The Northern California coastline is one of the west coast’s most magnificent settings, and certainly a prime destination for romantic wedding celebrations. Located in the San Francisco Bay area, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay sets an exquisite stage for Northern California weddings – especially with its unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. Laurie Shields, Senior Catering Sales Manager, shares more about hosting a wedding at this beautiful property. 

GO: How would you describe the aesthetic, mood, and setting of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay?

A: Perched atop a dramatic ocean bluff overlooking 50 miles of pristine Northern California coastline, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay is the San Francisco Bay Area’s only luxury oceanfront resort and is a breathtaking location for weddings. The resort’s ambiance takes cues from its unique location between the local Santa Cruz Mountains and nearby Napa and Sonoma Valleys, home to some of the world’s finest wines, as well as the sights, sounds, and experiences of the Pacific Ocean. 

Designed with California’s natural beauty in mind and drawing the Pacific Ocean indoors, the resort’s luxurious guest rooms and suites are highlighted in soothing hues of blue and grey, rich tones of creams and browns, and accented with spectacular coastal views. The design embraces “Shingle Style” architecture – a style inspired by the grand seaside lodges of the 19thcentury – through a display of earth tones, coastal décor, and sophisticated furnishings. Fire pits are dotted throughout the resort and inspired by our setting reminiscent of the clifftops of Scotland, a bagpiper serenades the sunset every evening.

GO: How far in advance does a couple need to reserve a wedding date?

A: We take wedding bookings up to two years in advance. 

GO: Are onsite wedding planners available for the wedding process?

A: Our Wedding Advisors offer many services to help plan your big day such as recommending special event professionals for music, floral, and photography; planning your food and beverage menus; creating floorplans so you may create your seating arrangements; assisting with overnight room requirements and more. We still recommend that you have your own wedding planner or coordinator to plan your wedding day and we would be pleased to provide recommendations.

GO: Are accommodations and buyouts available? What is the capacity limit?

A: Yes, we offer 261 guest rooms and suites with buyouts available. Our Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 guests with dancing.

GO: What spaces are available for ceremonies and receptions?

A: We host large ceremonies with guest lists of 76 and above on the Ocean Lawn or Mar Vista Lawn. The Ocean Lawn overlooks the dramatic Pacific while the Mar Vista Lawn provides golf course and coastline vistas. Afterwards, guests celebrate in the opulent 7,100 square foot Ritz-Carlton Ballroom with 17-foot-high vaulted ceilings adorned with chandeliers. Smaller weddings with 75 or less guests take place on the North Bluff with views of the stirring ocean followed by a reception taking place in the Miramontes (with Terrace and fire pit) and Observatory featuring panoramic views of the ocean and coastline.

GO: What are some of the amenities, incentives and activities that The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay offers a couple?

A: As one of the most romantic resorts in California, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay offers many activities for couples including fine dining at Navio, featuring artfully presented coastal cuisine, al fresco oceanfront dining on the Ocean Terrace, couple’s massage at the spa, golfing at one of two 18-hole championship golf courses, bike riding, roasting s’mores on the fire pits, and more. In addition to this, Half Moon Bay is rich with recreational activities such as horseback riding on the beach, kayaking at nearby Pillar Point Harbor and wine tasting at nearby Santa Cruz Mountains.

GO: Food is such an important element at a wedding. Tell us about your menu customization options.

A: The award-winning cuisine from our creative culinary team presents dishes crafted from the freshest and finest ingredients from our local Half Moon Bay farms and region. In addition, our Executive Chef is delighted to create custom menus per each couple’s preference.

GO: Service is imperative in the wedding industry. What does The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay offer couples and their guests that set you apart?

A: With our unparalleled oceanfront location that distinguishes us in San Francisco Bay Area and our exceptional Ladies and Gentlemen at your service, an unforgettable wedding day that is uniquely yours awaits. 

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