this wedding, Marie looks so classy with her unique red dress!”



I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality:Venue – Hakone Gardens in Saratoga; Wedding Photography – Chung Li Photography


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San Francisco Wedding Venue ~ Flood Mansion

Posted Apr 21, 2014 by I Do Venues



Photography By: Alison Yin

Part of the family!

Wedding planners share the same vernacular.  Sophisticated and timeless can be euphemisms for traditional and cookie cutter. The incorporation of the couples’ beloved boxer provides inspiration for every bride-to-be interested in incorporating unconventional details into their seemingly conventional celebration and making it a unique celebration to remember .

The Flood Mansion in San Francisco offers couples a posh Nob Hill wedding address. Additionally, if you and your fiancee can not imagine starting your life together with out the approval of “ Man’s Best Friend” do not let your location dissuade you.  Whether “FIDO” walks the bride down the aisle, provides a needed companion for a flirty flower girl or appears for a quick cameo during your photo shoot,  don’t leave out this important member of your new family.



Looking thru the lens!

“I especially loved Neva and Graham.  They are so sweet and clearly so much in love with each other making the day so fun to photograph.  The couple set the tone for an incredibly elegant celebration that was fun and not the least bit stuffy. 

The flood mansion has both beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces so you can hold the ceremony and reception at the same location with out feeling “stuck” in one spot .  In addition, The Flood Mansion is gorgeous with so much character.  It’s the perfect San Francisco location.  The mansion provides iconic views of The Golden Gate Bridge and Downtown San Francisco as your photographic backdrop.” ~ Allison Yin



Photography By:










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Santa Barbara Wedding Venue ~ Firestone Winery

Posted Apr 18, 2014 by I Do Venues


Love Sweet Love in Santa Barbara

Cascading rows of grapes and majestic mountain views await guests at Firestone Winery located in the Santa Ynez valley in Santa Barbara. This vast Santa Barbara wedding venue hosts four outdoor areas and two indoor spaces, offering a variety of ceremony and reception options (with gorgeous vineyard views that span across the golden horizon)!


Indoor & Outdoor Locations

Outdoor options at Firestone Winery include the Terrace, the Garden, the Courtyard, and the Vineyard Mesa. Indoor options include the Tasting Room, and my favorite, the Barrel Room and Deck. This cavernous room holds mountainous barrels of fermenting wine equipped with one long feasting table for tastings. The rot iron chandeliers create an ambiance that compliments the smell of aging wine.

Can’t decide? Don’t worry! Booking any of the options grants access to the remainder of the facilities so brides need not fret about choosing between such fantastic scenery. Firestone events are granted complete exclusivity upon reservation, however note that the Barrel Room is unavailable after the third week in September through November due to harvesting. Wine and dine in this scenic setting as you embark on new beginnings!


Photography by Kamee June



Wedding Credits: Venue – Firestone Winery; Photographer – Kamee June Photography; Caterer – Pure Joy Catering, Inc.;Event Planner – La Fleur Weddings & Events;Floral Designer – Camilla Svensson Burns Couture Floral & Event Design


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Crossings Golf Course – Carlsbad

Posted Apr 17, 2014 by Gloria Atherstone


Coastal Wedding Love

Lush green golf course with ocean views? Count me in! This fantastic San Diego wedding venue provides a stunning backdrop to any celebration. Located in one of the most picturesque cities along San Diego’s coast, The Crossings at Carlsbad offers a gorgeous property to call home for your special day.


Photography by Scott Lawrence


Charm of Carlsbad

Specifically located in Carlsbad, this coastal town boasts with some of the most breathtaking beaches accompanied by great restaurants and boutiques that lend a delightful small town feel. From intimate to large weddings, the ceremony and reception spaces at The Crossings can make you feel right at home. With a vast ocean backdrop to your ceremony and a stone fireplace in the clubhouse, this manicured property and top of the line amenities are what makes today’s venue a pretty cool place to play some golf (oh, and get married)!



