Finding the Perfect Central Coast Wedding Venue

Finding the Perfect Central Coast Wedding Venue 

San Luis Obispo + Santa Barbara County 

From lush gardens to rolling vineyards, rustic barns to expansive estates, luxury hotels to elegant restaurants, golf courses to community centers – and everything in between; there is certainly a Central Coast Wedding Venue for every taste and budget, but how do you go about choosing the right one when the options are so extensive? With insight from Kramer Events Coordinators, as well as some of our married and engaged team members who have been through the process, we have compiled a list of important questions to ask when selecting a location for your wedding day.  Read more

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Say “I Do” on Friday or Sunday

Why have a Friday or Sunday Wedding?

It’s no secret that the go-to day to plan a wedding is Saturday, but we have found that there are some enticing reasons to jump out of the box and schedule your Wedding on a Friday or Sunday instead. 

The first reason is a no-brainer; cost efficiency! Venues typically book their Saturdays for the year well in advance, so they often provide a discount to couples who choose to have their Wedding on an off day instead. This is great because you get the same services you would normally get, but now you can apply those extra savings to another important aspect of your big day. 

If cost saving appeals to you, or your dream venue is booked every Saturday for years out, then read on. A Friday or Sunday wedding can make for a unique wedding experience, but how do you know which one of these days is right for you? Kramer Events Wedding Coordinators took their experience planning Central Coast Weddings and helped us explore this question a bit. Let’s begin with a Friday Wedding. 

“I like the idea of a Friday wedding because it extends the weekend! You can host a bunch of different activities and get togethers with your special people and keep the party going- not just one day only!” – Bri Cormier 

This is a great option for couples whose guests don’t have to travel far to attend the wedding. The Wedding ceremony can be held on a Friday in the late afternoon/evening so that guests don’t have to take a full day off of work if they don’t want to and can thoroughly enjoy the party afterwards and still have the whole weekend to relax with their family, friends, and the newlyweds. This option may be best if you know you and your guests plan to party-hardy and won’t want the fun to stop after the wedding comes to an end. 

If going hard the night of the wedding is less of a priority for you and your loved ones, and your more interested in something intimate and relaxed, a Sunday Wedding may be your best option. You can plan something unique, like a morning wedding with brunch and mimosa’s to follow and an early end time for the reception so your guests don’t feel exhausted as they begin their work week on Monday.

Sunday is also a great option when it comes to destination weddings, as guests will be able to leave Friday evening, and have plenty of time to rest after their travels before enjoying your wedding on Sunday. 

Ultimately, when making the decision about your wedding date it is important to go with the day that feels right for you and your partner. Your guests love you and will do what it takes to make whatever date you choose work for their schedules. Most people will choose to take a day off. Whether it be the Friday before your Wedding or the Monday after, they will plan accordingly so they can celebrate this big day with you. 

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Rain on your Wedding Day? Don’t Panic!

Rain on your Wedding Day? Don’t Panic!

As Winter draws to an end, many couples are busy planning their bright and beautiful Spring Wedding on the Central Coast, and there is no question as to why. With the breathtaking landscapes of San Luis Obispo County in full bloom, a Central Coast Wedding in the Spring can look like a dream. However, the necessary component for the emergence of color and life is rain, so what do you do if it comes down on your Wedding Day?

Not to worry, with insight from seasoned Central Coast Wedding Coordinators on the Kramer Events team, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks that can be employed to brighten up a dreary Wedding Day.

Be Prepared

When you spend countless amounts of time and energy planning all the details of your outdoor wedding, the thought of something as unpredictable as rain being a factor can feel intimidating; but the more you prepare ahead of time by envisioning rain as a possible scenario, the more ready you will be to deal when/if it occurs. Talk with your chosen venue ahead of time. Figure out what they can offer for indoor alternatives if the rain is relentlessly approaching the time of the Ceremony. Renee Webber, an experienced Central Coast Wedding Planner says, “I have done weddings where the reception tables were rearranged to create an ‘aisle’ when the ceremony had to be moved indoors last minute” – sometimes a little creative ingenuity is needed.  Similarly, talk with your chosen vendors about your concerns regarding the rain, making them aware of the possibility will get them thinking about problem-solving solutions as well. Make rain preparation a part of the detail planning process. Purchase clear umbrellas and colorful rain boots for yourself and your wedding party. Coordinate the rain gear with the overall colors and theme of your wedding so you don’t feel disappointed if you have to break them out. Most importantly, have a support system. Having a skilled wedding coordinator at your side can alleviate a lot of wedding day stress when it comes to rain. They have been there before and know how to deal. If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, be sure to delegate the responsibility of making the final call to someone trusted so things get handled and you can continue enjoying your special day.

