tips for brides




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As a born and raised Bay Area girl, I have always loved redwoods. When I first started photographing weddings, I did a lot of research on wedding venues in the area. Unsurprisingly, there are a ton of gorgeous wineries up in Sonoma and Napa, but I was more interested in finding venues featuring one of the iconic trees of Northern California, the redwood. It actually took quite a bit of research to hunt down this list! Some were found on Google, others were found through Pinterest and still others I stumbled across months later. Every time a wedding with redwoods popped up in my feed, I would go hunt down the venue, haha. In case there are other people out there who love redwoods, here’s a list of 16 beautiful redwood wedding venues in the San Francisco Bay Area. I included some notes about costs, but please note that those are just ballpark numbers that are subject to change!

At the bottom of the post, you will find a custom Google Map with all the locations. Each title includes a link to either a blog post with more information about the venue or the venue’s website, as well as a link to its location in Google Maps. As I get the chance to photograph at these locations, I’ll link to real weddings and add more photos.

This post was originally posted in July 2017 and has since been updated with more information and photos.

16 wedding venues with redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area

16 amazing wedding venues with redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area

1 – Sand Rock Farm in Aptos, CA

Sand Rock Farm Reception in the Barrel Room

This charming bed and breakfast is actually where we chose to have our intimate wedding and it was a complete dream wedding venue. There are several different venue options, including the Redwood Grove, the Barrel Room, the Wine Meadow and Terrace, the Historic Farm House and the Barn for a truly customizable wedding experience! Many ceremonies are held at the Redwood Grove, which is beautifully arranged so that you are married right in front of a towering redwood tree. Even though I love redwoods, my favorite part of their venue is actually the Barrel Room, which used to be the barrel-aging cellar of a winery. The roof caved in and was removed, leaving a gorgeous enclosed space with sand rock walls, trailing ivy and bare bulb lighting. This is where we had both our ceremony and reception, though we did head to the redwood grove for some photos at golden hour!

Their 2019 wedding pricing starts at $19450 and includes lodging on the wedding night for up to 18 guests, day of coordination, a bridal suite and groom’s lounge for getting ready, heat lamps, lighting and more. Sand Rock Farm has a required caterer and pricing starts at $135/person which includes hors d’ouevres, dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, cake/dessert, reception floral decor, tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, glassware and all staff.

2 – Saratoga Springs in Saratoga, CA

Saratoga Springs Cathedral Grove Wedding Ceremony under redwoods and string lights

As I have mentioned before, Saratoga Springs is one of my favorite venues! With five different ceremony and reception sites to choose from, Saratoga Springs is perfect for weddings of all sizes and budgets. Saratoga Cove and Redwood Grove are smaller sites, while Hilltop, Longbridge and Cathedral Grove can hold hundreds of guests. Site fees range from $0 for Saratoga Cove, $500 for Redwood Grove, and $2450 to $5950 for Hilltop, Longbridge and Cathedral Grove. Saratoga Springs also caters the food and provides seating and silverware, with additional upgrades available. Food starts at $60/head. A Saratoga Springs wedding can cost as little as $12000.

One thing to note about Saratoga Springs is they are pretty much booked solid from April-October with two weddings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You might be worried about there being another wedding at the same venue… but don’t be! The Saratoga Springs staff have everything down to a science. They ensure there’s time for both couples to take photos wherever they want on site without interfering with the other wedding. This means that even if you choose to hold your wedding at Longbridge, you’ll be able to take some photos at Cathedral Grove and vice versa! If you’d like to see a real wedding at Saratoga Springs, here’s a lovely Longbridge wedding, a beautiful, intimate Cathedral Grove wedding and a stunning Redwood Grove wedding.

3 – The Island Farm in San Gregorio, CA

The Island Farm is a gorgeous 586-acre private estate nestled in the coastal hills of San Gregorio. With towering redwood groves, lush ferns, a 100-year old rustic log cabin, a Bavarian-style barn and a large tranquil pond, it is a dream wedding venue for lovers of nature. Family-owned for 100 years, Island Farm is also a sustainable working cattle ranch that supports fifty head of cattle and grows 150 acres of oat hay.

It recently became industry leading chef Paula Le Duc’s newest exclusive wedding venue, so bookings are done through Paula Le Duc’s team. Island Farm wedding pricing starts at $15000 for 2019 weddings. Island Farm can accommodate up to 150 guests.

4 – Nestldown in Los Gatos, CA

Nestldown Wedding Venue Fairytale Redwood Forest

Nestldown is a wedding venue straight out of a fairytale! An 180-acre property nestled in the redwoods with beautiful gardens, large ponds, waterfalls, and even fruit-bearing orachards, Nestldown is conveniently located just minutes away from Silicon Valley. It has a true fairytale feel with a life-size chess set, a fantasy cottage and more. Maximum guest count is 200, with a suggested max of 140 for the rainier months. There’s a gorgeous redwood grove amphitheater for ceremonies, with a lovely barn as a rain option.

