Once famous as an artist colony, nowadays the Carmel area is known as a peaceful weekend getaway. The breathtaking scenery and the top-notch restaurants and hotels also make it a top wedding destination. From the charming village of Carmel-by-the-Sea to the vineyards and ranches of Carmel Valley, here are the best wedding venues Carmel has to offer!
Mission Ranch Carmel really has it all. The 1800s ranch boasts a peaceful meadow with grazing sheep and stunning views of the Pacific. The beautiful green lawn (with views of the meadow) is an excellent venue for a larger ceremony while the brick patio is available for a more intimate event. The ranch also has two historic barns for receptions: the Patio Barn offers a stage and dance floor, and the aptly name Large Barn has lots of space and a three-story high ceiling. And as if that wasn’t enough, you can also have your wedding catered by the deservedly famous Mission Ranch restaurant. You may even be lucky enough to book one of the excellent rooms available to spend the night!
Typical cost: $4,000–$5,000 site fee
Bonus: The ranch was preserved and restored by former Carmel-by-the-Sea mayor Clint Eastwood (yes, that Clint Eastwood), who saved the land from being turned into condominiums.
Located in beautiful Carmel Valley, this luxury retreat is also a magnificent wedding venue. The grounds feature a wedding garden with a beautiful lawn and 40 varieties of roses, an organic vegetable garden, and vineyards that produce some of the best wine in Carmel Valley. The lodge also has a ballroom that is excellent for receptions.
Typical cost: $5,500–$13,500 site fee
Bonus: Even if you’re having your ceremony elsewhere, Bernardus Lodge and Spa is great place for your honeymoon with its luxurious rooms and be pampered at the excellent spa.
Gardener Ranch provides all the space you could want for your wedding in a picturesque setting. The property has several lawns with views of the Santa Lucia Mountains, an outdoor patio, and a clubhouse with three banquet rooms and dressing rooms for the bride and groom. The full day and weekend retreat packages also get you exclusive use of the property and its recreational amenities, including the swimming pool and fire pit.
Typical cost: one-hour ceremony starting at $500, full day starting at $8,000
Bonus: The venue can also be booked for a weekend wedding retreat, with accommodations for up to 51 guests for two nights and three days.
Built in 1905 as a private mansion, since 1922 La Playa has been one of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s signature hotels. With its well-maintained grounds that feature stunningly beautiful gardens, it’s also an excellent place to celebrate your wedding. In addition to the gardens, La Playa also has a wonderful patio and charming interior spaces including the Pacific Room with great ocean views and the intimate Fireside Room. Also, (as Spanish speakers may have already surmised) La Playa is just a few steps away from the Carmel Beach!
Typical cost: $500–$1,200 site fee
Bonus: Patrons give rave reviews to the hotel’s champagne breakfast.
For a romantic beach ceremony, Wedgewood Weddings Carmel is the way to go. They also have a garden available for ceremonies, as well indoor locations and multiple banquet rooms to choose from for your reception. They are known for their excellent service and offer all-inclusive wedding packages—they can handle all your planning and vendor needs and even print wedding stationery for your invitations.
Typical cost: $995–$3495 base price + $65–$110 per person
Bonus: Though it’s all-inclusive, Wedgewood Weddings won’t charge you for using outside vendors.
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