Here Comes the Guide brings you expert articles and blog postings about interesting California wedding reception locations. We have over 1,000 different Northern and Southern California locations for you to choose from. The info in this category helps give you what you need to know to choose the right one and plan a wedding reception that’s truly personalized.
The list below gives you the option to read longer, more detailed pieces from our Articles + Ideas section or shorter, topical and timely pieces from our blog. Either way, you’ll get great info from the experts on everything related to California weddings.
If you’re planning a small wedding, you may feel a little like Goldilocks as you try to find a place that fits your event “just right”. But if you’re searching in Chicago you’re in luck! The Windy City offers plenty of options for hosting an intimate wedding, from a private mansion or vintage loft to a sleek yacht or Italian restaurant. While some of the venues we’ve listed also have spaces that are great for larger groups, all of them happily accommodate cozier celebrations.
Whether it’s on a faraway tropical island, at a secluded wine country villa or at a seaside manse, weddings at signature private properties top the charts for couples tying the knot—and we’re not just talking about celebrities.
You’ve visited a lot of potential wedding venues, and the private estate you’re considering for your Big Day has it all: it’s gorgeous, romantic, and, of course, totally private—truly your dream location! However, while it’s great to get swept away by the beauty of the place, make sure you’re aware of all the extras you’ll need to provide to turn your vision into reality.
As a recent bride, I’m still addicted to all those fun wedding TV shows I watched during my wedding planning, like David Tutera’s “My Fair Wedding” and even “Bridezillas” (just to keep my own bridal ego in check!). So I’m excited about the new season of “Platinum Weddings,” and want to share this sneak peak with you.
Yes, you will save money by hiring the cheapest vendors you can find or doing things yourself. But the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” really comes into play here. Skimp on services and you could end up paying a big price anyway. More info on saving yourself some headaches.
Make it clear that this is your wedding, yet you also want to make your families’ customs a part of your day. If they’re not 100% happy with your choices, don’t sweat it. The important thing is you tried, and they’ll probably come around once they see the awesome party you’ve put together.
My father is Middle Eastern, my mother hails from Louisiana’s Cajun country, and I’m proud to say that both cultures have always been an integral part of who I am. I can make hummus and shrimp gumbo pretty darn well, and I can swear in Arabic and Cajun French if the need arises. We’re also Texans, so that means we all can whip up a mean barbecue, too. When I became engaged to Jon, who has Nordic and German roots, we just sprinkled a few more ingredients into our family’s melting pot.
California’s Central Coast, celebrated for its charming wineries and photogenic vineyards, also lures visitors with landmarks like Hearst Castle, and the chance to golf, surf or go horseback riding amidst spectacular natural scenery. If you’re planning a honeymoon or destination wedding in one of the area’s picturesque towns, you might think beyond the winery.
With all its gold medals and high style, the Central Coast retains its small-town friendliness, and locals have positively thrown out a red-carpet welcome to bridal couples from near and far. Recently we did our own Central Coast Wine Country investigation.
With the holiday season fast approaching, I like to imagine where our company would have the most rocking holiday party ever. Interestingly, I noticed that my shortlist of holiday event venues wasn’t that different from my fantasy wedding one: Classy art galleries, hip restaurants, sun-kissed vineyards… A dynamic setting can make any celebration pop.
You don’t have to be ready for Dancing With The Stars to enjoy your first dance together as husband and wife. These simple tips will help you make the most of your spotlight moment.
9 Locations Where You Can Tie The Knot On The Sand!
by Jolene Rae Harrington, Director of Creative Content
As a born-and-raised California girl, I knew one thing for sure—when I got married, it would be on the beach. Not next to the beach, not overlooking the beach or on an ocean view terrace, but actually on the sand.
Is it better to look good than to taste good? Don’t think, just answer. Your response will give you a clue as to where you weigh in on the Great “Fondant versus Buttercream” Controversy, or, as I like to call it, “the Famous Frosting Smackdown.”
Can you tell me how many hors d’oeuvres per person is the norm for a cocktail wedding reception? I’m not having dinner, just hors d’oeuvres and cocktails for about four hours. I need to figure out my menu and am at my wits end trying to find the answer!—Lisa D., Eagle RockRead our experts’ answer.
My fiancé and I have most of our wedding plans set, except the music for our reception. We can’t decide between live entertainment and a disc jockey. The reception will be indoors with about 150 guests. We have to keep an eye on cost, too. Are bands always more expensive? What do you recommend?
