If you are planning to celebrate your best day in soothing rural surroundings, you definitely need to know more about Ponte Winery weddings. Here we will share the detailed information about this beautiful place in Southern California that offers great wedding space. And not only this. Ponte Winery has lots of advantages which you will learn about in this article.
Table of Contents
Location & History of the Ponte Winery Temecula
The Ponte Winery & Vineyard Inn is a nearly 300-acre property, located in the Temecula Wine Country of Southern California. It’s about 90 miles away from L.A., less than 70 miles from San Diego and the old town Temecula is nearby.
The Ponte Winery includes:
- a winery and vineyards,
- a large Tasting room with two award-winning restaurants,
- a four-diamond luxury hotel, and
- a rustic wedding venue.
All the spots are within walking distance of each other. For the visitors this place is a small oasis of calmness after the city bustle. They come here to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and vineyard views while tasting a wine in one of the Ponte Winery restaurants.
The owners of the Winery are the Ponte family. They have been famous grape growers in Temecula since 1984. They built the winery and opened it to the public in 2003. Nowadays, vines on the property produce many varieties from Cabernet to Pinot Grigio.
Besides, the Ponte Winery helps couples to organize luxurious Ponte Winery weddings. They are famous among other Temecula wedding venues — the management garnered multiple awards for the hotel, cuisine, and wedding celebrations. One of the awards is, for example, The Most Popular Wedding Venues in Los Angeles according to BRIDES Southern California.
Ponte Winery Wedding Venue Amenities
The package for Ponte Winery weddings includes:
- a total 5 hours of event time on chosen sites;
- wedding planning service;
- spacious bride’s & groom’s dressing areas;
- full on-catering service: a buffet or sit-down dinner by choice;
- professional and helpful staff;
- an elegant setup for a reception including numerous event items;
- large parking lots for the guests.
The Ponte Winery wedding cost varies depending on:
- Day of the week,
- Time of day,
- Space reserved,
- Guest count.
You can have additional hours for a fee, but all events have to finish at 10 p.m. (at the same time I had a few weddings that lasted until 11pm there). It’s also possible to book overnight accommodations for your guests or a wedding night stay for you at Ponte Vineyard Inn nearby.
There are also some restrictions as no rice, birdseed, confetti, etc., and no open flame as well. The venue must approve all decorative staff. Remember it’s a fully functional commercial vinery 🙂 As for music, it’s ok both indoors and outdoors but only until 10 p.m.
Ponte Winery’s locations & spots for a photoshoot
The entire territory for Ponte Winery weddings could be roughly divided into two big areas.
- It’s the Ponte Winery itself with a restaurant, a tasting room, and numerous working areas. But for you as the wedding couple there are the following locations of particular interest:
- For your preparations, you can use nice wedding cottages of the winery’s area
- The most popular place of the Ponte Winery for the ceremony is the Vineyard Garden. This circular garden surrounded by mature willow and cypress trees can host ceremonies for up to 400 guests.
- One more possibility for small ceremonies is a Barrel Room with a capacity of 150 persons. It’s an indoor area adorned with old chandeliers and wine barrels around the room.
- As for a reception, the place offers the indoor area of the Vineyard Pavilion with up to 280 guests. Surely, a reception can be hosted also in the Barrel Room. The third option is also at your service: it’s the smallest Reserve Room, perfect for intimate receptions for up to 80 guests. Couples usually host there rehearsal dinners.
- The area of Ponte Vineyard Inn hotel has also perfect opportunities for your wedding:
- Bride & Groom preparations you can organize in the hotel rooms of the Inn.
- You can set your ceremony at the beautiful Pond (up to 100 guests) with astonishing vineyard and mountain views.
- After the ceremony, you can go to your reception site through the Tunnel of Love — a nice garden alley with green arches leading to the Pont Winery area where all indoor reception sites are located.
So, as you see it’s a very versatile venue where you can choose any of the offered areas that fit your ideas. Let’s look closer at all of them.
Bridу & Groom Getting Ready shots at Ponte Winery
Depending on the areas you’ll choose for the ceremony, you can make your preparation in one of the suites of Ponte hotel or one of the wedding cottages in the area of the winery. I made wedding photoshoots in both locations and here are my thoughts about it.
The wedding cottage is very comfortable, it can easily accommodate your family members and no one will disturb each other. Besides, there is much space to place all your wedding accessories beautifully. For example, you can hang your wedding dress both inside and outside — on the small patio. Also, there is enough room to make funny bridal party shots. The atmosphere around this small cottage in the midst of the vineyards is super relaxing. From here you can easily reach the Vineyard View Garden — the place of your ceremony.
Suites of the Spanish-style Ponte Winery Inn hotel are luxurious and well-designed to accommodate both the bride & groom in such a way that they will not see each other before the ceremony. At one of the weddings where I was shooting, the groom got ready in a room on the ground floor while the bride was accommodated in the suite on the first floor. These rooms have different exits: one from the terrace, another through the stairway. Perfect soft lighting from the balcony and big windows make the photos emotional and vivid. From the hotel suite, the bride and bridal party can reach the ceremony spot — the Pond — without much effort even on high heels.
