There are literally hundreds of wedding venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, but OVY Camp + Event Center is one of my absolute favorites. Nestled in the forests in San Gregorio only 5 miles away from the ocean, this 100 acre property only holds one wedding per weekend in the months of March-May and September-November, allowing for exclusive use of the entire property from Friday at 9AM to Sunday at 1PM. With a majestic redwood grove, a charming amphitheatre, and a beautiful hall with gorgeous wood rafters, OVY Camp + Event Center is the perfect wedding venue for a couple looking to hold their special day somewhere truly amazing.
Located on La Honda Road, the first things guests will see after a scenic winding drive through the woods is this sign by the road.
Turning off the main road, the driveway takes you across a bridge and straight to a gravel lot with plenty of parking space for all your guests.
OVY is a huge property, so there are several options as to where you can hold your ceremony. It is one of the few venues in the Bay Area that offers a stunning redwood grove as a backdrop for a wedding ceremony. I’ll tell you right now that this is probably my favorite part of the entire property–which is saying a lot, because their reception hall is beautiful as well. There are two possible ways to use the redwoods. One is to hold the ceremony on the charming wooden platform with the guests standing clustered in the clearing in front of it. Benches and chairs can be brought in to the front of the clearing for your elderly guests. This works best for weddings under 120 or so people.
The other option is to use the trees right next to the clearing with a more open area in front of them if you have more guests than can comfortably fit in the smaller clearing.
There is also the Upper Meadow, where there are these beautiful teepees to serve as a backdrop. This is often a popular place for a rehearsal dinner as well.
Finally, there’s the charming amphitheatre surrounded by more redwoods with plenty of bench seating.
Right by the amphitheatre there are these cabins that come with your site fee for the entire duration. There is lodging for up to 85 people, if you’re looking for more of a destination wedding type feel! For guests looking for a little more luxury, there are plenty of hotels in Half Moon Bay only 15 minutes away.
Also included is a cabin that can act as the bridal suite, complete with a full kitchen and some seriously beautiful light for getting ready photos!
One of the best things about OVY Camp + Event Center is that it has a huge amount of flexibility. There are no required vendors, meaning couples can bring in whoever works best for their vision. Matthew, Executive Director/Events Coordinator is very responsive to emails and calls and is happy to offer suggestions for vendors as well. There’s a wonderful industrial kitchen attached to Scheid Hall that always makes caterers happy to see. It is also perfect for the DIY couples who want to have their friends help cater the wedding or even for someone (who might be slightly crazy) like me and is looking to bake all the desserts for the event!
Finally, Scheid Hall has stunning wood rafters wrapped with twinkle lights that create a truly magical feeling for your reception. Also included with the venue are the charming wooden tables and benches that fit in perfectly with the slightly rustic feel.
For those of you who are wondering why you can’t have an OVY Camp + Event Center wedding during the months of June-August (usually prime wedding season!), it’s because this property is also where the Optimist Volunteers for Youth holds their summer camps. All of the proceeds from holding weddings goes towards funding summer camps for economically disadvantaged youth. Isn’t that just the perfect icing on the cake? Not only do you get a stunning location to hold your wedding, you get to help hundreds of youth attend an incredible summer camp program. If you are interested in booking a wedding at OVY, email or call Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (650) 747-0321
and set up a time to go visit OVY Camp + Event Center
for yourself. Tell him that Alice sent you. You won’t regret it!
Alice Che is a San Francisco Bay Area photographer specializing in wedding, engagement, couple and boudoir photography. Serving the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito and surrounding areas.