Tips for Clients

Mendocino California Wedding Photographer | My Favorite Wedding Venues

Hey friends! I am often asked for my favorite wedding venues on the Mendocino Coast. Honestly, that’s a loaded question because I love them all, but like anyone, I definitely have my favorites. I decided to give you a little glimpse into a few of my favorites. So here they are in no particular order:

best wedding venues on the mendocino coast

The Inn at Newport Ranch

Driving up to this property, you will instantly feel like you have stepped onto a movie set. You may be greeted by a cow in the driveway, but most definitely by your hosts who will likely offer you a water or glass of wine. With breathtaking ocean views, gorgeous architecture, stunning interior design, and love in every corner, this is the perfect location for an intimate wedding. As if that wasn’t enough, let’s not forget the redwood lined ridge-top and coastal views. We can explore the redwoods together for your bridal session and then you can be married overlooking the breathtaking pacific ocean. This is also a perfect place for a Mendocino Honeymoon or even a quick lovers getaway. We’ve had our own staycation there and can not say better things about it!

photo courtesy of  theinnatnewportranch.com

photo courtesy of theinnatnewportranch.com

The Inn at Newport Ranch+wedding+-photographer
mcfaddenstudios-1068.jpg

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Although it has been an incredibly long time since I have photographed a wedding there, I spend a lot of time with my family and friends at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. I had the honor of photographing a proposal there over the summer (oops a little behind on blogging, coming soon!) and wowza, look at those colors! This place is a treasure trove of color, texture, and most importantly will save you a boat load in decorating costs. Home to the Dahlia Garden and best known for their Rhododendrons, the garden is beautifully fragrant and will entertain all the senses. Oh and did I mention the ocean views? Yes, this is your all inclusive choice on the coast. Mendocino Coast Botanical has it all!

mendocino coast botanical gardens+wedding+photographer
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens+wedding+-photographer
mcfaddenstudios-450.jpg
mendocino coast botanical gardens+wedding+-photographer

Switzer Farm

Located 20 miles north of Fort Bragg, California, this venue boasts breathtaking ocean views, a beautifully manicured garden, and a centuries old victorian farmhouse. The farmhouse home can accommodates 20 plus guests, and for those not staying with you, there are several Bead and Breakfast’s to choose from just up the road in Westport. This is the perfect place for the couple who wants to bring their family along for their big day!

Switzer Farm+Wedding+-photographer
switzer farm + wedding +-photographer

Ellie’s Farmhouse

A country home is nestled among 40 acres with meadows & majestic redwoods, Ellie’s Farmhouse is a perfect place for your intimate wedding or gathering. The most unique and possibly my favorite feature of this property is the old fashioned Fire Engine from Mendocino Fire District that sits on the lawn. It’s a perfect prop for photos. The house can accommodate up to 7 overnight guests, and there is a bonus Glamping Tent that could serve as your place to snuggle up after your wedding day! There is a beautiful kitchen that is perfect for your caterer or family to prepare a meal. Every nook and cranny is full of perfect details for your wedding day!

mendocino+wedding+and+elopement+photographer
Mendoicno+California+ Wedding+-Photographer
Mendocino+California+Destination+Elopement+Photographer
Mendoicno+California+ Wedding+ Photographer
mcfaddenstudios-8.jpg
Mendocino+California+ Wedding+ Photographer
mcfaddenstudios-379.jpg
Mendocino+California+Wedding+-photographer
Mendocino+California+Weddings+-photographer

A Few additional Venues on the coast for your consideration:

(click the words below to be taken to the venue website!)

Albion River Inn

Caspar Community Center

Elk Cove Inn

Holly’s Ocean Meadow

Jug Handle Creek Farm

Macculum House (I am excited to be working with Elope Mendocino on a wedding here this summer)

Mendocino Headlands State Park

Philo Apple Farm (discounts apply for anyone booking a wedding with me here)

Red Barn Ranch

Spring Ranch

Stanford Inn

Yokayo Ranch (I am excited to be working with his venue this summer, keep a lookout for a blog post sometime in June)

Mendocino+California+wedding+-photographer

Some of my favorite Wedding Planners:

Elope Mendocino (Elopements are my jam, and I love working with Vanna, let’s make magic together!)

Mendocino Weddings & Events

Mendocino Wedding Witch

Mendocino+California+Wedding+-Photographer

No matter where you decided to exchange nuptials on The Mendocino Coast, you are sure to have beautiful views and unforgettable memories!

Brides, what do you look for when you are considering from a venue? Tell us in the comments below! and for all my Wedding Professional Friends out there, What are your favorite venues here on the coast? Drop a comment and give us your best tips!


