Top 5 Reasons You Should Host A Retreat Style Wedding

One of the beautiful things about planning a wedding in the modern age is so many possibilities.

In the past, most couples stuck with a traditional wedding style. Everything was planned just so-so and had to fit into a template. And while traditional elements can be gorgeous (and necessary at times), I believe a healthy balance of traditional and non-traditional is where it’s at. 

Do you agree?

If so, you’re not alone. 

More and more couples are thinking outside the box and hosting weddings that feel like unique experiences. 

Take the retreat-style wedding, for instance. It’s similar to a wedding weekend celebration, but it gives you complete access to a venue. 

This means you and your guests have the whole property to yourselves, giving you the ability to host a private weekend of fun gatherings. Retreat weddings are truly special and are the perfect way to celebrate your nuptials with your nearest and dearest. 

Need more proof? I got you!

Bride and Wedding Party walking on the Riverwalk Lawn at Gardener Ranch. Julie Cahill Photography.

Here are 5 reasons why retreat-style weddings are the best. 

1) A Venue All to Yourself

One of the best parts about hosting a retreat-style wedding is that you get the entire property to yourself. This is what makes this kind of wedding stand out from a typical multi-day event. 

Typically, you’d have to share your space with other resort guests. You might even have to squeeze your wedding festivities into a tight schedule to allow for other couples to get married on the same day. Not so with a retreat wedding. You’ll have all the space and time you need to enjoy such a special moment in your life. 

You’ll find several venues that cater to retreat weddings in Carmel Valley. And there’s a space to suit every couple’s style. There are luxury retreat venues like Holman Ranch and Gardener Ranch. Or more rustic options like Camp Carmel Valley and Sequoia Retreat. And if you’re dreaming of a tropical getaway, the Holly Farm provides a private wedding oasis for you and your guests. Or if your looking for an intimate celebration where you feel like you have an incredible private home all to yourself, De Tierra Vineyards may be the best spot for you!  

Couple Walking by Pool at De Tierra Vineyards Hacienda House. Photo by AGS Photography

2) More Quality Time 

Weddings are a whirlwind of events. From the time you wake and put on your getting-ready robe to the moment you step onto the dance floor for your couple’s choreographed number, the day is non-stop. Add in trying to mingle with your guests and spend time with your husband or wife – it’s enough to make your head spin.

The problem with having a one-day event is that there’s so much to do and so little time to do it. Or do it all in a way that feels authentic and valuable. 

Enter the retreat wedding. From the welcome party to the last dance and everything in between, you have plenty of time to connect with guests and each other. 

3) Event Flexibility 

If you’ve been thinking about a particular kind of wedding event you’d LOVE to host but just didn’t think it would fly in such a limited amount of time (or space), a retreat-style wedding is a perfect solution. 

If you rent out a retreat space and host your wedding over a few days, you’re going to have more flexibility to create a patchwork of events. Instead of following the standard formula (engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, etc.), dream a little bigger and weave in some unexpected, thoroughly fun activities.

Think casual rehearsal dinners, welcome pool parties, sports tournaments, farewell sunset sails, and breakfast with the bride. 

The Front Gate at Holman Ranch. Brooke Borough Photography.

4) One-of-a-kind Party

If there is one thing living through a pandemic has taught us, it’s that there’s no time like the present to celebrate with our loved ones. 

Because so many couples had to postpone their weddings, we’re now seeing a boom in party planning. And not just any old party. People want to make up for lost time and create a beautiful and meaningful experience for everyone who attends. 

A wedding weekend at a retreat venue allows you to curate thoughtful experiences for you and your guests. I’m talking about everything from rounds of golf and cocktail classes to outdoor yoga, paddleboard lessons, and local hikes. 

Whatever “retreat” means for you – that’s the kind of experience I can help you create for your wedding.

Happy Couple just married at Gardener Ranch. Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

5) More Time to R&R

Relax and rejuvenate? During a wedding?!…


Once you step onto the property, your retreat experience begins. So instead of trying to cram everything into a few hours, you’ll breathe easy knowing you have a few days to really savor everything and enjoy the company.  

But what about all of the decisions and logistics that inevitably go along with planning a retreat wedding? 

Multiple-day weddings held at retreat venues typically require more planning and have their share of logistical challenges. 

For one, you’ll need to think about the guest experience from start to finish. And because there tends to be less staff on the property, you’ll need someone in your corner to help you with all of the details. 

This kind of wedding takes thoughtful organization and managing a budget and priorities, so things don’t spiral out of control. 

I know what it takes to plan a successful retreat wedding. 

From the welcome party to the farewell brunch, you and your guests will experience a celebration that’s full of personal details and unforgettable moments. 

Contact me, and let’s make it happen. 

Gardener Ranch Clubhouse Pool after a wedding weekend. Photo by Julie Cahill Photography.
  1. […] Couples planning their wedding no longer come to me asking for just a single day’s celebration. Almost every couple I work with now wants to give their guest an entire weekend experience. After so much time secluded, couples want to spend as much time with their friends and family as possible and the best way to do that is to plan an entire weekend away for everyone. This means being a great host for the whole weekend and organizing multiple events. Retreat style weddings are not a new concept but they are growing in popularity. I recently shared why I (and most of my couples) love retreat styles wedding and you can read more here.  […]

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