Chileno Valley Ranch Weddings


The Chileno Valley Ranch barn illuminated in the evening
Photo credit: Luke Keegan

Wedding Guidelines

Although we host a small number of weddings each year, Chileno Valley Ranch is a private home, and the main focus of the ranch is on animal agriculture. The guidelines below will ensure a smooth wedding day while protecting the health of the animals and land at the ranch.

Event Areas

Ceremony and Reception Sites

Couples may use the apple orchard, barns, creek area, bridge and several fields for a wedding celebration. Couples considering a wedding at the ranch are invited to visit in person to plan their ceremony. The wedding cannot be held in a field with cows. Dinner may not be held in front of the barn as it is very windy. If the dinner is planned for outside, the apple orchard, behind the dairy barn, or a field would make the best location. In case of poor weather, the dinner may be moved inside.

Number of Guests

Up to 200 may be seated in the dairy barn for dinner but we recommend a number below 150. Any number of guests can be accommodated outside in the fields or orchard.

Access to the House

The bridal party may get ready in the house. The bride and attendants may use a bedroom and bathroom downstairs, and the groom and groomsmen may use a bedroom and bathroom upstairs. The couple will appoint someone to take all the wedding materials (purses, clothing etc.) from the house by 6 PM.

House Restrictions

Only the couple and their preparation party may come in and out of the house. This will include mothers of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, hair and make up artists, photographer and others. Guests are not allowed on the porch. If guests are interested in gardening, Sally will take them into the gardens.


The cottage is currently not available for events

Photographer Storage

The photographer may use Mike’s office for storage of personal items and equipment during the event.


Guests are required to remain in the area of celebration. Fields with cows in them are off limits. Hiking is not allowed, as it can spread diseases to our oak trees and animals.

Bride And Groom Photo Locations

Anyplace is fine for photos.  Previous wedding couples have loved the hills behind the house at sunset, the tall grass near the creek, the orchard or the small weathered barn near the chicken coop for family photos. If you want to go into the animal enclosures, ask Sally for help. Please close any gates you walk through.

Vehicles and Delivery

Parking and Parking Attendants

There is ample off-road parking in a five-acre field behind the house. Two friends or relatives of the wedding couple are required to assist Mike in the parking of vehicles. The parking helpers need to be at the ranch one hour before the wedding begins.

Shuttle Limitations

Only compact 31 foot (or shorter) shuttles are allowed. 45 foot busses are not allowed as they do not fit through the gate. For safety reasons, shuttles may not park on the road to off load their guests but must drive into the parking area and turn around in the back field.  Shuttles then must go into town to wait for their pick up time.

Bus drop-off will be closely supervised by Mike and his helpers to ensure safety of passengers and that there is an adequate distance from guest vehicles in the parking lot. Bus drivers must be notified about all these limitations.

Delivery truck limitations

Rental trucks may not be longer than 16 feet. This insures that our entrance trees are not damaged. Trucks must exit through the main gate.


The wedding couple will let Sally know when the rental company and the porta-potty drop-off will be made. Sally will oversee drop-off and installation.

Rental Pick-Up After the Wedding

The wedding couple is expected to notify the rental agency that pick-up will take place the day after the wedding. During the Fall U Pick Season, the wedding rentals must be stored in the dairy barn and picked up on Monday.

Financial Obligations


The cost of renting out the grounds of Chileno Valley Ranch is dependent on the number of guests. Normally the number of guests is between 100 and 150. The fee for this  number is $7500.00.  The fee for a guest count below 100 is $7000.00. The fee for a guest count above 150 is $8000.00.  If you guest count is above 200, let’s talk about it!
A $500 refundable deposit is required to secure the desired wedding date. This is due at the time the couple decides to rent Chileno Valley Ranch.

Couples must rent their own tables and chairs, but heaters, lighting, a stage, an installed arch or chuppah at the wedding site  and various ranch props come with the fee, along with the services of Mike and Sally.

Payments may be made gradually and a contract with be provided.

Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance must be arranged by the wedding couple. A contract between the wedding couple and the insurance company spells out the particulars of the event insurance. Chileno Valley Ranch must be listed as “additional insured” for $1 million.

Clients have used, 1-800-engage or as insurance providers. Your choice of insurance company is up to you.


Smoking Policy

Smoking is allowed in the smoking area only, due to the high fire danger area we live in.

Guest Behavior

Wedding guests are expected to behave in a manner befitting the occasion. Guests will show respect to the wedding party, the ranch and the hosts. Misbehaving guests — drunk, disrespectful, rowdy and smoking outside the permitted area —will be asked to leave. Loud and inappropriate music is not allowed.

