Your Oak Canyon Ranch wedding may be a large elegant event or an intimate garden romance depending on what you like. If you want a venue that showcases the natural beauty of Southern California, you will not find a more beautiful place for your special day. You’ll have an amazing event under the shade of coastal oak trees enjoying the mountain views and unrivaled tranquility of the place.
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Location & History of Oak Canyon Ranch
Oak Canyon Ranch is located in Agoura Hills inside the Santa Monica Mountains. This scenic property is located 25 miles from Los Angeles and 10 miles to Malibu. It’s a very tranquil and secluded place surrounded by national reserves, with plenty of parking lots: they can hold up to 110 cars using valet.
The property combines in itself three big landscapes with more than 21,000 square feet of space. Its highlights are hundreds of mature oak trees and a great mountain backdrop. A year-round creek is one more attraction of the property. Starting from 2016, the ranch worked as a wedding venue and event space. It offered different kinds of indoor spaces including bungalows, banquet halls, garages, barn plus numerous outdoor locations. Such a versatile event area always attracted lots of newlyweds and hosted different types of weddings.
This estate is a real piece of history, part of the Hollywood Golden Era’s fame. The property was featured in five Old Hollywood films in the 1930s and 1940s. The most famous among them is the Academy Award-winning “Gone With the Wind”. Thus, Scarlett O’Hara’s Tara was here, not in Georgia. Thanks to its picturesque surroundings and overall magical atmosphere, the wedding venue also appeared in “Made for Each Other,” “The Great Dictator,” “Home in Indiana” and “Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!”.
In May 2021, the ranch was listed for sale. I hope this beautiful place will find its new owner and will host lots of grandiose events just as in previous years.
Amenities of Oak Canyon Ranch
Oak Canyon Ranch has two indoor event spaces and lots of green grounds and lawns surrounded by oak trees. The maximum capacity is 350 persons. The ranch hosts only one wedding per day and you’ll enjoy the whole day on the property: the average rental time is 10-12 hours. The venue offers:
- bridal and groom dressing areas,
- large indoor reception space,
- catering packages with a customizable menu,
- bar packages, your own alcohol not allowed,
- set-up, service, and clean-up included,
- guests suites,
- one site parking and garage space,
- numerous outdoor event spaces and activities like tennis and a pool.
Chairs, tables, lighting,an, etc. need to be rented. The venue will provide you with a list of rental companies. The curfew is by 10 pm outside and 11 pm inside. The Oak Canyon Ranch wedding cost will range from $5,000 to $7,000 (location-only) depending on guest count. The pricing for over 175 guests is discussable. So, the minimum of Oak Canyon Ranch Center wedding costs is about $17,000 with all fees. Dogs or pets are allowed with an extra fee.
Events Areas of Oak Canyon Ranch wedding venue
You can easily spend the whole wedding day at Oak Canyon Ranch. Here you’ll find everything for getting ready, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. The two large indoor spaces of the Oak Canyon Ranch can hold up to 120 seated guests. Here are the most attractive spaces:
- a large banquet hall with a fireplace and a wooden floor perfect for reception,
- a nice house for the bride with a adjacent groom dressing area,
- gardens with a gazebo, a fountain and green lawns shaded by trees for the ceremony. Outside there is a lot of space, so you can invite more than 200 people.
So, it’s really a large facility and very well equipped with everything you may need. At the Oak Canyon Ranch, since 2016 I’ve been photographing lots of weddings and the place always impressed me with truly stunning grounds and a special atmosphere.
Bridal & Groom Dressing Areas at your Oak Canyon Ranch Wedding
The venue will offer you one of the small cottages as a bridal suite. Bridal and groom’s cottages will be separated from each other. The houses are made of hardwood, tile, and stone and look very picturesque from the outside and comfortable inside. The bride will have three connected rooms with two bathrooms including showers. The interious are absolutely reminiscent of rooms in a good hotel, with all facilities inside. Thanks to big windows, you’ll have lots of light and space for your photography. Wedding accessories can be beautifully placed there with ease: for example, the wedding dress we used to hang outside on a big tree branch to take with it nice preparation shots.
The groom’s dressing area may be a bit smaller, sometimes it’s a single room attached to the bridal suite. The groom’s friends can stay outside on the patio next to the cottages. Most of the time guys prefer not to sit in the room but enjoy the outdoor activities and celebrate open-air. The area is well-shaded even during the hottest months in California. Anyway, all rooms have air-conditioners to combat the heat in summer.
First Look & Couple Shots at Oak Canyon Ranch
Most couples with whom I worked did the First Look at the spot with a small bridge. But actually, there are so many beautiful spots and each is picture-perfect. One couple made couple portraits on one of the pathways leading to the ceremony spot under the magnificent tree canopy. Another found a great spot next to an old-looking yet working stone well. If you don’t want to go far from the preparation spot, you can have a seat on a wooden bench next to the cottages.
One of the best shots we took on a mountain backdrop near the calm year-round creek running across the whole territory. The mesmerizing beauty of this place speaks for itself in the photos.
