Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wedding Planning Wednesday - The Venue

Who knew May was such a popular month for weddings? I expected June/July/August/September to be busy, but thought that May was a safe date! Apparently I was wrong however, because several venues Mando and I called were already booked for 2012! We realized that we needed to book our date fast and the hunt for the perfect venue began...

I originally had my heart set on finding and old, rustic barn but believe it or not barns are few and far between in Orange County and the ones that we found were way out of our price range. After the bitter realization that I would not be able to get married in a barn I was determined to find something equally lovely. I had a few requirements for the venue:
  • I wanted the wedding and reception to be at the same location
  • I wanted it outdoors
  • I wanted to get a 'rustic' vibe from it
After checking out 6 different places we ended up choosing the Oak Canyon Nature Center in Anaheim Hills. The nature center offers stunning scenery that just takes your breath away when you see it for the first time. 300 year old oak trees tower over you and you can cross several gorgeous bridges and creeks to a number of hiking trails. It's quiet and tucked away and many people don't even know it's there. The ceremony site consists of rows of wooden benches facing a platform for the bride and groom complete with a wooden arbor. There are 3 options for the reception site, but we like the area to the left of the ceremony site best. To the left of that lies a gorgeous bridge leading to the rest of the nature trails.

What I love is that it meets all of our requirements, is under budget, and all of the money to book the venue goes towards preserving wildlife. I do have some reservations about the backless benches and how 'rugged' the terrain is (we are concerned for our older guests) and I also have a lot of decisions to make regarding decor (Should I get rid of the pink in our wedding colors?) but I'm actually really excited to have our wedding here... I know no matter what I can make it work and our wedding will be a beautiful day!

left: the ceremony site                                            right: the reception site
A closer look at the ceremony site and benches
the beautiful bridge to the left of both ceremony and reception site leading deeper into the nature center
side view of the ceremony site and a view of the 300 year old oak trees


  1. Whoa!!! I know you had your heart set on a barn, but Johnna this place is gorgeous!!! And under budget? That's awesome!! I can NOT wait to see you walk down that isle! I know you'll be gorgeous and so will everything around you. Yay for having a location now!!! I'm so excited for you. Beautiful!

  2. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Thank you so much sweetie! I was heartbroken about the barn, but this comment totally reassured me that the nature center is a good choice. I'm so excited to jump into the planning now that we have a venue! XOXO

  3. This is so beautiful Johnna!! I absolutely love it. It looks like a perfect place to say "I do". I am so excited for you. :D

  4. Yay, it's so pretty!! I love the benches and the bridge. You're going to get so many awesome photos!

  5. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    I'm SO glad you love it, it means a lot to me! Thanks for your support darling! XOXO

  6. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    You have to come with me next time, the pictures seriously do not do it justice!! Love you!

  7. What a beautiful place to get married! I can't wait to see more details of the wedding.

  8. WHOA. That is gonna look AMAZING.

  9. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Thanks sweetie and thanks for following along!! I'm super excited to blog about all the fun details! :)

  10. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    YAYYYY thanks hun! You seriously have to take your fam there and check it out, the pictures do not do it justice! I wanna go back and go on a hike! :)

  11. screw the barn! your wedding is gonna smell like forest!!

  12. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    Bahahaha no 'horse shit' smell for me! Darn! ;)


  13. RagstostitchesboutiqueJune 22, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    It looks amazing!! So beautiful!!

  14. What a perfect place!?! It's going to look amazing with lots of twinkly lights. I'm happy you found a place you love.

  15. When I see these photos, I don't even see what's right in front of me, I see what it *will* be when you unleash your craftiness/design skills all over it. it's gonna be so beautiful. And the photographer in me thinks that it is gonna ROCK for wedding photos. It was meant to be darling :) xoxo Melissa

  16. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Thanks sweetie! I'm pretty excited about it! :)

  17. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    I know, I think once I have the lights up it will be P-E-R-F-E-C-T!! Thanks so much lady! XOXO

  18. DomesticatedDelightJune 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    You are TOO SWEET! I can't wait to see it all come together, eeeek! I really think it'll be gorgeous and the perfect photo background! XOXO

  19. Gorgeous! Like super super super gorgeous! I can't wait to see what you do with the space! But honestly, if you did nothing it would still be breath-taking. What an amazing venue! Yay!

  20. DomesticatedDelightJune 24, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Thanks, sweets! I knew you'd like it! I'm kinda glad the scenery is so pretty because it'll be pretty hard for me to screw it up with any decor mistakes, ha! XOXO