Ojai Wedding Venue
500 South Lomita Avenue
Ojai, California 93023
A picturesque 20-minute drive into the hills east of Ventura leads to Ojai, a quaint art colony and resort village. With its mystical heritage as a Chumash sacred site and a mecca for spiritual seekers of the early 20th century, it’s no wonder Ojai has a reputation as a magical place. Most everyone around here agrees that magic certainly happens at the Ranch House, the venue of choice for both local weddings and destination celebrations. Tucked against a hillside on a culde-sac at the edge of town, this gourmet restaurant combines the laid-back friendliness for which Ojai is famous with award-winning cuisine and an enchanting garden setting.
As you walk through the Ranch House gate, the lush, peaceful environs are instantly soothing. To the left of the entrance, there’s a circular brick patio where event guests can sample hors d’oeuvres or dance. It’s completely enclosed by greenery and sheltered by a large market umbrella. To the right, along the edge of the property, is an elevated redwood terrace shaded by oaks growing right up through it and bordered by eucalyptus trees and an ivy-covered hillside. There’s enough room for a band, and it’s also a lovely area for sipping a glass of wine. From the deck, a brick path winds through thick stands of bamboo past a koi pond filled with flashing orange, black and white fish. A petite footbridge, an Oriental Tea House and the occasional arbor or statue encourage you to stop and savor the bucolic surroundings, which are particularly romantic as evening falls and ambient lighting creates a scattered glow.
Most wedding ceremonies take place in the rose garden on a sunny expanse of lawn at the far end of the restaurant. Guests are seated on the grass or on the adjoining dining room terrace, where they have an “opera box” vantage of the proceedings just below. Everywhere you look there are boldly-hued flowers, banana palms and hanging ferns. Over 100 varieties of herbs, many of which find their way into the restaurant’s dishes, scent the balmy breeze with their earthy aroma. In the spring, a trellis laden with wisteria creates a stunning lavender canopy over those lucky enough to be dining or dancing beneath it.
Indoors, multilevel dining spaces showcase the pretty panorama. A refreshing, island-elegant ambiance is enhanced by plantation palms, whimsical mobiles and a green-and-white decorative palette. What really makes the dining rooms special, however, is that they are entirely glassed in, giving the illusion of being part of the outdoors. For a more immediate al fresco experience, doors open onto the terrace, where heaters dispel any evening chill, and the soothing sound of rippling water comes from a tiny stream that runs through the grounds. It doesn’t take long before the fragrant calm has you bewitched, and you realize that this restaurant would have an uplifting effect on you even if you never ate a single bite here.
But you’ll want to make sure you DO eat here. The fresh bread from their own bakery, an extensive wine list and an innovative menu have made devotees out of many a patron, including actor Paul Newman who declared, “Cuisine is cuisine, but the Ranch House is original.”
Owner David Skaggs is also devoted to the place, having begun his career here as a dishwasher at age 15. He and his banquet staff will work with you to make your celebration a memorable one in this small corner of paradise.
CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The site holds 120 seated or standing guests outdoors and 100 seated indoors.
A $500 deposit is required to reserve your date. The balance is due 6 weeks prior. Food and beverage minimums range $4,900–8,900 depending on the day and time. Meals range $38–63/person. Tax, alcohol and an 18% service charge are additional.
Special Events, Parties
Kitchen Facilities: n/a
Tables & Chairs: provided
Linens, Silver, etc.: provided
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: portable provided
Bride’s & Groom’s Dressing Area: CBA
Meeting Equipment: some provided
Parking: large lot
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Telephone: house phone
Outdoor Night Lighting: provided
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: no
View: fountain, garden, lagoon, landscaped grounds, mountains, waterfall
Banquet Hall/Events Facility
Smoking: not allowed
Music: amplified OK with restrictions
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: liability required
Year-round, daily, 10am–10pm.
Alternate Info: Ranch House RanchHouse