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California-Los Angeles

The Victorian v. Calamigos Ranch

My fiance and I have toured some venues and we're currently deciding between The Victorian in Santa Monica and Calamigos Ranch (The Ranch House) in Malibu. We want to have our ceremony outside and luckily both venues allow for this. Calamigos is absolutely gorgeous, but it is kinda far for our guests to travel. The Victorian isn't as picturesque as Calamigos and I'm afraid the photos won't turn out as well. However, i love that the house has multiple floors as I feel that will make the reception more interesting for our guests.

Has anyone here been married or attended a wedding in one of these locations? Would it be feasible to take pictures at the beach before the ceremony if we were married at The Victorian? Any help would be much appreciated!

Re: The Victorian v. Calamigos Ranch

  • I've never been to the Victorian but Calamigos Ranch is beautiful. You should write down your list of likes and dislikes for both an see which one is the favorite. Good luck!
  • We got married at The Victorian. We loved the look of it, and also that they only have one event per night. 
    We had planned to have pictures at the beach, but just didn't allow enough time. It's so close to the beach, but really not walking distance (especially in a wedding dress and nice shoes). So it's doable, as long as you allow yourself enough time. I would suggest talking to your photographer to help with the details and find out what would be necessary to accomplish that. 
    We didn't want an outdoor ceremony, and chose the Victorian because we liked that we could have a beautiful indoor ceremony (without it seeming like it was "plan B"). However, I have to say that if that's what you want, I'd probably go for Calamigos. The reason is that Calamigos has an actual (private) outdoor venue. At The Victorian, you wouldn't really have a lot of privacy from traffic on Main St, or passers by. Maybe they have a solution for this, but it's something to consider or that might help with your decision.
    Like pp said, you might want to think about what's most important. They are owned by the same people so you'd have the same service and (amazing) food at either one.
    Feel free to pm me if you have questions or want to see pictures. 
    Good luck!!! 
  • I got married at the Ranch House at Calamigos!  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!!  And we were so happy with the venue, not just because of the location, which was really gorgeous and there's just not any way around that!  But the staff was so accommadating to us... we had to change our wedding date due to my sister's pregnancy and they let us do it free of charge.  And because we invited less than the minimum you have to pay for (we had a really small wedding, like 30 people, family only) they threw in a bunch of extras.  The day of coordinator, Mon Li, was amazing.  I can't say enough great things about Calamigos, and seriously, it was the perfect place to get married!!!

  • Thank you to everyone that commented here! We decided to go with Calamigos and we're going to rent a "party bus" for our friends that will take them from Santa Monica to Malibu (we don't want our guests drinking and driving all the way to Malibu.)

    @NinaMarie1324 we are doing the Ranch House too! We're inviting the 120 max, but I'm sure not everyone will come so I think it will be around 100 people. I'm seriously so excited! Happy to hear that you had such a great experience there. The location is so gorgeous!
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