Venue: King Gillette Ranch

I was recently contacted by the event manager at LA Mountain Recreation and Conservation Authority, a public agency whose mission is the conservation and preservation of open spaces here in Los Angeles. She invited me to tour two of their event spaces that I had never seen before. I am so excited to share both of these spaces with you in hopes that they get a little more use, because the site fees go toward maintaining the open spaces in addition to caring for the venues and I feel strongly about preserving nature and doing good for the plants and wildlife in our area.

First we toured King Gillette Ranch which is a 1928 mansion located in the Santa Monica Mountains. I fully recommend that you take a tour guided by Leigh. She tells the history of the mansion which has been bought and sold several times and has been transformed from a personal mansion, to a cult home, to a university, and finally to its current state which has been used to film lots of tv shows and movies, and the location of many lovely couple’s “I do’s”.

As I walked up to the venue I could feel the history that has walked through these walls, and that it has been kept in great condition, but still kept its 1920’s charm.

Wouldn’t this staircase be a great location for wedding party photos or even a first look?

Here’s a photo from inside the ranch, looking out into the courtyard. The transformed mansion has lots of little rooms and nooks that can be customized to fit each wedding or event. This space could be a staging area, buffet line, or even a bar/lounge hangout. Guests can rent out the entire space or just parts they’d like to use.

The courtyard provides the perfect location for cocktails, dining, and dancing.  Leigh let me know that will be adding permanent bistro lighting to this area for an extra twinkle under the stars with a breathtaking view.

From the courtyard, there is a view of the large grassland (do you see the deer and rabbits that joined me on my tour?) There will be no noisy neighbors crashing an event at this venue, unless you count the wildlife.

This gorgeous tree is often used for the ceremony focal point. It provides afternoon/evening shade so couples don’t have to worry about their guests being too hot in the summer months.

Next, Leigh took me to another site that is kept by MRCA (Mountain Recreation Conservation Authority), Las Virgenes Open Space Ranch.

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