Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lompoc Wedding Venue - La Purisima Mission

Looking for a lovely wedding venue in the wine country of Lompoc, Buellton or Santa Ynez? Then consider having your wedding at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc, California. Lompoc is home to Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Lompoc and the surrounding area is home to some of the finest wineries in Santa Barbara Country (including my favorites - Fiddlehead, Palmina, Melville, Hitching Post and La Fond.)

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park is rustic (no electricity or chairs for guests), but the gardens and fountain are a lovely and serene spot for a wedding of 100 people or less. Do keep in mind that the park is public, so people are allowed to wander by. You will need to fill out an application form and pay a $250 fee. Their contact information is 805-733-3713.

I visited the park recently and snapped a couple popular spots for wedding ceremonies:

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wedding Venue Between Los Angeles and Orange County

His family lives in Orange County. Yours lives in Los Angeles. So, where do you have the wedding? Well, midway, of course. And, where might midway be? At the Rio Hondo Events Center at the Rio Hondo Golf Club!

Located in Downey, the Rio Hondo Events Center is a beautifully romantic venue with a golf course lake and waterfall backdrop for your outdoor ceremony, and a choice of event rooms which are perfect for smaller weddings of under 100 guests, on up to larger weddings of 300 guests. And, they offer a wide range of options for your reception, including several different buffet choices such as a barbecue buffet and a "Taste of Italy" buffet.

Contact Info:

Rio Hondo Eventers Center at the Rio Hondo Golf Club
Office: 562-806-5020 Fax: 562-806-5040
10627 Old River School Road Downey, Ca

Below is a YouTube video so you can get an idea of the event space for weddings:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Napa Valley Garden Wedding Venue

I'm always on the lookout for a fabulous Napa Valley wedding venue, so was thrilled when I came across this video highlighting some Napa Valley lodging choices. The video features the Vintage Estate, with their Villagio Inn & Spa and The Vintage Inn, located in Yountville, which is just 9 Miles North of the City of Napa and 45 Miles North of San Francisco.

The Villagio Inn & Spa is meant to bring the essence of Tuscany to the Napa Valley, while the Vintage Inn, in the words of Sunset Magazine, is "an inn that's more like a French Chateau." For couples wanting a garden setting in Napa Valley for their wedding, the Vintage Estate offers The Pavilion with gardens, a flowing watercourse and magnolia trees. There are also two adjoining gardens, one featuring a bridal path and wedding arbor. You can get more info about the Vintage Estate by going to

Anyway, take a look at the following video to get an idea of what you might expect from Napa Valley.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Descanso Gardens Wedding

wildflowers_descanso_gardens For those considering a Southern California wedding wanting a garden setting, look no further than Descanso Gardens, located in La Canada Flintridge, which is just north of Glendale and 20 minutes north of downtown LA.

Descanso Gardens is a 160-acre botanical museum with walking trails, ponds, and various different garden areas, such as the Rose Garden, California Natives and Lilac Garden. They offer indoor as well as outdoor facilities.

For outdoor weddings and receptions, you can choose numerous wedding and reception sites, including The Rose Garden Pavilion, located in the Rose Garden, which boasts more than 4,000 rose bushes. The Rose Garden Pavilion can accommodate up to 180 people. Also located in the Rose Garden is the Rose Garden Gazebo, with a capacity of 200 people. Other sites include the Japanese Garden, Feather Falls and the Magnolia Lawn.

Indoor facilities include the Boddy House, which can accommodate up to 60 people.

Catering for events at Descanso Gardens is provided by Patina Catering, which is the world-class catering service headed by Nick Valenti and master Chef Joachim Splichal. Having just visited Descanso Gardens and eaten at their cafe, which provides food by Patina, I can tell you the food is pretty good.

For more information on having your wedding at Descanso Gardens, go to their website at

Below is a photo of the Rose Garden Gazebo I shot during a recent visit.

descanso_wedding_gazebo as well as a path through one of the gardens:


Monday, January 18, 2010

Sonoma County Wine Country Wedding Venue

California wine country is such a popular place for weddings that I'm always on on the hunt for fabulous weddings venues to share with my readers. So, I'm really glad I discovered the Inn at Occidental, located in Occidental, Sonoma County, just northwest of Sebastopol, and east of Bodega Bay.

Situated in the hills of the redwood forest, this little slice of Sonoma County is the perfect spot for a romantic wedding. There's plenty to do for you and your guests, from hiking in the nearby Armstrong Woods State Reserve to visiting the area wineries and sampling some outstanding wine. The Inn itself has been awarded 4 diamonds by AAA.

You can choose to have your ceremony at the Inn, or at one of the local churches, then have your reception at the Inn in one of their two reception sites: their dining room which accommodates up to 48 guests, or their outdoor courtyard, which can accommodate up to 104 people. The courtyard is surrounded by an English-cottage garden and bubbling fountain. Should you wish to have your wedding or reception in the garden, you do have to rent the entire inn, which includes 16 rooms and cottage, plus the use of the dining room and all its amenities, the patio, living room, and veranda.

I've included a YouTube video of the Inn at Occidental to give you an idea of what a wedding there might be like.

For more information you can go to their website at

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Weddings in California

Where are some of the top spots for a hot air balloon wedding in California? Certainly the wine country regions of Napa, Sonoma and Temecula would have to top the list, as does the Gold Country in Northern California. Here are several hot air balloon companies in California which offer wedding services while aloft in a balloon:

Napa and Sonoma County

Napa and Sonoma counties are probably the most recognized wine regions in California, and the views from a hot air balloon are awesome. A couple hot air balloon companies of note which provide weddings aboard their balloons include:

Napa Valley Balloons, Inc.
Yountville, California 94599

Napa Valley Balloons, Inc. flies out of Yountville, located in the Napa Valley. In fact, the meeting spot is the Domaine Chandon winery, a lovely place to sample sparkling wine. Napa Valley Balloons has been flying over the Napa Valley for 28 years and has been featured on the Today Show, Oprah and the Travel Channel.

Wine Country Balloons
Email: hotline@balloontours com

Wine Country Balloons flies over the beautiful Sonoma County and Napa County wine country, where you'll be treated to views of the Pacific Coast, San Francisco's Skyline, the Redwood Forests and the Russian River. Their chief pilot is a minister who can perform hot air balloon ceremonies while you drift gently above the beautiful country below. Or, if you prefer, he can perform the ceremony on the ground before the launch.

Temecula, California

California Dreamin'
1-800-373-3359 or 951-699-0601

Temecula is Southern California's other wine country. Located approximately 80 to 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Temecula is a great spot for a wine country wedding. California Dreamin' can coordinate weddings in their hot air balloons, using either your own minister, or one of their qualified ministers.

Gold Country, California

Sky Drifters
Coloma, California

If you've never been to Gold Country, you're missing some beautiful scenery. Sky Drifters is located in Coloma, just 45 minutes east of Sacramento between Placerville and Auburn on Historic Highway 49. They launch the balloon from the banks of the American River near Sutter's Mill, giving you spectacular views of the American River Valley, flying over water and tall trees. Their pilots are legally qualified to perform weddings.