If you are looking for an outdoor venue with a unique vintage ambiance and great affordability, the Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding will be your dream event. This great wedding venue, combining numerous versatile locations, natural beauty, and Victorian elegance, is one of the best options in Orange County.
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Location & History of Heritage Museum of Orange County
The Heritage Museum of Orange County is located just a few minutes from Downtown Santa Ana. The location is very central to Orange County. There are over 200 slots for parking there.
The 12-acre property has several unique historical buildings from the 1890s, rose gardens, and orchards. A beautiful white house in the Victorian style you’ll see when you enter the grounds is the Kellogg House, the home of Hiram Clay Kellogg, a civil engineer and one of the famous Santa Ana citizens. From 1894 to 1899, he was the Orange County Surveyor responsible for many of the city’s roads and bridges, and then became Santa Ana’s City Engineer. He designed and built his house in 1898. Until now this great example of a Queen Anne-style Victorian building has kept its unique charm. Originally it was located in downtown Santa Ana. The Kellogg family donated the house to the city and it was removed from its original location in 1980. The Discovery Museum of Orange County completely restored it five years later and opened to the public.
Along with the Victorian house, there is a farmhouse on the property, a great example of a Colonial Revival building. In 1981, it was moved here to the museum area. Also, here on the property, there is a fully operational blacksmith shop, with regular blacksmithing classes, an one-acre farm area with over 40 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Plus beautiful gardens including three shaded lawns, and a 3 tiered fountain.
The Kellogg house with surrounding floral and citrus gardens serves as an event venue offering newlyweds amazing backdrops for your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding photography, comfortable event sites and great Victorian ambiance.
Amenities of the Heritage Museum Orange County
The Heritage Museum of Orange County offers its beautiful grounds to newlyweds wishing to enjoy a romantic Victorian vibe and dreaming for an outdoor garden wedding.
The venue offers:
- outdoor locations for the ceremony & reception,
- bride’s and groom’s dressing areas,
- catering provided by the exclusive caterer, Country Garden Caterers (no kitchen onsite),
- set up and clean up,
- day-of coordinator, (yet a wedding planner is recommended)
- ceremony arch, podium/ stage,
- outdoor lighting,
- dance area,
- free parking.
A great perk of the venue is no noise ordinances, so you can party until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Another advantage is that the part of your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding costs will be tax-deductible because all proceeds from celebrations go to support the museum’s nonprofit programs.
So, your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding costs will be some of the lowest you may find in Southern California. Nowadays, it’s approximately $ 5400 for ceremony & reception. On their webpage, you’ll see the exact information on how much is a wedding at Heritage Museum of Orange County nowadays.
There are some limitations concerning decor stuff: no open flames, sparklers, petals, rice, bride seeds, etc. The venue is dog-friendly.
Events Sites at your Heritage Museum of Orange County Wedding
The total capacity of the venue is 300. You can organize ceremony-only, reception-only events, or set all together. The Kellogg House will be open for your wedding photo shooting, yet you can not celebrate inside. However, the expansive lawns and gardens of the Heritage Museum are at your service.
- The Gazebo Lawn right in front of the house is a popular place for the ceremony. It can accommodate about 300 guests.
- The Rose Garden Lawn with the capacity of 400 seated persons is perfect for receptions
- There is a shaded pavilion on the property that hosts about 150 seated guests.
The museum books only one wedding per day, so you have the whole territory to yourself.
Bridal & Groom’s Preparation Areas of your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding
The venue offers the Kellogg house as a bridal suite (the groom’s dressing area will be in a separate location). Its main and second floors are open to visitors. During the wedding, you can use the space for the wedding photo session and changing area, yet the makeup and hair style preparation has to be done somewhere else.
Entering the house, you will be immediately transported back in time in an instant. The house is filled with items from the 1800s, they are not original, yet look really authentic. Many features in the house show Kellogg’s love of ships. The vintage looking dining room duplicates an officers’ mess and its cabinets and shelves with carved woodwork along the wall were built by a ship’s carpenter.
The spiral central staircase is the highlight of the interiors. It also replicates staircases found on ships. Some nice group shots may be taken right on the stairs. A post running from the foot of the stairs up to the attic is a ship mast. And the attic designed by Kellogg himself is open to the floor below to give the effect of a crow’s nest. So, it’s definitely worth taking get ready pictures here: you’ll have a terrific backdrop for photos in your wedding album.
First Look & Couple Shots at the Heritage Museum of Orange County
The couple you see in the photos did their First Look on one of the numerous pathways behind the building. That spot was perfectly shaded by trees and was a good choice in the sunny afternoon. You can also do your First Look right in front of the house, on a small patio with a 3 tiered fountain surrounded by lush rose and magnolia bushes.
