I had a conversation with a bride recently and she expressed her surprise at how similar many wedding venues were to each other. “They all seem to be the same thing over and over again: Ceremony on a lawn, reception in a ballroom, the ballrooms all look the same, rinse and repeat!” Though I believe that every venue is special and has their own amazing niche, I thought I’d write about some of my favorite venues in or close to Sacramento, CA that I feel are “out of the ordinary” and unique.
Nuzzled on a hill in the Capay Valley, Luna Lavender Farms is a short one hour drive from Sacramento, in Guinda, CA. The ceremony garden overlooks a one-of-a-kind view of Capay Valley and boasts mild late-afternoon temperatures during the summer as the sun starts to descend behind the propery’s mountain. Just recently, they added an event barn with industrial touches and a sitting area in the middle that is perfect for the bride and groom to sit at while people are giving their speeches. They also have a Lavender Bar option where you can provide small jars of lavender for your guests to take home. Last, but not least, their signature drink is the Lavender Lemon Drop, an original recipe by the owners, using lavender-infused ingredients straight from their farm.
Located in Old Sacramento. They have both indoor and outdoor dining space, with an intimate brick courtyard behind the restaurant. Portraits can be taken practically anywhere from the waterfront, to the Tower Bridge, or among the vintage buildings of Sacramento’s Historic District. And who says the fun has to end after the reception? Friends and family can continue the party at the famous Fanny Ann’s Saloon or at any of the other fun bars and restaurants within walking distance from the venue.
This intimate boutique estate has major “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” vibes! They have lush garden designs that are thick with trees and other foliage and a chateau that boasts elaborate bridal party suites for the entire wedding party. My favorite thing about this venue is a dance floor right in the middle of the garden and is engulfed by trees and market lights. Moments captured in this part of the garden always take my breath away! Located in Foresthill, CA, about a 40-minute drive from Sacramento, CA.
The Lodge at Blue Lakes is located in Lake County, a little less than 2 hours from Sacramento. This is one of my all-time favorite venues to have wedding appointments! The venue is not only on the waterfront, but you get SO CLOSE to the lake during your ceremony on the deck. The water glistens the entire time you’re getting married and view is just priceless. This venue also offers rental electric boats, kayaks, and SUPs and if the bride chooses, she can be taken to her ceremony by electric boat in front of all of her family and friends. Wedding guests can stay in one of the many affordable lake-front rooms and they have outdoor bbq kitchens if families want to make it an entire weekend adventure.
Waterfront venues are my favorite! The Lighthouse at Glen Cove Marina is one hour from Sacramento, in Vallejo, CA. Half of the venue itself is all windows that look out into the industrial East Bay and has lots of natural light spilling in from all directions. There is an upstairs apartment that is perfect for the bridal party to get ready and spend the night before. The East Bay weather is forgiving during the summer months, making this a great escape from the Sacramento summer heat.
Do you love Italian food as much as I do? Have your ceremony in front of their outdoor fireplace among the brick and wicker decor and then retreat to the Mirror Room where your guests can drink out of cobalt blue glasses and eat delicious meals prepared by the restaurant’s house chefs. One of their plated options is spaghetti with meatballs, which is super out of the ordinary these days. (And it’s delicious!) Located on J Street in the heart of Midtown Sacramento, this place sits among some of other greatest hits venues of the city!