Ethereal Botanical Gardens Wedding
About 4 years ago was I able to cross paths with this really wonderful couple from Sweden named Kate and Eugene. They planned a destination wedding in Temecula and hired me to rock their wedding photos at Ponte Inn. Honestly, I had a great time with the two of them so I was pretty darn stoked when Kate’s younger sister reached out to me about photographing her wedding last week at California Botanical Gardens (formerly known as Ethereal Open Air Resort in Escondido). This was my first time shooting a wedding at California Botanical Gardens so I was excited about the opportunity to cruise the grounds of this wedding venue, and I must say it really was fantastic.
California Botanical Gardens had a ton of greenery and a lot of hidden spots for a photographer to get creative, which is always a giant plus because nobody wants wedding photos that look the same. The cloudy/overcast day provided an opportunity to shoot pretty much anywhere on the property without worry, the couple had positive vibes rocking all day, and the freaking bridal/groom suite each came with a bar and bartender. Yeah, dude. You read that right. Cocktails on demand all morning for the bride and groom. If that is not a selling point for why someone should get married at California Botanical Gardens I really do not know what is. Oh, and why is this not a thing at all wedding venues? But I could talk about the pros of having a bartender available all day long, but instead, I will stop typing and let you check out some of the epic goodness of Molly and Kevin’s wedding because it had everything an awesome wedding needs: laughter, liquor, love and lots of good energy!
California Botanical Gardens: The Wedding Venue
FROM THE BRIDE: Our favorite part about California Botanical Gardens was how beautiful & enchanting the entire wedding venue was. It really is the perfect setting for a destination wedding! The bathhouses were SO cool! The gardens, twinkling lights in the trees, and the fact that we had it all to ourselves to enjoy with our family and friends were just perfect! We literally could not find one thing we didn’t like about California Botanical Gardens. As soon as my Mom showed us the outdoor wedding venue, I knew it was the place we needed to get married! And with a short 6-month engagement, I’m so grateful we were able to get in, as most people book their wedding venue up to 18 months in advance!
The Wedding Day
The staff was so helpful and catered to our every need. From the moment we walked on site, we had the best service with two very nice girls helping me with drinks, carrying my dress train, holding my Chardonnay/bouquet. Anything I needed they were right beside me to help. The rustic/bohemian/chic vibe was just what we were looking for and it could not be any more perfect! Also, compared to many other wedding venues we considered, California Botanical Gardens was surprisingly one of the most budget-friendly! California Botanical Gardens made the planning process of the wedding so effortless. Rae Bennett was our coordinator and took care of almost everything for us. All-inclusive was definitely the way to go! They provided vendors to choose from and made everything so easy! Not one bridezilla moment over here thanks to California Botanical Gardens! My advice to other brides would be to go with a wedding venue that does all the work for you and things will be much more enjoyable.
Favorite Moments From California Botanical Gardens
FROM THE BRIDE: I was most nervous during the wedding ceremony and the vows, but Kevin and I actually wrote our vows together and practiced with each other which made it less intimidating. That is something I would recommend to everyone do before getting married. I also really loved our first look and seeing his expression when he opened his eyes. I also loved our first dance. We took 3 lessons with a private instructor which was such fun! On the morning of our wedding, we were even practicing in our hotel room. We were really able to enjoy ourselves once the lights dimmed low to start dancing and loved letting loose with all of our friends, especially with the Shout dance & Cupid’s shuffle. Kevin’s favorite part was seeing me walk down the aisle and the sparkler exit.
Ethereal Gardens Wedding Cost
How Much Does It Cost To Get Married At Ethereal California Botanical Gardens?
Couples searching for a garden wedding venue will drool over the naturally beautiful wedding and reception grounds at Ethereal California Botanical Gardens. If you are looking to host your wedding or any special event at the outdoor venue anticipate investing between $5,000 and $50,000 for the event space. Wedding packages will fluctuate depending on:
- What day of the week you are getting married at the tropical gardens
- Time of the year for the wedding planning
- The number of guests for ceremonies and receptions (space can hold up to 500 people!)
- The amount of customization for the rose garden, event lawn, or indoor gardens
Honestly, I really love the Ethereal garden wedding venue and would encourage couples from San Diego to Los Angeles to plan your visit to the property to see the property with your own eyes.
I would like to give Molly and Kevin one more huge CONGRATS on their kick-ass wedding at California Botanical Gardens in Escondido, California! It was such a great time getting to hang with you guys and your crew of friends all day, and I wish you both the absolute best in life! I hope you are having an amazing time in the Bahamas right now swimming with sharks and ravaging fruity cocktails!
Anyone interested in checking out some more killer real weddings should head on over and let your eyeballs feast on Nicole and Derek’s Temecula wedding at Lake Oak Meadows that was booze-tastic.
8561 W Lilac Rd, Escondido, CA 92026