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(9)

Dawn Ranch Lodge

Guerneville , CA
CONTACT US
CONTACT US

LOCATION

PO Box 45, 16467 River Rd.
Guerneville, CA 95446 US (map)

PHONE

707-869-0656
Please let this vendor know that you found them on the WeddingWire Network.

ABOUT US

We are a historic 15 acre resort built in 1905 as a Guest Ranch for travelers from San Francisco; a unique part of Americana you will not find anywhere else! We have 53 individual cabins... Read more
We are a historic 15 acre resort built in 1905 as a Guest Ranch for travelers from San Francisco; a unique part of Americana you will not find anywhere else! We have 53 individual cabins and can accommodate up to 119 overnight guests. There are resorts within walking distance from us if a destination wedding should require more rooms for their guests. We are also pet-friendly.

Our resort provides Farm-To-Table catering from local area farms as well as our own kitchen garden. All 15 acres are liquor licensed, and we can serve any variation from beer and wine only to a full bar. We allow amplified music outside on the property with start and end times varying depending on package and season.

The Orchard Package, offered May through October, can accommodate up to 150 guests and includes ceremony seating, dining tables, dining chairs, and bistro lighting. It also includes white china, silver flatware, bar and table glassware, and white pique napkins. This package has a preferred vendor list for flowers, DJ, and table linens. A wedding planner is not required. Thirty cabins are required for 2 nights with The Orchard Package.

The Custom Wedding Weekend allows for expanded use of our grounds, as well as more personalization for your wedding weekend. The beautiful long Meadow can accommodate up to 400 guests, or the century-old Apple and Plum Orchard can be used for more intimate gatherings. Guests can move from one space to another, and Dawn Ranch Lodge allows for the set up of outdoor dance floors on our grass, as well as tenting. Our 1930’s Poolside Band Shell is another beautiful location for live bands and dancing. Dawn Ranch Lodge also has a Boathouse with Bonfire Pit where couples can host a Meet & Greet BBQ and Bonfire for their guests the night before their wedding. This package requires a full wedding planner. No rental items are included. All 53 cabins are required for 2 nights with The Custom Wedding Weekend.

We have been published in the Knot as one of the Top 10 Best Outdoor Wedding Destinations in Northern California, as well as 7x7, San Francisco Bride, Style Me Pretty, Glamour, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times and numerous other publications. Please visit the Press & Links page under the Blog tab on our website for a small sampling of real weddings at Dawn Ranch. For even more photos and inspiration, search for Dawn Ranch on Pinterest and Instagram. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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INFO FOR WEDDING VENUE

What is the minimum number of guests required to book your venue?
2
How many event spaces or rooms does your venue offer?
10
Describe your venue:
Historic, Hotel
Describe the style of your venue
Country, Vintage
What kind of settings are available?
Indoor, Uncovered Outdoor
Which of the following wedding events does your venue service?
Bridal Shower, Ceremony, Engagement Party, Reception
What is the maximum capacity of your venue?
5000
What event services do you offer?
Accommodations, Bridal Suite, Event Rentals
What event items are available?
Chairs, Lighting, Tables
What food and beverage items are available?
Barware, China, Flatware, Glassware
What transportation and access is available?
Parking

REVIEWS

4.2
out of 5.0
4.2/5.0
4.1/5.0
4.2/5.0
4.1/5.0
4.2/5.0
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Matt
Wedding:
9/8/2012
5.0/5.0
Dawn Ranch is an ideal venue. A secluded forest setting where all our friends and family can stay for the weekend. It may seem close to the main road, but when you stay there you feel like you are deep in the woods. The trees provide great cover from the road, and when everything is in bloom you can't even see the property next door. It has a truly rustic setting (no TVs in the room), so its the perfect venue to maximize interaction of your guests. Our goal was to not only call attention to ourselves, but to all the people in our lives that got us to that point. Dawn Ranch is the perfect venue to do so. If you are doing a Saturday wedding you are required to book all the rooms for both nights. The Welcome BBQ on Friday is a great party in itself and lets your guests start the weekend on a high note. Saturday everyone will be thoroughly entertained while the bridal party prepares. Whether its the private river access, the pool, the open fields, or all the attractions nearby, your guests will be beaming by the time the ceremony starts.

