Top FAQ’s from Wedding Couples like You

From one of the Top California BYOB Wedding Venues

Mountain House Estate is located seven miles west of Cloverdale on Hwy 128, heading towards the coast.  We advise that you use “Mountain House Estate” for your GPS search rather than a street address. Some mapping programs are incorrect and we want you and your guests to arrive at our wedding venue without difficulty.

Yes! Mountain House Estate was conceived, designed and constructed to be a gorgeous wine country wedding and event venue. Prior to obtaining a building permit, a Major Use Permit UR 2014-0006, expiring in 2034, was obtained from the County of Mendocino in California. In addition, Mountain House Estate is licensed and insured. The permit details the approved uses for the site and includes hours of operation, types of business activities that are allowed, maximum size, type and the total quantity of allowed events.

But why is this important to me?
If a wedding venue doesn’t have these permits, it’s not operating legally and any event it hosts is at risk, which may result in the venue being closed. These closures by governmental agencies happen without warning, resulting in the cancellation of events with no regard to paid deposits or impending event dates. This has happened to several other venues located near us in California wine country and weddings have been relocated to our venue.

All-inclusive is a big buzzword these days! We are venue-only but have lots of lighting, chairs, tables, and more that are included. We do not specialize in cookie-cutter, all-inclusive weddings. Rather, we focus on making sure that each couple has an individual, unique wedding experience. We make this experience possible by allowing couples to choose their own vendors that can make their dream wedding happen. Many of our wedding couples work with a planner closely to bring their wedding vision to life. However, we do work closely with a company that can make an “all-inclusive” wedding happen for you if you prefer that.

Our wine country wedding venue can hold a maximum of 250 people.

We reserve our wedding venue just for you and your guests on your special day during your celebration.

BYOB and no corkage fees. You can bring your own beer, wine and liquor. Properly licensed and insured bartending staff is required for all bartending services. We are proud to be one of the few California BYOB wedding venues.

The standard event end-time is 10:00 pm. If you’d like to celebrate into the wee hours, you can extend as late as 2:00 am!

Once you’ve booked your wedding at our venue, we will provide you with an extensive list of recommended local vendors. These vendors have worked at our wedding venue multiple times and earned the right to be on our list by taking excellent care of our guests.

Yes! With one of our full-day options, you may schedule your rehearsal 30-days prior to your wedding.

It is not included in our price, but yes, we can coordinate shuttle service for your wedding!

We do have a designated smoking area called The Smokin’ Olive for you and your guests.

Yes, we have plenty of parking for you and your guests. Plus, it’s private and gated.

What’s unique about our wine country wedding venue is that we have both indoor and outdoor options. In case of rain, the indoor space can comfortably seat up to 124 at tables. With larger groups, you have the option to rent a tent. In the case of heat, the indoor space is air-conditioned and we provide some market umbrellas to create shade on the patio or lawn. As with rain, tents can also provide shade options in various areas for your celebration.

 

Absolutely! We have two prep rooms included with your full-day rental of the venue – The Oasis and The Hangout. The Oasis is available at 10:00 am for the wedding party to begin preparations and The Hangout is available at noon. The Oasis has four makeup stations, many mirrors, including a full-size tri-fold mirror, a private bathroom with an enviable closet designed for your wedding dress, and much more.

Mountain House Estate is the perfect wedding venue to accommodate those who smoke or vape. We have an area called The Smokin’ Olive Lounge. This area includes wine barrels with table tops and umbrellas, bistro lighting, and an 8’ long ‘cigar bar’ where you can have custom hand-rolled cigars prepared for your guests. Smoking and vaping are allowed in this area only.

Yes, and we’re one of the few California wine country wedding venues that do allow food trucks. We have a concrete pad area, easily accessible to guests, where multiple food trucks can park. In addition, we have a second area that we call the ‘show-off kitchen’, which can accommodate additional trailers, BBQs, paella preparation, wood-fired pizza ovens, fresh-made donuts, or photo booths just to name a few options.

Yes! With a full-day rental, we will provide active military members with a $500 discount.

Yes. We offer reduced rates between the months of November and March.

