Why We Like This Place
A bride at Nestldown descends a broad stairway through redwoods to a lakeside amphitheater where she will say her vows. About halfway down, she experiences a sublime moment when, for a few seconds, it’s possible for her to look up to the tops of the soaring trees and down to their bases far below, as though she’s suspended in the air among them, a bird waiting to glide to earth.
This is not the only ethereal moment she or her groom and guests will enjoy here. Nestldown, an enchanted hideaway in a mountain forest, evokes magic over and over.
Years ago it was a fruit farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains that grew apples, peaches and kiwis. Its current owners have spent the past decade creating a wonderland of gardens, whimsical sculptures, topiary figures, and fanciful structures on 35 acres at the property’s heart. The result is a place where so many things delight and amaze: redwoods standing gray under morning clouds that suddenly blaze cinnamon in sunlight; flowers splashed along every path; barely-there trails and unexpected stairways that lead the curious to bentwood benches and chairs set smack in the middle of the forest. But all of these sensory treats are just preludes to the beauty of Nestldown’s outdoor chapel and the breathtaking architecture of its signature building, The Barn.
You reach the chapel on an earth-and-wood staircase that meanders down a forested hillside. Its destination is a flagstone-paved amphitheater, sheltered by trees and ferns, that faces a wisteria-covered pergola. The pergola, set at the edge of a small, forest-fringed lake, is built from redwood saplings with their bark left on. It’s so natural in appearance that it looks as though it sprang by itself from the ground. Just beyond it is another grace note, a wooden bridge, Japanese in its simplicity, that arches over a rivulet at the foot of a small waterfall.
Post-ceremony celebrations take place in The Barn and on its adjoining lawn. The Barn is one of the most beautiful wooden structures built in Northern California in recent years. Almost everybody who enters it for the first time gasps at the interior of this soaring glass-and-fir structure. The interior rises to a steep-pitched ceiling, supported by slender wooden columns. The timbers, stained a glowing reddish-amber, still have the wonderful smell of fresh-cut wood lingering about them. Gardens and trees hug two sides of The Barn. Flowers bloom year-round—geraniums, red hot salvias, alyssum, candytufts, begonias, violas, irises and calla lilies—and there are fanciful critters everywhere: A brass bear peers out from one garden and in another a topiary serpent undulates through a sea of long, slender-bladed fescue. A large koi pond in front of The Barn is lined with willows and birch, and embellished by a brass stork. Just off The Barn’s terrace, a grand meadow sweeps out to a copse of redwoods where a hand-carved wooden bench reveals the image of three cavorting bears.
Nestldown is sheer exhilaration. You feel a giddy sense of expectation and joy, as you discover nature’s best so skillfully combined with the fruit of human imagination.
Max. Seated Indoors: 150
Max. Seated Outdoors: 200
Max. Seated Indoors: 200
Max. Seated Outdoors: 200
Max. Standing Indoors: 200
Max. Standing Outdoors: 200
|Max. Seated: 200|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The outdoor chapel, Foxglove Meadow, and the Main Lawn each hold 200 seated guests. The Barn holds 150 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: There is one indoor and several outdoor spaces available that hold up to 200 seated guests. Smaller events can also be accommodated.
Fees & Deposits
50% of the rental fee is required to reserve your date; the balance is due 60 days prior to the event. The rental fees range $3,500–15,000 depending on guest count, space rented and time of year.
Year-round, daily, 8am–10pm. Limited capacities apply December–March.
CateringChoose From List
Special Events, Parties
Catering: select from list
Wheelchair AccessAccess Limited
Site ViewsForest/Wooded Area
Alcohol: BYO, licensed server
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