WildBride
Bridal shop in San Francisco, CA

Journal

 

Bay Area Outdoor Weddings: Forest Venues

 

Ok so it happened, THE question was asked, you said yes! But now the reality of what just happened finally hit you and the wave of panic is upon you. First things first, take a deep breath you will be ok. Second thing, go grab yourself a glass of wine or two because, well …. (you deserve it) but also, things are about to get real. I’m assuming that you stumbled on this post because you have a very specific image about what your wedding should look like, and that includes tall Northern California trees, coastal views and rustic romance… or you have no idea what your dream wedding looks like and you’re curious about your options, that’s ok too. But one thing you know for sure is that a part of yourself knows that something about a nature wedding just feels right. You’re looking for a venue that gets you in touch with nature, maybe as a celebration of a special moment you and your fiance had together, or because you’ve always felt a strong bond with the outdoors. Just know that everything about your wedding is important to us, from the dress to the ceremony and reception. It needs to feel right, like a puzzle piece in your gut that you didn’t know was missing.

This series of journal posts will highlight some of the best wedding venues around California, and will be broken down into different categories. Every week we will post a new set of stunning venues based on their locations. This week our list will be centered around finding that special forest venue that makes you say “I can't wait for everyone to see this place… thanks WildBride!” And you’re so welcome! ;) Because not only have we fallen in love with all these forest venues, but they are based on recommendations from our past brides and photographers so you know they will be as beautiful as they are unique.

 

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Nestledown

Price Average: $7,500 to $15,000

Max Capacity: 200 guests

Mood: rustic, whimsical, playful

Location: Los Gatos, CA  

Nestledown is a quiet and breathtaking getaway hidden in the Los Gatos mountains, and despite being an hour away from Silicon Valley feels like a world of its own… like somewhere in between a fairytale and cover of a indie folk band CD depending on where you’re standing. The property includes a barn, scenic backdrops of redwoods, two ponds and a waterfall that guests get to enjoy on a small train that runs through the property. Just let that sink in for a moment... an open train that runs through towering redwoods and sounds of nature for you and your guests, I’m swooning at the thought of it. 

Photo Credit: Nirav Patel

 
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Saratoga Springs

Price Average: $8,867 to $20,939  

Max Capacity: 500   

Mood: blissful, dreamy, romantic   

Location: Saratoga, CA

 

Pinterest lovers rejoice! Because Saratoga Springs is the perfect wedding venue for the couple seeking a rustic nature setting that’s truly pin-worthy. This location has produced stunning wedding photos time after time thanks to its unique stone bridge backdrop and walls of tangled vines. In the middle of a redwood forest guests are able to enjoy the sounds of running water and wildlife while the couple exchange vows, and dance the night away under twinkling lights. In all honesty, I can see why so many brides love this location, it has a versatile appeal that can accommodate just about anyone. So whether you’re a vintage bride, or prefer to go bohemian, Saratoga Springs will make sure to charm you and your guest all night long. 

Photo Credit: Seth & Kaiti Photography

 
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Berkeley Botanical Gardens (Redwood Amphitheatre)

Price Average: $2,200- $3,000

Max Capacity: 200 

Mood: serene, humble, harmonious   

Location: Berkeley, CA

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to star in your own greek style play now is your chance. Amphitheaters have been around for centuries but they are not typically incorporated into weddings. But in all honesty, why aren’t they?! It creates the perfect setting for your guests ensuring that everyone gets the best seat in the house. Those days of peeking around aunt Carol for a better view of the happy couple are over. Not to mention the venue offers seat cushions for the guests… now THAT is service. Also, being central to one of the best cities in the world has its perks! Berkeley has some of the best restaurants and wedding reception venues in the Bay Area so it’s truly a wonderful option if you’re the type of person who loves a little bit of both worlds. 

Photo Credit: Alice Che Photography

 
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Anthony Chabot Regional Park

 

Price Average:  $60 - $1,085

Max Capacity: 30 - 500 (depending on the location)

Mood: peaceful, enchanting, timeless

Location: Oakland, CA

Ok, don’t let your fiance find out about this one but there’s someone I’d like you to meet. His name is Anthony and full disclosure, this might be love at first sight. Anthony is tapering, with a warm heart for dogs and looks good in every angle. He's a true work of art from mother nature herself! and the best part about it is he’s a Bay Area local. I’m telling you Anthony Chebot is THAT, PARK! This venue is a dream for anyone who wants to stay central to the Bay Area and have endless possibilities for where your wedding might take place. It has stunning views of the lake from high cliffs and breathtaking golden hills during sunset. Not to mention its only minutes away from Oakland so you have options to choose where the night takes you. Wedding guests can enjoy the reception at local favorite restaurant, theatre, or nightclubs nearby. Don’t let Anthony Chebot Regional Park be the one that got away, reserve a picnic area to have your ceremony and cocktail hour. 

Photo Credit: Apollo Fotografie 

 
 
Samira Araghi