Want an affordable, beautiful Bay Area wedding venue that’s centrally located and still something of a hidden gem? OK – you’ve basically just described the Highlands Country Club!
Nestled in the Oakland Hills and overlooking the entire bay, this is a stunning yet budget-friendly East Bay wedding venue.
So, I was here in 2019 for Ashley and Richard’s wonderful wedding. Looking back on it now it seems even more magical – it was pre-COVID, it was a big wedding and there was even Chick-Fil-A as the late-night snack!
About the Highlands Country Club
This is a 100-person capacity venue that works well for both indoor and outdoor celebrations. Ashley and Richard chose to start the cocktail hour outdoors. There’s a sloping green lawn that surrounds the venue and affords those Bay views.
The couple then had guests filtering into the Fireside Room for the start of the reception.
As well as those VIEWS which I can’t stop raving about, it also has stunning hardwood floors and a neutral color scheme. White walls and ceilings = a very happy photographer.
The amount of light that this room lets in through its large windows is basically a photographer’s dream. Put simply, the more natural light you have streaming in the better your wedding photos will be.
The other major feature of the Fireside room is of course the large rustic stone fireplace the room is named for!
Order of events at Highlands Country Club wedding
Ashley and Richard began their wedding day at a family residence in San Leandro, followed by a traditional Catholic mass at their home church, and a mini photo session in the San Leandro area.
Cocktail hour was well underway by the time we rocked up! After a bit of mingling, we went into family formals which were SO much fun with all the little ones!
After toasts and the beginning of dinner, I whisked the couple away for a short sunset photo session. The wedding took place in June, close to the time of the summer solstice so we were in no rush to begin our photo session just as the light was getting SO pretty.
Ashley and Richard knocked it out of the park for their couples’ session! I was spoiled for choice as to which location to choose – there are SO many within a very short walk of where everyone’s eating and celebrating!
We opted for the small balcony that allowed us to watch the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge! There’s also a sunny patio in front of the clubhouse that was so beautifully manicured and gave a really refined, elegant feel.
Other locations were within a short walk, and were so varied as you will see as you scroll down! There’s so much greenery with this being a golf course, and lots of mature trees which work so well in wedding photographs.
After table visits and a few games of cornhole and other lawn games, the dancing began! These folks really knew how to throw a party, with an awesome family band playing live music for everyone to enjoy!
Reminiscing on this Highlands Country Club wedding
The family-centered atmosphere of this wedding was so apparent. Nothing like a big, Italian family! This North Beach Italian family had so much joy to share! It was because of the large family – Richard is one of five boys! – that Ashley ended up meeting him.
Ashley had just started working as a teacher at the North Beach school where all the boys had gone.
Fun fact: Richard has an identical twin brother. I had to look at their shoes to tell them apart.
I love that the couple brought in touches of their story to their wedding day. For one thing, honey! The favors were courtesy of the couple’s own BEES – yes these folks are urban beekeepers! Even their proposal story is quite apoidean.
Richard had left a note inside the hive cover one day when they were ‘checking on’ the bees. The note asked Ashley to marry him!
Even the decision to have Chick-Fil-A cater the late-night snack was significant to them as a couple. Ashley’s first job was working at the fast food joint, and it’s had a soft spot in her and Richard’s heart ever since!
Vendors at this wedding
Photography Zoe Larkin Photography
Venue Highlands Country Club
Planning and catering Carrie Dove Catering
Floral designer A2 Imagine Events
Videographer Bay Area Filmworks
About Zoe Larkin Photography
Oh and you can learn more about my services at the links below. Hoping I’ll be back at Highlands Country Club in 2021 and beyond, shooting your lovely wedding!
Photos from Highlands Country Club wedding, Oakland CA