Wedding Insert Requirement

A wedding invitation insert or some other way to inform guests of our smoking policy and other details, such as the need to wear comfortable shoes and layers, is required. Some couples put this information on their website. An example will be provided.

Music and Noise

The band will be restricted to a modest level of sound. The decibel level must be under 86, the point at which sound is harmful to human hearing and to the baby owls that live in the barn. The owners of Chileno Valley Ranch must be consulted about the volume level before the band performs. If the volume is too high, the owners of the ranch will turn down the music. We expect the wedding couple to communicate with us regarding this issue


Amplified music will cease at 10 PM; the bar will close at 9:30 PM. All wedding guests will begin leaving by 10 PM. This allows the catering staff to clean up and leave at a reasonable hour. For your planning, remember that the catering staff must stay until the guests are gone, and that they are paid until the time they leave. There are some tasks that they can only do when all the guests are gone.

Bar Rules

There will be no unlimited drinking. If there is a signature drink after the ceremony, it must be mild. Wine and beer may be served. Alcohol will not be available after 9:30 PM. The owners of the ranch reserve the right to cut off alcoholic beverages to any person or persons.

Alcohol Before the Wedding is Not Allowed. Lemonade or other cool drinks may comfort the guests while they wait for the ceremony to begin. If served in one of the fields, non-alcoholic drinks must be served in a paper container, not glass or plastic.

Welcome Area

A welcome area may be set up in a convenient location near the wedding site.  Lemonaide or cucumber water in paper cups may be served to refresh the guests.( Alcoholic beverages may be served after but not before the wedding.) Furniture and comfortable seating is a nice accompaniment to the welcome area,  Older guest especially require comfortable seating before the ceremony and during the reception time.
Glass is not allowed in the fields.

Planning and Logistics

Wedding Planners

Mike and Sally have a list of preferred vendors couples must use for caterers, wedding planners, transportation, and porta potties. They also have an extensive list of optional vendors who have helped with previous events. View the entire list here

Mike and Sally will help you with wedding planning, but you may also hire a wedding planner from our approved list. Please be sure you include Sally and Mike in the wedding plans. Good communication and checks and balances ensure a smooth wedding day. Well before the wedding, Mike and Sally need to know the following people, their contact information, and what arrangements have been made:

  • Wedding planner
  • Caterer
  • Rental company
  • Shuttle company
  • Port-a-potty company


Pets belonging to guests or wedding employees are not allowed. Pets are not allowed during the time of set-up. However, if a special dog is wanted in the wedding, ask Sally.


Children are encouraged to attend the wedding but those younger than 12 are not allowed to be at the ranch during the time of set-up, unless closely supervised.

Trash and Recyclables

All trash and recyclables must be securely and properly bagged and removed by the catering staff. The couple must make this clear in their agreement with the caterers. All wet food garbage can be saved by the caterers and fed to the chickens. It must be saved in a hermetically sealed can and secured by a cord or tie to keep out animals.


We provide barn party lighting . The client is responsible for purchasing, installing and removing any additional lighting. Please see the ranch owners about existing lighting before making your plans. Dramatic lighting effects are allowed both inside and outside the barn, and are the responsibility of the client.


A stage in the barn is available at no extra cost. The stage has been used during the ceremony and by the band. It is located at the back of the dairy barn. It is heavy, so it remains in its place during the wedding celebration.


Sally will give you a choice between two types of port-a potties and she will make sure they are placed properly. We suggest one Port-a-Potty for every 50 guests. The type that are set on a trailer with two Port-a-Potties (for 100 people) is best. You do not need large expensive port-a potties.

While setting up before the wedding, please use the port-a potties as no other restroom are available.

Hay Bales

If you would like hay bales set up in the reception area outside the barn, Mike and Sally will be happy to do this for you.  This does not include setting hay bales up for the wedding site,. Chairs, benches or pews  are suggested for the wedding site.

Happy People!

We love having happy people at the ranch and look forward to your celebration. We will be there for you to help make those special decisions. Please feel free to email Sally with any questions at, and to visit when you need to. Your decorating is a very important part of your wedding, so we will be flexible about having you out here to decorate. You are not restricted to the day of the wedding to decorate. Just let us know when you would like to come, and who will be with you.

We will be dressed up to greet your guests on their arrival, and we will try to make everyone feel at home. We will be available to the wedding party for any last-minute problems or needs. We want your wedding to be everything you desire and will be there for you to make sure you have the most wonderful wedding in the world!

Thank you for honoring us by choosing Chileno Valley Ranch as the site for your wedding.

Mike and Sally Gale

A newlywed couple dancing
Photo credit: Mary McHenry
An illustration of a dragonflyAn illustration of a dragonfly