We were married under a hundered year old redwood in a green meadow, we danced and drank in an apple orchard, and returned inside to the bar for the after party. It was perfect. No matter where you spend your time you will feel special.

Also the food! Best food I've had a wedding. Michael (the owner) has put a farm to table experience together that is fantastic. Even the Dawn Ranch label wine is delicious! We were nothing but excited about the food options. Going up for our tasting to decide the menu was amazing!

And I haven't mentioned the best thing. Stephanie, the wedding coordinator, is amazing and worth the site fee alone. She took complete care of us during the weekend and before as well. She was fabulous about replying to emails and getting on the phone with us to work through some ideas. Her skills were invaluable. Michael (the owner) was great as well. I just can't say enough great things.
Dawn Ranch is an ideal venue. A secluded forest setting where all our friends and family can stay for the weekend. It may Read more...
Dawn Ranch is an ideal venue. A secluded forest setting where all our friends and family can stay for the weekend. It may seem close to the main road, but when you stay there you feel like you are deep in the woods. The trees provide great cover from the road, and when everything is in bloom you can't even see the property next door. It has a truly rustic setting (no TVs in the room), so its the perfect venue to maximize interaction of your guests. Our goal was to not only call attention to ourselves, but to all the people in our lives that got us to that point. Dawn Ranch is the perfect venue to do so. If you are doing a Saturday wedding you are required to book all the rooms for both nights. The Welcome BBQ on Friday is a great party in itself and lets your guests start the weekend on a high note. Saturday everyone will be thoroughly entertained while the bridal party prepares. Whether its the private river access, the pool, the open fields, or all the attractions nearby, your guests will be beaming by the time the ceremony starts.

We were married under a hundered year old redwood in a green meadow, we danced and drank in an apple orchard, and returned inside to the bar for the after party. It was perfect. No matter where you spend your time you will feel special.

Also the food! Best food I've had a wedding. Michael (the owner) has put a farm to table experience together that is fantastic. Even the Dawn Ranch label wine is delicious! We were nothing but excited about the food options. Going up for our tasting to decide the menu was amazing!