There are lots of outdoor decorations on the territory, every corner can serve as a backdrop, you need only to walk and look around. Looking at all these details, you understand what a great job the venue manager and the staff did to decorate the surroundings.
If the couple has time in their wedding timeline, I always suggest driving up to the hills. In the mountains, not far from the ranch, there are many riding trails and paths for walking. Here you can take great sunset shots that will be the highlight of your wedding album.
Wedding Party & Family Photos at the Oak Canyon Ranch Wedding Venue
As I‘ve already mentioned, you’ll hardly think where to take group shots: the territory is filled with many garden decor details, hidden corners, and impressive backdrops. Lots of photos we took under the oaks while walking. Wedding party shots can be taken immediately at the preparation spot. For elder relatives, use wood benches you’ll see around the cottages. On green lawns surrounding the event spots, you can place a big number of people for photography.
Another great idea of one of the couples in the photos was renting a vintage limo for the wedding day. It really added to the atmosphere of the celebration. It was an attraction for all the guests. All photos with it turned out unique and impressive.
A good moment to capture big group shots is right after the ceremony at the altar spot. The spot is well shaded and looks stunning. And surely, the classics are the cocktail hour shots. One of the unrivaled perks of this place is versatile landscaping: multiple locations for photography in a compact area.
Ceremony of your Oak Canyon Ranch Wedding
Actually, there are two great ceremony spots at the Oak Canyon Ranch wedding venue. Both you can see in the photos. The first spot is under the branches of a giant oak tree. The second one is a wooden arch, in the photos richly adorned with bold flowers, draperies, and greenery. Both spots are good solutions. The hundreds of giant California Oak Trees cover the area from the sun, so your guests will feel protected under the green canopy. It is also a perfect woodsy backdrop for photography. Yet if you feel really uncomfortable on a very hot day, just start your ceremony at 5 pm, it will already be ok in the afternoon and surely nice at night. In winter, couples start the ceremony at 3:30 pm with a cocktail hour during the sunset.
Just a few words about decorations. The area is quite demanding concerning decorations. With just some personal touches, you can transform the spot into a garden romance. In the photos you see how the spot has been changed when the couple put a little effort into the wedding decor: there are white petals on the aisle, draperies and floral installations on the arch, crystal chandeliers, and twinkle lights on the tree branches. Also, on the official webpage of the ranch, it’s highly recommended to bring in for example additional lighting to make the ceremony and reception spots look really fantastic. While deciding on a forest-like theme or a rustic wedding, you can bring in wooden/ evergreen decors or adorn the spot with bold bright hues. Some ideas for your summer wedding you can find also here.
The venue allows almost all decorations until you hang without putting holes in the walls or trees. Just inform them where and what exactly you’ll decorate. So, let your fantasy take a flight by creating a mesmerizing sight at your wedding spot.
Reception of your Oak Canyon Ranch Wedding
The outdoor reception is usually organized just some steps from the ceremony spot. Your guests will have dinner and dance under hundreds of bistro lights on the beautiful green lawn. In the photos you see that one dinner went along with a rustic vibe: the couple brought in farm-style tables and chairs and as I remember it was a farm-to-table menu. Another dinner was more elegant in a classic style, with white linen, candlesticks on the tables, and chandeliers hanging from the trees. So, you can really design the entire layout and the venue allows you to get super creative and make the place your own.
In case of bad weather, you have two options: move to the banquet hall that can host about 120 persons or stay outside yet under the tent. Guest counts over 120 require tenting.
If you decide on an indoor reception, in the banquet hall you’ll find everything you need. There are giant floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, big French doors, and adjacent patios with lounges. Heating and AC are in every indoor room. Plus 10 bathrooms for your guests for the whole property.
Advantages of the Oak Canyon Ranch wedding venue
The Oak Canyon Ranch wedding venue is a very green and comfortable venue for any type of event you’ll choose. If you fancy a woodland setting filled with nature, you can organize a rustic or garden wedding. The whole territory has a nice shade and breeze in the hot afternoon and feels really magical in the evening.
The ranch consists of big indoor spaces, many cottages, a garage, barn, gazebo, pool, 2 upgraded working wells, and hundreds of big oak trees. A year-round creek, rolling hills, and canyon views add to the secluded ambiance. There is plenty of space and a bunch of spots for a romantic photoshoot. It’s easy to move around and take truly unique pictures.
The venue is super private compared to other venues in surroundings, it offers a large bridal cottage and separated groom’s room, ample parking, and other amenities for the guests. It is a large facility and well equipped with everything you could ever need.
The ranch is well priced in comparison to all that it can offer. The venue manager will provide you with a list of preferred vendors, and the venue allows you to come in and really play around with the venue’s aesthetic. Many couples who wed at the Oak Canyon ranch designed the entire layout with the full support of the venue manager and the staff. They did their best to provide the couples with the best service.
Other wedding venues in Southern California with great views and peaceful surroundings:
Vista Valley Country Club is located in a beautiful northern San Diego County valley, only 40 miles north of San Diego. The ceremony area is probably one of the most beautiful you’ll find.
Stone Manor Malibu, a wedding venue and a summer rental with sweeping views of the Malibu coast and total comfort for guests.