Glen Ellen Wedding Venue
11775 Sonoma Highway
Glen Ellen, California 95442
The story goes that in 1892, Mary Ellen Pleasant, a black woman from New Orleans, built this house in Sonoma’s fabled Valley of the Moon. It was both a refuge from and celebration of the great business success she had enjoyed in San Francisco. She created a wooden confection, graced with delicate lathed railings and Victorian-style wood trim, as well as grand verandas strewn with wicker furnishings. The handsome new home was called “Beltane,” a likely reference to the ancient Celtic festival of spring and Thomas Bell, her long-time big-city business partner.
It’s easy to see what drew her to erect this two-story, five-room structure on this spot. Beltane nestles beneath venerable oaks atop a gentle slope that rises from the valley’s main highway. To reach it, you turn onto a narrow drive flanked by old trees, vineyards, grassy fields and beautiful hand-built stone walls. The front of the house is bordered by a flower garden that’s enclosed by a classic white picket fence.
Next to the house are two lawns used for ceremonies. The larger one is edged with flowerbeds, low stone walls and towering oaks. A stage for the DJ in one corner is festooned with strings of lights that create a festive glow, day or night. The smaller lawn right behind the house is a bit more intimate. It’s especially appealing when a musician, positioned in one corner of the adjacent upstairs veranda, provides soft music during the ceremony. Another lawn near the trellised entrance to the main house often hosts small receptions.
When brides who’ve wed here talk about what they liked, the first thing they cite is Beltane’s authenticity. A still-working ranch that raises cattle and grows grapes and olives, Beltane evokes Old Sonoma from the days before the county became an upscale destination. The lovingly maintained old house has nothing slick about it. Its vibrant gardens have evolved over the years and seem part of the landscape, not something designed on a drafting table. Bridal party members often enjoy breakfast fruit harvested from raspberry bushes planted decades ago by the owner’s grand aunt. Another attractive feature is the stand-alone cottage, a Berber-carpeted hideaway that has a firebox, sitting area, private bath, and a small garden and deck overlooking the main lawn.
Brides also like Beltane’s seasoned staff, many of whom have been on site at least 15 years. One dividend of the ranch’s reputation for great service is that quite a few newlyweds return for their anniversaries. (The ranch has even welcomed the children of couples who have been married here.)
Beltane remains one of the most beautiful old ranch houses in California. Owned by the same family since the 1930s, and surrounded by 1,000 acres of open-space preserve, the ranch’s 100 acres are the place to hold a true Sonoma County country wedding. Everything here—site and surroundings—blends seamlessly to create a perfect pastoral stage.
CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: Beltane Ranch can accommodate up to 150 guests, seated or standing outdoors; and 14 seated or standing indoors.
One third of the rental fee is required to reserve your date. The next third is due 3 months prior to the event and the final third is due 2 weeks prior. Event packages include 5 bed & breakfast rooms and a garden cottage, exclusive use of the ranch, and a full breakfast for all B&B guests. The rental fee for a Saturday wedding with up to 75 guests is $12,500, and includes B&B accommodations on Friday and Saturday night. For each additional guest up to 150, there is an $80/person charge (cap at $16,000). One or two-night packages for intimate weddings and special events of up to 30 people are available starting at $3,775.
Catering: select from list
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: not wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: CBA
Parking: large lot
Accommodations: 6 guest rooms
Telephone: office phone
Outdoor Night Lighting: garden arbors and lawn
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: caterers only
View: mountains, vineyards, forest, garden
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Bed and Breakfast
Smoking: outdoors only
Music: amplified OK outdoors with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: limited
Insurance: extra liability required
Choose From List
Outdoor events held from the first weekend in June through the first weekend in October. Intimate weddings and events available year-round. Events may be held from 4pm–10pm.
Alternate Info: Beltan Ranch