And I haven't mentioned the best thing. Stephanie, the wedding coordinator, is amazing and worth the site fee alone. She took complete care of us during the weekend and before as well. She was fabulous about replying to emails and getting on the phone with us to work through some ideas. Her skills were invaluable. Michael (the owner) was great as well. I just can't say enough great things. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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kyaiko
Wedding:
7/3/2011
4.8/5.0
I love Michael, the owner. He literally made my wedding dreams come true.
I love Michael, the owner. He literally made my wedding dreams come true.
I love Michael, the owner. He literally made my wedding dreams come true. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Julie Peebles
Wedding:
10/18/2009
5.0/5.0
Kevin and I want to express to Julia, Michael and all of the staff at the Dawn Ranch a truly heart felt thank you for everything you did for us in making our wedding day so extremely perfect and special.
The service they provided from the moment we contacted them was very professional and comfortable. Julia and Michael both were instrumental in helping us come to the right decisions in creating the event we were hoping for. They made what could have been a stressful time; completely easy and issue free. All of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the setting, the food and the atmosphere. The Dawn Ranch Staff is top notch, and we couldn�t have done it with out them.
With Sincerity,
Julie and Kevin Peebles
Kevin and I want to express to Julia, Michael and all of the staff at the Dawn Ranch a truly heart felt thank you for Read more...
Kevin and I want to express to Julia, Michael and all of the staff at the Dawn Ranch a truly heart felt thank you for everything you did for us in making our wedding day so extremely perfect and special.
The service they provided from the moment we contacted them was very professional and comfortable. Julia and Michael both were instrumental in helping us come to the right decisions in creating the event we were hoping for. They made what could have been a stressful time; completely easy and issue free. All of our guests commented on how much they enjoyed the setting, the food and the atmosphere. The Dawn Ranch Staff is top notch, and we couldn�t have done it with out them.
With Sincerity,
Julie and Kevin Peebles Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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hjhova
Wedding:
10/16/2009
5.0/5.0
So far, I love this place. Our wedding is on October 16, 2009 and everything is going perfect! Michael, the owner, is amazing and truly wants the best for our day. Everywhere else we went, I felt like I was just a number in their bride factory but Michael makes us feel like we are important and that he will accomodate us to the best of his ability (which he has done so far). The site is a dream for us, very large and beautiful. We feel like we will create an experience for our guest and not just a party. The whole staff is friendly and the food is great. 8.9.09 I am getting quick responses and the staff is being very helpful. They have a full "Day of Events Order" which I have found so helpful, it's like having a DOC included. I'll keep you posted and hopefully they will continue to earn back my vote. 9.21.09 DRL has been great in helping with everything! Julia and Michael have been so helpful and have let me switch so many thing, so many times. We did switch our location because the orchard was dying and looking bad but everything else is going great. 10.21.09 I love DRL and all of their staff!!! Working with DRL has been so wonderful and my wedding would have been so stressful without them. On my wedding day, they were so helpful and accomadating. They made everything stressfree and really got us through the day. Michael helped us out with the rehersal and even stayed with me up until the minute I walked down the aisle! All of my wedding guests were so happy with Dawn Ranch Lodge and many of them are planning on coming back! It was so beautiful and perfect, I could not have imaged marrying my best friend anywhere else!
So far, I love this place. Our wedding is on October 16, 2009 and everything is going perfect! Michael, the owner, is Read more...
So far, I love this place. Our wedding is on October 16, 2009 and everything is going perfect! Michael, the owner, is amazing and truly wants the best for our day. Everywhere else we went, I felt like I was just a number in their bride factory but Michael makes us feel like we are important and that he will accomodate us to the best of his ability (which he has done so far). The site is a dream for us, very large and beautiful. We feel like we will create an experience for our guest and not just a party. The whole staff is friendly and the food is great. 8.9.09 I am getting quick responses and the staff is being very helpful. They have a full "Day of Events Order" which I have found so helpful, it's like having a DOC included. I'll keep you posted and hopefully they will continue to earn back my vote. 9.21.09 DRL has been great in helping with everything! Julia and Michael have been so helpful and have let me switch so many thing, so many times. We did switch our location because the orchard was dying and looking bad but everything else is going great. 10.21.09 I love DRL and all of their staff!!! Working with DRL has been so wonderful and my wedding would have been so stressful without them. On my wedding day, they were so helpful and accomadating. They made everything stressfree and really got us through the day. Michael helped us out with the rehersal and even stayed with me up until the minute I walked down the aisle! All of my wedding guests were so happy with Dawn Ranch Lodge and many of them are planning on coming back! It was so beautiful and perfect, I could not have imaged marrying my best friend anywhere else! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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becpelton
Wedding:
8/22/2009
5.0/5.0
I feel in love with this place upon my first visit and knew this is where I would get married! The women (Sara and Cornelia) at the front desk have been so helpful and patient with my numerous phone calls and emails in regards to room rentals, sending me unsolicited updates and always taking time to answer my questions. Julia and Sherell and Michael have been very helpful in helping me to plan my wedding from afar and have gone out of their way to go onto the property and take specific pictures for me as we didn't get all the pictures we needed. To date I am more than happy with our choice to get married at Dawn Ranch Lodge and can't wait for our wedding there at the end of the month! Just got back from my wedding weekend at Dawn Ranch and it was amazing! The staff was so helpful, I could not have been happier! Michael and Julia were there the day of the event to make sure everything went smoothly and to ensure that I didn't have to worry about anything. I of course forgot little things and details (as I am sure most brides do) and the staff at Dawn Ranch was so accomodating and helpful in making sure that we had everything we needed. It does get chilly, so make sure you warn your guests to be prepared, but that surely didn't put a damper on our evening! A great time was had by all and I would definitely recommend getting married at Dawn Ranch! I am so happy that we chose to get married here and felt so welcomed and taken care of by the staff!
