Fancy getting married at a 300-acre mountaintop retreat perched high above Santa Cruz overlooking Monterey Bay? Because that’s precisely what Chaminade Resort promises!

Lynsey & Ashley’s day didn’t start and end at Chaminade, though. They actually had their ceremony at a chapel, the iconic roadside chapel about 25 minutes away. 

Afterward, they opted for a relaxed reception on one of the patios at the Chaminade with its impeccable luxe-casual vibe and panoramic views. 

Views from Sunset Patio at Chaminade Resort wedding
Views from Sunset Patio at Chaminade Resort | Photo by Zoe Larkin Photography

Features of the Chaminade Resort for weddings

The Chaminade resort is set high above Santa Cruz on a mountain bluff overlooking the forested hills of the Santa Cruz mountains and the Monterey Bay below. It’s surrounded by redwoods, eucalyptus, oak, madrone and lush green lawns. The architecture is Spanish in character, mixing Old World elegance with modern luxury. 

The original Mission-style buildings have survived since the 1930s and have been expanded into a woodland resort that now stretches to 300 acres. 

Capacity at the Chaminade Resort, Santa Cruz

The largest wedding capacity at the Chaminade Resort is 200 guests. 

There are also packages and spaces that cater to intimate weddings of fewer than 10 or 15 guests, depending on the package. 

However, some packages come with their own photographer and videographer, which we would steer clear of (these services are so personal and are an art form – you want to make sure you choose the professional that aligns with your vision for your imagery). 

They offer in-house catering and will work with you to create a bespoke menu whether for hors d’oeuvres or a buffet. 

romantic photos on staircase at Chaminade Resort wedding
Romantics on the iconic staircase that greets you at the Chaminade Resort | Photo by Zoe Larkin Photography

Wedding spaces with Chaminade Resort

There are so many spaces at this Santa Cruz wedding venue. Information available online is limited, so inquire with the venue directly for all the specific current offerings. 

The couple featured in this blog post had their reception event on the Sunset Patio and timed it perfectly for the bougainvillea arch (this wedding was in late June 2021).

Couple's grand entrance framed by bougainvillea at Chaminade Resort wedding
Couple’s grand entrance framed by bougainvillea at Chaminade Resort wedding | Photo by Zoe Larkin Photography

Courtyard Terrace

This is where outdoor ceremonies can be held, and where our couple held their outdoor reception. There’s a tiered fountain and a picturesque panorama of greenery and the distant ocean as your backdrop. 

You can even exchange vows under the arbor covered with seasonal roses and wisteria. 

Santa Cruz Ballroom

This area boasts soft lighting, a dance floor and private balcony. It’s perfect for receptions and dancing. It has a wall of windows that capture the forest and ocean panorama. 

Seascape Ballroom

This is one of the newer areas, ideal for large receptions. The space has wood beams, wall treatments and industrial-chic iron fixtures. 

Sunset Patio

Guests enter this outdoor space through an archway of bougainvillea. As you exchange vows, you’re framed by a panorama of rolling hills and the bay.

Sunset Room

This indoor space has arched floor-to-ceiling windows.

Fireside Patio

French doors open onto the Fireside Patio. This space has views of the wooded valley and the Monterey Bay. 

A few romantic shots inside Chaminade Resort
A few romantic shots inside Chaminade Resort | Photo by Zoe Larkin Photography

Also offered:

  • Event planning services
  • Rehearsal and ceremony coordination 
  • Bar services 
  • Bonfire & s’mores 
  • Deals for overnight stay (or longer) in bridal suite 
  • Sound system & microphone
  • Makeup consultation and application 
  • Private spa party 
  • Couples’ massage 

Things to do at and around the Chaminade Resort

One of the beautiful things about getting married here is the abundance of activities – being a full-service hotel and not merely a wedding venue. To name just a few, you’ll find a swimming pool, Himalayan salt sauna, hot tubs, tennis courts and miles of hiking trails.

There’s a fantastic restaurant on site, the View Restaurant & Terrace where, of course, the views continue.

Off-site, there are beaches to explore, wine tasting experiences to be had or you could go rock-climbing and finish your day with a sunset cruise. 

Vendor Credits

Photography: Zoe Larkin Photography 

Venue: Chaminade Resort

Floral design: Rosalea Design

Attire: David’s Bridal

DJ: Reb Botello

Rings: Dell Williams Jewelers

Photos from Chaminade Resort wedding

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About Zoe Larkin Photography 

Looking for a Santa Cruz wedding photographer? You can learn more about my services at the links below: 

Hoping I’ll be back at Chaminade Resort soon, shooting your lovely wedding! 

Pin a graphic to your Pinterest board to bookmark this blog post! Follow @zoelarkinphoto on Pinterest!

Wedding photos from an outdoor wedding reception at Chaminade Resort, a luxe-casual and versatile woodland wedding venue in Santa Cruz with views of the Monterey Bay and a variety of wedding spaces. Photographed by Zoe Larkin Photography #santacruzwedding #chaminaderesort
Chaminade Resort Santa Cruz Wedding Photos

Zoe Larkin

I’m Zoe, a wedding photographer based in San Francisco! My style is candid, capturing authentic moments for my couples all over the Bay Area and Northern California. Creating content is my passion! Follow along the blog and Insta!

Chaminade Resort wedding - Zoe Larkin Photography

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Chaminade Resort Wedding, Santa Cruz

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