Your guests will most likely choose an Airbnb, VRBO or motel for their weekend stay. The areas they might choose from would be as far North as Ukiah, West as far as Mendocino, East as far as Cloverdale, and South as far as Santa Rosa. Our wedding venue is in a rural area in wine country with the closest town being Cloverdale, about 15 minutes away.  Healdsburg is only 30 minutes away, and Windsor is about 45 minutes away.

No, but we have a lodging option right next door for your convenience :)

We allow fur babies on a case-by-case basis :)

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Yes. Scroll down the page to see all of our amenities and inclusions.

We don’t have any hidden fees. We also offer monthly payment options to make it easier for you. We do require insurance, but it’s a small cost.

Definitely! We actually have sound across the property to create a magical and immersive experience.

  • We have many memorable photo opportunities around the property including a 1932 Ford truck with wine barrels, a vintage flatbed truck 1937 Chevy with a 12′ bed for pictures of larger groups (once a prune plum truck from Cloverdale), 1941 Ford tractor stationed at the vegetable garden with the seat moved back to accommodate wedding dresses, a Windmill, custom wood and wrought iron arch on the pathway leading to Oak Grove (made from upcycled redwood trees), a wrought iron topper (recycled), Adirondack chairs are set around the pond, so photographers can use them for pictures no matter where the sun is, rock seating areas, barn with vintage hubcap collection (Most hubcaps are from automobile brands that no longer exist from the 1920s to 1960s). Blooming vegetable and flower gardens, Gorgeous orchards, The orchard (features many fruits, citrus, and nut trees, including chestnuts, cane berry, blackberry, blueberries, kumquat, and pomegranate), balcony overlooking the patio, gorgeous trees, and landscaped gardens, vineyards, an open field, a large pond with floating up-lit fountain, small lighted fountain by the front doors with multiple pools and a waterfall, The Grove, An oak grove with bench and wine barrel privacy fence, the rustic arch near The Grove (This area features a bench movable by photographers to set up the perfect photo in the oak trees or the surrounding fields. A wall of wine barrels stacked two high provides a unique image, engagement, or elopement backdrop.), The Oasis, and The Hangout. Just to name a few!
– services and amenities at our sonoma ca wedding venue

Choosing a Sonoma wedding venue is one of the most complex and important decisions you will make for your wedding. Our goal is to make Mountain House Estate the most straightforward choice with up-front pricing and no hidden fees. Our Estate’s natural, built-in beauty combined with luxury inclusions furthers your wedding budget since you don’t have to dress up our space to make it unforgettable. Keep reading to see our included amenities, services, and more.

Included Services Saving You Up to $12,000 (and Peace of Mind)

