Mountain House Estate is a gorgeous Redwoods wine-country wedding venue near the Bay Area with lots of rustic charm.

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here’s why you’ll love mountain house estate:

– 40 private acres with rolling hills & redwood/oak trees
– your wedding, your way. byob & byo vendors (including food trucks)
– outdoor and indoor ceremony and reception locations
– gorgeous dressing suites
– custom-designed lighting, decor & rentals
– unlimited photo opportunities
– monthly payment options (not many venues do this)

Mountain House Estate takes you into a new world, far from the city’s hustle and bustle, and allows you to relax and enjoy an exclusive wedding experience. 

Mountain House Estate Wedding Venues Northern CaliforniaJillian + Justin fell in love with wine country & are San Francisco residents.

29 oak tree terrace rustic mountain house estate weddingi venues northern californiaOur recommended photographers will go above & beyond to get the perfect shot!

0000 oasis hangout bridal suite rustic mountain house estate wedding venues northern californiaThe Oasis (bridal suite) at Mountain House Estate

23 oak tree terrace rustic mountain house estate weddingi venues northern californiaA great photo opportunity outside of our Oak Tree Terrace

2 food trucks mountain house estate wedding venues northern californiaFood trucks at our wedding venue

41 photo opportunities rustic mountain house estate weddingi venues northern californiaMore photo opportunities at Mountain House Estate

37 photo opportunities rustic mountain house estate weddingi venues northern californiaYes – another unique photo opportunity on our property!

14 dining seating rustic mountain house estate weddingi venues northern california

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A wedding at Mountain House Estate is the best way to have the ultimate wedding experience without compromise. 

You will be happy and walk away with a lifetime of memories. That’s why we don’t have to use crazy sales tactics, slash pricing, or other desperate measures that some venues do to lure you in.

We wish you all the luck and love in the world in finding the perfect venue + your happily ever after 🧡

Keep reading if you want to learn about some considerations for having your wedding in or near the Bay Area.

When you begin your search for Bay Area wedding venues, you might feel overwhelmed with all the considerations to consider.

In this article, I will share the benefits of a wedding venue outside the metro Bay area.

The perfect “local destination wedding” location

Let’s first define a destination wedding; any wedding in you and your guests have the choice to stay overnight because you are 1-3 hours from your home. So having your wedding in the North Bay, East Bay, or South Bay can technically be a destination wedding, depending on the traffic.

A local destination wedding near the Bay Area allows your guests to choose to stay overnight or not. 

What if you want a wedding within an hour and a half from San Francisco? You don’t have to stay overnight here. Wedding guests who aren’t dancing the night away can get home at a reasonable time.

However, we think reserving a block of rooms in a good hotel and giving your guests a fun list of local activities before or after your wedding can give them the ultimate experience.

You can let them know what you plan to do before or after your wedding day and even include them in the activities.

A local Bay Area wedding allows you to create unforgettable memories with your closest wedding guests.

A local destination wedding near Sonoma offers you coastal and inland experiences, giving you the best of both worlds. Here’s a quick overview of some of our favorite things:

Our favorite things to do on the Sonoma Coast

– Visit historic Fort Ross

– Check out the rock formations and beach at Sonoma Coast State Park: Schoolhouse Beach, Portuguese Beach & Goat Rock Beach

– Hike at Bodega Head

– Whale watching between January – May

– Hike at Sea Ranch

Our favorite things to do in Inland Sonoma County

– Visit Florence Avenue in Sebastopol

– Walk through the Sonoma Plaza

– Tour the Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma

– Gawk at the redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

– Visit Cornerstone Sonoma (Marketplace offering shops, casual dining, picturesque gardens & winery & distillery tasting rooms)

– Take a stroll through downtown Petaluma (Victorian-era buildings, antiquing, riverfront dining, etc.)

– Go wine tasting and antiquing in Healdsburg (excellent restaurants, wine tasting rooms, boutique shopping, antiques, spas, museums, etc.)

Our favorite places to eat in Sonoma County

– Oakville Market for a great deli lunch

– The Barlow (an outdoor market made up of over 30 restaurants, cafes, and other merchants in Sebastopol)

– Fishetarian Fish Market (Fish & chips, chowder & other favorites, served with beer in a waterfront market with picnic tables.)

