The Barn at River House • Ben Lomond • CA


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Why You'll Love This Place

A Here Comes The Guide Wedding Venue Review

Nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains just minutes from the tiny enclave of Ben Lomond, River House strikes the perfect balance between a rustic wooded hideaway and a gracious country estate. This two-story California ranch-style home, built entirely of wood and river rock, is set in a large level clearing ringed by oaks and redwoods. Lots of picture windows overlook the sprawling grounds and the San Lorenzo River. Adding to the natural woodland setting, manicured lawns curve around groves of oak and are bordered by flower beds planted with dogwood, rhododendrons, azaleas and lots of annuals for color. A contoured aggregate stone patio offers dancers a large space for tripping the light fantastic, while a flower-lined path encircles the property and leads to the bridal changing cottage. An adjacent county park adds yet more acres of woods.

With 14,000 square feet of lawns alone, the facility is a haven for outdoor events, especially weddings. The bridal procession makes a striking entrance through a wisteria-covered arbor, and continues across the lawn to a gazebo overlooking the river. Set at the foot of an oak, it’s a dreamy sun-dappled spot, not only for the ceremony, but for displaying the wedding cake, too. or opt for an intimate exchange of vows in front of a grove of towering redwood trees. If you’re hosting a formal garden wedding, white umbrella-shaded tables laid with white linens add the right touch of elegance. Or, if you’re like the couple who opted for a country and western theme, square tables with checked tablecloths fit in perfectly with the woodsy setting. A few bales of hay placed here and there were all that was needed to turn River House into a mountain ranch. But even if you’re not planning to wear cowboy boots to dance in, the patio is the place to kick up your heels while the band or DJ plays music on the back deck. And for a memorable final touch, brides love to toss their bouquet from the second-story balcony, which overlooks the patio and gardens.

With its close proximity to Silicon Valley, River House is a great place for corporate functions and private parties, too. Give your staff or coworkers a relaxing break from their daily rigors with a barbecue or company mixer. Or invite your family and friends here for a reunion, anniversary or birthday party. A huge fire pit set off the patio by the side of the house offers a warm and intimate gathering spot—it’ll take the chill off early spring or late fall events. You can also use the expansive covered porch that wraps around the front and side of the house to seat extra guests or as a place to set up a buffet. No matter what kind of event you have in mind, River House offers a setting that’s hard to resist: peaceful, secluded and downright beautiful.


PRICES: What's this going to cost?

Rental Fee
  • $17,000–18,500/event
  • Rental fee varies depending on:
    • Guest count
  • Up to 175 guests, the fee is $17,000.
    175-250 guests, the fee is $18,500.

    Rental Fee includes:

    • use of the grounds, with Redwood Cathedral, river-view gazebo, and cocktail patio
    • 3,500sf, two-story Barn for reception and dancing
    • Bridal cottage and Groom's Pool House
    • Ample free parking
    • 2-hour rehearsal the day prior to your event
    • Professional wedding planning & coordination
    • Only one event per weekend!
Additional Info
  • Venue rental fee INCLUDES The Wedding Connection's "Project Management Package" that assists you every step of the way in your wedding planning process, including: vendor recommendations; contract review; venue walkthrough to create your vision; planning & running the rehearsal; creating wedding-day timeline and overseeing your event from start to finish. A $5,000 value!


Indoors Outdoors
Ceremony Seated 250 250
Cocktails, etc. Standing 250 250
Reception Seated 250 250
Meetings Total meeting capacity for this venue is 250.

CEREMONY, EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: The site holds 250 guests, maximum.

Venue Details

Site Uses

  • Ceremony
  • Outdoor Ceremony
  • Wedding Receptions
  • Outdoor Reception
  • All-Inclusive
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Special Events / Parties
  • Business Functions / Meetings
  • LGBTQ+ Friendly

Essential Info


$$ • $$$


Preferred list



Beer, wine and champagne only; must have a licensed server.

Amplified Music

Some restrictions

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair accessible


April through December, 7am–9pm.

Venue Type

Buildings & other settings available:

  • Barn
  • Garden
  • Mansion
  • Mountain
  • Patio / Deck / Terrace
  • Private Estate
  • Private Home
  • River

Venue Views

Peep the views you’ll enjoy from this venue!

  • Creek / River
  • Forest / Woods
  • Fountain / Water Feature
  • Garden
  • Landscaped Grounds

Services & Amenities

Feel like a VIP with these services and amenities:

Catering: select from preferred list
Parking: on site private lot
Kitchen Facilities: prep only
Accommodations: no guestrooms
Tables & Chairs: through caterer
Linens, Silver, etc.: through caterer
Outdoor Night Lighting: access only
Restrooms: not wheelchair accessible
Outdoor Cooking Facilities: BYO or CBA
Dance Floor: on patio or in barn
Cleanup: caterer
Dressing Area: yes, 2
View: San Lorenzo River, redwoods and oak trees
Meeting Equipment: BYO or CBA
Other: event coordination


But take note of the following limitations!

Alcohol: BYO BWC only, licensed server
Wheelchair Access: yes
Smoking: outside only
Insurance: certificate required
Music: amplified OK with volume restrictions
Other: no birdseed

Wondering what CBA or BYO means?
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Wedding Venues  >  Northern California Wedding Venues  > San Jose / South Bay Wedding Venues  > Santa Cruz Wedding Venues

Alternate Info: Riverhouse