13 Best Outdoor Wedding Venues in Northern California Sure To Amaze You

If an outdoor wedding in Northern California is your dream, then you are in luck. This beautiful part of the country offers dramatic coastlines, rolling hills, lively cities, expansive fields, quaint country towns, and delicious local cuisine!

The variety of outdoor wedding venues is wide, including fairytale gardens, cliffs overlooking the crashing waves of Big Sur, and glamping eco-resorts with farm-to-table meals. 

According to Wedding Report, the average wedding in California costs $35,274, but the price you pay depends on what is important to you on and before your wedding day.

Before you start breaking down the cost of caterers and photographers, take a moment to find your perfect venue. Read on to discover the 13 best outdoor wedding venues in Northern California!


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Gardener Ranch

Located in beautiful Carmel Valley, Gardener Ranch offers sprawling lawns, comfortable accommodations, and views of the Santa Lucia Mountains. It is a great choice for an entire wedding weekend retreat.

There are four outdoor venues in total and it is possible to have both your ceremony and reception in nature. 

The Oakland Lawn is the most versatile space and the winding oak branches make a great backdrop for photos. The Grassland Lawn is an ideal space for a rehearsal dinner or reception.

The ranch also includes amenities such as a swimming pool, heating lamps, lawn games, wine barrel cocktail tables, and more.

Price Range: $6,000 and up.

Capacity: Up to 150 guests.

Find Gardener Ranch at Gardener Ranch or check out Facebook or Instagram

The Ranch at Lake Sonoma

Nestled in the rolling hills of Sonoma Wine Country, The Ranch at Lake Sonoma combines the romance of a rustic home with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. This venue is also surprisingly affordable.

During the summer months, the hills turn a golden color, providing a glowing backdrop for your wedding photos. You can exchange vows beneath a wooden archway before dancing the night away beneath the stars or in the redwood barn.

For the outdoorsy crowd, there is a campground within walking distance that offers stunning vistas. Guests can also enjoy activities such as boating and horseback riding. 

Price Range: From $4,500 for a weekday ceremony and reception ($2,000 if you want the ceremony only).

Capacity: Up to 300 guests.

Find The Ranch at Lake Sonoma at The Ranch at Lake Sonoma or check out Facebook or Instagram

Dream Inn Santa Cruz

If you want an outdoor ceremony on the beach, the Dream Inn Santa Cruz is the best choice in Northern California.

Featuring views of the iconic Beach Boardwalk, the expansive wharf, and the stunning landscape of West Cliff Drive, this hotel is one of the only in the area offering beach weddings

Imagine saying “I do” with your toes in the sand as your guests look on from chairs placed directly on the soft sand.

While it is possible to host an outdoor reception at a nearby restaurant such as Ideal Bar & Grill, you can also opt for an indoor reception in the hotel’s seaside ballroom.

Price Range: $4,000 and up. 

Capacity: Up to 200 guests. 

Find Dream Inn Santa Cruz at Dream Inn Santa Cruz or check out Facebook or Instagram

Costanoa 

Situated along Northern California’s “Slow Coast,” about one hour south of San Francisco, Costanoa offers picturesque views of the coastal mountains, wildflowers in bloom, and incredible lodge and glamping-style accommodations. 

As one of the premier glamping and eco-retreats in the Bay Area, Costanoa knows how to create an aesthetic of rustic elegance that is far from “roughing it”. Think fine wines, local floral arrangements, luxurious spa treatments, natural wood folding chairs, and stunning reception dinners!

From intimate ceremonies to large receptions, Costanoa can cater to a variety of needs and expectations. 

Pro tip: Take your wedding photos at Pigeon Point Lighthouse located just up the coast.

Price Range: $6,000 and up.

Capacity: Up to 250 guests.

Find Costanoa at Costanoa or check out Facebook or Instagram

Point 16

Point 16 is arguably the most incredible wedding venue in Northern California, and possibly the whole of the USA!

Situated high on the cliffs of Big Sur, overlooking the crashing waves below and the endless ocean beyond, Point 16 is simply incomparable. 

Point 16 is so exclusive that the venue does not have a website and you must book through A Big Sur Affair, the premier event planning company for the Big Sur area.

The venue features a grassy ceremony space with expansive views of the coast, blooming succulents, and a built-in dance floor.

Price Range: $4,500 and up.

Capacity: Up to 70 guests.

Inquire about Point 16 through A Big Sur Affair

B.R. Cohn Winery 

Located in beautiful Sonoma County, B.R. Cohn Winery is the ideal location for an outdoor vineyard wedding in Northern California.

The winery offers stunning views of the Sonoma Mountains, and an elegant, relaxed environment for the couple who loves good wine and good company. 

The winery features several outdoor venues, but the Olive Grove and the Amphitheater are a cut above the rest. The Olive Grove features a 160-year-old Picholine olive tree that shades the entire space!

The site rental fee includes the use of the bride and groom suites, wood garden chairs and tables, VIP wine tasting for four people, one-hour ceremony rehearsal, and six hours of event time. 

Price Range: $10,000 and up.

Capacity: Up to 250 guests.

Find B.R. Cohn Winery at B.R. Cohn Winery or check out Facebook or Instagram.

