Our venue, The Twenty Mile House, is located in Cromberg, CA (just outside Graeagle — another town you’ve probably never heard of, about 1 1/2 hours north of Lake Tahoe) nestled in the California Sierras.
When Jonathan and I got engaged in March 2013, the entirety of the proceeding two months were dedicated to researching venue locations that fit our (OK: my) very strict standards. Luckily he was on board with everything and since he was too busy with school to dedicate the kind of time I was willing to, he let me drive that car, so to speak.
After tons of consideration and a few serious contenders (including a popular venue in the Bay Area and a spot in Santa Barbara that nearly got a deposit from us), I discovered Twenty Mile House while browsing Here Comes the Bride — and it was perfect…
The main brick house sits on 200 acres with three additional cabins for lodging. My parents, our entire bridal and groom’s party, and several friends all stayed in rooms that we rented out for Friday and Saturday night.
To say it made our lives easier (and the day/evening of the wedding less stressful) to be able to wake up and go to bed in the same location we were getting married would be an understatement.
And the property was truly serene.
We set up a cornhole set next to the main house (and you can see the Trackside Cabin peaking through between the trees in this first picture)…
… and inside there were charming, vintage details.
This is the Creekside Cabin, where my Matron of Honor, Cassie, and her husband stayed with other friends. (It had a hot tub, which we enjoyed on Friday after the rehearsal dinner!)
The groom’s party all stayed in the larger Northfield Cabin, which was the furthest from the Main House.
Just next to the reception area is a train track! The train comes through 0-4+ times per day, and there is no schedule, which means it’s best to not get drunk and stumble into the woods, if you can avoid it.
A path just across the tracks leads to several small wildflower meadows…
… and a river!
Couples actually have the option of using the space next to the river for their ceremony. We opted not to, because the walk was a bit sandy and uneven for some of our older guests. But it would have been beautiful!
The thing we liked most about Twenty Mile House was how much it felt like you were in someone’s home. The property felt intimate and familiar, yet rustic and beautiful.
It’s also considered a “green” venue, offering all-inclusive wedding packages; you have the option to work with local vendors (which we did!) who already know the property and staff so well.
I cannot stress enough how wonderful, patient, accommodating, and competent the Twenty Mile House staff are. Even though it was in California, for all intents and purposes it was a destination wedding; no one we know lives close by to check on things or attend meetings for us. Being able to pay the venue staff and vendors to take care of everything but the photography, small decor details, clothing, and booze (that’s literally all we had to worry about bringing) made our lives so much easier.
You’ll see a lot more of the venue in subsequent posts this week. Today is mostly to give you an idea of the ambiance and environment, which felt like walking into a dream.
Tomorrow: our wedding design, theme, paper goods, flowers, and favors!
(Photos by Joe Gunn and Justin Divine)