Perhaps we’re biased, but we think Southern California hosts some of the most amazing destinations around and Ojai is not exception. Quaint, conveniently located and designed for the perfect group getaway, we are always excited to help our couples design a multi-day weekend in this sleepy little town. Here is the ideal weekend itinerary if you’re considering this location for your wedding:
For welcome gifts, we try to focus on local snacks and the items one needs to survive the Ojai sun. Consider all things citrus like all the ingredients for a Pixie Margarita or even just some fresh fruit. Granola from …. Or cookies from …. . Local olive oil and a mini baguette is also sure to be devoured and gives guests a peek into the local flavor. And if you want to really give your guests something useful, a hat, sunscreen or other protective elements is a good idea.
Keep the welcome party as casual as the town itself. We’ve done everything from a BBQ at Topa Winery to a Mexican Fiesta at Agave Maria’s to Pizza Parties and more. Of course, Ojai Valley Inn is a great location that can host all of your events should you not want to explore, but don’t forget about the great restaurants and spaces all throughout the town just to add a bit of variety for the weekend.
DAY TIME ACTIVITIES
Hosting a pool party for all of your out of towners at Ojai Valley Inn is always a good idea. Even in the “winter” months, Ojai is typically pool weather and it’s a relaxing way to connect with your friends and family.
There are three properties I personally love in the area, including Ojai Valley Inn, Thacher House and Provence in Ojai. Here’s the scoop on each:
Ojai Valley Inn is the given for the region and for good reason. It has a beautiful property with somewhat accessible pricing meaning a majority of guests can stay there. You have the option to host all events there (in different spaces) but it’s also conveniently located to town should you want to host an event off site or even just encourage guests to do a bit of shopping. We’ve hosted 300+ guests there and they have a beautiful farmhouse which allows you to host a very late wedding…a rare commodity anywhere in California. While a hotel first, they really prioritize events and take great care of their wedding parties with a well thought out and approachable wedding menu as well as amazing hospitality.
Thacher House is intimate, warm and perfect for those couples who have a small group and are resort adverse. It’s very rustic and very much what many love about Ojai. Set out in nature, the boutique property is really best fit for about 40 guests or so, though you can host more. The event spaces aren’t clearly defined, but since you would buy out the property to use it, it gives you lots of flexibility to choose your location. The moment you meet the founder, you can tell the love and passion that has been invested into the property as he has his hands in everything from making fresh cheese to interior design to even making us the best chocolate souffle I’ve ever had during our last visit. If you’re a lover of intentionality and detail, you’ll enjoy this property.
Provence in Ojai is one of those hidden gems that you don’t expect to find in Southern California and it’s perfect for couples preferring more of a private estate feel. Its prettiest spaces are smaller and again, perfect for about 50 to 60 guests, but they also have an orchard growing in where you can host many more. It’s flawlessly designed and offers the flexibility of bringing in your favorite chef and entertainment while hosting in a beautifully manicured French garden.
THE DAY AFTER
No matter where you wed, if you’re hosting a brunch, I recommend brunch at Ojai Valley Inn under their gorgeous oak tree. It’s a lovely sign off for the weekend that’s done with ease.
Whether with or without you, Ojai has a lot to keep guests busy throughout the weekend, including:
Shopping and dining in downtown Ojai
With so many local boutiques and restaurants, your guests will find something they love. One of my favorite things about the town is you won’t find any of the big retailers or luxury designers you can find just about anywhere else. Instead, you will find the most wonderfully curated collection of elevated clothing, interiors and more. I just love to discover new things in this town and know your guests will too.
There are many beautiful trails throughout Ojai depending on your guests hiking level. Some of which can be explored right from the local hotels or with a quick stroll outside of the town. Others require a car and are a short drive away but are well worth the effort once you see the amazing vistas of this area.
Golfing is of course, always the perfect option as well if you have a group who’s into the sport. Make it a competitive tournament with custom score cards, golf balls, tees and more. This is also when those custom hats may come in handy.
The Spa at Ojai Valley Inn is truly one of the best spa experiences I’ve ever had, and I’m fortunate enough to have had my fair share of spa treatments. That said, this is the perfect treat for your bridal party if you can find the time before the weekend festivities or to simply recommend to your guests.