Vista Wedding Venue
2210 North Santa Fe Avenue
Vista, California 92083
Ahhh, how romantic to celebrate your marriage on land that was itself once a wedding gift! In 1851, the 2,219 gently rolling acres of Rancho Guajome must have been an extravagance for Abel Stearns to present to the bride, his sister-in-law Ysidora Bandini, but she did, after all, come from one of San Diego County’s most prominent families. She and her beloved husband, dashing Army Lt. Cave Johnson Couts, made the most of their splendid present, transforming the former Mexican land grant into not just a prosperous ranch, but the bustling social and cultural center of North County.
The centerpiece of the ranch—the Couts’ 7,000-square-foot adobe mansion—took more than a decade to ultimately complete. Its eclectic mix of architecture blends various styles common to the 19th century, including a whimsical Victorian sewing room perched on the tiled roof of the sprawling Mission-style abode. Many of the house’s building materials—huge, hand-hewn ceiling beams and handmade floor tiles, for example—were salvaged from the abandoned Mission San Luis Rey nearby in exchange for a donation to the diocese. The surrounding acres, including extensive orchards and vineyards, were soon home to an array of rustic barns, sheds, corrals, carriage yards, servants’ quarters and even a chapel. Grand fiestas and merry social gatherings brought the people of early California together, and the couple’s hospitality became legendary.
That hospitality continues to this day, as Rancho Guajome, now a park that is carefully preserved by San Diego County as both a state and national historic landmark, hosts weddings and receptions. Beyond the park’s wrought-iron gated entrance is a serene, secluded sanctuary where revelers can kick back and be themselves in unpretentious elegance, enjoying beautiful scenery in all directions. You don’t need an unlimited budget to marry here, even if you’re planning a large party—Rancho Guajome can comfortably and economically accommodate 250 people in the park, and there is parking for more than 300 vehicles.
Solemnize your union on the verdant lawn facing the adobe’s arched colonnade, which is lined with flowers and climbing plants. If your group is small, exchange vows inside the quaint, sunny chapel beneath its pitched wood-beam roof and rustic chandelier. After cocktails outside, regale your guests with a catered buffet (although sit-down dinners are possible, buffets are the overwhelming favorite here) in the welcoming atmosphere of the Victorian Garden, sheltered by tipu and pepper trees.
The garden’s wide grassy lawns, which can also host a ceremony, are trimmed with white picket fencing, behind which rose bushes, daisies, geraniums, lavender, sage and other fragrant and colorful plantings bloom. Vine-covered trellises and a bubbling fountain grace the short stroll down a flagstone path to the permanent dance floor, where you’ll take your first spin with your new spouse. The nearest neighbor is miles away, so let the music play on. And as the sun begins to dip below the treetops, you may reflect on the gracious hospitality that still endures Rancho Guajome Adobe, and how this once-upon-a-time wedding gift has now been passed on to you.
Note: Rancho Guajome is just one of more than fifteen San Diego County parks that feature wedding and reception sites, including gardens, historic houses, gazebos, spacious halls, and even a Victorian village.
CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY, & MEETING CAPACITY: The site holds 250 seated or 300 standing guests outdoors.
Rental fees range $600–1,400 depending on the options chosen.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: none
Tables & Chairs: some provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: provided
Bride’s &’ Groom’s Dressing Area: yes
Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: large lot
Accommodations: no guestrooms
Telephone: office phone
Outdoor Night Lighting: no
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: BBQ CBA
Cleanup: renter or caterer
View: fountain, garden, panorama of fields and park
Other: picnic area, garden area
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Community Center/Civic Bldg
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK outdoors with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: limited
Insurance: liability required
Year-round, Saturdays and Sundays, 8am to sunset.
Alternate Info: Rancho Gaujome Adobe County Park Rancho Gaujome Rancho Guajome Rancho Gujome Rancho Gajome