Rain on your wedding day, though said to bring good luck, could certainly put a damper on an outdoor fete. To eliminate any worry about the elements, be it a hail storm or a heat wave, venues with both indoor and outdoor areas ease the stress that untimely weather may present.
“Being able to then go inside for the reception is especially helpful in a city like Sacramento, where we can easily have warm weather where air conditioning is needed, or in case there is rain and you need to have a backup plan,” says Kelly Hardin, owner of Artistic Wedding and Event Planning. Another bonus of choosing an indoor/outdoor space? More variety in wedding photographs.
“The natural light that you get with an outdoor ceremony can be quite romantic, and even on a cloudy day you can have some phenomenal photos,” says Hardin. “You also get to have photos with the beautiful indoor space in the background during the reception.”
Here are six Sacramento area indoor-outdoor venues to consider for your big day.
Crawford’s Barn (above)
2715 Tiber Drive, Sacramento
(916) 361-0537, crawfordsbarn.org
In the era of gold miners and pioneers, wealthy businessman Samuel Henry Cowell laid claim to a sprawling estate on the banks of the American River. In the 1920s and ’30s, his ranch became known for a racehorse rumored to have won every race in California. The horse, Crawford, gives the site its present name.
Crawford’s Barn maintains much of its old-time charm, including original stable doors, wooden interior and old hayloft. It has a kitchen and bride’s and groom’s dressing rooms for easy prep. Couples can hold their event in the barn or on the grounds.
The surrounding 2.75-acre parkland is an urban oasis in Sacramento’s College Greens neighborhood. Complete with horseshoe pit, playground and an abundance of tree-shaded areas, the venue allows guests to have full use of the property throughout the event.
Determined to have your favorite barbecue for dinner? Crawford’s Barn has no restrictions on caterers. “We allow for open catering and that’s why people like us so much,” says co-manager Sandra Sanders. Another plus: Couples may reserve the venue for 16-hour blocks, allowing for plenty of setup time. Parties can start early and run late.
Vizcaya Pavilion & Mansion
2019 21st St., Sacramento
(916) 594-9285, vizcayapavilion.com
In midtown Sacramento, Vizcaya is a much-loved backdrop for enchanting weddings. The historic site features multiple garden ceremony and reception spaces, plus an octagon-shaped indoor Pavilion and intimate parlor—plenty of options for the perfect wedding.
The newly remodeled Pavilion boasts floor-toceiling windows, stained-glass light fixtures and wainscoting, all beneath an elegant domed roof. Outside, gardens overflow with hanging vines and flowers, and an ornate gazebo provides a picturesque spot for exchanging vows.
In addition to the event facilities, the Queen Annestyle mansion also serves as a bed-and-breakfast inn, with eight luxurious guest rooms ideal for the bridal party and out-of-town guests.
Catering is provided on-site by award-winning chef Jim Turknett. To help guide couples in creating their dream event, a Vizcaya wedding planner works with them from day one.
“Our staff is passionate at what they do, and we want to insure your wedding will exceed all of your expectations,” says sales manager Aubrey White.
Haggin Oaks Golf Complex
3645 Fulton Ave., Sacramento
(916) 481-4653, hagginoaks.com
For more than 80 years, Haggin Oaks has played host to some of the sport’s top players on the lush fairways of two championship golf courses. It also has been the site of many nuptials throughout the years.
Heavy white drapes and wrought iron chandeliers hang from the ceiling of The Pavilion at Haggin Oaks, a permanent tent that serves as the venue’s reception site. Floor-length tablecloths, napkins and chairs all are included in the rental fee. A curtained gazebo or century-old oak trees on the 17th fairway provide canopy for the ceremony. A bonus: Rolling green lawns make great backdrops for photos.
Couples craving a highly personalized event delight in the lack of a preferred vendors list at the venue, aside from bar service and catering, which must be provided through the golf course. Still, they can choose from among a variety of options for drinks and buffet or plated meals.
“We only host one wedding a day,” says special event sales director Rebecca Kirtlan. “We are not a wedding sweatshop.” A unique feature: Couples have access to both Haggin Oaks golf courses—just in case a little pre-wedding round is in order!
Lake Natoma Inn
702 Gold Lake Drive, Folsom
(916) 932-2769, lakenatomainn.com
Perched on the banks of Lake Natoma in charming Old Folsom, the aptly named Lake Natoma Inn is an all-in-one venue. For a romantic outdoor ceremony, the gazebo area—replete with twinkle lights, fountain and perimeter of potted flora—can accommodate 250 guests. The smaller Garden Patio brims with blooming flowers, trees and flickering fire pits for warmth on chilly evenings.
The hotel’s indoor spaces include the Pavilion, its signature reception venue. This room wows with a dramatically draped ceiling adorned with three crystal chandeliers. The space can accommodate up to 170 guests. For larger parties, the Sierra Ballroom fits up to 250 guests. The more intimate Sutter Room, providing unparalleled views of the outdoor gardens, can hold from 30 to 100 guests.
Food options include the Lake Natoma Inn buffet (featuring the inn’s famous garlic and chive mashed potatoes); plated service also is available. For late-night snacking, specialty stations offering a mac and cheese martini bar, sliders and fries, and ice cream sundaes can be set up. Looking for pre- and post-party fun? Sutter Street is just a few blocks away, beckoning out-of-town guests with shopping, dining and entertainment options for the duration of their stay.
Thunder Valley Casino Resort
1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln
(916) 408-7777, thundervalleyresort.com
About 30 minutes from downtown Sacramento, a lavish Las Vegas-style casino lures those looking to get lucky with glitzy slot machines, card tables and high-limit VIP lounges. Amid the excitement of the gaming lies a sprawling resort with a spa (where, pre-ceremony, you can treat yourself to an exclusive 24-karat gold leaf facial), fine dining and gorgeous halls for your dream wedding.
The 10,000-square-foot Pano Hall can be partitioned to create an intimate space for 20 or lavish room for 450 guests. State-of-the-art audio visual, chandeliers and a recessed ceiling add grandeur to your event.
For a fun, outdoor vibe, the poolside bar Coconuts is available for ceremonies and receptions.
Catering packages run the gamut from traditional to exotic cuisines. Pastry chefs work with you to design your wedding cake, cake pops, groom’s cake or other signature sweets.
On-staff event décor planners and catering sales staff are ready to assist with wedding and reception planning and coordination, says Denise Perkins, director of sales.