Nestldown is on the more expensive end of the spectrum with site fees starting at $9500 on Thursdays in off season and ranging up to $23000 on holiday weekends. Their fees include 6 hours for the ceremony and reception and an additional 1 and a half hours for set up and 1 hour for clean up. They also provide tables and chairs for both the ceremony and reception with options to bring in farm tables for a fee. As a fun touch, they offer a 1967 London Taxi for use in shuttling the bride and groom around the property as well as a golf cart for guests who have difficulty walking. You also get access to the Nestldown Railroad, which guests can ride during cocktail hour in dry weather. Finally, there is a bridal changing area available for 30 minutes and day-of coordination included in the site fee. Caterers, DJs, bands and rental companies must be chosen off their list of vendors.

5 – Deer Park Villa in Fairfax, CA

A beautiful venue up in the North Bay, Deer Park Villa has two beautiful Redwood Groves as well as indoor options in case of rain. Like Saratoga Springs, Deer Park Villa has string lights hanging all around their venue, creating a truly stunning setting for your wedding. Their indoor options include banquet rooms, a covered deck and a full bar and lounge.

Having your wedding at Deer Park Villa will cost anywhere from $4500 to $9000 depending on day of the week and time of year. The site fee includes tables and chairs, heaters, fire pits, parking, dance floors and a bridal room. Food and drinks will be additional costs on top of the site fee and will be provided by Deer Park Villa. They do not allow outside caterers. Deer Park Villa can accommodate weddings with up to 650 people, 350 outdoors and 300 indoors.

6 – Piedmont Community Hall in Oakland, CA

Redwood Wedding Ceremony Site at Piedmont Community Hall in Oakland

One of the most popular wedding venues in the Bay Area, Piedmont Community Hall is a great option for couples looking for a more budget-friendly option. The Piedmont Community Hall is a Mediterranean style building with a terracotta tiled roof, high beamed ceilings and beautiful chandeliers. Most wedding receptions take place in their circular courtyard for a lovely al fresco feeling. There’s a redwood grove where ceremonies can be held, but it’s probably better for smaller weddings. Piedmont Community Hall can accommodate outdoor receptions with up to 200 guests and indoor receptions with up to 120 guests. Also on site is the Japanese Tea House where smaller wedding ceremonies can be held. It could also be used as a location for the bride to get ready.

Pricing is fully laid out in their brochure online. For weddings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all packages include 8 hours and start at $2750 for residents and $3500 for residents. Tables and chairs are included, as is access to the kitchen. Only beer, wine and champagne can be served at the wedding and must be served by a licensed bartender. There are no other restrictions on vendor choices.

7 – YMCA Camp Campbell in Boulder Creek, CA

Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the middle of a redwood forest with a stunning redwood chapel for a ceremony location, Camp Campbell is perfect for those looking for a full weekend affair. Although they do offer single day weddings, the venue truly shines with two-three day affairs. Activities ranging from archery to arts and crafts to basketball and campfires with s’mores are included in the site fee and Camp Campbell also offers a climbing wall, high ropes course and swimming pool for an additional fee. Also included in the site fee are tables, chairs, flatware, silverware. Accommodations for guests are not included and must be purchased separately. Camp Campbell can accommodate up to 250 guests and has an overnight minimum of 65 guests for 2-day events. Site fees for 2-day events are $8000 or $10000. 1 day events are $5800 and Camp Campbell also offers a ceremony only option for $1200.

Camp Campbell is a full service facility and does not allow outside catering. Meals range from $25-$45/person. Camp Campbell does not have a liquor license, but does allow you to provide your own beer and wine as long as your event insurance covers it. Hard liquor is not allowed. Also keep in mind that if you do not book out the entire site, there may be another event or other guests on site.

8 – Amphitheatre of the Redwoods at Pema Osel Ling in Watsonville, CA

In the middle of 104 acres of redwood forest, Amphitheatre of the Redwoods at Pema Osel Ling is a stunning venue for your wedding. Up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Pema Osel Ling offers everything from 2-3 day weddings to elopements, all taking place among towering redwood trees surrounding lovely lawns and views of Monterey Bay. Locations for ceremonies and receptions include the Amphitheatre, Celebration Hall and lawn, Bay View Meadow, Gallery Meadow and Round House.

Site fees range from $1950-$5950 and include a night in the Redwood cottage for the bride and groom. Pema Osel Ling is a full-service venue and catering starts at $64.50/person. All catering packages include chairs, tables, linen, flatware and glassware. There is no corkage fee, allowing you to bring your own alcohol. Onsite lodging is available for 40-60 guests and there are 27 additional camping sites.