I feel in love with this place upon my first visit and knew this is where I would get married! The women (Sara and Read more...
I feel in love with this place upon my first visit and knew this is where I would get married! The women (Sara and Cornelia) at the front desk have been so helpful and patient with my numerous phone calls and emails in regards to room rentals, sending me unsolicited updates and always taking time to answer my questions. Julia and Sherell and Michael have been very helpful in helping me to plan my wedding from afar and have gone out of their way to go onto the property and take specific pictures for me as we didn't get all the pictures we needed. To date I am more than happy with our choice to get married at Dawn Ranch Lodge and can't wait for our wedding there at the end of the month! Just got back from my wedding weekend at Dawn Ranch and it was amazing! The staff was so helpful, I could not have been happier! Michael and Julia were there the day of the event to make sure everything went smoothly and to ensure that I didn't have to worry about anything. I of course forgot little things and details (as I am sure most brides do) and the staff at Dawn Ranch was so accomodating and helpful in making sure that we had everything we needed. It does get chilly, so make sure you warn your guests to be prepared, but that surely didn't put a damper on our evening! A great time was had by all and I would definitely recommend getting married at Dawn Ranch! I am so happy that we chose to get married here and felt so welcomed and taken care of by the staff! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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bdawn
Wedding:
8/16/2009
5.0/5.0
It was perfect! I've been coming to the Russian River for years to enjoy the increadible wines (I love Pinot Noir) the proximity to the ocean and spending lazy days floating the river. Dawn Ranch is such a special and charming place. I'm sure that few little resorts like this have survived a hundred years of the elements and development. Unfortunately, many see the lack of "progress" as a detriment, but we cherished it. We had family coming from the east coast, Oregon and Southern California, so we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to have everyone together and stay for two or three days. Michael, Julia and Sherell were so helpful, making suggestions, recommendations and giving us the insight that only people so familiar with the property could make far beyond what you would expect or, I'm sure, receive, at another venue. We had our ceremony in the Apple Orchard under a gorgeous tree followed by sparkling wine and passed hors d'oeuvres ~ grilled figs wrapped in prosciutto, miniature potatoes with caviar and endive with Gorgonzola and walnuts ~ YUM. We decided to have our dinner pool side and had a wonderful group of jazz musicians playing in the band shell where big bands used to play the 1920's! It was a great idea to have the music through out dinner. People got up and danced between courses and at will. It was so much fun. Dinner was fantastic. We started with calamari followed by a caprese salad that was to die for (heirloom tomatoes were in high season) and an entree of salmon and an apple quinoa. All of our guests raved about the food. With 15 acres, the photo opportunities abound!
It was perfect! I've been coming to the Russian River for years to enjoy the increadible wines (I love Pinot Noir) the Read more...
It was perfect! I've been coming to the Russian River for years to enjoy the increadible wines (I love Pinot Noir) the proximity to the ocean and spending lazy days floating the river. Dawn Ranch is such a special and charming place. I'm sure that few little resorts like this have survived a hundred years of the elements and development. Unfortunately, many see the lack of "progress" as a detriment, but we cherished it. We had family coming from the east coast, Oregon and Southern California, so we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to have everyone together and stay for two or three days. Michael, Julia and Sherell were so helpful, making suggestions, recommendations and giving us the insight that only people so familiar with the property could make far beyond what you would expect or, I'm sure, receive, at another venue. We had our ceremony in the Apple Orchard under a gorgeous tree followed by sparkling wine and passed hors d'oeuvres ~ grilled figs wrapped in prosciutto, miniature potatoes with caviar and endive with Gorgonzola and walnuts ~ YUM. We decided to have our dinner pool side and had a wonderful group of jazz musicians playing in the band shell where big bands used to play the 1920's! It was a great idea to have the music through out dinner. People got up and danced between courses and at will. It was so much fun. Dinner was fantastic. We started with calamari followed by a caprese salad that was to die for (heirloom tomatoes were in high season) and an entree of salmon and an apple quinoa. All of our guests raved about the food. With 15 acres, the photo opportunities abound! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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sbmom
Wedding:
7/12/2008
1.0/5.0
Just a word of warning, owner very difficult to work with. Takes MONTHS to respond even with the "I'll have it for you tomorrow". Sales and marketing has changed three times in the process of planning this wedding and the owner has reneged on several agreements made with prior marketing personnel. If you choose to use this facility get everything in writing and I would actually suggest TAPING conversations. He has been absolutely unwilling to comprise or honor prior contract negotiations. Lovely venue but approach cautiously. We have hopes that,putting this aside, it is not indicative of what the service will be for the weekend wedding. I will post a review again after the event. UPDATE: 7/08 We had a destination wedding for our first daughter and know what it is like to work together with an owner to make it all happen to everyones satisfaction. With that said, I will only recommend Dawn Ranch Lodge with reservations. This is not because of the general manager or any of his staff. I continue to question the owners business practices. His unwillingness to even consider any compromises with us during the epic negotiations was not the sign of a principled business person. The venue as lovely as it is does not warrant the prices he is charging. Fair pricing is appreciated but gouging is not. His reneging or not honoring even partially prior sales and marketing agreements is not the mark of a businessman with a conscience who wants a positive reputation in the area. During my one brief interaction with him during our stay he was dismissive and bordered on rudeness. One issue that did arise was the broken handicap lift. We had two guests who could never come up to the restaurant level because they could not climb the stairs and several young families had to carry a stroller up and down the stairs when they wanted to come up to restaurant which can prove to be a dangerous situation with those steep stairs. It is sad, with the right owner, it could be a wonderful spot but with the current ownership, money is the driver not the desire to develop a truly special venue.
