Complete Guide to Quail Ranch!
If you dream to have a destination wedding, yet a short drive from L.A., and enjoy an authentic California experience, Quail Ranch will be the greatest choice.
Manicured grounds, impeccable services, and fascinating picture-taking wedding spots – this is all about Quail Ranch! This article with more than 50 photos will help you dive into the idyllic Californian atmosphere of this venue and will answer all of your questions.
Table of Contents
Location & History of Quail Ranch
Quail Ranch is a family-owned 70-acre ranch located in Eastern Ventura County, in Simi Valley, about 40 miles from L.A. The name of the ranch refers to a California quail that is common in Simi Valley. This bird is a symbol of social relations and commitment to family, according to Native Americans’ beliefs.
In the past, the Quail Ranch Simi Valley was a part of extensive landscapes belonging to the big and respected Strathearn family. The descendant of the family built there in 1933 a private estate for his children. As many of this kind in California, it included a house in Spanish Revival style and perfectly maintained grounds with old oaks, pines, and citrus orchards. Nowadays, the Quail Ranch has its own peculiarity — there are avocado orchards whose bloom the guests of the ranch can view from the hills. The Ranch has retained all this beauty to our days under the supervision of other owners, the Seaton family. They live on the ranch, care about the historical property and offer it as a rental venue for weddings. It’s the perfect location for an outdoor wedding with a rustic vibe and stunning views of Simi Valley’s hills.
The Quail Ranch Amenities
Quail Ranch will host up to 250 guests. On your wedding day, you will have at your service three different locations of the venue: an outdoor ceremony site with seating, the lawn for cocktail hour, and the reception area. Besides, you will get beautifully designed bridal & groom’s suites in separated areas. Your Quail Ranch wedding has to finish at 10 P.M.
The venue provides the service of an exclusive caterer, Command Performance Catering. They work with the venue for years and are absolute experts on all things of the ranch. Besides, they work with other local food vendors including avocado supplies from the venue: you will enjoy the Farm-to-Table cuisine at your dinner.
Other services included in the Quail Ranch wedding package are:
- tables and wood chairs for both ceremony and reception,
- all china, stemware and table linens,
- bistro lighting,
- large dance floor,
- coffee station, 2 bars, and bartenders.
You will be offered to use security and valet services provided by the venue. The cost of valet, security guards, and vendor/ event insurance is not included in the Quail Ranch wedding costs.
As you’ve understood from above, the property belongs to private owners whose task is to maintain and keep the beauty of this place. That’s why there are some limitations to the use of the venue. Be informed of restrictions while booking the venue.
For example, smoking is allowed only in certain areas near restrooms. There may be restrictions to enter several buildings on the grounds as well. Besides, check with the management from which time the groom and bridal suites will be available for you.
There are also sound restrictions. Since it’s a residential area, music has to be kept at a certain level.
Wedding spots of Quail Ranch Simi Valley
You will have on the property three outdoor areas for your Quail Ranch wedding:
- terraced ceremony site under a giant oak tree,
- brick patio in front of the Ranch house for cocktail hour,
- backyard area where your reception will take place.
Besides, you will use the facilities of bridal & groom suites, plus enjoy amazing natural landscaping of the venue that offers lots of opportunities for great pictures. Just be aware that you will not have access to indoor areas of the venue except bridal & groom suites.
Bride & Groom Getting Ready Areas
The luxurious bridal suite of the Quail Ranch is a dream place for wedding preparations. It’s totally secluded and intimate, moreover, it’s extremely comfortable and chic.
- There are bright French doors and big windows which let plenty of light inside: it’s perfect for quality shots of the bridal party and wedding details.
- There is a large full-length mirror that allows the bride a head-to-toe glimpse.
- The overall interior design is soft milky white and resembles comfortable Spanish hacienda interiors, full of sun and space.
- A stone fireplace adds to the classic vibe of the room. On its mantel shelf, you can beautifully place your floral bouquets or other wedding decors.
- There are enough seats for bridesmaids and space for placing wedding accessories.
- You will have a stunning pool view and outside you can also place your wedding dress. Be sure that your privacy will not be disturbed at this peaceful retreat.
The groom will be equally impressed with the Ranch Lodge, a true “groom’s room”, where he can prepare and relax before the ceremony. It’s a part of the Ranch house, a chic study with dark wood panels and a beamed ceiling. As the bridal suite, this room has an original fireplace, comfortable leather sofa and chairs, a bar, and even a pool table. French doors of the room open to the private patio. The lodge is very elegant and classy, it’s a gorgeous backdrop for the groom’s party photos.
