10 Best Outdoor Wedding Sites in Northern California

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1. Natural Habitat

No travel required to get to this safari -- have your wedding at the African Savanna at the San Francisco Zoo! You and up to 175 guests can explore the habitat while giraffes and zebras roam in the distance. The zoo provides catering and perhaps an additional guest or two! (415) 753-7236, SFZoo.org

2. Grand Garden

Have your Napa wedding within the Mediterranean-inspired Villagio Inn and Spa. The Pavilion at The Vintage Estate has elm trees, flowering magnolias and two gardens that can hold more than 1,000 guests. The in-house caterers will create the perfect menu. (707) 945-4549, Villagio.com

3. Magnificent Museum

The de Young Museum is a stylish wedding venue in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The Café Terrace can seat up to 500 in a tent along the west side of the museum (which has an approved catering list). It overlooks a garden with modern sculptures and pristine plants. Indoor galleries also can be rented so guests can admire art during your reception. (415) 750-3683, FAMSF.org

4. Natural Hideaway

In a fern glen in a Lafayette canyon, Wildwood Acres Resort offers rustically elegant ceremonies. Maple and alder trees shade the reception terrace, which can hold up to 300 and features a sunken dance floor. The venue provides catering. (925) 283-2600, WildwoodAcres.com

5. Forest Fantasy

Surround up to 130 guests with towering trees in the Stephen J. Mather Redwood Grove and Amphitheatre at the University of California at Berkeley’s Botanical Garden. For more intimate ceremonies, get married with up to 30 witnesses in The Garden of Old Roses, a cleared area with quaint benches. (510) 642-3352, BotanicalGarden.Berkeley.edu

6. Charming Inn

Guests can enjoy vineyard views from the Wedding Pavilion at Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa. Sit under the chandeliered trellis while up to 400 guests fill the vineyard lawn. The Wedding Tower at the entrance to the Vintners Inn Event Center isn’t just a prime photo spot -- bells ring from the tower after every ceremony! Catering is provided by the inn. (800) 421-2584 x619, VintnersInn.com

7. Mediterranean Manor

Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz brings Spanish style to the Pacific Coast. Ceremonies can be held in the Spanish Courtyard Terrace under a flower-filled arbor overlooking the ocean. For your dinner catered by the resort, the Sunset Patio can seat up to 200. Look out for the sunset over the water! (800) 283-6569, Chaminade.com

8. Bay Beauty

Planning an intimate wedding? Exchange vows on a tranquil bluff at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Hotel-catered receptions for up to 75 guests can be held in The Miramontes Room, Terrace and Observatory, where you can enjoy ocean views. (650) 712-7000, RitzCarlton.com/en/properties/halfmoonbay/default.htm

9. Regal Ranch

Culminate your courtship at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley. The Ceremony Veranda and Hacienda Lawn have mountain and vineyard views and can seat up to 200. Sip cocktails in the sunny Garden Courtyard; then have your reception (catered by anyone you wish) on the Rose Patio. Don’t miss out on a visit to the stables for a private sunset horseback ride on their 392-acre property! (831) 659-2640, HolmanRanch.com

10. Mountain Majesty

Surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Resort at Squaw Creek is the quintessential Lake Tahoe wedding spot, with views of pretty ponderosa pines in the Squaw Valley. The Spa Deck can hold up to 200, and larger receptions take place in the Pavilion. Guests can spend all weekend at the resort. (866) 765-6772, SquawCreek.com

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