First Look at Ponte Winery Weddings
I highly recommend using all possible spots on the property which you can walk to for any types of shoots. This venue is a paradise for photo shooting. Every spot and nook can be a magnificent frame for the newlyweds. Just be sure that you will not walk such far that you will break your wedding timeline. (How to make the wedding timeline to your best advantage we speak here).
My newlyweds were excited to make their shots among the vineyards against the sunset sky. The Tunnel of Love connecting two big areas of the venue — the Winery and the hotel — with its green-shaded arches is an ideal romantic scenery for two loving ones. And sure, the Pond will be a stunning backdrop for both the first look and sunset photos.
Family & Wedding party portraits at Ponte Winery Weddings
Ponte Winery is a very picturesque place and you hardly need to search for special spots to make impressive bridal party shots. All you need is just to take a look around as we did. Because bridesmaids were on heels, we didn’t go far from the preparation spot. At the Inn, we used wood flights of stairs and the Spanish-style interior of the hotel for the shooting. Some of the interior details were just amazing as these giant windows that we found out.
For big group shots, you can easily bring family members and friends outdoors to the vineyards as we did. On a cloudy day, the lighting was soft and diffuse and we got many nice pictures.
If the day is bright and sunny, it’s possible to catch good shots on the backdrop of the hotel in the Courtyard Garden where there will be enough shade from trees and the building.
Ceremony sites of Ponte Winery Wedding Venue
As I’ve mentioned above, there are two main outdoor ceremony sides at the Ponte Winery:
- Vineyard Garden surrounded by vineyard and mountain views, or
- waterside at the Pond at Ponte Vineyard Inn.
The venue also provides a Barrel Room both for ceremonies and receptions.
As I know, within your package you can freely choose between these three options. My newlyweds preferred outdoor ceremony options and further, I will talk about it.
The circular Vineyard Garden is located in the area of the winery behind the Tasting Room and the restaurant, but close to wedding cottages. It’s a large wide-open space ringed by cypress trees and vineyards. You will stand with your soulmate under the wedding pergola surrounded by 180-degree views of the vineyards and the mountains of the Temecula Valley.
Another outdoor ceremony spot is located in the area of the hotel — it’s the Pond behind the hotel’s courtyard garden. There is a wooden deck with a pergola made especially for ceremonies. It can easily be adorned with flowers. The place has a very tranquil romantic ambiance and can accommodate about 100 guests. The Pond ceremony spot has also a non-obvious advantage for a photoshoot: a photographer can make bird’s eye view shots of the ceremony being on the hotel’s upper floor.
One more note about the ceremony photos at this venue: keep in mind that the noon outdoor ceremony may not look perfect in the pictures because of the harsh midday light. To get really good ceremony shots it would be better to plan your ceremony at a later time. For example, your winter ceremony may start at 15-16 p.m. and the summer one — at 17-18 p.m. Just begin it 2-3 hours before the sunset and you will get the best ceremony photos you can imagine.
By the way, the venue will provide your guests with comfortable folding chairs with padded seats for the ceremony.
Reception options of Ponte Winery
After the ceremony, you can move to your reception site that can be organized in two areas.
The elegant Vineyard Pavilion is located near the Vineyard Garden ceremony spot and can host up to 280 guests. It’s a very spacious chic room with large floor-to-ceiling windows and a lacquered dance floor. The newlyweds will have their sweetheart table in front of a big window that offers 180-degree views of the Ponte Winery vineyards.
The Barrel Room is another reception space most suitable for intimate parties of up to 100 attendees. It has an unusual authentic backdrop of wine casks. Guests will enter the room by going through big 15-foot entry doors and enjoy the rustic atmosphere with the soft light of chandeliers and walls lined with oak barrels.
As for the photography, the main difficulty of this room is low light that in general happens more often than thought in reception rooms like this: with a low beamed ceiling and wooden walls. In such cases, I always use additional lighting equipment. We place in corners some additional flash units to make faces clearer and colors more vibrant in the pictures.
Why you can choose the Ponte Winery Temecula for your wedding
If you are searching for a rustic & romantic wedding venue, you will find Ponte Winery extremely welcoming for your special day. It’s a perfect all-in-one place (ceremony, reception, hotel).
- You will have an idyllic rural space and the beauty of wine country, together with the chic class of a luxurious property with ballrooms.
- If you or your guests are from far away, you can accommodate them at the Pont Winery Inn.
- The grounds are perfectly kept and maintained: you will see just pristine peaceful surroundings great for pictures and celebrating without any sloppy details.
- You will find tons of photo spots, no need to go far from one to another.
- The property can stand on its own with no extra decor and still be breathtaking.
- The staff is accommodating and helpful in making the planning process smoother and easier.
Still, I didn’t mention here other advantages of the Ponte Winery like bride & groom spacious rooms and lots of parking 🙂 because the amenities the venue offers are very very diverse (a tasting room, two restaurants, conference halls, a hotel, etc.). Apart from soothing surroundings and naturally beautiful views, you will find here the whole package of nearly everything that you can wish for your unforgettable occasion.