Why You'll Love This Place
A Here Comes The Guide Wedding Venue ReviewRead More Show Less
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, she can look up to the tops of the soaring trees and feel as though she’s suspended 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 20 years 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 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.
Minimonies Now Available!
These special weddings for up to 100 guests run 4.5 hours, to include a ceremony in the Chapel + cocktail reception at the Apple Knoll.
Pricing ranges $5,000–10,000. Mornings in 2023 only; inquire for details.
Prices: What's this going to cost?
The rental fee varies depending on day of week and time of year and includes:
- 9-hour venue rental
- Use of all event areas
- Changing room
- Special Events Manager throughout the planning process & 3 additional team members on the wedding day
- Comprehensive wedding timeline & layout starting upon booking
- Ceremony & reception tables & chairs
- 5-passenger golf cart
- 22-passenger train for 1-hour during cocktail hour
- 1967 Old London Taxi for the couple's transportation
- Two bocce ball courts & one lifesize chess set
Mondays–Thursdays | $15,000–$22,000
Fridays | $20,000–$30,000
Saturdays | $22,000–$38,000
Sundays | $22,000–$32,000
The base guest count is inclusive of up to 125 people March, April–early May, November, and December. The base guest count is inclusive of up to 150 people Mid-May–October 31.
|Meetings||Total meeting capacity for this venue is 200.|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Barn and the outdoor sites (chapel, Foxglove Meadow, and the Main Lawn) each seat 200 guests. During the colder months (November through mid-May), a comfortable indoor capacity is 150.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The Barn seats 140 on the main floor and up to 170 when both the upstairs and downstairs are used. Several outdoor spaces hold up to 200 seated. For a standing reception, the venue accommodates up to 200 either in the Barn or outdoors. The Barn can be used as a dance venue for 200 guests. Smaller events can also be accommodated.
- Outdoor Ceremony
- Wedding Receptions
- Outdoor Reception
- Elopement Packages
- Small Wedding
- Rehearsal Dinner
- Special Events / Parties
- Business Functions / Meetings
$$ • $$$
Alcohol must be served by a licensed bartender through the caterer or their serving staff.
February to mid-December, daily, 9am–11pm; dancing must end by 9:45pm. The facility is closed for events from mid-December to February 1st.
Buildings, other structures, and natural settings available at this venue:
- Private Estate
- Ranch / Farm
Peep the views you’ll enjoy from this venue!
- Forest / Woods
- Lagoon / Pond
- Meadow / Fields
Services & Amenities
Feel like a VIP with these services and amenities:
Catering: select from list
Kitchen Facilities: fully equipped
Tables & Chairs: provided for up to 200 guests
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Restrooms: wheelchair accessible
Dance Floor: yes
Dressing Area: yes
AV/Meeting Equipment: full AV CBA
Parking: on-site for up to 60 cars; shuttle CBA
Accommodations: no guest rooms
Outdoor Night Lighting: some areas
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: CBA
View: pond, meadow, redwoods, garden
But take note of the following limitations!
Alcohol: BYO, licensed server
Smoking: designated area only
Music: Amplified pre-recorded music outdoors OK in certain areas through approved DJ
Wheelchair Access: yes
Insurance: certificate required
Other: no rice, birdseed, latex balloons, sparklers, or smoke bombs; flower petals must be white or light-colored; all flames must be enclosed
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