Having your dream wedding amidst the scenic beauty and luxurious venues of Pebble Beach is an obvious and popular choice these days.
But why not make your experience unique and unexpected, but just as memorable and exceptional by selecting one of Pebble Beach’s hidden gems? A relatively new wedding destination in Del Monte Forest is making people sit up and take notice.
Like almost all wedding venues in Pebble Beach, this remarkable venue is located on a golf course with a fine dining restaurant, but a course and restaurant that have been vastly updated and improved.
Porter’s in the Forest
Porter’s in the Forest restaurant is located at the Poppy Hills Golf Course, a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed championship-caliber course that has played host to a number of PGA tournaments, including the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for 18 years.
To say that Porter’s and Poppy Hills have undergone a makeover would be a vast understatement.
Porter’s recently brought aboard talented chef Johnny De Vivo, whose farm-to-table approach with local and organic food cooked from scratch made him a local celebrity during his stints at the award- winning Casanova and La Bicyclette restaurants in neighboring Carmel.
De Vivo heads a beautifully renovated restaurant that includes a panoramic view of the golf course, a completely reimagined menu, unique wine and drink lists, heated outdoor dining, fire pits and a wedding menu that de Vivo can customize to the bride and groom’s tastes and desires.
De Vivo’s new menu reflects a vibe that is fun, vibrant and filled with artisanal California cuisine, with almost all ingredients are sourced locally, from California craft beers to regional menu selections. Everything is made from scratch — from the bread to the bacon and pastrami.
Weddings at Poppy Hills Golf Course
Poppy Hills Golf Course, which was built in 1986 by the Northern California Golf Association, the first course to be owned and operated by a golf association in the United States, has also undergone an extensive renovation.
Famed golf course designer Jones returned to his creation and reinvented the course architecturally, restoring each hole to its natural elevation along the forest floor, softening doglegs and contours, rebuilding all 18 greens with bentgrass, eliminating rough and introducing native waste areas that reduce irrigated turf by nearly 25%.
This created a firm, fast and fun course that unfolds seamlessly through the breathtaking Del Monte Forest and has professional golf writers comparing it to Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and the esteemed Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, hosts of major golf championship tournaments.
The newly renovated Poppy Hills Golf Course, which agreed to co- host The Champions Tour’s The First Tee Open with Pebble Beach even before the renovation was completed, reopened on April 4, 2014.
But all these changes would be mere window dressing if Poppy Hills didn’t have the facilities and experienced staff to make that dream wedding become a reality.
Wedding ceremonies have their own private site, Pine Grove Meadow, a sprawling lawn encircled by towering pines adjoining the 18th hole that can seat up to 150 wedding guests — a truly a magical milieu for exchanging vows.
For the cocktail hour, large parties can spread out on a manicured lawn along the first tee. An intimate social hour party of up to 50 guests can congregate on the Lavender Patio on the clubhouse’s lower level, where casual lounge seating invites conversation around stone fire pits.
Spectacular sunsets and forest views are best enjoyed from the glass-enclosed Dining Room Deck on the upper level. Heat lamps keep things cozy during an evening of signature cocktails or a barbecue- themed rehearsal dinner. The deck also hosts fun daytime gatherings such as bridal showers or luncheons.
Lavish receptions are both comfortable and sophisticated in Porter’s remodeled Dining Room, which can seat up to 130 guests. A vaulted ceiling creates space, while floor–to-ceiling windows capture a glorious 180-degree panorama.
Doors open onto the deck and adjoining veranda, so guests can wander outside and savor the scenery. A huge full bar, leather chairs and elegant tablescapes enhance the serene ambiance.
The Chef’s Table, a private dining annex, can be used for a rehearsal dinner or to house wedding gifts, a buffet or entertainment during the reception. Both spaces are amply outfitted with the latest technology.
With its upscale locale, friendly service and creative fine dining, you’d expect Porter’s to cost a bundle, but its price tag is actually quite reasonable. Just another way that Porter’s and Poppy Hills are setting themselves apart from the crowd.