– The girl & the fig (upscale and diet-friendly)

– Diavola Pizzeria

– Amy’s Drive-Thru (yes, like the brand of vegetarian mac & cheese that you either love or hate at your local California grocery store)

– Catelli’s (upscale Italian with a twist)

And we can’t talk about Sonoma experiences without talking about wine country.

Our favorite wine-tasting areas are Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. There are tons of tasting rooms within the city and bay views, but it doesn’t compare to a few days in wine country (just our opinion ). Click here to view our favorite wineries.

Metropolitan Bay Area event spaces usually aren’t “event only.”

Event spaces that aren’t venue-only (hotels, wineries, golf courses, museums, restaurants, etc.) make your wedding an afterthought. Their real reason for hosting weddings – to sell your guests their primary business – for wineries, get your guests on their wine club list.

For hotels, it’s to sell rooms. For museums, it’s to increase their guest count. Each has its priorities, and it’s not your special day.

Metro wedding venues may not be the most distinct or breathtaking backdrop for your wedding or engagement photos.

Something else to consider about the best wedding venues is your wedding photography. After your wedding is said and done, your photography is the most important visual way to reflect on your wedding. You could hire the best wedding photographer in the world, highly rated by Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Martha Stewart Weddings.

But if you don’t have a beautiful backdrop, your wedding photos will look just like everyone else’s photos taken at that location, such as San Francisco City Hall, the Palace of Fine Arts, or the San Francisco Mint.

Most venues in the Bay Area can’t prioritize your big day (and they aren’t as experienced in weddings).

The best California wedding venues are just that; wedding venues. Not wineries, restaurants, bars, golf courses, museums, etc.

And here’s yet another consideration: because these businesses double as Bay Area venues, places like the San Francisco City Hall are “wedding mills,” AKA afterthought venues, AKA the Walmart of weddings.

In other words, you’re given an exact time to be in and out.

If you’re running late, stuck in traffic, or a vendor is late, tough luck.

Expect to be pushed and rushed.

Or, like a hotel or some other venues, other events may occur during yours, which can get hectic.

Recently we heard about two events with timelines ending at the same time. This dumped everyone into the parking lots together, where the resulting traffic jam resulted in fists flying.

Here’s the harsh reality of having your wedding at some public California wedding venues and outdoor event spaces in the Bay Area.

Their primary focus will always be their members or whatever they’re selling. For instance, they’ll force you to use golf equipment (like golf clubs and towels) and in-house catering at a golf course.

All-inclusive wedding venue/catering packages reduce your wedding planning time expenditure and your ability to customize and match your wedding vision.

If you get married at a venue such as a golf course in the Bay Area, will it be closed to the public and members during your wedding?

Here’s the harsh reality about winery venues in the Bay and elsewhere.

First and foremost, their focus is on making and selling wine. Your big day is not their main priority.

Most wineries are owned by a giant, multinational corporation that makes tens of thousands of wine cases under multiple brand names. At wineries, dozens of people work to make tens of thousands of wine cases that are then forklifted into semi-trucks and shipped across the country. It’s busy and noisy.

When you tour a winery for your wedding, you’re unlikely to meet with someone who specializes in weddings.

This person is usually a winery employee with the title of event manager, or wedding coordinator, who has to check with their managers if you have any special requests or needs for your wedding day.

A winery wedding venue wants to sell wine to you and your wedding guests (which is a no-brainer when you think about it).

So why do wineries host weddings? They want to sell wine to you. Most wineries will quote you a low wedding venue fee but require you to buy their wine to serve your guests. And many don’t allow beer or any outside beverages.

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How do you feel about wedding crashers?

Winery weddings are famous for them. Hundreds of stories about the public innocently crashing expensive weddings at wineries.

Mountain House Estate has one of the best microclimates in the area. 

Before you even set off for a wedding venue tour, google the average temperature, rainfall, wind, and other climate factors.

When you arrive, ask the venue to see how knowledgeable they are. For instance, you’ll notice that our climate information is for Yorkville here at Mountain House Estate.

