The Best Southern California Wedding Venues: Part 5 Castle in the Forest

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Hello and welcome to the FIFTH installment of my series on the best Southern California wedding venues! This time around, I wanted to cover the Castle in the Forest. It’s so incredibly dreamy. Nestled in the mountains near the serene Lake Arrowhead, this huge vacation rental is Southern California’s Secret Gem. Let’s dive into the venue and what we love about it!


Getting Ready


Because the Castle in the Forest is a vacation rental, there is tons of space for you and your bride tribe or groom crew to get ready on site! With a plethora of different rooms to choose from, you have SO many options. Not to mention, there are multiple private balconies and patio areas for private, outdoor getting ready photos. However, because The Castle in the Forest is first and foremost a vacation rental, there are no all-inclusive packages, so most everything will be up to you. For this reason, I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner and/or coordinator to help you plan your special day.

castle in the forest, getting ready, best southern california wedding venues

The Ceremony


While the inside of this Castle is absolutely stunning, I highly recommend having your ceremony on the back lawn. This area is an expansive green space surrounded by trees with massive stone steps leading down for a dramatic entrance. Not to mention, having your ceremony against the building will give you and your guests a beautiful view of the castle’s huge windows and spectacular architecture. It will also serve as the perfect, regal backdrop for elegant wedding ceremony photos.

The Reception


There are two great options for your reception. Option one is to move inside after your ceremony to host the reception within the common areas of the castle. Your guests will NOT be disappointed by its cathedral ceilings, glittering chandeliers, fireplaces, floor to ceiling windows (with forest views) and custom-made, gothic architectural features. However, if you’re having a very large wedding, I do recommend hosting your reception outside on the lawn, which leads me to option two (and my personal favorite).


Option two is to host your reception outdoors on the lawn where your ceremony took place. To pass the time while your wedding planner directs the transition of the space, you and your guests can enjoy a brief cocktail hour on the castle’s huge elevated stone patio located next to the lawn. Then you can dance the night away and spend time with your loved ones surrounded by gorgeous nature AND you won’t have to worry about extra clean up duties inside the castle in the days following the wedding–if you decide to stay overnight!


I hope that you love the Castle in the Forest Wedding Venue / Vacation Rental as much as I do! I just think its absolutely gorgeous & have LOVED every single wedding that I have had the pleasure of shooting there, so I had to share.


If you like the photos below and want to hire me as your wedding photographer, you can do so with this link! You can also learn more about me and my services here.


Need more location inspiration? Be sure to check out part one, part two, part three, and part four! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest for continued wedding tips!


Until next time!



About Me

I am a wedding & portrait photographer based in Southern California and beyond!

I started at the young age of 16 in my hometown of Orange in Orange
County, California. As my photography business grew and I got married,
life took me to the Chino Hills area, making me more centered to all
major Southern California counties.

Here on the blog, you will
see a variety of posts regarding tips, sessions & weddings, and my
personal life of being a wife, mother, and business owner. To learn more
about me or to see more daily adventures, follow me on Instagram and/or

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