Just a word of warning, owner very difficult to work with. Takes MONTHS to respond even with the "I'll have it for you Read more...
Just a word of warning, owner very difficult to work with. Takes MONTHS to respond even with the "I'll have it for you tomorrow". Sales and marketing has changed three times in the process of planning this wedding and the owner has reneged on several agreements made with prior marketing personnel. If you choose to use this facility get everything in writing and I would actually suggest TAPING conversations. He has been absolutely unwilling to comprise or honor prior contract negotiations. Lovely venue but approach cautiously. We have hopes that,putting this aside, it is not indicative of what the service will be for the weekend wedding. I will post a review again after the event. UPDATE: 7/08 We had a destination wedding for our first daughter and know what it is like to work together with an owner to make it all happen to everyones satisfaction. With that said, I will only recommend Dawn Ranch Lodge with reservations. This is not because of the general manager or any of his staff. I continue to question the owners business practices. His unwillingness to even consider any compromises with us during the epic negotiations was not the sign of a principled business person. The venue as lovely as it is does not warrant the prices he is charging. Fair pricing is appreciated but gouging is not. His reneging or not honoring even partially prior sales and marketing agreements is not the mark of a businessman with a conscience who wants a positive reputation in the area. During my one brief interaction with him during our stay he was dismissive and bordered on rudeness. One issue that did arise was the broken handicap lift. We had two guests who could never come up to the restaurant level because they could not climb the stairs and several young families had to carry a stroller up and down the stairs when they wanted to come up to restaurant which can prove to be a dangerous situation with those steep stairs. It is sad, with the right owner, it could be a wonderful spot but with the current ownership, money is the driver not the desire to develop a truly special venue. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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stratosphere
Wedding:
8/25/2007
2.0/5.0
We are having our ceremony and reception at Dawn Ranch Lodge and so far our experience has been great. This venue changed owners not too long ago and has only been hosting weddings for a short time, so it is relatively un-known so far and we only found it through word-of-mouth. The location is absolutely gorgeous, and we love that we can rent the whole place out and our friends and family are staying on-site in the 50+ rustic cabins. We are having our ceremony in their meadow and our reception cocktails and dinner out in their amazing 100-year-old apple orchard. Then we are moving the party to the courtyard around their pool for late-night dancing. The site fees are on the high side, but the place is one-of-a-kind and we are excited about having a whole weekend with our friends and family. Their on-site coordinator, Heidi, is very professional and sweet. The only hiccup so far has been that when we booked them, their excellent restaurant was going to cater the whole weekend, but they have since changed their mind and now they have selected an outside caterer instead, without our input. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the caterer they have chosen will be excellent, but we still haven't had our tasting, so the jury is out on that. I will keep this review updated, but so far we are so happy with our choice and I would highly recommend checking this place out if you want a beautiful, unique outdoor setting that can accomdate guest lists both large and modest. UPDATE, 9/2007: We had a very mixed experience with them. I wish I had been more wary about the contract before we signed it. Make sure that they put EVERY SINGLE promise they've made to you in the contract before you sign it. Every detail, no matter how small, from the prices of drinks through to the policy of what to do with bottles of wine you pay for but that aren't consumed (ours disappeared and they never refunded us or found the hundreds of dollars worth of missing wine). I didn't do that in our contract and during the summer before our wedding, they started to say that basically nothing was included in the hefty site-fee price, when that was the whole reason we had chosen the venue. In the end we spent a LOT more money than I feel was fair, because they kept on adding and adding and adding things that we had been told were going to be included in the site fee/per-person dinner charge. They knew we couldn't just switch venues at that point, so we were stuck, and since it wasn't in writing, we had to just pay for it. I have never been so stressed or disappointed. It was a beautiful venue when we first saw it in the springtime, but they let the grass die over the summer in the apple orchard, where we hosted our dinner and cocktails, despite my having asked them over and over again to make sure they were watering the grass back there. They promised me they were watering it, but every time we came up on a surprise visit, the grass was more and more dead and there was no evidence that a single drop of water had been spent on the orchard. It looked kind of ghetto at our wedding, to be honest. So put that in your contract, too, if you want the grass to be alive and your wedding date is in the summer. Ours was in August and the weather during the day was gorgeous, but as soon as the sun set (during our cocktail hour) the wind kicked up and it was FREEZING. We had some space heaters (which we had to rent for $$$ from Classic Party Rentals at the last minute, even though we had been told that they were included in the site fee--another example of how stressful it was dealing with DRL) but they didn't even cut the cold. Our guests were literally huddled around the heaters by the end of dinner! My friends still talk about how cold they were that night. I had tried to warn folks to bring a wrap/jacket on our website, but turns out no one really read our wedding website. So if you have an outdoor dinner/cocktails after sunset I'd make it clear to your guests that it can get COLD and to bring a warm wrap/sweater. Plus you will definitely want to rent heaters--lots of them. If the wedding coordinator at DRL has told you that they'll throw in space heaters for free, make sure you put that in the contract! It is a unique venue, so I am not trying to be negative--we loved our wedding, the beauty of the redwood stand where we had our ceremony, and the general feel of how all our guests got to stay on the same property. But I feel we did get the runaround from the wedding coordinator(s) (the main one of whom either quit or was fired very suddenly only weeks before our wedding--it was a nightmare) and paid way over the going market rate for what we got, and also got lots of gray hairs in stressful calls with them at least once a week as their story changed all summer long leading up to the wedding. That said, it was their first year doing weddings, really, and I got the impression that they didn't know what they were getting into. Hopefully they've ironed out the details now and are more professional. It is stressful enough planning your wedding--it is far more stressful feeling like someone is gouging your eyes out at every opportunity. That was just our experience--our wedding was in August 2007.