Our address is Cloverdale, but our weather is more similar to Yorkville.

Our mailing address is Cloverdale, but we are almost 1,000 feet above Cloverdale and located right on the mountain pass (Mountain House – get it?) between Alexander Valley and Anderson Valley.

We have a unique microclimate that is most like Yorkville to our west rather than Cloverdale, Geyserville, and Healdsburg to our south.

We’ll be 10 degrees cooler on a hot summer than in the valley. Meaning your cocktail hour on our outdoor patio will be a breeze! Speaking of…

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Having your ceremony and reception at Mountain House Estate is a breeze. 

It wasn’t until we lived here that we understood the uniqueness of our microclimate. As Mountain House Estate is the mountain pass at 1,220’ in elevation on Highway 128, from here to the Mendocino Coast is downhill.

It’s a 1.5-hour drive to Mendocino’s artist community.

It’s a gorgeous drive and a winding valley the entire way. This provides a cooling breeze on many summer afternoons.

And we’re far enough away from the coast that we don’t get much fog.

Here are some climate considerations – because crazy high winds and your hair/makeup won’t get along. 

Okay, this section might be a tad boring to some of you. Still, we’re serious; the weather is so drastically varying in all parts of the Greater Bay Area that we want you to know what you’re getting yourself into, from the smell of garlic lingering in the air to wild gusts of wind.

If you want to skip this section, the gist is that fog, rain, cold weather, congested narrow roads, smog, and other factors can interrupt or ruin your special day.

Because of the greater Bay Area’s proximity to the ocean and mountains, hills, valleys, and other geographic features, every part of the greater Bay Area has its unique microclimate.

Bay Area Peninsula

The days are typically warm and mild, but the cold, damp fog moves into many areas at night.

San Francisco

It is known for its cold foggy nights when the wind blows through the Golden Gate Bridge.

East Bay

Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Hayward, Fremont, Martinez, and Alamo are along the waterfront. These areas are subject to the Bay’s coastal influence, so breezy and chilly evenings are a reality.

Silicon Valley

San Jose and Santa Clara get some coastal influence from the finger of San Francisco Bay that touches the South Bay, but this coastal influence is cut off by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the south, except along the Hwy 101 corridor.

Highway 101 goes through a mountain pass towards Morgan Hill, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, and Gilroy to the Greater Bay Area Southern Inland.

The further down this valley you go, the dustier and warmer it will be in the summer.

It goes from warm to scorching hot because it’s further away from the Bay and ocean influence.

It’s dustier because the fields are tilled in the summer for the crops in this agricultural area.

Hollister and the surrounding area are famous for their earthquakes, averaging about two per day of a magnitude 1.5 or higher.

North Bay San Francisco

Coastal Marin and Sonoma County offer scenic rolling hills and some ocean views. But with the ocean’s influence comes the colder evenings and damp fog. The Highway 101 corridor from the Golden Gate Bridge to Petaluma influences The Bay.

Petaluma was once known for chicken ranches and dairies – and still has a few.

You can see the cows grazing on the hillsides. But remember, with cows comes odor and flies.

Napa has its coastal influence due to the Napa Valley.

Because of the Napa River and the Napa Valley that runs up to Calistoga, fog can get trapped in the valley; it’s the reason they planted grapes there in the first place.

But moisture and condensation may not be great for your hair, makeup, and wedding photography.

The coastal influence moderates as you move up the Napa Valley to St. Helena, Rutherford, and Calistoga.

A wedding in Napa creates many other challenges. (←  You need to read this if you’re considering a Napa Wedding Venue).

Monterey Bay, CA

This area is essentially a bowl rimmed by mountains. Overall, it has a lovely climate and excellent diversity, from Redwood trees to sandy beaches.

Santa Cruz, Aptos, and La Selva Beach, CA

Anytime you get close to the coast, you get coastal influence. This is great because it moderates temperatures. Some areas are known for, and love, their fog – La Selva Beach, for instance. In the afternoons, the fog will come full across Highway 1.

I hate wildfires, but it needs to be mentioned here.

Much of the area above Santa Cruz burned in 2020, including Felton, Boulder Creek, and Ben Lomond.