Don’t Panic

In the days and weeks leading up to your wedding day, following the weather can be a daunting task. Try not to panic, often times rain on the forecast means little more than a few intermittent sprinkles. Have your “Plan B” and time frame for making the switch to indoors handy, but don’t change everything right away just because the skies are grey. A lot can be done on your wedding day to work around the rain when it is coming down. For group photos and portraits, you can utilize well lit indoor settings, entryways, and large covered patios to capture gorgeous natural light images. Keep cakes and other decor indoors until the last minute so they remain dry and put together. Remember that perspective is key. Sometimes things happen that are completely out of our control, but we have full authority over the way we react to stressful situations. The calmer everyone can remain, the more likely they are to continue thinking resourcefully. Avoid the snowballing effect negativity can produce.

Embrace it 

Ok, so say it happens, it rains on your wedding day. Is this ideal? No. Is it the worst thing that could happen? Definitely not! Try to let go of your need to have everything just as you envisioned it and embrace the day for what it is. Throw on those sparkly rain boots you picked out, grab a clear umbrella and go make some unforgettable memories with the ones you love! Who knows, maybe you will get a break in the rain and get some amazing once in a lifetime photos out of the situation. San Luis Obispo Wedding Coordinator Liz Holman from Kramer Events relayed a story in which rain happened and the outcome was very positive thanks to the couple and wedding party’s ability to enjoy themselves despite the change in circumstances.

“I was once a part of a wedding where it unexpectedly rained. Everyone was so tense until the Bride, Groom, and Wedding Party fully embraced this “disaster” and had fun with it. Once the guests saw how much fun they were having, they bought in too. The pictures were incredible – you could tell how much fun everyone was having. It was definitely one of the most memorable weddings I have seen”

Life is unpredictable and planning a wedding gets no exemption from that. The very best thing you can do is have a great team of people surrounding you so you feel confident to handle whatever storm gets thrown at you.

 

Featured Venues: Santa Margarita Ranch, Madonna Inn, Bianchi Winery | Featured Vendors: Lori Boe Floral Designs | Photography: Kramer Events 

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San Luis Obispo County as a Wedding Destination

Welcome to San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo County has ranked in the top numbers of the “Happiest Cities in the Country” on many occasions – and for good reason! Tucked right in the middle of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Central Coast enjoys the best of both worlds with none of the big city downfalls. This California location possesses a quaint, yet exciting charm that can’t be found elsewhere. Here you will witness expansive coast lines, mountain peaks, rolling hills, and populated forests. It is home to many once in a lifetime activities and attractions that will appeal to people from all walks of life which makes it an ideal location for your California destination wedding. Whether you want your special day to feel calm and intimate or lavish and extravagant, the Central Coast wedding industry has hundreds of options to choose from. Creative professionals abound, armed with the passion and innovation to completely personalize the details of your day. If you are planning a destination wedding in the Golden State, we have put to use our many years of event planning experience to take you on a virtual tour through the ins and outs the planning process.

 So, let’s take it “Slo” and explore the things that make a Central Coast wedding such a magical and memorable experience. 

Central Coast Fun for Everyone

One of the main draws of the area is its abundance of natural and historical site seeing opportunities and modern day amenities. Often, you and your guests will be traveling long distances to be on the Central Coast for your wedding day and the days surrounding it, so you want to ensure everyone is well accommodated and having a great time.  Not to worry. There are endless options when it comes to lodging, dining, and fun activities catering to all lifestyles. Here we will explore a few regions in the area and what they have to offer.

First area of discussion is the one and only city of San Luis Obispo. Located in south county, this moderate sized collage town is the epicenter of activity in the area. It is home to California Polytechnic University, known to locals as Cal Poly. The vibes here are creative and fun. During the day, enjoy shopping, great food, and historic sites such as the San Luis Obispo Mission or the intriguing display in Bubble Gum Alley. If you’re here on a Thursday evening you can walk the streets of downtown SLO enjoying a vast farmers market with organic goodies and homemade treasures from all over the county, as well as an active city nightlife. Enjoy a stay at the luxurious Madonna Inn, which offers much more than just lodging, or one of the many other hotels, B&B’s, or vacation rentals available in the city.