We are having our ceremony and reception at Dawn Ranch Lodge and so far our experience has been great. This venue changed Read more...
We are having our ceremony and reception at Dawn Ranch Lodge and so far our experience has been great. This venue changed owners not too long ago and has only been hosting weddings for a short time, so it is relatively un-known so far and we only found it through word-of-mouth. The location is absolutely gorgeous, and we love that we can rent the whole place out and our friends and family are staying on-site in the 50+ rustic cabins. We are having our ceremony in their meadow and our reception cocktails and dinner out in their amazing 100-year-old apple orchard. Then we are moving the party to the courtyard around their pool for late-night dancing. The site fees are on the high side, but the place is one-of-a-kind and we are excited about having a whole weekend with our friends and family. Their on-site coordinator, Heidi, is very professional and sweet. The only hiccup so far has been that when we booked them, their excellent restaurant was going to cater the whole weekend, but they have since changed their mind and now they have selected an outside caterer instead, without our input. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the caterer they have chosen will be excellent, but we still haven't had our tasting, so the jury is out on that. I will keep this review updated, but so far we are so happy with our choice and I would highly recommend checking this place out if you want a beautiful, unique outdoor setting that can accomdate guest lists both large and modest. UPDATE, 9/2007: We had a very mixed experience with them. I wish I had been more wary about the contract before we signed it. Make sure that they put EVERY SINGLE promise they've made to you in the contract before you sign it. Every detail, no matter how small, from the prices of drinks through to the policy of what to do with bottles of wine you pay for but that aren't consumed (ours disappeared and they never refunded us or found the hundreds of dollars worth of missing wine). I didn't do that in our contract and during the summer before our wedding, they started to say that basically nothing was included in the hefty site-fee price, when that was the whole reason we had chosen the venue. In the end we spent a LOT more money than I feel was fair, because they kept on adding and adding and adding things that we had been told were going to be included in the site fee/per-person dinner charge. They knew we couldn't just switch venues at that point, so we were stuck, and since it wasn't in writing, we had to just pay for it. I have never been so stressed or disappointed. It was a beautiful venue when we first saw it in the springtime, but they let the grass die over the summer in the apple orchard, where we hosted our dinner and cocktails, despite my having asked them over and over again to make sure they were watering the grass back there. They promised me they were watering it, but every time we came up on a surprise visit, the grass was more and more dead and there was no evidence that a single drop of water had been spent on the orchard. It looked kind of ghetto at our wedding, to be honest. So put that in your contract, too, if you want the grass to be alive and your wedding date is in the summer. Ours was in August and the weather during the day was gorgeous, but as soon as the sun set (during our cocktail hour) the wind kicked up and it was FREEZING. We had some space heaters (which we had to rent for $$$ from Classic Party Rentals at the last minute, even though we had been told that they were included in the site fee--another example of how stressful it was dealing with DRL) but they didn't even cut the cold. Our guests were literally huddled around the heaters by the end of dinner! My friends still talk about how cold they were that night. I had tried to warn folks to bring a wrap/jacket on our website, but turns out no one really read our wedding website. So if you have an outdoor dinner/cocktails after sunset I'd make it clear to your guests that it can get COLD and to bring a warm wrap/sweater. Plus you will definitely want to rent heaters--lots of them. If the wedding coordinator at DRL has told you that they'll throw in space heaters for free, make sure you put that in the contract! It is a unique venue, so I am not trying to be negative--we loved our wedding, the beauty of the redwood stand where we had our ceremony, and the general feel of how all our guests got to stay on the same property. But I feel we did get the runaround from the wedding coordinator(s) (the main one of whom either quit or was fired very suddenly only weeks before our wedding--it was a nightmare) and paid way over the going market rate for what we got, and also got lots of gray hairs in stressful calls with them at least once a week as their story changed all summer long leading up to the wedding. That said, it was their first year doing weddings, really, and I got the impression that they didn't know what they were getting into. Hopefully they've ironed out the details now and are more professional. It is stressful enough planning your wedding--it is far more stressful feeling like someone is gouging your eyes out at every opportunity. That was just our experience--our wedding was in August 2007. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.8/5.0
We could not have chosen a more perfect wedding venue than Dawn Ranch. It was beautiful, with redwoods, a meadow for the ceremony, a little apple orchard for the reception, a warm and cozy bar for the after-party, and cute cottages to house guests. We had many guests coming from the East Coast so it was great that everyone could stay on the property together in a beautiful setting.. it was like a summer camp. The cottages were rustic (no TVs or phones, etc.) but they were recently remodeled and comfortable for guests of all ages. The Welcome BBQ on Friday night was a great opportunity for all the guests to break the ice and get to know each other in a casual setting.