  • You have exclusive use of our 40 acres (priceless). Exclusive use of all ceremony and reception locations. No other weddings on your day.
  • We accept monthly payments. Not many venues offer this. We accept all forms of payment, including credit cards. There’s a $1500 first payment, and the others are divided over the months until the wedding. Most couples simply put in their form of payment, and each month the payment is automatically billed. The last payment is the $1500 security deposit made 30 days before the wedding. This amount is fully refundable as provided in our Agreement.
  • We are BYOB (even spirits). Bring your own, including spirits (aka hard liquor): no corkage fee, no necessary purchases. Serving hard alcohol (mixed drinks only) requires shuttles to be provided for all your guests for their safety and your liability. Unlike other venues like wineries, we do not have a public tasting room where you have to pay additional amounts for the winery to close during your event. Worse than that, some wineries try to sell your guests wine or ask them to sign them up for a wine club. We believe it’s your wedding, not their sales opportunity.
  • We have a state-of-the-art event planning platform at no cost to youWe use Allseated, a software you and your wedding planner can use to create floor plans to scale, seating charts, tables, chairs, decor, manage guest lists, and much more. It’s so easy to use and doesn’t cost you a penny.
  • We have a carefully curated list of wedding professionals and allow you to bring in your vendors of choice. Vendors must earn this way onto our list based on professionalism, licenses, insurance, and how they’ve treated our past couples, guests, and other vendors. Clients can choose vendors not on the list but should discuss it with us first. Some vendors have been here and done subpar work. We keep notes of the good and the bad. Our goal is to allow you the freedom to choose while providing accurate information.
  • We have many memorable photo opportunities around the property including a 1932 Ford truck with wine barrels, a vintage flatbed truck 1937 Chevy with a 12′ bed for pictures of larger groups (once a prune plum truck from Cloverdale), 1941 Ford tractor stationed at the vegetable garden with the seat moved back to accommodate wedding dresses, a Windmill, custom wood and wrought iron arch on the pathway leading to Oak Grove (made from upcycled redwood trees), a wrought iron topper (recycled), Adirondack chairs are set around the pond, so photographers can use them for pictures no matter where the sun is, rock seating areas, barn with vintage hubcap collection (Most hubcaps are from automobile brands that no longer exist from the 1920s to 1960s). Blooming vegetable and flower gardens, Gorgeous orchards, The orchard (features many fruits, citrus, and nut trees, including chestnuts, cane berry, blackberry, blueberries, kumquat, and pomegranate), balcony overlooking the patio, gorgeous trees, and landscaped gardens, vineyards, an open field, a large pond with floating up-lit fountain, small lighted fountain by the front doors with multiple pools and a waterfall, The Grove, An oak grove with bench and wine barrel privacy fence, the rustic arch near The Grove (This area features a bench movable by photographers to set up the perfect photo in the oak trees or the surrounding fields. A wall of wine barrels stacked two high provides a unique image, engagement, or elopement backdrop.), The Oasis, and The Hangout. Just to name a few!
  • We offer WiFi throughout the event spaces. Yes, you can have amazing high-speed internet for all your guests (or have an unplugged wedding).
  • You can Livestream your ceremony for free. Simply log in with your Facebook password, and you can Livestream your wedding from your phone or other devices. Some venues charge $1,000 – $3,000 to do this.
  • Although we are private and remote, we have cell service. All event areas of the property have access to Verizon cell service. Areas on the west side of the event center have ATT or other services available.
  • We are a legally permitted wedding venue (and this is why it’s SUPER important to you). Up to 25% of wedding venues in the greater area do not have the proper Use Permits. What does that mean for you? It could get shut down, your wedding canceled, and possibly no money back. Reorganize, and replan everything. Ouch! Every year, we get calls from panicked couples when the venue went out of business or was shut down by governmental action. They have a date and have already invited everyone; they call us to see if we can help. We do our best but don’t want this to happen to you. Do you notice the lighted exit signs, emergency lights, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, AAD, and lever door handles at our venue? These are all County requirements that all venues should have for the safety of your guests.
  • We can keep the party going if the electricity goes out. Yes, we thought of everything. We have a sizeable 15KW backup generator that automatically starts if the power goes out. Ten seconds after the power goes out, the party continues.
  • We have no noise concerns or bad neighbors. Our closest neighbor is 1/4 mile away from our 40-acre venue. Some wedding venues have issues with their neighbors calling the cops because of noise.
