You’ve thought about your wedding day your whole life. Now, you’re finally getting ready to plan that very special event. One of the first things you’ll need to do is decide where you’ll get married and host your reception. Will be on a quiet beach, in a vineyard, a big back yard, a ballroom, or ? Weddings can be held almost everywhere with wineries and vineyards being very popular. Ceremonies are frequently done at the same site as the reception; often the ceremony will be held outside at one site, and move (but on the same property) so the reception is done indoors. Many ceremonies are still done in churches and/or temples with receptions are being held anywhere. In this article I’ll mention a few beautiful wedding venues near Carmel, California. This part of the California coastline is beautiful with charming B & B’s, wineries, hotels and great places for your nuptials. There are also historic churches for your ceremony, lovely beaches and scores of other areas to celebrate your special day.
The first beautiful wedding venue is L’Auberge Carmel, a boutique hotel located in downtown Carmel-by-the- Sea. This European style hotel has only 20 guestrooms and was built in 1929. It’s totally renovated and boasts rooms with large bathrooms with radiant heating, many with soaking tubs. The highlight of the hotel is their small eatery, Aubergine, which has a 4,500-bottle wine cellar. Both the restaurant and the hotel have won numerous awards such as “Top Ten New Restaurants in the US,” Conde Nast Traveler’s “Gold List,” and Travel and Leisure’s “World’s Best Hotel List.” The L’Auberge website boasts “Romantic, charming, intimate are words that perfectly describe the Coupe de Marriage package at L’Auberge Carmel.” They actually have several different packages and you can reserve the entire hotel for your exclusive use; they can accommodate 40 persons based on double occupancy. If you spend your wedding night at L’Auberge, you’ll find your bed topped with a handmade French wedding quilt. A wedding coordinator will assist in all of the details of your wedding. (Visit laubergecarmel.com.com for details.)
Another beautiful wedding site is the Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club. With 850 acres of lush gardens, lakes, rolling meadows and a beautiful golf course, the resort is situated on the sunny side of the Monterey Peninsula. This resort has 11 indoor and outdoor venues for both your ceremony and reception and they can handle up to 1000 guests. At Mallard Lake, which has a bridge with fountains at either end, you can repeat your vows on the bridge itself, or you may choose the Covey Deck which extends over the lake. Imagine arriving for your wedding in a horse drawn carriage. In addition to an excellent restaurant featuring contemporary California cuisine, you’ll find a more casual restaurant at the 19th hole which is perfect for pre or post-nuptial parties. All full catering staff will work with you to create a special menu for your day. A full service spa, golf shop, swimming pool and other amenities are also available at the Quail Lodge Resort. (Please visit quaillodge.com for more information.)
The next beautiful wedding venue is actually located in Carmel Valley, a picturesque community a short way from Carmel. It’s a six-acre estate called the Holly Farm which features 49 huge holly trees lining the driveway of the property. It began as a hacienda style building with four bedrooms and three bathrooms but now has a large sunken living room, a full size kitchen, a dining room seating 25 persons, and a patio with a fountain. Another private bungalow is kept private from the main building by an adobe wall covered with vines. Then, there is the Banana Cabana located at the end of a tropical garden path. This redwood bungalow features a wrap-around porch and island-style décor with bamboo curtains and futons. Their beautiful tropical gardens can hold up to 200 persons and if you want a larger gathering, you can get married on the large lawn with its farm style windmill. Plan your al fresco reception at the Carriage House with its stone bar and plenty of room for dancing. Up to 22 guests can stay at the Holly Farm and there are several other places nearby to handle extra guests. The culinary staff uses only organic produce and will help create a menu for your wedding meal. (Check out hollyfarm.com for additional information)
Many wedding venues book up very quickly, sometimes 18 to 24 months in advance. The Carmel area is very popular so you may need even more time. Please be sure to reserve your site as early as possible.
There are many more beautiful wedding venues in the Carmel region. These are just a few places to help you get started in looking at the various sites in this area.