Amy Meadows and the staff did a wonderful job coordinating our wedding. They thought of everything big and small, from making sure all the vendors knew what to do to making sure the rehearsal went smoothly to putting paperweights on the escort cards. They thought of every detail so that the wedding day was unbelievably stress-free for me, my family, and wedding party. The food was terrific (the sea bass, the pork tenderloin, the polenta lasagna - all amazing). So many guests told us how much they loved the venue. This was one of the more expensive venues we considered, especially since we had to pay for any unfilled cabins, but I couldn't be happier with the decision.
We could not have chosen a more perfect wedding venue than Dawn Ranch. It was beautiful, with redwoods, a meadow for the Read more...
We could not have chosen a more perfect wedding venue than Dawn Ranch. It was beautiful, with redwoods, a meadow for the ceremony, a little apple orchard for the reception, a warm and cozy bar for the after-party, and cute cottages to house guests. We had many guests coming from the East Coast so it was great that everyone could stay on the property together in a beautiful setting.. it was like a summer camp. The cottages were rustic (no TVs or phones, etc.) but they were recently remodeled and comfortable for guests of all ages. The Welcome BBQ on Friday night was a great opportunity for all the guests to break the ice and get to know each other in a casual setting.

Amy Meadows and the staff did a wonderful job coordinating our wedding. They thought of everything big and small, from making sure all the vendors knew what to do to making sure the rehearsal went smoothly to putting paperweights on the escort cards. They thought of every detail so that the wedding day was unbelievably stress-free for me, my family, and wedding party. The food was terrific (the sea bass, the pork tenderloin, the polenta lasagna - all amazing). So many guests told us how much they loved the venue. This was one of the more expensive venues we considered, especially since we had to pay for any unfilled cabins, but I couldn't be happier with the decision. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue

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PO Box 45, 16467 River Rd., Guerneville, CA 95446 See On Map
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