{Venue Love} Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley

Time to talk venues today :) I have received a lot of e-mails from readers asking about Holman Ranch, but also general questions about splurging on the venue, what style is good, etc. etc. etc. So here is my side of the story, and I would love to comment with other questions, your story on finding the perfect venue, etc. Was it easy? Did it take a long time? Let those stories lose!

The moment I stepped foot, I got excited about my wedding again. Until that point I was feeling defeated and like there was no right place to have the day. My needs were pretty simple, a vineyard, a barn, gorgeous views, and firepits.

I ended up deciding on an off season Friday. And can I just say, Friday weddings are the way to go! I have been to several now and they are always the best. First you get to take the day off work, which most people really don't mind doing. Then you dance the night away, wake up and have a whole weekend ahead of you! I had a lot of out-of-town guests and it was really nice to be able to spend all of Saturday with them without stress and worry and all that other stuff.


This venue was a bit of a splurge but I made up for it in other areas. I found a wonderful deal on a caterer, we brought in our own drinks, cut transportation and other decor choices for it. From the moment I signed the contract until the day of the wedding I never regretted the splurge. It really depends on your scene, budget, and what you are willing to sacrifice.

The ceremony spot is breathtaking. I am not a fan of grass, but it really didn't matter with such a unique space. Standing at the alter there was nothing but rolling hills and wonderful valley below. It was one of those magical moments looking at such a vast amount of space.

Something you always have to plan for is a chance of rain. I was very anti, even though I was pretty sure it was going to rain. I couldn't imagine the wedding indoors and Shannon, the planner, knew how against it I was. When I arrived on site she said it was time to make the call and it was probably going to rain. I ended up choosing the outdoor ceremony and moving the dinner to the barn. The indoor reception ended up being much more intimate and romantic than I had ever pictured. And rain it did! It poored, it hailed and it stopped at all the right moments :)

For the small amount of time that it wasn't raining, guests could hang out on the lawn which was so amazing.

There is a small downside to the venue though. It is so spacious and so vast, that it can becoe overwhelming when trying to plan. Have anyone else had trouble with picturing things in such a big space? It took a bit of getting used to, but the nice thing was that if I didn't add anything to a space, it looked great as is.

I ended up having a lot of details and things because there was so much space to fill. It was definitely over-kill! But in a good way :)

Lastly, I can't say enough good things about Hunter and the team at Holman. After what I went through finding a venue, I felt like I hit the jackpot with the most perfect service and the nicest team.

And today I was surprised with this super awesome gift from Hunter. Aww, I can't wait to break this open on a special occasion.

So let's hear some stories! Have you found the one, are you still looking? What design and decor issues have you been running into? Spill the beans

Oh, and ff you haven't seen our wedding, check out the feature here and here.