Next, lets move on to explore some of the seaside experiences the Central Coast has to offer. Travel out of the city headed north on the historic Highway 1 through several beach towns. The first stop will be Morro Bay, where you can experience an elegant seafood dinner overlooking the ocean, or a more casual bite of fish and chips by the docks; rent kayaks and paddle boards and explore the bay on your own, or take a guided boat tour. Continue a bit further and you will reach the town of Cambria Beach where you will find all the best vintage items in the locally owned shops along Main street. On past Cambria, the highway winds along the coast to your left, and to your right you will soon be stunned to see a herd of zebra grazing on the expanding fields below Hearst Castle – take a guided tour that will leave you feeling nostalgic for times long past.

Last, but certainly not least lets venture inland where you can take it easy in beautiful wine country. Unlike San Luis Obispo, the city of Paso Robles has a relaxed small town feel to it, but there is never a shortage of things to do here. Experience one of many family friendly festivals such as the Art Festival, Lavender Festival, and Olive Festival that take place on several weekends throughout the year in the downtown city park. Become familiar with the work of community farmers, artists and other creative professionals who add a unique flair to the Paso culture.  Drive into the country and enjoy breathtaking views, and of course plenty of wine, at one of the hundreds of wineries that are sprinkled throughout the area. One such Winery that we have personally worked with on several occasions is Justin Winery, located remotely and enjoying views far and wide, you will be enchanted by the beauty all around.

Want to learn more about the many attractions and accommodations San Luis Obispo County has to offer? Visit the Visit San Luis Obispo County website to learn more about the happenings on the Central Coast.

Central Coast Wedding Venues

It is no secret that the Central Coast is home to some of the most amazing natural spectacles. From vast landscapes of rolling hills sprinkled with vineyards and rustic farms; to Coastal towns with seaside charm; cliffs overlooking the beautiful Pacific ocean; or lush orchards and tree covered canopies, it is no surprise that the venues here will take your breath away! Over the course of many years, Kramer Events has had the experience of getting an up close and personal look at some of the greatest venues around.

One of them being the historic Santa Margarita Ranch. Set within the hills just outside the small farming town of Santa Margarita, the 14,000 acre ranch which has been in operation since the 1700s has the perfect combination of country charm and elegance to make your vision for a rustic barn wedding come to life. 

To the NorthWest you will find another highly esteemed venue that our team has had the pleasure to work with on many occasions. Cambria Pines Lodge is nestled by the sea in the eclectic town of Cambria. With three breathtaking gardens, sophisticated interiors with modern accommodations, and cliffs overlooking the ocean just a few minutes away, Cambria Pines lodge is the perfect setting for your garden wedding by the sea.

If you heard the word garden and lit up a little, we have another remarkable venue for you to explore, See Canyon Fruit Ranch, located in the city of San Luis Obispo is an intimate venue with a vintage atmosphere where you feel as though you have entered some kind of fairytale in which the landscape is green and lush all year round. 

Still Curious? We’d like to invite you to explore these three venues as well as over a hundred more using Kramer Events free wedding resource, Central Coast Wedding Venues.

Central Coast Wedding Vendors

Now that we have seen some of the beautiful venues SLO county has to offer, let’s take a look at a few of the recommended vendors in the area. The Central Coast is inhabited by a small town artistic community with big time talent and charm.

One such vendor is the Trumpet Vine Catering service which specializes in California/American cuisine with a Spanish and Mediterranean flair. Let’s be real, food is one of the most important aspects of any event – it’s gotta be good! That’s why organic and locally sourced ingredients that appeal to a diverse range of dietary needs is a must, and that is just what you get with this awesome company.

Food, check! Now let’s talk desserts that will make your taste buds dance, and look incredible displayed at your wedding. Just Baked SLO is a company we have loved working with in the past. Their goodies are never mass produced and each dessert receives special attention to detail so their appearance and taste is nothing short of delightful; their cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and cookies will pretty up any table! 

Speaking of tables, All About Events is a Central Coast Wedding Vendor specializing in handcrafted farm tables you can rent for your dining and display needs. They also offer a broad range of tableware, furniture, and other specialty items such as dancefloors, heaters/umbrellas, and tents. 

So, you now have a solid place to begin finding the right people to put the details of your wedding together, but who will put you together? Well, Kramer Events has some great suggestions! Faces a la Mode has over 30 years experience doing hair and makeup in SLO county. The high level of skill they possess in their craft along with their desire to meet the unique needs of all their clients will leave your wedding party, and especially the bride, looking absolutely flawless! 

To top it off, there are several Florists with extensive knowledge and a passion to accentuate your look with flowers. One such company is Sprigs Floral Design, a renowned Floral company which has been serving the central coast with enthusiasm for over 15 years. Sprigs offers a range of floral services such as bouquets, table arrangements, floral decor and more. 