—Maria M., Fallbrook
Read our experts’ answers.
One of the best aspects of your California wedding is loved ones coming together. By adding a few thoughtful details to your wedding festivities, you can make your out-of-towners feel like VIPs. The following suggestions are meant to be helpful…
Out-of-the-ordinary scenarios can become your reality if you wed at one of the Bay Area’s acclaimed art galleries or museums. No longer the sole province of school field trips, galleries and museums have found a fresh calling as novel places to throw a party. Here are locations for an artful Bay Area wedding.
What about the humble cocktail hour? Gone are the days when a hostess could throw together a few trays of cheddar cubes, crackers and melon slices to tide guests over. Today's bride puts a great deal more consideration into what she presents to her guests, and the Bay Area bride is among the most discerning. Make your cocktail hour memorable.
All eyes are on the wedding cake. Will it be divine or a dud? If you've entrusted your dessert to one of Southern California's hottest confectionary wizards, you needn't worry. Your cake is sure to be not only a masterpiece of cutting-edge style but also the embodiment of gastronomic ecstasy. Meet the wedding cake wizards.
You want your celebration to convey something unique about you and your husband-to-be. Working closely with a cake maker to create your own wedding cake is one way to “express yourself” at your reception. The best dessert artists only do custom work, and it all begins with the consultation. Meet some of the best Northern California wedding cake makers.
Palm Springs is HOT and we're not talking about the temperature. The Palm Springs of the new millennium is young, chic, and a great place to party. Here are some of our own suggestions for local activities and “can’t miss” Palm Springs ceremony and reception locations.
Estate wineries, golf courses, day spas, new hotels and historic downtown areas exert an unquestionable appeal in the Tri-Valley area. We're going to take you on a quick tour of some the Other Wine Country's best wedding and special event locations.
You no longer have to wrestle with your conscience to have a celebration that is both beautiful and "green"— here's how.
While I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, I took my very first trip to Lake County only recently when I rented a house on Clearlake for a much-needed family vacation. Now that I’ve finally visited, though, I’m already starting to wonder when I can return to this peaceful region north of the wine country. Of course I managed to scout out some ideal wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner sites while there. A couple of my new favorite places:
Through the front door swooped the lovely staff from Tarpy’s Roadhouse, there to make our dinner. But, more than that, they took care of us. They made us tea, they served us in front of the TV so we could watch Glee and they whipped up fantastic, comforting food: a salad with apples, pecans and gorgonzola, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, Chilean Sea Bass with a mango relish and, finally, strawberry shortcake—yum!!!
A Moveable Feast promises exactly what its company name implies. This is not your everyday catering company. Don’t believe me? Just 24 hours after returning to the States from my own adventure in Tuscany and Rome, I, along with the rest of the Here Comes The Guide ladies, had the privilege of being treated to Chef Michael’s 5-course culinary adventure (as he so dryly referred to it), along with 12 different appetizers and dessert. (Chocolate and sea salt, anyone?)
A couple of years ago I was at a bat mitzvah and I noticed all the girls had kicked off their new strappy heels when it came time for dancing. No surprise! But what caught my eye was that they were all wearing the same little white socks—like they had planned it in advance. “Oh, no” my niece told me. “There’s a basket of them over by the DJs so everyone can have a pair.”
We dined in the Lake Room upstairs, which extends over the lake and has views on three sides plus a fireplace and it’s own bar. This room, as well as the Gondola Room on the opposite side of the restaurant, is a charming space for a rehearsal dinner, reception or other kind of private party.
I recently visited Ca’ del Sole Ristorante for Here Comes The Guide, and I have to say: If you’re looking for a great venue for wedding rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and bridal showers, this North Hollywood restaurant should be on the list:
I confess to major butterflies for my interview with celebrity wedding planner and TV show host, David Tutera at the elegant Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena last month. I needn’t have worried. He was warm and charming, and very open to sharing his wedding planning pointers. Later when I dished the dirt with two of his “My Fair Wedding” Season 2 brides, Dee and Quiana, they both agreed that he was way more personable and down-to-earth than they had expected. I was particularly excited to confirm that David and I were in complete agreement about several key “Wedding Dos & Don’ts.”
The Dream Inn, a Santa Cruz landmark, has just reopened after a fantastic retro-chic makeover—and their stylish new oceanview banquet space is so ready for primetime.