9 – Mather Grove at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden in Berkeley, CA

Mather Redwood Grove & Amphitheater for wedding ceremonies in UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

The beautiful Redwood Grove and Amphitheater in the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden is the perfect place to have a wedding ceremony. Up in the hills of Berkeley, guests are treated to a stunning view of the Bay as they drive up to the wedding. Couples having their wedding ceremony in the Redwood Grove can choose between a Conference Center or the Julia Morgan Hall for their receptions. Although the Redwood Grove accommodates up to 200 guests, the Conference Center only allows for 103 guests and Julia Morgan Hall only has capacity for 82 guests, so couples with larger wedding parties may want to consider alternative reception locations.

Ceremony only costs are $2200 for weekdays and $3000 for Saturdays and Sundays. Site fees include entrance to the Botanical Garden (normally $12/adult) for all guests on the day of the wedding, seat cushions for the Amphitheater and access to the rest of the garden for wedding photos. The garden is beautifully maintained and has some really lovely areas, including the Garden of Old Roses, a Japanese pond, a cactus garden and arid greenhouses.

10 – Sequoia Retreat Center in Ben Lomond, CA

Another wedding venue that offers a 3 day wedding experience! Sequoia Retreat Center is up in the Santa Cruz mountains with two options for a ceremony site, the Pixie’s Garden Patio or the Amphitheater surrounded by redwoods. Receptions can take place outside in the garden or indoors in the lodge. Sequoia Retreat Center also has 13 cabins that can accommodate up to 55 guests.

Site fees range from $10,400-$12,400, with food costing an additional $65+/person. If you’re planning a last minute wedding, check in with them to see if your date is available! Currently, they’re offering a 40% discount on weddings in the Waterfall Barn that take place before July 31, 2017. There is also a discount on weekdays, so definitely check in with them!

11 – Redwood Retreat at Fernwood Cellars in Gilroy, CA

Fernwood Cellars is a winery in Gilroy that has recently opened their grounds to weddings. Their redwood grove is strung with market lights and large enough to hold both the ceremony and reception for up to 200 guests. There is also the option for a smaller vineyard or creekside ceremony for 40-60 guests. It will cost you $7000 to host your wedding reception at Redwood Retreat and only an additional $500 to have the ceremony there as well. Their site fee includes 8 hours of exclusive use, an on-site venue coordinator for the day of the event, a bridal suite and groom’s grove with a bocce ball court, tables, chairs, market lights and a teak wood dance floor.

A few things to note: Although Fernwood Cellars only hosts one event per weekend, there are some days when the tasting room and parking will be open to the public from 12-5PM. However, the redwood grove and parking area will be closed to the public and you have the option to buy out the entire winery for a completely private event.Fernwood Cellars has a list of preferred vendors and any vendor not on the list must be approved by the venue manager. Like most wineries, only Fernwood Cellars wine can be served and no liquor is allowed. Finally, Fernwood Cellars does NOT have a rain contingency plan and you will be responsible for providing tents if it rains on your wedding day.

12 – OVY Camp and Event Center in San Gregorio, CA

OVY Camp + Event Center Redwood Ceremony Location

For those looking for a more rustic camping feel, OVY Camp + Event Center would be the perfect choice for you. OVY is only open for weddings from November through April, as it is a summer camp for disadvantaged youths during the summer. The fun part about OVY camp is you get the entire site for the whole weekend. There are plenty of cabins with bunk beds for your guests so they can all camp on site. If you’re hoping to have your ceremony among the redwoods, it’s probably a better choice for a smaller wedding (around 100 guests) as the clearing is on the smaller side. There are plenty of other options for ceremony sites though and there’s a gorgeous hall with the rafters wrapped with string lights for the reception and dancing. Pricing ranges depending on the number of guests, but the average rental rate for the weekend is $10,000, as of June 2018. The cool thing is the money goes back towards funding their summer camp for disadvantaged youths!

Things to keep in mind: OVY is up in the hills above the Silicon Valley and the drive in is fairly long and windy. For guests who don’t want to camp or drive home after the wedding, the closest hotels are in Half Moon Bay. OVY doesn’t have any required vendors, so you can bring in any caterers you’d like or even cook for yourselves in their industrial kitchen!

13 – The Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley, CA

The Outdoor Art Club is private, nonprofit women’s organization with a beautiful garden featuring redwoods and lush greenery as a ceremony location. Wedding receptions are held in the main hall, which has gorgeous chandeliers hanging from the rafters. There is also a library and a front patio, which are lovely options for cake cutting and cocktail hour.