Side note: having a wedding anywhere around Santa Cruz, and you’ll have to deal with the substantial homeless population. Most aren’t aggressive but don’t walk alone if you are female.

Monterey County is home to Castroville, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Cannery Row, Big Sur, and Monterey.

Carmel Valley has the best climate of all of these locations because it’s a valley that doesn’t empty into another area.

The wind isn’t an issue. But there are two downsides to consider:

It’s a tourist attraction that results in many tourists wandering around with cameras; bumbling, oblivious foot traffic comes with that. You’ll know what I mean when you get trapped behind them on the one-lane roads.

It’s where the rich and famous live – it’s expensive—hotels, food, experiences, and everything costs extra. Fill up your gas tank before you get to Carmel Valley, or you’ll reach deep into your pockets.

Sonoma, CA

Just follow Highway 101 north through Santa Rosa, Larkfield, and Windsor, where you will enter Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, and Dry Creek Valley.

This area is close enough to the Pacific Ocean for temperature moderation but not affected by inland valleys that cause daily wind, as you see at the Altamont Pass, as evidenced by the wind turbines.

Even better, corporate wineries like Napa haven’t overrun the area. And you can still find reasonably priced hotels. Unless you want to get fancy and stray at the Macarthur Place (around $700/night)

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How do we know so much about all of the different microclimates within the Bay Area?

Hi, John here, owner of Mountain House Estate wedding venue :) So how do I know about these different areas? Why do I give this advice? I grew up in Santa Cruz County, Watsonville, and Aptos (Corralitos).

My grandparents lived in Santa Cruz.

We rode horses into Felton, Corralitos, the Santa Cruz mountains, and Loma Prieta.

Later in life, I got a job in Livermore and commuted to San Leandro – ick. I traveled weekly through a significant portion of the state.

Later, I had real estate offices in Marina, Monterey, and Carmel, where we serviced Big Sur, Carmel Valley, Pebble Beach, Laguna Seca, and Seaside. I lived in Carmel and Marina – just north of Fort Ord.

So later in life, I had a choice, where do I want to live?

I got out a map, crossed off areas I had visited and didn’t care for (high humidity, tornadoes, snow, metroplexes, desert), and decided I wanted to stay in the Bay Area, specifically in Mendocino county. And here I am.

Don’t tell anyone; I’m trying to keep the secret of this beautiful place to myself.

Northern California is home to many gorgeous wedding venues.

Northern California is home to many gorgeous wedding venues. Whether you’re looking for a grand, traditional setting or something more intimate and modern, there’s an ideal location waiting for you.

Wente Vineyard

One of the Bay Area’s most popular wedding venues, Wente Vineyard, is located in Livermore, CA. The vineyards have been passed down from generation to generation. Wente Vineyard is an authentic California experience with award-winning wines served on the premises in its cozy setting.

Fort Mason Center

Fort Mason Center is a premiere Bay Area wedding venue in San Francisco. This Fort Mason location has outdoor and indoor spaces, which provide the perfect setting for your special day. The beauty of this Bay Area location is that it has access to stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, which will make your wedding pictures one-of-a-kind. This Fort Mason venue also offers catering services.

Guglielmo Winery | Outdoor Party Venue

The Guglielmo Winery is a perfect place for couples looking for Bay Area wedding venues. This winery has elegant architecture that comprises a traditional Tuscan-style villa and vineyards.

Rancho Room | Gorgeous Views

The Rancho Room is a beautiful, spacious venue. This room has high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light to flood in.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco | East Bay Wedding Venues

The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is one of the most famous Bay Area wedding venues and has much to offer. The hotel’s architecture makes for an elegant setting that will make any bride feel like a princess. This is the perfect place for couples who want their wedding to be in a city with all its cultural attractions but have that laid-back California vibe.

Berkeley City Club | Eastbay Wedding Venues

The Berkeley City Club is a historic venue in downtown Berkeley’s heart. With its grand ballroom and stunning views, it’s no wonder this location has been the perfect place for many happy couples to tie the knot.

The Presidio Cafe – Presidio Golf Course & Clubhouse Country Club | Party Venue Bay Area

This is one of San Francisco’s favorite golf courses, so if golf is a must on your wedding day, this is a venue to consider.