  • We offer complete privacy. We have controlled gate access and our 40 acres are completely private. Unlike some venues, our exclusive use of the property ensures your wedding will not be interrupted by the public looking for a tasting room, picnic areas, bathrooms, etc. This ensures your event’s privacy and is one reason celebrities have been married at MHE. The event areas are surrounded by 1 mile of fencing, mostly hidden in the tree line. The electrically operated gate allows two cars to pass when they enter and exit the Estate. Large pole lights on both sides of the gate are LED and emit light to make the entrance easy to find but not enough to interrupt your wedding day.
  • We have plenty of parking. Guest parking is sufficient for your guest count of up to 250 with additional vendor parking. Circulation is built-in for shuttles and vendors for ease of access. Some venues, especially in downtown areas or hotels, are hard to find parking, or worse, it’s paid, which is stressful for you and your guests.
  • We keep communication organized and easy for you. We make it seamless for you to communicate with us during the wedding planning process. We also help you access past emails and documents and help you organize all payments.
  • We carry excellent insurance. MHE carries commercial (not homeowners) insurance, and we require all vendors and couples to provide evidence of liability insurance. Our goal is a safe and fun event, but having insurance can be critical to the couple’s future if something does happen. Some venues do not require this, and if the worse happens, you can be liable for thousands of damages.
  • We offer overtime availability until 2:00 am or can start your event earlier in the day for an additional fee. Some venues cannot provide overtime availability, so you must find a separate venue.
  • We’re located next door to overnight lodging if you want to spend the night, and nearby hotels and wine country Airbnbs all ranging in style and price. Before and after your wedding, our team works tirelessly around the property to ensure everything is where it needs to be and takes care of last-minute details. After your reception, we tear everything down and have a crew handle all the details. For this reason, we don’t offer onsite lodging because we want you to get a good night’s rest and not be kept up by workers on the property. Spending the night at your venue isn’t always the best option, which is why we offer a lodging option next door.
  • We use sustainable practices on our property and upcycle materials when we can. Many upcycled materials are repurposed around the property. These materials, both indoors and outdoors, provide fantastic photo opportunities. These materials include: a windmill pumping air into the pond to deter algae, vintage trucks, composted gardens, upcycled hubcaps, and reused wine barrels. The main barn is clad in reclaimed redwood Barnwood from the 1800s on our property. We implement some sustainable practices: kegs and c02 cylinders are recycled, and a water drip system is controlled via WiFi with automatic sensors. For organic and renewable bug and rodent control, multiple barn owl and bat boxes exist. We use several species of fish to remove mosquito larvae from the pond. Organic bacteria-enhancing products remove algae, and therefore odors, from the pond. The pond has four bottom aerators that pump 2400 CFM of air into the pond 24/7 to prevent algae and give the fish a great environment to thrive. There are 15 raised beds constructed of recycled materials. Each bed is planted with various flowers and vegetables, rotated based on the season. Each bed has drip irrigation and is on timers with sensors that automatically turn them off when it rains. Water conservation is employed in all gardens on the property. We use primarily organic methods to care for the gardens. We have compost piles for all our trimmings, and much of the composted plant material is reused on the property.
  • We are prepared for any emergency (priceless). No one wants an emergency event to happen during a wedding, but MHE is prepared. The staff is CPR and AED certified. MHE is centrally located between Anderson Valley Fire Department, Hopland Fire Department, Cal Fire Cloverdale, and the Cloverdale Fire Department. Many emergency services providers have toured the Estate to know the layout, and all are within 9 miles of the Estate. An additional two fire services are located within 20 miles of the Estate. Here are some other details about our emergency preparedness: First aid kit, Emergency Trauma kit, AED (Automatic Electric Defibrillator), and Emergency phone numbers, There are three different routes in case of an emergency where people need to be evacuated. East towards Cloverdale and Hwy 101. North towards Hopland and Hwy 101. West towards Boonville Hwy 1. MHE has its fire truck, and it’s a great photo op; a 1962 Chevy Brush Truck with twin-powered hoses, onboard water, and more.
  • MHE worked with the Anderson Valley Fire Chief to place the 16 Fire Extinguishers in the optimal locations for safety. Light exit signs and emergency lights come on if the power goes out. There is a 15KW generator on an automatic switch that comes on during power outages – so the party continues in less than 10 seconds. A hidden 500-gallon propane tank feeds the generator. MHE features seven fire hydrants under gravity-fed pressure. One draft hydrant, tested by Anderson Valley Fire, takes water from the 300,000-gallon pond. We often collaborate with the local fire department, and they selected us to place emergency maps and other materials such as information about roads, houses, and water sources.