The Newhall Nest

Craving a rooftop ceremony? Perched on a rooftop in San Francisco’s Financial District, the Newhall Nest provides a bird’s-eye view of the city’s skyscrapers and the famous San Francisco Bay.

The event venue includes a 2,000-square-foot roof deck that is perfect for an outdoor ceremony or reception. 

The Newhall Nest also includes indoor spaces for prep and relaxation. The roof deck offers a flexible layout that can be turned into your wedding dreams. It includes a commercial bar, bistro lighting, heat lamps, lounge furniture, A/V equipment, and spectacular views.

The venue can provide accommodation, but there are also many hotels in the area. 

Price Range: $4,000 and up.

Capacity: Up to 80 guests. 

Find the Newhall Nest at Newhall Nest or check out Facebook or Instagram

Bodega Bay Secret Gardens 

If you are seeking a fairytale wedding surrounded by overflowing greenery, hidden pathways, and redwood groves, then Bodega Bay Secret Gardens will make the magic happen. 

This garden venue is located about two hours north of San Francisco, in a coastal area famed for its towering redwood trees.

While the lush gardens are gorgeous year-round, April, May, and June bring abundant spring flowers, including camellias, daffodils, lilies, and native plants.

The owners take pride in their romantic gardens and will ensure that you have a lovely wedding day. 

Price Range: $11,000 for Sundays and midweek days.

Capacity: Up to 150 guests.

Find Bodega Bay Secret Gardens at Bodega Bay Secret Gardens or check out Facebook or Instagram

Slide Ranch

Picture spectacular views of the coastline, hills dotted with Coyote Brush, coastal fog far out on the ocean, and the sound of waves crashing on the rocks. You can experience all of this at Slide Ranch – one of California’s hidden gems.

Slide Ranch is a non-profit, located near Muir Beach, along beautiful Highway One. You can choose from three breathtaking venues: the Yurt, the Dome, and the Farm-to-Table Teaching Center.

These three gorgeous wedding venues offer unbeatable ceremony locations; however, the first two are best for intimate weddings. The Farm-to-Table Teaching Center is ideal for larger groups and includes a commercial kitchen. 

Price Range: $9,500 and up.

Capacity: Up to 150 people with rental of the Farm-to-Table Teaching Center plus the gardens.

Find Slide Ranch at Slide Ranch or check out Facebook or Instagram.

Saratoga Springs 

What makes Saratoga Springs so special is that you can have your entire wedding outdoors in natural event spaces designed exclusively for outdoor use.

But don’t worry, you won’t have trouble finding enough extension cables to power all of your lights! The beautiful mountain setting is perfect for a rustic wedding and your photos will look incredible in the dappled light. 

Located outside of San Jose, this stunning venue features gorgeous views of towering redwood trees, bubbling creeks, and fragrant bay trees.

The catered food is also incredible and will have your guests talking long after you have sent out your thank you cards. 

Price Range: $2,950 for Monday to Thursday plus a 75-person catering minimum.

Capacity: Up to 180 guests in the Cathedral Grove.

Find Saratoga Springs at Saratoga Springs or check out Facebook or Instagram

The Brazilian Room in Tilden Park 

Although technically indoors, the surrounding gardens and lush lawns of the Brazilian Room make it an incredible outdoor venue in Tilden Regional Park. Located in Berkeley, this venue is easily accessible from anywhere in the Bay Area

It features panoramic views of the forest and hills, a commercial kitchen, hardwood floors with a touch of history, air conditioning, furniture, and a large stone patio in the outdoor gardens.

The flagstone patio is an elegant space for wedding ceremonies and your guests can take in the beautiful views of the park from their chairs. 

Price Range: $672 and up.

Capacity: Up to 150 seated guests or 225 standing guests.

Find the Brazilian Room in Tilden Park at East Bay Regional Park District or check out Facebook or Instagram

Garrapata State Park 

If you are considering an elopement or a micro-wedding with sweeping views of the ocean, then Garrapata State Beach is the place for you. Located along Highway One, in Big Sur, this state park is a beautiful venue for an outdoor wedding. 

Picture rugged cliffs covered in wildflowers and succulents, sea mist catching the light, and views of the towering coastal mountains. Your wedding pictures will be simply incredible!

While it is possible to have a reception at Garrapata State Park, it is a better idea to choose a local hotel or restaurant such as the Big Sur Lodge. 

Price Range: From $400 for the state park use fee.

Capacity: Up to 25 guests. 

Find Garrapata State Park at Garrapata State Park

Mountain House Estate

Settled on 40 acres of oaks and rolling hills in Cloverdale, a beautiful town in California’s wine country, Mountain House Estate has several outdoor ceremony and reception spaces.

The Grove is an enchanting outdoor ceremony space that features wooden pews shaded by an ancient oak, clusters of redwoods, and sweeping pastoral views. This is one of the best summer wedding locations in Northern California!

This rustic wedding venue has many included services, but you are also allowed to bring in food trucks, alcohol, and other vendors of choice. 

Price Range: From $6,000 for up to 50 guests Monday to Thursday in low season.

Capacity: Up to 250 guests.

Find Mountain House Estate at Mountain House Estate or check out Facebook or Instagram

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