Updated: Mar 29
As soon as I arrived at Rancho Bernardo Inn, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of peace and quiet. Tucked away from the noise of the street, the Inn is a peaceful oasis, hidden and private but still so close to San Diego and all the activities the city has to offer. The cypress and olive trees, and the imported Italian fountains make you feel like you traveled thousands of miles in one step and landed in a beautiful garden in Tuscany.
Upon arriving the valet and front desk staff welcomed me and introduced me to Kathy, the Catering Manager, who would take me on a tour of the property and show me all the different ceremony and reception spaces available to couples.
Multiple areas of the venue can be used for weddings, a few specific spaces struck my mind, so I would like walk you through the possibilities. The Rancho Bernardo Inn definitely has a lot to offer.
ARAGON LAWN, TERRACE & BALLROOM
I will start with the most grandiose ceremony space which is the Aragon Lawn. The space is a curated lush garden and it is the perfect spot if you are big on privacy as it is located away from the lobby, cafe, restaurant and while the sleeping rooms are a 2 minutes walk, you won't have to worry about anyone peaking inside your wedding. The Aragon Lawn can fit up to 500 people so it is also great for large weddings. If you have 100-150 guests this space can easily be divided in different areas to flow from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception.
What I really find beautiful about the lawn is the white garden roses that surround the area in Spring and Summer. Can you imagine already having neutral color florals included in your wedding space even before talking to your florist?! On top of that, the space also comes with a beautiful wooden harbor that is is covered in grape leaves that can be used as ceremony backdrop or as a photography spot.As you can see in the photos, the Aragon Lawn
is surrounded by cypresses and other trees that guarantee some natural shading during the day.
The space is close to the Spa pool which is solely reserved to the guests who are receiving spa treatments during the day so you don't have to worry about noise or being crowded.
This spot is perfect if you are thinking of an upscale garden wedding that already has great landscaping and appeal! If you want to keep ceremony, cocktail hour and reception separated you could use the lawn for ceremony and then flow right into the Aragon terrace for cocktail hour; this space is great as it is easily accessible from the lawn and maintains the same style, in fact you will find another grape leaves canopy in the terrace that is wrapping around the building as well as a cozy outdoor fireplace that you can complement with some lounge furniture.
Alternatively you can move the cocktail hour in the foyer of the ballroom. The Aragon ballroom is perfect if you prefer an indoor space for the dinner but keep in mind it is a large space; if your guest count is low, you might want to consider adding lounge furniture or moving to another smaller space.
SANTIAGO COURTYARD & BALLROOM
The second space that I really loved is the Santiago Courtyard. Why? Oh, let me tell you just a few reasons: the imported Italian fountain (even though I live in San Diego since 8 years..... nothing beats European architecture!), the market lights, the olive trees, the fact that it feels such an intimate space and again the landscaping is great. When talking to couples about venues I always make it a point to consider the surroundings: the more the space is curated and beautiful on is own, the less you are going to have to spend on decor and flowers and lights...
The Santiago Courtyard is connected to the Santiago ballroom which makes it easy to transition to reception (if you decide to have an indoor dinner).
Even in this case there are many different possibilities: ceremony and cocktail hour in the courtyard and dinner in the ballroom or ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner in the courtyard (for intimate weddings) or another option is ceremony in the North Lawn, cocktail in the courtyard and dinner in the ballroom.
There are few other spaces that can be used for weddings such as the north Lawn, the Valencia lawn and the Bernardo ballroom and patio. I highly recommend setting top a tour with the Catering Managers of the resort. They will be able to guide you to the space that suits your vision and explain you what are the options for other events you might want to have such as rehearsal dinner or post wedding brunch or just a Spa day before the wedding!
To close this brief overview on one of the most beautiful North County venues, I want to talk about the many different photography spots you will find at RBI. Even though I am definitely not a photographer, when doing a site tour I always make a note of the places the couples can have some romantics, bridal party and first look shoot.
RBI has a lot! Starting from the Loggia, this beautiful shaded outdoor area that connects the lobby to the heart of the resort; another great photography spot is close to the main pool, there is a cute little garden with an imported fountain and trees all around, moving to the back of the resort a must have photo in front of the Spa fountain overlooking the pool and cypress trees. And if you are having your wedding at the Aragon lawn and ballroom don't forget to decorate the grand staircase that connects the ballroom to the outdoors (I'll add a photo below so you'll see what I am talking about!) and take a photo under the grape leaves canopy!
I had some fun and sketched a ceremony in the North Lawn of Rancho Bernardo Inn, so you can start dreaming of your perfect wedding!
If you feel like this venue speaks to your heart reach out to us, we'd love to help you plan your big day!
Photo credits: Rancho Bernardo Inn