Included Amenities Saving You Up to $20,000

  • We offer a Selfie Photo Booth ($500 – $1,000 in savings) The selfie photo booth is great for entertainment at your reception and a lovely keepsake.
  • We have three changing areas so you can get ready on-site (priceless). All spaces have bathrooms and are heated and air-conditioned. Getting ready on-site saves you from being late due to traffic or other circumstances. It’s for your peace of mind and to reduce wedding day stress. That is priceless. Some venues do not offer ready rooms or are small and an afterthought. Ours were carefully planned out to make your day more enjoyable.
    • The Oasis – Spacious prep room with a circular couch and round table, crystal chandelier, three-sided full-length mirror, two easy chairs, four make-up stations, privacy screen, bathroom, closet with extra high rods for long dresses, iron with ironing board and steamer iron. Additional folding chairs inside the cabinet. Small refrigerator.
    • The Hangout – This room is a super-fun additional prep room. Includes poker table, shuffleboard table, foosball table, three TVs – one with Xbox and four Xbox controllers, two custom-built benches, two couches, iron with ironing board, and steamer iron; sliding mirrored doors, mini-fridge, and more, including a private bathroom And the best thing? Lockers from the Cordelia Fire Station for the storage of your personal items.
    • The Juliet – So named for the balcony that overlooks the party patio and bandstand below. It’s located in the main building and is frequently used by parents and grandparents as a private space or a place to sit and relax. And oh yes, it has a private bathroom as well.
  • Ten ceremony locations include decor, saving you between $2,500 – $5,000. We have multiple hidden areas leading to the ceremony so you can make a grand entrance. Here are some of our ceremony spots:
    • Oak Tree Terrace (our most popular ceremony spot). Benches will seat 200 people, plus an additional area for chairs or standing room. Steps leading to redwood deck with Victorian-era cast-iron fencing. Four wine barrels and a wine barrel bar for decor. Rustic barn with overhang area for beverage service. Raised-bed garden with vegetables and flowers.
  • The Grove (also great for elopements or photos). Custom arch leading into an Oak grove. Custom wine barrel wall. Opens to a pastoral vista.
  • Ceremony spots surrounding the main lawn: The Barn, The Vineyard, The Redwood Trees, The Pond with or without fountain(s), Trees and boulders around the pond, and a small fountain.
  • Ceremony spots surrounding the patio: The Gardens and The Grape Arbor.
  • Indoors (or Backup Rain Ceremony Spot): The Ballroom. The heated and air-conditioned Ballroom is large enough to seat over 200 for the ceremony.
  • Four reception and cocktail hour areas include decor, saving you between $2,500 – $6,000.
    • Patio – surrounded by gardens and grape arbor, seats up to 250 at tables, raised area for the head table, buffet serving line, or dessert table, a bandstand with four 20 amp circuits for a sweetheart table or DJ, concrete dance floor, barn with indoor room for the photo booth, lounge, dessert bar, bistro lights, and secondary lighting,
    • Two Lawns – 1,000 and 5,000 square feet, large lawn seats up to 250 at tables with bistro lighting. The pond, lawn, and building all have built-in landscape lighting, and a beautiful path is around the pond; bistro lights over the 5000-square-foot lawn.
  • Raised-bed flower and vegetable garden area near The Barn. The photo opportunities around here include an antique tractor and hubcap collection.
  • Ballroom: Seats up to 124 at tables or 250 standing, Hidden TV that you can use for a slideshow, selfie Photo Booth (included in rental fee), excellent design for buffet service, custom lighting, including cake lighting options, plenty of room for dancing and DJ, built-in hidden party sound system.
  • P.S. We allow food trucks, BBQ, wood-fired pizza, and other fun opportunities. Our additional outdoor cooking areas are perfect for caterers that like to put on a show, including wood-fired pizza, BBQ, food trucks, and paella prep. We have a designated space for these caterers to set up.
  • Tables, chairs, and lounge decor($4,000- $5,000 in savings), Fifteen 60″ round tables, Four 72″ round tables, Four 8′ x 30″ rectangular tables, twenty 6′ x 30″ rectangular tables, four 4′ x 30″ rectangular tables (use for sweetheart table, guest book, cake, displays), five 30″ round by 42.5″ tall cocktail tables, 150 white resin chairs on rolling carts, 15+ wine barrels that can be used as décor or cocktail tables, 10 market umbrellas on mobile bases + 1 rectangular on a bandstand, 2 propane fire pits on casters (propane is provided), 5-Piece metal lounge furniture (inside or outside), two 4-piece wicker furniture sets (loveseat, two chairs + coffee table, and one 7’10” x 10′ area rug.
  • Outdoor lighting: $1,000 – $2,000 in savings. Bistro lights on dimmers over the entire patio area, bistro lights on the lawn, bistro lights in Smokin’ Olive Lounge, up-lighting on trees, vineyard, barn, buildings, and fountains, parking lot lighting, custom lighting in the barn