For more information on these listed vendors and several more visit the Kramer Events community resource, Central Coast Wedding Vendors

 

Alright, let’s break it down! When it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams there is a lot to consider, but you can be confident in knowing that if you choose San Luis Obispo County as your wedding destination, you will have access to some of the most gorgeous venues in California, skillful vendors who have perfected their crafts and are ready to make your day as beautiful as you envision, and all the accommodations you could hope for to make your and your guests stay on the Central Coast remarkable. Here at Kramer Events,  we truly believe San Luis Obispo County has something for everyone. We have personally provided Coordination, DJ, Photography, Videography, Lighting, Photo Booth and more in conjunction with all the listed venues and vendors and we hold each in the highest regard. After all, we are just trying to raise the publics expectations of event professionals and create an awesome place to work! 

 

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Wedding Inspiration: Romantic Vineyard Wedding at Terra Mia

Wedding Inspiration: Romantic Vineyard Wedding at Terra Mia

View More: http://kramerevents.pass.us/terra-mia-style-shoot

There is something about a vineyard wedding that absolutely inspires us! For those of us on the Central Coast, it’s a location that is part of our daily life and drive, but rarely do we get to really play with the elements at hand. We absolutely jumped at the chance to create a style shoot with the incredibly talented Korinna Peterson of Le Festin Events at the gorgeous and up-and-coming Terra Mia Vineyard on the west side of the Paso Robles Wine Country. Thank you to Korinna’s style, and some amazing partners we created a day to pin and be inspired by!

 

Nestled onto 30 acres of rolling hills in Paso Robles, Terra Mia Vineyards offers a charming secluded setting that promises to create the most memorable visit or event. This private estate offers everything you could ever want in a Central Coast wedding venue, or a wine country vacation. This unique property has it all… It features rolling vineyards outlined with olive orchards and highlighted with majestic Oak trees, and a gorgeous path lined lake centered within the venue- creating a canvas for beautiful lighting design and stunning photos.

We love the touches of gold throughout this shoot- from the round back dining chairs, to the cake, and beading elements around the charger. This simple metal is perfectly paired with pinks and greens that are so fresh for spring!

 

View More: http://kramerevents.pass.us/terra-mia-style-shoot

For more information on Terra Mia, please visit their venue page here.

Thanks to everyone below for showing our couples they can achieve this gorgeous wedding too!

Venue: Terra Mia Vineyard / Event Designer: Le Festin Events / Photographer: Kramer Events / Florals: Bella Bloom Events / Lighting: Kramer Events / Calligraphy: Bourbon Blue Cards / Specialty Rentals: Scout Rental Co.  / Cake: Cake Cathedral / Rentals: Central Coast Tent & Party / Wedding Dress: French Knot Couture

 

 

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Real Wedding: Elisa and Ryan • Santa Margarita Ranch

Elisa and Ryan’s Wedding • Santa Margarita Ranch

Elisa and Ryan were two California-bred employees of Royal Caribbean International when they met halfway around the world on February 3, 2009. Elisa, a dancer and aerialist with the cruise ship’s production met Ryan, a lighting technician for the production department in a meeting for new crew members assigned to the ship. They soon found themselves forming a close friendship and that led to love on the high seas. Three years later Ryan proposed to Elisa, and their life long adventure began!

 

Their venue selection
Elisa and Ryan may have fallen in love on the other side of the world, but, they grew up just a few hours from each other in California; Elisa hails from Santa Maria, California, and Ryan, from Dinuba, California. Both wanted a Central Coast wedding venue that was not only close to their respective hometowns, but reflected their sense of style. They chose the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, just 45 minutes north of Santa Maria, because of it’s rustic appeal and outdoors focus.

How did they make their wedding unique?
It was very important to Elisa and Ryan to create an event that highlighted their personal style, and their love for family and friends (which included their cruise ship family!). They did not want to do anything that would be an expected tradition. We loved their cocktail and popcorn hour in the garden, and that the Groom utilized his background and worked with us to design the perfect lighting scheme for their reception in the historic barn.

The Day
With rustic sophistication and  meaningful details as their style inspiration, Elisa and Ryan used the outdoor locations around the ranch and the barn to it’s full advantage. We loved their choice of the massive oak tree in the garden as their ceremony back drop. For their reception personal touches like gifts of home made soaps, and their own floral design completed their vision to a “t”.

Their advice for future couples?
“Be patient, and take it one step at a time”. Congratulations Elisa and Ryan!