Another nice spot for a First Look is a white pergola in the backyard. It covers a long pathway in the garden behind the house and is surrounded by citrus trees.
For couple sunset shots, we went to the Gospel Swamp area, located not far from the main house along the hill behind the blacksmith workshop. It’s a peaceful secluded grassland with bushy trees and rare pedestrians. In a way, this area is a unique spot in Santa Ana. It’s the lowest natural point of the city. In the past, it was a real swamp, nowadays the wetlands are dry and the museum’s Gospel Swamp Farm is growing here over 40 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.You can walk down to the bottom of the wetlands and take many pictures.
A great advantage of this venue are numerous photo locations. Every picture you snap will look like a postcard and your wedding photos will be really versatile.
Wedding Party & Family Photos at the Heritage Museum of Orange County
The grounds of the Heritage Museum is a paradise for history lovers, the venue will make your pictures look beautiful, from the Kellogg house to the gazebo and orange orchards.
First, the creamy white pastel walls of this turn-of-the-century building are a stunning backdrop. The pictures with newlyweds and weddings parties you see here look non-trivial because we placed groups on different levels of the building.
You can also snap many interesting shots while walking with your friends along jasmine-covered pathways, through orange groves and rose gardens. A citrus orchard with a white pergola that I’ve already mentioned is a great photo spot, too.
Another building of the property, a carriage barn, is a nice well-shaded photo spot as well. We also took many shots on the promenade to the gazebo where the ceremony was hosted. After the ceremony, we used the spot for big group photos. A picnic area on the lawn can also handle large groups.
Ceremony site of your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding
Usually, couples choose the Gazebo or Wedding Lawn for the ceremony, it can accommodate about 300 guests. The bride walks along the aisle from the main house to the gazebo that is adorned with floral installations. The guests are seated on white folded chairs provided by the venue vendor. Mature orange trees surrounding the ceremony spot perfectly cover the guests and couple from the sun. This is great for photography, too: there will be no harsh contrasts on faces and you will get attractive photos in a soft diffused light. The couple in the photos had luck with the season: that time trees ringing the spot were in full bloom that looked gorgeous in the pictures. The ceremony spot at the Heritage Museum is a very spacious area with a lot of greenery, so you don’t need a lot of flowers to decorate.
After the ceremony, while wedding parties take photos, the guests are allowed to tour the historic Kellogg home. Another great feature of the venue that adds to a vintage spirit is a blacksmith who works near the spot. While guests sip their cocktails in the picnic courtyard area, the venue organizes a blacksmith work demonstration, especially when there are kids at the wedding. That’s a good opp to snap interesting shots, too.
Reception site of the Heritage Museum of Orange County
The couple in the photos had cocktail hour by the Kellogg House and the reception behind it in a large half-open pavilion, with a small stage and dance area. At the dinner, we had more than 120 guests and there was still plenty of space for dancing and food buffet service.
The venue provides you with outdoor chandeliers and string lights, so that the place will look stunning in the evening. The couple placed a gift table next to a small fountain. The sweetheart table stood on a small raised platform so that the newlyweds were seen from every angle. Guest bathrooms with modern facilities are just some steps away from the reception spot.
The venue does not allow a sparkler exit or candles with open flame yet they do allow for a monogram to be projected, and a fog machine for the dance floor.
Advantages of the Heritage Museum Orange County wedding venue
Your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding will be just as amazing in this historical place. It’s a very beautiful and calm event venue with a distinct historical vibe. From the Victorian house and with the chandeliers adorned gazebo, to the lush flower garden and citrus grove, you will live all of our wedding dreams. The guests are usually very excited about the historical aspect of the venue, too.
The Heritage Museum accommodates both ceremony and reception and offers several outdoor event sites. The grounds are spacious and stunning, with versatile locations. You don’t have to go elsewhere for pictures: there are plenty of photo ops for your Heritage Museum of Orange County wedding photography.
Moreover, the venue is available until 12 AM on certain days. Another great perk is that there is no noise ordinance, outdoor music is allowed, so be ready to really party throughout the evening.
Though it’s a community lot, no need to worry about random people wandering into your celebration, the venue offers only one wedding per day.
The Heritage Museum is one of the best venue options you can find in Orange County in terms of wedding costs. Even their peak season pricing is incredibly reasonable in comparison to other locations in the area. Besides, the Heritage Museum is a non-profit organization that educates the Orange County community about its history. You will not only contribute to this good cause but the parts of your wedding costs will be tax-deductible.
Have a look at other affordable venues in Southern California:
- Serra Plaza is a very reasonably priced venue, located in the historic downtown of San Juan Capistrano city in Orange County,
- Mitten Building in Downtown Redlands, the city in San Bernardino County, Southern California is also an affordable late-night venue,
- and the historical Maxwell House of Pasadena is a very flexible and affordable place, too.