  • Indoor lighting: $1,000 – $2,000 in savings. Custom lighting over the bar is on dimmers, custom lighting in the entry is on dimmers, and lighting in the Great Room is on dimmers.
  • Restrooms (it can cost $1,000 – $3,000 to rent luxury porta-potties at other rural venues). We have restrooms on the main floor, in the Oasis, Hangout, Juliet, and the studio. Our restrooms are ADA accessible, gender-neutral, and adequate for 250 guests. As some venues require, you won’t have to pay extra or rent porta-potties.
  • Our built-in speakers keep the party going and save you money. Electrical outlets at all ceremony and reception locations for DJ’s use, built-in professional speaker systems for use by our trained DJ companies. All systems can be used for music, speeches, background music, announcements, and parties. Featuring: Six speakers are hidden in the landscaping at Oak Tree Terrace to provide music or amplified voices for the ceremony and guests., fifteen speakers are hidden in the landscaping to give guests an immersive sound experience, just like Disneyland. Your selected music follows them through the lawns and patio areas. A high-powered hidden party system at the bandstand with hidden speakers and subwoofers. Dance outside to great music under the bistro lights and stars or the high-powered hidden party system in the walls and ceiling of the Ballroom/.
  • Our caterer’s kitchen saves you $1,000 – $3,000 in equipment rental. The caterer’s kitchen is 600 square feet, giving plenty of room for caterers to prepare a multi-course plated meal. It was intentionally placed to keep the kitchen noises and odors away from the guests. Caterers back their trucks in, unload the needed equipment and food, and then work. Some venues do not have a dedicated catering space or are missing critical items that cost you extra money to the caterer.
  • Our custom bar has decor and items that save you $1,000 – $3,000. Custom 21′ single-slab live-edge redwood bar with under-lighting, custom 14′ L-shaped redwood bar, kegerator holds two “slim sixth” pony kegs with double taps (CO2 is provided). Kegs and CO2 cylinders are recycled. Wine refrigerator, commercial 3-basin bar sink, extra-large ice chest, 14 bar stools, custom wine barrel trash cans, custom lighted “Bar” sign, custom-built light fixtures featuring reclaimed hand-split redwood posts, hanging Edison lights with a dozen different shapes, sizes, and filaments, custom-made black iron light sockets hanging from a vintage-looking twisted cloth-covered wire. This hangs from a large vintage rusty chain, custom-made black iron pipe sconces with Edison lights, and LED track lighting highlights the back bar used for decor, glass display, and wine display. The front of the bar features wine barrel staves treated with bee wax and oil in a basket weave horizontal pattern. A vintage redwood bridge timber with spikes stands in an alcove with a lavender floral display and lighting from above. A large sliding barn door separates the bar from the Ballroom. We’re big on reveals, so when the barn door slides open to welcome your guests, it’s a new area they haven’t seen until that time. The L bar has been used in many ways – from a place for desserts, beverages, wedding gifts, specialty drinks, and more.
  • The Oasis has decor, rentals, and inclusions that save you $1,000 – $3,000. Full-length gorgeous tri-fold mirror so you can get ready and see yourself at all angles. Beautiful crystal chandelier hanging from a vaulted ceiling, four makeup stations with softly lighted mirrors, two directors chairs for the hair and makeup vendors, a large semi-circle white couch and chairs, and views of the pond and lawn through a large picture window (great for photos!) Extra high rods in the closet for long dresses, Iron, ironing board, and steamer for last-minute details. There is a small refrigerator to store snacks, wine, champagne, or whatever you like, a folding modesty screen for your comfort, and a private bathroom away from other guests or vendors.
  • The Hangout has games, inclusions, and decor that save you $1,000 – $2,000. Custom poker table made from recycled electrical wire spools, Six metal chairs and two large couches, Shuffleboard, Foosball table, three huge TVs, and an Xbox, Custom benches made from recycled beams with steampunk-inspired galvanized pipe fittings, and recycled aluminum plate feet, Mini Refrigerator, Custom-made, recycled, orange lockers from the Cordelia Fire Station, Custom made stained glass window (great photo opp), Sliding mirror wall, Three-door sections slide to the right or left. Both sides are mirrored so those in the Hangout can check to ensure they are looking their best. Custom faux pressed tin ceiling, Corrugated steel wainscoting with recycled barn wood and small mirrors in the knotholes, Bathroom with a steamer, iron, ironing board, Galvanized trash pails, Custom cabinet with vintage games.
  • The Smokin’ Olive Lounge (our designated smoking area) has decor items that save you $500 – $1,000., Three custom wine barrel tables with umbrellas, tabletops made from recycled wood, 12 distressed orange bar stools (matching the lockers inside The Hangout), a custom cigar bar, bistro lighting, and it is surrounded by olive trees in galvanized troughs for privacy.