Finding the perfect wedding venue can definitely take some time. And with everything from wineries, restaurants, and churches on the list of options, there's a whole world of possibilities. But what if you're dreaming of a rustic wedding and you live in or near a major city like San Francisco? Luckily, you still have gorgeous options.
Imagine a windswept bluff overlooking the Pacific, a sun-dappled forest grove ringed by towering redwoods, or even a country farm surrounded by lavender fields. These are just a few of the Bay Area's options with easy access to open spaces outside of San Francisco. From the beach to a farm or a forest, there is a dreamy rustic wedding venue out there that's perfect for you, and we have all the details. The following venues are perfect for the rustic-chic Northern California wedding of your dreams.
Timber Cove Inn
Two hours north of San Francisco in Jenner, on the Sonoma Coast, the Timber Cove Inn hosts rustic-chic oceanfront weddings for up to 120 people. Packages can include the use of the Ansel Adams events room with the redwood deck, the event lawn, and all 45 oceanfront guest rooms. Plus, there's a full-service restaurant on site. Guests can also enjoy hiking around the property, play bocce on a court overlooking the ocean, or watch the sunset and toast s'mores at a fire pit with a view of the Pacific.
Set along the waters of peaceful Tomales Bay, 12 miles north of Point Reyes Station, Nick's Cove is an idyllic spot for a rustic waterfront wedding. The venue can accommodate up to 120 people, with several spaces to choose from, including The Croft garden, or for smaller groups, the charming Boat Shack (a wooden structure at the end of the dock). Weddings of more than 50 people require a buy-out of the property, including the restaurant, Boat Shack, and all cottages—which by themselves are something truly special. There are 12 guest cottages (five of which are waterfront), which have king beds, wood-burning stoves, bathrooms with heated floors and claw foot tubs and private decks.
Nestldown is a 180-acre property set in the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With more than seven acres of landscaped lawns and gardens, plus 35 acres of orchards, there's plenty of space for up to 200 guests who are free to wander the extensive grounds. The ceremony space is set in a redwood grove that's often described as "magical" or "like a fairytale" because of its beauty and grandeur. There's an expansive meadow for cocktail hour or games, and a garden and barn for dinner and dancing. While the remote outdoor setting does mean guests have to walk a bit (golf cart shuttles are also available), it also ensures total privacy.
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch
Part restaurant, part winery, part working farm, Long Meadow Ranch is also the site of some of the Napa Valley's most beautiful rustic weddings. Ceremonies here can take place on the lawn surrounded by vineyards or in the Sensory Garden, where a small ivy-covered pergola is flanked by herbs and vegetables used in the restaurant's dishes. Dinner and dancing can take place in the barn or on the lawn, under strands of romantic lights. Plus, there's also a covered patio for wet weather and a fire pit to warm up guests on cooler nights.
Bear Flag Farm
Closer to Sacramento than San Francisco, Bear Flag Farm is just about one hour from the city, but surrounded by orchards, lavender fields, and grapevines, it's a stunning venue that's worth the drive. Ceremony spots include the cottage—complete with French doors—and an adjoining terrace or lawn; a 3,000-square-foot lawn in the lavender field; or out in the vineyards. Dinner and dancing can take place on the grand terrace, in a sycamore-ringed amphitheater, or under a tent on the vineyard lawn. Only one day-long event is allowed per weekend, which means couples have the staff's undivided attention, and vendors have plenty of time for set-up and tear down.
Located in Glen Ellen in the heart of Sonoma County, Beltane Ranch is a working winery and farm dotted with vineyards, fig trees, and herb gardens. There are five guest rooms on-site, plus a separate cottage, so it's a great space for those who want a rustic wedding and a tranquil place to stay. There are two lawns to choose from for an outdoor ceremony, and a small barn is the perfect setting for a rehearsal dinner or a reception for 60 people or less.
Just 12 miles over the Golden Gate Bridge, The Pelican Inn is a bit of old England in the Bay Area. With space for up to 100 people, it's also a great option for an intimate, rustic wedding close to the city. While some guests opt to have their ceremony at the Muir Beach overlook, on-site options include the inn's lawn—and for more intimate events—the Snug Room, a cozy space for up to 16 guests. For dinner and dancing, there's the lawn or the conservatory, a glassed-in space lit by candles, which can seat up to 50 guests. The property also has a pub, restaurant, and seven cozy bedrooms with private bathrooms.