Hacienda de las Flores | Top Wedding Venues Bay Area

The first thing that springs to mind when looking for a Bay Area wedding venue is San Francisco. But there are so many other options! If you want something different and exciting but still close to home, we recommend checking out Hacienda de las Flores in Contra Costa County.

Willow Heights Mansion | Wedding Venues in the Bay Area California

Willow Heights Mansion is a beautiful, serene, intimate venue in Santa Clara County. The mansion has been an icon, and it’s no doubt why – the architecture is stunning. It is a magical place for those seeking an intimate and romantic wedding.

Woodside Restaurant | Wedding Venues in Bay Area CA

Woodside Restaurant is a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere for your event. The restaurant’s rustic charm and old-world flare make it the perfect backdrop for any wedding ceremony or celebration.

Willow Springs Vineyard

Terrace Winery (The Terraces) | Wedding Reception Venues in the Bay Area

Terrace Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located in Napa Valley. The Terrace, with its rolling hills and vineyards, offers a picturesque setting for your wedding experience.

La Hacienda Morgan Hill Restaurant/Wedding Venue

La Hacienda Morgan Hill is a restaurant/wedding venue with breathtaking views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Located in rural Morgan Hill, this historic ranch offers onsite ceremony sites, reception styles, and elegant accommodations for your wedding guests.

Mountain Terrace at Woodside | Affordable Wedding Venues in the Bay Area

This gorgeous wedding venue offers stunning Redwood trees and natural beauty. It’s located in Woodside, CA.

Most couples are searching for Bay Area wedding venues and also looking in other nearby areas.

It’s easy to see why couples are interested in Bay Area wedding venues. The area is filled with beautiful scenery, many activities and so much more!

The Bay Area offers some of Northern California’s most romantic and beautiful wedding venues. Whether you’re searching for a location with an urban feel or something more rural, there are many options.

Woodside, CA (California)

Woodside, CA, is a town located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Woodside has many attractions for couples searching for wedding venues, including hiking trails and other outdoor recreation opportunities.

Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA, is known for its urban feel, which makes it an excellent destination for weddings. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding in the Bay Area, Oakland is home to many parks and open spaces that are perfect for tying the knot.

Oakland is also home to many unique wedding venues, including museums, restaurants, and hotels that are great for hosting a wedding reception or ceremony. The Oakland Museum of California

San Jose, CA

San Jose is not too far from San Francisco. It is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The city has a lot of hotels, restaurants, and bars that can accommodate any group size.

Napa, CA

Napa is famous for its wine, but it’s also a beautiful place to get married. Although we think there are better and more options in Sonoma, we understand that some people want to get married in Napa for sentimental reasons.

Half Moon Bay, CA

Half Moon Bay is a small coastal city in San Mateo County, California. It is located on the Pacific coast near the mouth of the Pajaro River and is a very earthy place to host your wedding.

Morgan Hill, CA

Morgan Hill, CA, is a city with a rich history, and the Morgan Hill Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving that history. The museum features exhibits on early California life. The museum also features several special events, including an annual Santa Lucia Festival and the Fiesta de Morgan Hill.

What is the best way to narrow my search for Bay Area wedding venues?

The best way to search for Bay Area wedding venues is to think about the kind of wedding you want, and what your budget is, and then search through our website. You can search Google or the Knot for other wedding venues if we’re not a good fit.

What are some things that I should consider when looking at outdoor wedding venues Bay Area?

The weather is an essential consideration when searching for outdoor wedding venues in the Bay Area. Does the venue have a backup plan for rain or will you have to purchase extra tents? Think carefully before you narrow down wedding venues in Bay Area outdoors.

Redwood Wedding Venues in the Bay Area

Nestled among the ancient California Redwoods in San Francisco and Berkeley, CA, is a world of lush green scenery that will make any bride feel like she has finally found her happy place.

In the Bay Area, there are several beautiful destinations for those looking to tie the knot among these ancient trees. Whether you’re set on an indoor or outdoor ceremony and reception venue, the Bay Area is sure to provide the perfect setting for your special day.