Q&A w/ Nicole & Jim:
A1: What we loved most about Old Ranch was the location and that the ceremony and reception were in the same place. We picked this venue because of location and cost. Almost everything was included (food, alcohol, cake, linens) in the package we purchased. The package we purchased and all the vendor recommendations made the planning process easier.
A2: Our favorite moment of the day was the first look. Even though we had spent the whole day getting ready this really felt like the beginning of the wedding day. A nice moment with just the 2 of us (and our wonderful photographer!) to kick off the rest of the wedding day.
A3: I was surprised at how nervous I was right before the ceremony started even though we had done the first look. But to have all the people closest to you in one place while you marry the love of your life is the best feeling.Q4: What advice would you give to future couples planning their wedding day?
A4: The advice I would give to couples that are planning a wedding is: 1) don’t sweat the small stuff because I promise no one will notice 2) remember that this day is about what you want!
If you’ve made the trek from Orange County to Los Angeles on the 405, you’ve no doubt passed by The Old Ranch Country Club. The golf course is hard to miss, but seeing the venue from the inside reveals one of Seal Beach’s pockets of beauty. Shooting at Old Ranch opens up a world of aesthetic options, making for a versatile location for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Considering how close it is to the freeway, Old Ranch does a remarkable job of separating itself from its surroundings. Entering through the gates leaves the noise and hustle behind, allowing its style and atmosphere to take a life of its own. Looking at the golf-course vista from the patio is like a slice of Palm Springs at the end of OC, making it a unique location for me to shoot at.
One of Old Ranch’s biggest assets is how many roles it can fulfill. The main hall features a gorgeous view of the golf course, minimizing the loss of scenery in an indoor event. The course itself offers a plethora of backdrops, whether it be the rolling green hills or the glistening lake in the middle. This allows me to get creative with my shot composition, but getting a feel for the club’s lighting was the real game changer for me.
Even with the sun overhead, Old Ranch’s open design lends itself to consistent lighting that I can use for tasteful shot exposure. There’s always something to be said for the potential during sunset, but I’ve been able to familiarize myself with indoors and outdoors far beyond that perfect sliver of time. The building’s large windows make indoor lighting more natural, which means I can capture choice shots in the open air or in one of the banquet halls.
The fact this particular venue can function for both receptions and ceremonies is probably its biggest advantage. Just like guests and planners only have to show up to one spot, I only have to acclimate to one environment instead of two or more. This gives my shots a unified look and gives me more time to find the perfect moments to capture.
Shooting at Old Ranch is the perfect combination of quality and convenience. It’s incredibly easy to find, especially for a highway veteran, but you might as well be in a different world once you find yourself inside. For a photographer, there’s a wealth of opportunities to capitalize on throughout the big day. For newlyweds and wedding attendees, it can serve a variety of purposes.