Featured Vendors:
Coordination/Lighting/Photo Booth/ Photography: Kramer Events
Officiant: Olive Tree Officiants
Catering: Ribline
Rentals: SLO Party Rentals
Hair & Make-Up: Melissa Elgura of Hair is Art in my Hands
Tuxedo Rental: Generation Tux

 

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Central Coast Venue Guide: What to know, what to ask

Central Coast Venue Guide

What to know, what to ask

 

One of the first and most important steps in planning any event is the selection of your venue! There are so many unique venues to choose from on the Central Coast, it’s important to take your time and ask lots of questions. Your venue is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day; it helps set the scene of your day as well as determine the flow of your event. We suggest to start your search using our Central Coast Wedding Venue Guide to get your ideas flowing, and make initial contact with the venues that catch your eye. With so many things to consider (and some you may not have thought of); we put together a list of points to ponder, and questions to ask when deciding on a venue.

 

Whispering Rose Ranch/Photo by Opendoor Wedding Photography

Whispering Rose Ranch/Photo by Opendoor Wedding Photography

 

Location

Is the venue close to accommodations for your family and friends? If you have a large number of guests travelling in, you’ll want to make sure there are adequate options nearby, or, plenty of transportation options such as Uber or possibly reserving a shuttle service such as SLO Safe Ride for your event and the safety of your guests.

Style

From Paso Robles to Santa Barbara, the Central Coast is wide open and varied in terrain from mountains to vineyards, cool downtown districts, and coastal areas- which makes it perfect to satisfy any wedding style or theme!

Does the venue match the style and feel you are hoping for? Wedding venues such as Greengate Ranch and Vineyard offers rustic charm with a vintage twist, while Whispering Rose Ranch in Solvang provides breathtaking views of the Santa Ynez Valley from a gorgeous working horse ranch with an air of Santa Barbara sophistication. If you are dreaming of a coastal wedding; venues such as Point 16 in Big Sur offer wide open views of the California coast line, while Avila Beach Golf Resort offers a beach front location with stunning sunsets. And of course, we have no shortage of vineyard and winery locations up and down the Central Coast!

Point 16, Big Sur/Photo by Kramer Events

Venue

When you’ve narrowed down your list of venues, there are a few questions to keep in mind that may save you money and hassle come event day:

How far in advance can you reserve the venue, and, does the venue offer an off-season discount? The wedding season on the Central Coast is typically late April through early November, when the weather here is best. Many venues and vendors (like Kramer Events) offer off-season discounts on venues and services if you book during November through early April.

What is included in the rental fee? Some venues offer tables, chairs, and other wedding related items and fold it into the cost of the rental; however, not all do. Make sure to get the list of what’s included to make the most of your budget and vendor needs.

Can you choose your own vendors? Another very important question! Most venues will allow outside catering, and liquor; however, there are several on the Central Coast that utilize their own in-house catering or liquor license. Often, you can still bring in outside wine, beer, or liquor, but there may be a corkage fee. Be sure to outline this clearly ahead of time with the venue’s Event Manager.

-Finally, time of year is also very important when determining a venue. While the temperature throughout much of the coastline and inland valleys of the Central Coast stay sunny and temperate throughout much of the year; our summertime and early fall temperatures in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Ynez can climb into the 90’s and higher. Does the venue have an indoor option for coverage, or, enough room for tenting should the weather call for it?

As you begin your search for the perfect Central Coast wedding venue, keep these points in mind and look for venues that will bring the vision of your perfect day to life!

Pear Valley Winery, Paso Robles/Photo by Kramer Events

For more venue and style inspiration, be sure to follow our Pinterest boards.  

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Introducing…

 Our NEW Mirror Photo Booth!

cpb2

 

The awesome new Mirror Booth comes with a sleek new design, great graphics, and more room to fit your friends! The full body and open air Mirror Booth gives way to more friends, props and silly poses in your photo strips. Each round in the Mirror Booth prints out two photo booth strips with three photos on each. It’s the perfect accessory to any event!

Read more

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SLO’s Spectacular Spring Bridal Expo

Join us at SLO’s Spectacular Spring Bridal Show hosted by Central Coast Bride!

 

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Fashion Show & Mock Wedding
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Madonna Inn Hotel Ballroom
100 Madonna Rd.
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Buy Tickets Here

120 Exhibitor BRIDAL EXPO
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Madonna Expo Center
100 Madonna Rd.
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Read more

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2015 Fabulous Fall Bridal Show!

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Sunday, October 18, 2015: 12pm–4pm

Central Coast Bride
Madonna Inn
100 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo, California 93405
888/501-5757
www.centralcoastbride.com
info@centralcoastbride.com

Admission:

Tickets are $10 per person, $5 per groom at the door. Read more

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