The rental fee for the Outdoor Art Club is $4,300 for Saturdays and $3,900 for Fridays and Sundays. This includes full facility usage as well as tables and chairs. In fact, you cannot bring outside furniture rentals indoors. Also, keep in mind that caterers must be chosen from a list, though the list is quite extensive and has choices for all budgets. There are no restrictions on other vendors.

14 – Amphitheatre at Old Mill Park in Mill Valley, CA

Old Mill Park is a public park in Mill Valley that is available for rental. In the middle of a redwood grove, the park has the historic Reed Mill, picnic and barbecue facilities, a lovely amphitheater that is perfect for wedding ceremonies and restrooms. The rental rates are extremely reasonable, at $20-$35/hr for Mill Valley residents and $30-$55/hr for non-residents, with a three hour minimum booking, making it perfect for an elopement! There are benches included, but for larger weddings you may need to bring in your own chairs.

Some couples have dinner either in the Amphitheatre location or the Group Picnic area, which requires an additional fee. Amplified music and sound is prohibited, however, so most couples have their reception/dancing at The Outdoor Art Club.

15 – Mountain Terrace in Woodside, CA

Mountain Terrace wedding ceremony venue with redwoods

Mountain Terrace is a lovely wedding venue up in the hills above Silicon Valley. Wedding ceremonies can be held on their huge grass lawn in front of towering redwoods and an incredible view of the valley. There is a small changing room for brides, but most brides get ready off site. There’s a charming patio lit with fairy lights at night for the reception and a lodge for the dancing and cocktail hour. Like OVY Camp + Event Center, the drive to Mountain Terrace is quite windy and narrow. Shuttle buses for guests are recommended.

Packages range widely from $2000-$7000 depending on date and time. The standard package includes 8 hours on site, generally from 2-10 with the bride and groom choosing the ceremony and reception times. Chairs for the ceremony and tables and chairs for the reception are provided for up to 150 people. A day of wedding coordinator is not required, but can be added on to the package. Food and drinks are separate. A $100 ceremony fee includes a beautiful arbor that you can decorate with gorgeous flowers. Mountain Terrace also offers morning wedding packages for 5 hours from 9-2 on days where there isn’t an 8 hour wedding already booked or when the wedding is starting at 2 or 3. Most catering is done in-house, but special accommodations can be made for weddings with dietary restrictions.

16 – Trocadero Clubhouse at Stern Grove in San Francisco, CA

This is another great budget-friendly option right in the heart of San Francisco. With beautiful redwoods and eucalyptus trees, you’ll be shocked you’re in the middle of the city! Many reviews suggest that Trocadero Clubhouse is a little rustic and not always super clean, so budget some time on the wedding day to do some quick cleaning. That being said, everyone raves about the gorgeous redwood grove for ceremonies.

Reservation fees range from $1200-$1390 for the minimum 6 hours and the Trocadero Clubhouse can accommodate up to 120 guests according to their website. I would suggest taking measurements when you tour the venue, as some people have said it would be impossible to fit the full 120. Tables and chairs are included, but chairs cannot be used outside and have Stern Grove spray painted on the back, so many couples opt to bring in their own rentals.

Things to keep in mind: All weekend weddings require a security guard starting at 5PM. Furthermore, concerts are held at Stern Grove on Sundays in June, July, August so you cannot book those dates. If you have your heart set on a specific date for your wedding, you will need to arrive early exactly one year before as you can only book Stern Grove a year out.  Overall, Trocadero Clubhouse at Stern Grove is a great option for a couple on a budget who are willing to put in some work!

Hopefully you found this list helpful in your search for the perfect wedding venue. If you are planning a wedding for any of these locations, please contact me or email me at alice@aliceche.com because I would LOVE to photograph it! If you’ve come across any other wedding venues with redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list!

Alice Che is a San Francisco Wedding Photographer based in the Bay Area specializing in intimate, emotional wedding, engagement, couple and boudoir photography. Serving the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. She is available for destination weddings and engagement sessions! Contact her for more detailed pricing.

Tips for Brides, Wedding Venues

16 amazing wedding venues with redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area

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  1. Vicky says:

    What a great blog beautiful locations!

  2. Cheri says:

    Oh the locations are all gorgeous! I wish I could travel to all of them! You did a lovely job of putting this all together, thank you.

    • Alice Che says:

      Thanks Cheri! I know, right?! They’re all so stunning. I want to photograph many weddings at all of them, haha!

  3. Yvette says:

    This is such a valuable post-so much information! The locations are stunning! Makes me want to renew my vows there 🙂

  4. James Smith says:

    Hello there, I like your blog very much. Thank you for sharing the list of 16 amazing wedding venues with redwoods. I would love to visit these venues for my wedding. Keep writing such amazing blogs!

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