Chelsi is a destination wedding  and portrait photographer based in Fort Bragg, California. She loves to travel and will go anywhere to capture your life's sweet moments. She lives for seeing the world, capturing authentic love, and making people feel fabulous. Her style is authentic, real, and emotional. She believes in laughing too much, singing too loud, and most importantly living life to the fullest and prefers capturing every single authentic beautiful moment that evoke emotion over perfectly posed photos.

What should I do when I receive photos from my photographer? A Photographer's Advice For Clients

If you’re like me, you want to share the photos taken by your photographer immediately after receiving them. Like on all the platforms. Am I right?!?

I’m a photographer so of course there are a few things I would LOVE for you to do immediately after receiving your gallery from me. I desire for each and every client to have the most incredible experience possible. Once I deliver the photos though, it’s in their hands. That’s why I wanted to give you some helpful hints on what to do with your photos once you receive them from your photographer. Once they are delivered to you, it’s on you to preserve them and it’s my job to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Back ‘em Up (and then back them up again)

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you dropped a decent amount of money on your photo session. It’s even likely that on top of the session fee, you also paid for the digital files or prints. So, let’s face it, the last thing anyone wants is for those precious (and expensive) memories to be lost forever. To my clients, not to worry, I keep your session or wedding on my gallery deliver site for a year before archiving it. However, after that it’s up to them to safely store and protect them. I can’t stress this enough, please back up your photos on your hard drive and then back them up on an external drive after that and then store it in a cool dry place. I have had a few scares over the years with technology and trust me, these photos are too precious to leave in technology’s fickle hands.

Fort Bragg California Family Photographer

You’ve got to print it, print it!

Look I get it. We live in a digital age. It’s so easy to let our precious memories live on our digital devices. But one of the best things about photography is that it is meant to be printed, displayed and shared for years to come. Printing your photos is probably the easiest ways to preserve them. Some of my fondest memories are those spent sitting in my living room sifting through old photographs of myself and loved ones from decades past. I promise you will not be sorry if you get your photos printed! And here’s a bonus tip, if you are looking for a great place to have them printed, Artifact Uprising is my fave and also the company I used to print the photos you see pictured below!

artifact uprising + prints +-family + fort bragg california photographer

Reach out to your photographer

When you receive your gallery from your photographer take a few minutes to send them an email or text message letting them know what you think! Ok, I get it, often when you receive your photos, you’re so excited and busy sharing them with your family and friends that it just slips your mind! But friends, us photographers get anxious when we send out galleries. We put our everything into creating our art specifically for you and we want you to love your photos as much, if not, more than we do! When you don’t respond, we think you don’t like our work even if you do! Sending an email letting them know how much you love your photos makes every photographer’s day, believe me.

California photographer + Weddings +-details

Write a Review

Ok, ok, you don’t HAVE to, but boy would we love if you did! We would really love it if you asked us which platform we would most love to see a review on. In addition to boosting our SEO, reviews help to validate and grow our business. Receiving feedback from my clients is my favorite, and I don’t mean in the “I love the photos” comments kind of way, I mean in the nitty gritty way. Hearing about their overall experience from how they found me, to the emails that we exchanged, to the photo session, and communication after their gallery was delivered, and how they felt through the whole process makes my heart burst with gratitude. I want to give each of my clients the best experience possible and when you leave a detailed review it helps me know what I did well and how I can improve in the future. So friends, please review your photographers, they will be so thankful to you if you do!

Redwoods+elopement+mendocino+wedding+-photographer

BONUS POINTS: If you leave your photographer a review anywhere online, let them know!

We would love to be able to respond to your review with a thank you! Plus, there’s nothing more frustrating than finding out several months after the fact that someone had a great enough experience to tell the world about!

Okay friend, that’s all I have for you today. I hope that you have found this information useful! And just to review, download, back up, back up your back up and print your photos to insure you keep those precious memories safe and sacred for a lifetime!


CHELSI IS A DESTINATION WEDDING  AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN FORT BRAGG, CALIFORNIA. SHE LOVES TO TRAVEL AND WILL GO ANYWHERE TO CAPTURE YOUR LIFE'S SWEET MOMENTS. SHE LIVES FOR SEEING THE WORLD, CAPTURING AUTHENTIC LOVE, AND MAKING PEOPLE FEEL FABULOUS. HER STYLE IS AUTHENTIC, REAL, AND EMOTIONAL. SHE BELIEVES IN LAUGHING TOO MUCH, SINGING TOO LOUD, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND PREFERS CAPTURING EVERY SINGLE AUTHENTIC BEAUTIFUL MOMENT THAT EVOKE EMOTION OVER PERFECTLY POSED PHOTOS.