Frequently Asked Questions

(back to the Planning Page)

Here is a list of the most commonly inquired about aspects of hosting an event at the Santa Margarita Ranch. Please review this list and if you’re still left wondering, contact us:


Power / Wifi / Lighting / Sound

Does the Ranch have Wifi?
While the Ranch office is outfitted with password-protected high-speed internet, there is no signal in the Garden or the Barn.

What type of power is available?
The barn should have ample power to run your event, however certain circumstances (live music or catering equipment such as warming ovens and coffee pots) may require supplemental power sources. Inquire on a case-by-case basis.
The Garden is outfitted with electrical outlets in multiple locations and meets the needs of most events.

Do I need to provide additional lighting?
Most guests find the provided lighting to be sufficient for their needs.You are welcome to bring in additional lighting, but such must be secured through another vendor. Should you decide to use the south (dirt floor) wing of the barn, you must install additional lighting.

Does the Ranch have a sound system I can use?
No. The Ranch does not have any speakers, microphones, or A/V equipment for use.

Restrooms / Cleaning Supplies / Trash

Does the Ranch provide restroom supplies?
Yes. The restrooms will be stocked with toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap. Ranch staff will check on supplies throughout the course of the event.

Does the Ranch provide cleaning supplies?
Yes. Should you experience any “accidents” (spills, broken glass, etc.) we have everything you need; mops, brooms, cleaners, etc.

Does the Ranch provide trash cans / dumpsters?
Yes. The Ranch will provide trash cans with liners for your event. There is also a dumpster onsite. ALL trash from your event must be disposed of in the dumpster by the end of event. It is the responsibility of the event sponsor to make sure all trash has been properly disposed of.

Does the Ranch provide recycling bins?
Yes. There are sufficient recycling bins onsite for your use.

Does the Ranch provide a ladder?
Yes. The Ranch has an 8-foot ladder that is available for your use.

Does the Ranch provide heaters?
The Ranch does not provide heaters; you must secure those through an outside vendor. As a general rule, we advise heaters for all events that occur between the months of mid-November through mid-April. There are two types of heaters that you may use: forced air (which blows warm air into a space) or patio heaters. It seems that 10 heaters is a good standard to work from, using more or fewer depending on the time of year and weather at the time. It seems that a mix of the forced air and the patio heaters is the most-effective course of action. For example: 3 or 4 forced air heaters placed in the corners of the barn, with 4 to 6 patio heaters scattered between tables.

Remember that the left (“catering”) side of the barn is much more exposed to weather elements, so events taking place during cold or rainy seasons should consider heaters for this space, especially if you intend to utilize this space.

Who is responsible for end-of-night clean-up?
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Event Sponsor to ensure all cleaning guidelines are adhered to (trash properly disposed of, spills moped / broken glass swept, liquids dumped in proper areas, removal of all vendor and rental items from the main event space(s), etc.) Often times some or all clean-up responsibilities can be negotiated with caterers or coordinators, as outlined in the 2018 Pre-Event Checklist (click to download), under the “Cleaning and Damage Deposit” section. Please be familiar with Ranch policy regarding end-of-night procedures, and inquire if you have any questions.


Catering / Alcohol

What type of kitchen facilities does the Ranch provide?
The Ranch does not provide any type of kitchen (no refrigerators, “kegerators,” stoves / ovens / grills / BBQs, or sinks). Caterers are welcome to bring a BBQ to cook onsite, but must be fully self-contained.

What is the alcohol policy at the Ranch?
All events may supply their own alcohol (beer, wine, champagne, and hard liquor permitted). There is no corkage fee for hosting your bar. However, events that choose to sell alcohol must secure necessary permits and licenses. To clarify, if you are not selling alcohol to your invited guests, it is not necessary to secure permits.

Is water available on the Ranch?
The water on the Ranch is non-potable and is not safe for drinking or food preparation.


Brides’ and Grooms’ spaces…
Weddings are welcome to use our Bridal Cottage. Most brides choose to do hair and make-up at another location and use the Cottage to put their dress on and do final touches. We welcome brides who want to get ready at the Ranch, but please keep in mind the cottage is small and is not particularly accommodating for multiple bridesmaids plus family / friends / make-up artists / photographers.
The Cottage has seating for 5-6, with power outlets and a bathroom with shower. There is a wall heater and ceiling fan, but no air-conditioning unit.
You have access to the Cottage for the full duration of the event, but access is restricted to the bride/groom and wedding party only.

We also have a unique space for groomsmen to relax before the ceremony. The “Grooms Bus” has seating, a bar area, restroom, mini-fridge, fan and air-conditioning unit, and Bluetooth music speaker! 

Am I able to host my rehearsal on the Ranch?
We grant weddings a complimentary 1-hour rehearsal, subject to availability. Rehearsals can be arranged no more than 30 days in advance.
For those who are unable to host their rehearsal with us: previous weddings have held their rehearsals in public parks or the courtyard of their hotel
Don’t forget that the venue is yours for the full day! So you’re welcome to do rehearsals or a last-minute walk-through first thing on the morning of your event.

Is smoking permitted on the Ranch?
We allow for smoking in designated smoking areas only (one at the Garden and one by restrooms / Barn). The Pre-Event Checklist states that improperly disposed of cigarette butts (by guests and / or vendors) can serve as grounds for partial or full withholding of the Cleaning and Damage Deposit.

Pet Policy
We welcome service animals and will allow four-legged family to participate in your ceremony, however all pets must be kept on-leash at all times, picked-up after, and are not permitted in the Bridal Cottage.

In an effort to preserve the historic character of this special place…

The following are strictly prohibited anywhere on Ranch property:

  • Candles, including contained lanterns – (exceptions can be made for unity candles during a Garden ceremony)
  • Sparklers
  • Confetti
  • Nails / screws / staples / tacks used for decor
(back to the Planning Page)