First Look at Quail Ranch Simi Valley
At the Quail Ranch wedding where I was shooting, the bride has chosen two First Look photoshoots: one with her father and another with the groom. About reasons which can make you choose a non-traditional First Look, you can also read here. For the alternative First Look with the bride’s father, we have chosen the impressive Ranch Lodge as a background. The soft diffuse light and pure emotions of the father & daughter made these pictures sweet and touching.
For the First Look with the groom, we changed to another spot just a few steps away from the Lodge: the majestic main building of Ranch House served as a backdrop. Its colorful details — the original red-tile roof and huge Spanish-style windows — add an original rustic vibe that is clearly seen in the pictures.
Couple & Family Portraits at Quail Ranch
As the Ranch with its grounds is in itself very charming and picturesque, you easily will find nice spots for couple & group portraits. Just keep in mind that elder family members are not always willing to go far from the places of main events, especially if the grounds are uneven.
For the couple’s portraits, we’ve chosen one of the nearest spots — the poolside of the bridal house — because of its short distance and a very soothing and serene atmosphere. This spot will be nice for small group portraits as well.
Lots of staircases in the area can also be nice scenery for wedding photos. While standing on the small stairs, the bride (or the couple together) will appear as the highlight of the entire panorama.
Another option we’ve found was the green grounds of the Ranch next to the parking lot. The couple posed in front of their white car and this looks very romantic and film-like in the pictures.
All these spots will be great for wedding parties and family photography as well. Most importantly they are not far from the sites of the main events. Still, if the guests are ready to make a small walk through the area you will find a glorious panorama of the hills and between flourishing citrus trees. Keep in mind that for quality photography, the sun outside hasn’t to be too harsh. Otherwise, use the shade of the main building. The house and big trees growing around will be a perfect frame for your pictures.
Ceremony site of Quail Ranch
Quail Ranch is separated into specific areas so that guests can easily move from one area to another.
The ceremony site is located a bit lower down the hill, it’s a secluded lemon orchard with a 5,000-square-foot terrace. The bride makes her entrance down the stairs while guests take their seats on a laid brick terrace in front of a giant oak tree. This tree serves as a backdrop for the ceremony and makes the area well-shaded.
There is a lot of space on the terrace ringed by lush greenery and blossoms. The surroundings are very photo-worthy. After the ceremony the guests move up the stairs to the house where on the front lawn the caterer will offer cocktails.
Still, some couples (as the couple with whom I worked) prefer to marry in the church nearby. In this case, they use the ceremony spot for a cocktail and the front lawn — for the dinner. The backyard which is usually used for receptions they considered for dancing and dessert serving. As you see, the Ranch is quite flexible according to areas offered for events and it’s very convenient.
Reception site of Quail Ranch
For the reception party, the venue provides the backyard of the Ranch. It’s a really huge area and you will find there enough space for guests’ entertainment: for dessert tables, a photo booth, a wedding favor table, etc. All this can be easily placed in the backyard.
From the staircase down to the backyard, the couple will make their Grand Entrance to the reception site. The guests are seated under a big oak tree at beautifully served tables and can easily see the couple at every moment, whether at the sweetheart table or during the First Dance.
The dancing area is a big laid brick terrace not far from the dinner site. In the dusk, it is beautifully lit with outdoor lanterns. Bistro lighting hanging on the trees above the tables also adds to a fairytale-like atmosphere of the evening.
Be aware that the rules of the venue may not allow for the guests to walk in the orchards in the evening and through the area. It’s better to clear up this point with the management of the venue.
Why is Quail Ranch a great choice for your best day
Quail Ranch is an ideal place if you dream to get married outdoors in a classic California-style “ranch” setting. The Ranch has many features of a great outdoor venue: amazing green surroundings, relaxing soothing atmosphere, perfectly maintained grounds. It is polished so perfectly that you can keep your budget for floral & other decors within reasonable limits.
One more important point is the real privacy of the place. Quail Ranch Simi Valley is a private working ranch and is not open to the public.
Another unrivaled highlight of the venue is upscale bridal & groom suites. These rooms are extremely chic and cozy for both the bride and groom. From my experience, this can be really lacking in some venues, particularly the groom’s room.
And lastly, the exclusive caterer company removes the need to plan all of the small details. Some couples may not like it, but actually, it allows the newlyweds to concentrate on the main event without having to wade into every detail.
Eager to know more about other Simi Valley’s most popular wedding destinations? Read our articles about the astonishing Hummingbird Nest Ranch or have a look at other great ranches in California, like Orcutt Ranch in the West Hills, or Calamigos Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains.