There are so many great options in the East Bay Area when it comes to picking a venue for your wedding! In the many weddings I’ve shot, these venues are the ones that I’ve found that are best for pictures and for your overall wedding experience!
Crooked Vine Winery in Livermore can be as elegant or relaxed as you make it. Not only does it have separate ceremony and reception locations, it also has a barrel room that is perfect for dancing! The bridal suite is also large and comfortable enough for the loot of bridesmaids, moms, and vendors, which isn’t too common for venues anymore 🙂
2.) Canyon View
Although it’s small, Canyon View in San Ramon is one of my favorite venues. Because it sits on a hill, sunset portraits are absolutely breathtaking here! And the reception hall is SO large, it makes up for the smaller space outdoors. Although the ceremony can face the view, it’s much more spacious when you choose the ceremony chairs to face the fountain! A lot of couples choose to do portraits at the Bollinger Canyon Water Fountain since the outdoor space is limited at Canyon View. This is a great option, but not totally necessary!
3.) Coyote Ranch
Coyote Ranch in San Jose is a hidden gem. It’s really large and has a great variety in portrait locations! There’s a house from the 1800’s on the property, and it serves as the getting ready suite for the bride. You couldn’t get ready there from start to finish, but it’s pretty cool getting your dress on in an elegant living room from the 1800’s!
Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon is an elegant venue with a beautiful view of the golf course. You can fit a HUGE bridal party table (see pictured!) and plenty of guests. My husband used to plan the homecoming banquet for the school he works for, and this venue was his choice 🙂 Bridges has a higher price tag than some of the other venues, but the elegance and makes up for it!
5.) Shadelands Ranch
Shadelands Ranch in Walnut Creek is a more relaxed, casual venue. There is no indoor reception hall. The mature trees on the property provide great portrait locations no matter what time of day it is, so you’ll get great portraits no matter what! There is no bridal suite except the front porch of the museum, so you’d need to have room dividers or something to create privacy on the porch. BUT, that does provide great, naturally lit getting ready pictures 🙂
6.) Deer Park Villa
This one is actually my favorite, although it’s not in the East Bay! Deer Park Villa in Fairfax is nestled under coastal redwood trees and is the perfect blend of intimate and elegant. Since it’s shady, there’s good light all day long making portrait time really easy (because we don’t have to go from location to location for good light!). You’d never know the outside world existed, because this venue is so private!
If you’re still looking for a photographer for your wedding, feel free to contact me!