Thank you for checking out this gorgeous, rainy day Monte Verde Inn wedding in Foresthill, CA! Located about 12 miles northeast of Auburn, CA in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains is the quaint private estate, Monte Verde Inn.
As outdoor wedding locations in Northern California go, it’s pretty special. The property is a converted home that offers inclusive packages for couples.
Lisa and Nick were hoping for an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception. But nature, as it turns out, wasn’t on our side for their May 2019 celebration, and it rained steadily (almost) all day. As they only had a guest list of approx. 60, it was an easy shift to make everything happen indoors.
The ceremony and reception took place in the large ballroom, with light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The adjacent verandah was used to accommodate some of the guests for dining.
Afterwards, the ballroom was transformed into the setting for Lisa and Nick’s very own wedding trance party! Scroll down to see how it all panned out.
About the wedding couple
I delved into Lisa and Nick’s story on this blog post about their beautiful engagement session, linked here:
They are an outdoorsy couple, California natives that have stuck by each other through thick and thin. Their lives continue to be molded and shaped by the experiences they’ve shared together since 2013.
Both Lisa and Nick grew up in Hollister, CA but were unaware of each other. Then they moved to Santa Cruz ironically around the same time, but still didn’t know each other. They finally met online.
I’m honestly so happy to have connected with this pair. We met because I gave away a complimentary engagement shoot when my business was new. They were the most gracious winners. And this is how I see them as people.
Very down-to-earth, honest, humble people. They wanted their wedding to reflect these values.
Planning their wedding
Monte Verde Inn is a beautiful wedding venue that they chose for its proximity to nature. It’s also one of the more affordable venues for what you receive.
Planning began about 9 months before the big day. The coordinator at Monte Verde Inn, was instrumental in ensuring the day ran smoothly.
The couple had me there for 10 hours. I didn’t have a second photographer with me as Lisa and Nick wanted to stay within a budget which I completely respect.
They kindly put me up at a hotel in Auburn the night after as it was a 10pm finish time. That was much appreciated!
Order of events at Monte Verde Inn wedding
The wedding followed a traditional outline, despite the last-minute changes in plan due to weather.
We did have some late-running on the day, as weddings are unpredictable events. Despite our down-to-the-minute planning, that is sometimes not the reality. Which is totally fine! Know it, and roll with it!
The order of events for photography was:
- Nick & best man prep
- Wedding details, flatlays, florals of both parties
- Lisa & bridesmaids prep
- First look with Lisa & wedding party
- First look with Dad
- First look with Nick and personal vows (they chose to do this moment privately rather than during actual ceremony)
- Details & décor
- Couples’ photos (this was abbreviated due to late running)
- Family photos (this ended up happening after the ceremony due to late running)
- Reception space
- Toasts, dinner
- First dance, parent dances
- Cake cutting
- Open dancing
On this wedding day, the friend who was meant to officiate, couldn’t. So Susie, Lisa’s MOH stepped up and agreed to perform the ceremony. They just had to get Susie ordained during the getting ready 😉
My favorite moment at this wedding was when Nick added a nug from his homegrown to his boutonniere.
When the venue coordinator, showed the girls Nick’s addition, this was the reaction.
Lisa had a very special, extremely beautiful wedding dress by Hayley Paige. The dress featured a subtle nature design with lace flowers in the fabric.
One of my favorites moments of the wedding was actually Lisa catching sight of herself in the mirror. Her dress was on, it was a quiet moment. Her mom and bridesmaids were busying themselves in another space.
Only you know what you’ve been through to get to this moment in your life.
Unique features of Monte Verde Inn
The Monte Verde Inn is a converted private manor that was built in 1939 in the Georgian Style. Think white wood cladding with contrasting black window frames, hardwood floors throughout and period lighting features.
A striking feature of the venue greets you as you drive in, setting the English country estate tone: a long, tree-lined driveway that ends with a large stone fountain. The plum trees flower in late winter / early spring.
Nature-wise, there’s a lot to see. There are streams with bridges, manicured lawns, mature quince trees and a grove of majestic cedars. The whole property is flanked by trees in all directions, in fact.
Monte Verde Inn prides itself on being an all-inclusive wedding venue. So, a lot of the items and vendors that you’d otherwise source yourself are bundled in. There are a variety of packages to choose from that are priced per head. All packages start at 5 hours.
All packages include some level of table décor, glassware, tables & chairs, bartenders and wedding cake. From there, you can choose various add-ons or upgrades such as linens and florals. Their day-of coordinator will also be there to guide you through it.
A nice touch is that they include for all wedding rentals is the use of the (fabulous, HUGE) getting ready suites. From a photography perspective, not all getting ready suites are created equal. Monte Verde Inn’s 2nd floor rooms are stunning!
Guest count varies for outdoors vs. indoor weddings. During the summer months, Monte Verde Inn can host up to 220 guests as the outdoor lawns and patio will be utilized.
During the months of November – February, weddings are expected to take place indoors and are capped at 80 guests due to the predictably rainy weather. There are more favorable rental rates available during the winter months and on Fridays and Sunday.
The Monte Verde Inn only puts on one event a day, so no accidental running into another wedding group!
Venue Monte Verde Inn | Foresthill, CA (near Auburn)
Photography Zoe Larkin Photography
Floral design Ambience Floral
DJ Contemporary DJs
Rentals Celebrations Party Rentals
HMUA All Dolled Up
Cake Divine Desserts By Aguirre
Dress Hayley Paige | Janene’s Bridal Boutique
Suit Formal Headquarters International
Rings Family heirloom | Shirley’s Wood Works
Earrings Plug Parlour
Wedding party David’s Bridal
Favors Adult Jam
About Zoe Larkin Photography
Oh and you can learn more about my wedding photography services at the links below. Hoping I’ll be back at Monte Verde Inn soon, shooting your lovely wedding!
Spot the unicorn when you hover over any image on this page =)
Images from Monte Verde Inn wedding