Now that I had eliminated Long Meadow Ranch from consideration, we were back on our first choice venue. Like I mentioned before, this venue was always near the top of my list but for one reason or another, it didn’t quite fit in my plans. Then after another of my revisions, I asked the mister if he would consider having an outdoor wedding and after some thought, he agreed and I showed him this venue and everything just fell into place.
Do you remember that episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai was having trouble planning her wedding to Luke but then she found her dream dress and the entire wedding just fell into place in a day? That’s how it was for me, except it took longer than a day but you get what I mean. Once he agreed to an outdoor wedding, suddenly my vision for this wedding became clear. We visited our lovely venue during his next visit, toured the grounds, and peered into buildings and I just felt right about the whole thing. I tried my best to keep calm because I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case he didn’t like it. Finally, after what felt like ages, I asked him what he thought and he said he liked it! And, to my heart’s delight, he added, “If we get married here, we can come back and visit on our anniversary.”
Did you just swoon? I swoon every time I tell that story.
So what is the magical place that made me swoon and will be where we’re putting our cake? Here, at the Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga. It’s a very peaceful and beautiful garden tucked away in the Moraga hills and while it’s easy to get to and right off a busy road, it feels like everything is miles away. There are two sections that are available for rent, the Hacienda and the Pavilion. We’re only renting the Hacienda so we’ll have access to the house and its expansive lawn.
The Hacienda de las Flores, Moraga
[photo by Moraga Hacienda]
Our rental includes the lower level of the house (the Dance Room where we’ll put our buffet and cake, the Fireplace room which we’ll use as a lounge for people to hang back in if they want to take a break inside, and the Mosaic room which we don’t know what we’ll do with [the venue coordinator told us one couple used it as a nursery for the kids – great idea!]) along with a dressing area for me and another room the mister can hang out in before the ceremony, those large market umbrellas, which will come in handy in the warm afternoons), and tables and chairs.
The Fireplace Room. All the furniture is included and can be moved around.
Our ceremony will be on the lawn with the birch trees as our altar area. There are several other areas to have the ceremony but I love the look of the birch trees. We’ll have our guests facing the birch trees so the Hacienda will be at their backs.
Once the ceremony is completed, we’ll have Cocktail Hour and the Reception on the patio. The tables will be on the patio surrounding the fountain. Our dance floor will the just within the fence there under the eaves (the DJ will be set up on the left side and our drink table will be on the right.
And it already comes decorated!
There are a few quirks with the Hacienda that may turn some people off, but wasn’t an issue for us. The venue rental includes any 8-hour period between 9am and 10pm and extra hours are available but can only be added on to the beginning of your time. It is in the middle of a residential area (plus, it’s Moraga…so, yeah) so everything stops at 10pm. Non-amplified music is allowed indoors and outdoors but amplified music must be indoors (there are ways to get around this!). Also, there is no hard liquor allowed; only beer, wine and champagne within their allotment suggestions (basically a half bottle of champagne or wine or 3 bottles of beer per person). And while you can bring in any caterer or DJ you wish, you will be charged a deposit fee if you go off their list. Again, these things can definitely be deal breakers to some people, but really didn’t matter to us.
But in all, I am so excited to have our wedding here. It’s going to be a lovely day.
Was it love at first sight for your wedding venue?