How to Find the Best Wedding Venues in Northern California

A happy bride and groom walk down the aisle at our outdoor wedding venue in Nevada County

Tiffany Tullgren

February 1, 2022

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If you’re like most couples who are newly engaged, your head can start to feel like it’s spinning when you think of all that needs to be done to go from “engaged” to “newlywed.” Of course, the biggest item on that list is planning your dream wedding. It can be overwhelming and exciting, and there is much to consider.
Will you do a green wedding or a traditional celebration? Will it be an evening event with a formal sit-down dinner or an earlier celebration with a buffet banquet spread? And, perhaps most importantly, are you going to have a big or small guest list (or somewhere in between)? These and many more questions will need to be answered before considering what kind of venue would work best for your dream wedding.

Things to Consider When Choosing from Wedding Venues in Northern California

Having your wedding outside at a venue like the Rough & Ready Vineyards can offer a few things that an indoor wedding sometimes cannot. Outdoor venues provide:

  • A larger capacity for a bigger guest list.
  • A more casual atmosphere.
  • Fresh air with sunshine during the day.
  • Dancing under the stars at night.
  • Less need for decorations than indoor weddings
  • A more kid-friendly setting; your young guests have room to roam during and after the ceremony.
  • Natural lighting, which can make for stunning wedding photos.

First and Foremost, is There Enough Room for Your Guests?

Wedding photo taken at The Rough & Ready Vineyards by Athena Kalindi PhotographyYou want your guests to be comfortable. So consider the seating arrangements during the ceremony and the wedding reception. Also, keep in mind all the aspects you’d like to include, such as a dance floor, cake table, gift table, photo booth, and any unique elements you may want to add like a candy table, donut wall, or chocolate fountain.
Determining the size of your guest list will help set the tone for the type of wedding you have, and identifying all the elements you want to include in your celebration will give you a good idea of how big or small of a venue would work for your vision.

How Does it Look and Make You Feel?

The look and feel of a venue are very important. When you envision your decoration in the venue, will you see your dream environment, or do you see a decorated venue? Some places lend themselves to being decorated, and some can be transformed into a magical experience.
It may sound strange to ask what the place “feels” like, but it’s a valid question. When you visit the outdoor wedding venue, do you feel comfortable, relaxed, and like it’s easy to see it decorated in your theme and color? Does the space offer a good “flow” to your wedding plan, or does it feel like you would have to make many concessions to make the space work for you and your guests?
The last thing you want to be doing on your wedding day is managing the event in any way, shape, or form. This is YOUR day, and it should flow seamlessly so that all you have to do is enjoy time with your family, friends, and newly betrothed.

Convenient Parking?

Many venues are lovely but don’t have adequate parking for all your guests. If you have older relatives coming to your wedding or people needing ADA access, does your venue include easy access and ADA parking?
If your reception is in a different location than your ceremony, is there a convenient place to park your car so that it’s readily accessible for you and your new husband or wife to hop in after the ceremony? Is there adequate and convenient parking for your vendors like your caterer, DJ or band, photographer, and wedding planner?
At the Rough & Ready Vineyards, we have onsite parking, ADA access, as well as parking for your vendors that won’t take away from your guests.
Photo of a bride and groom enjoying their first dance by Athena Kalindi Photography

What’s Included in the Rental?

When choosing from the best wedding venues in northern california, you will often find a space that is inexpensive and seemingly perfect, but nothing is being included in the rental other than the facility itself. That can seem like the less expensive way to go, but often that is not the case.
If the venue doesn’t offer tables and chairs in the rental, then you’ll have to plan to order those separately. Often you can find a venue where the tables and some simple or metal chairs are included. Will those work with the theme of your wedding, or will you have to rent higher-quality tables and chairs anyway?
Does the venue offer rentals of décor and linens, or will those things have to come from separate vendors as well? Sometimes the one-stop-shop approach can save you time, money, and stress when it comes to putting together your wedding day.

Venue Customer Service?

So many venues will give you the tour of their grounds, offer you their pricing, and then once you book, “hand you the keys,” and then you’re on your own.
Look for venues that offer more customer interaction to ensure that your day will go off without a hitch. The last thing you want to be doing is trying to reach a maintenance person for your venue during your wedding or reception.
Search for a venue with customer support all the way from signing your contract to the day itself. You want a venue whose staff will be there in person on your big day. That way, if an issue arises, YOU are not the one to deal with it at all! That responsibility will fall to your venue manager, and you can just sit back and enjoy the day, knowing you’re in good hands no matter what!

Rough & Ready Vineyards – One of the Best Wedding Venues in Northern California

At the Rough & Ready Vineyards, we offer wedding packages that include a wedding coordinator. Your wedding coordinator can help you just on the day of your wedding, or she can help you with your planning all the way through so that you can sit back and enjoy the day, knowing you’re in good hands no matter what!

Call or text us at 530-432-7375 to schedule your complimentary guided tour of our outdoor wedding venue.

We’d love to help you plan your wedding day, your way, at Rough & Ready Vineyards!

Have you been looking for picturesque wedding venues in Northern California that are affordable and flexible with packages, vendors, and bar requirements? Maybe you want a relaxed and easy weekend, so you can enjoy every memorable moment with everything in one location. Learn more by choosing an option below:

Tiffany Tullgren

Written by Tiffany Tullgren

As Venue Manager for the Rough & Ready Vineyards, Tiffany has a genuine love and passion for planning and organizing weddings. She shares, “Being able to create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your guests is so rewarding. I enjoy making your dream wedding day come true!” Tiffany specializes in personalizing wedding services for each client and handling stressful event situations with grace.

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