With so many incredible California venues to choose from, a lot of couples feel overwhelmed with the information overload. I know Napa Valley is one of the first locations that comes to mind if you’re thinking of a hillside vineyard wedding. Well, today I’m going to change your mind! Carmel Valley, about thirty minutes inland of Monterey, might be one of my absolute favorite wedding venue areas! Whether you’re looking for the beach (stunning beaches 15 miles away), a quiet forest retreat, or an incredible vineyard villa complete with rolling hills, Carmel Valley has it all. Here are five of the best Carmel Valley reception venues, with a little something for every vibe, budget, and style!
Joullian Vineyards and Winery, located in the heart of Carmel Valley Village, is the quintessential California winery. This venue offers sweeping views of the surrounding hills, with incredible golden sunsets and plenty of vineyard photos, of course! The Joullian has two different venue setting options: Venue in the Vines and The Tasting Room. Venue in the Vines is just as it sounds, an open-air location on a grass terrace surrounded by grapevine hills. The Tasting Room is a more intimate, indoor setting where guests are seated at one long table surrounded by barrels. Both are available year-round, so you can have your dream vineyard wedding on your perfect date!
With a long history as a vital part of Big Sur, Loma Vista Gardens will fulfill your whimsical forest wedding dreams. This remote, mixed-use outdoor space is home to a lively arts and music scene. It also plays host to a wide variety of unique flora and fauna for you to explore. Loma Vista’s romantic setting can accommodate up to 300 guests, so it’s the perfect spot for couples who want a woodsy wedding but don’t want to cut down the guest list! They also have some fun features, like a ‘getting ready yurt’ and a glass forest cube! With so many quirky spots, Loma Vista is definitely one of the best Carmel Valley reception venues.
Big Sur Lodge, situated in the heart of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, is perfect for the couple looking for a rustic Carmel Valley reception. If your dream wedding venue includes being surrounded by the majestic redwood trees, this venue is for you! Big Sur Lodge also has easy access to the stunning California coastline, the Big Sur river, and the Santa Lucian mountain range. It truly is one of those venues that has the best of everything! With two distinct wedding venues, the Redwood Patio and the Santa Lucia Room, couples can choose the spot that best suits them. One of my favorite parts of Big Sur Lodge is they even have on-site lodging in 62 cottage-style rooms. That way, everyone can dance the night away and not have to worry about driving to a hotel.
Incredibly elegant and situated in the countryside area of Hollister, CA, Léal Vineyards is another stunning vineyard wedding reception venue. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor or indoor venue, Léal has three exquisite spots to choose from. Lavanda is an outdoor space, with a lovely lavender scent that perfumes the air and a terrace that overlooks the crystal clear lake. Olea, another outdoor venue, is nestled at the top of a hill with sweeping views of the estate. Finally, The Barrel Room is Léal’s only indoor venue. The Barrel Room isn’t just a ballroom, however! It’s arched wooden doors welcome guests into a large space, where every wall is covered in rows of wine barrels.
Sparrow Valley Retreat is definitely the most secluded wedding venue on this list. About 20 minutes away from the Pacific coastline and close to Valencia Creek, this venue is an intimate, rustic retreat. Sparrow Valley Retreat accommodates up to 50 guests, so this outdoor haven is the perfect choice for micro-weddings and elopements! There are even some cabin-style accommodations for the newlyweds or an intimate ‘getting ready’ photo session. Look out for some surprises, like outdoor hot tubs and an outdoor redwood cathedral. Sparrow Valley Retreat is truly the ultimate relaxing getaway. It’s an ideal venue option for couples wanting a natural vibe for their wedding!
If you’re in the planning stages of your Carmel Valley wedding and would like to inquire about dates, fill out my contact form! In the meantime, here are some of my favorite natural park wedding venues to check out!