I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Venue – The Crossings Golf Course at Carlsbad; Photographer – Scott Lawrence


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Southern California Wedding Venue Bliss ~ The Cravens Estate

Posted Apr 11, 2014 by Gloria Atherstone



About the Venue

When looking into Southern California wedding venues you won’t want to miss out on The Cravens Estate and its European splendor! Dating back to 1930, this grand chateau is infused with elements of French and Baroque decor that is sure to aw-inspire all who visit. In entering the foyer, guests are encountered by magnificent painted murals, high ceilings and marble floors. The estate’s beautiful gardens can be overlooked from a romantic terrace, entered through the large living room. This chateau playfully presents many possibilities for your ceremony and reception with its elegant three story, fifty-room residence, as well as ample acres of gardens. The Cravens Estate presents a versatile backdrop that can be paired with many creative elements and themes. Whether you choose romantic lit candles, lush modern topiaries, rustic Italian country table settings or floral bohemian elements (this estate can be the foreground for your style of play) — all it needs is a bride’s personal touch!



Photography by Caroline Tran Photography by Caroline Tran



Ask the Expert: DIY Wedding

Personalizing your wedding comes best with a touch of personality, inspiration and handmade crafts. Combining textures such as elegant lace, patterned fabrics, ribbons, and handmade seating cards are an excellent (and easy!) way to dress a reception table or create unique wedding cards. Simply provide pens and squares of fabric for your guests and have them pin their congratulatory messages on the back of their chairs! Or how about whimsically hanging light shades that reflect the lyrical idea of a bohemian style “dream catcher?” Express yourself using paper cutout signs with playful words; a perfect addition to photographic memories and a fun way to create different photo-ops with your guests. These cutouts can also become an endearing theme when reused as table numbers. Have fun with it!



Photography by Caroline Tran

Photography by Caroline Tran

Photography by Caroline Tran


I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Venue – The Craven’s Estate in Pasadena; Photographer – Caroline Tran Photography




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Carmel Wedding Venue ~ Got Film at Holman Ranch

Posted Apr 10, 2014 by Gloria Atherstone

Cinematography to Last a Lifetime

Sensational. Perfect. Memorable. This is your wedding at Holman Ranch! Rows of vineyards cover the European-infused landscape at this amazing property nestled in Carmel Valley. It’s no secret that Holman Ranch is one of the most gorgeous and historic Carmel wedding venues!

Now that we’ve set the scene of this incredible venue — we want to be real with you about the importance of cinematography. The beauty of the venue will be well enjoyed by you and your guests on your wedding day, but what about for you (and your children) to enjoy for years to come? Your venue should set the scene of your wedding, creating the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable celebration.

As we all know, a wedding is more than just celebrating that day, it’s celebrating the start of your lives together with all your loved ones! That’s why the best advice you always hear is to cherish every moment. Then what happens when you want to re-live those moments?
That is where a cinematographer steps in! They create an amazing documentation of your wedding day (all the details, all the laughs, the hugs, the funky dances, special toasts…) and they create something very special. Something that you and your husband/wife can cherish forever!


Watch Today’s Wedding in a beautiful Highlight Film!

Video & Photography by Stillwater Cinematography



Q & A with Stillwater Cinematography

We spoke with Zachary and Wendy of Stillwater Cinematography about the beauty of Holman Ranch, and the importance of a good cinematographer to turn your wedding day into a magical highlight film like the one above! Check other videos from this wedding, such as the first dance and full documentary films.


What do you enjoy about shooting at Holman Ranch?

We love the combination of breathtaking landscapes and striking architecture. It lends to be an endless opportunity for fabulous imagery. Holman Ranch gives a feeling is as if you’re in Italy. Whisked away into a far away land, yet close to the Bay Area. Since Holman Ranch is located deep in the valley, the feeling out there is open and expansive. It’s a one of a kind experience.


What should couples bear in mind when thinking of getting a good Cinematographer?

This is something you will be watching for the rest of your life, so make sure you love their style. Hire Artists. Try and get to know each other, it’ll make the shoot more personal and unique to you. We love to meet our Couples and get comfortable together before the Wedding.


What is the best part of your job?

Knowing that we were able to capture the essence of the day for each couple and make them something they will cherish forever.


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