Three summers ago, I stopped at The Sea Ranch on my way to San Francisco to visit my future husband. I sketched the small chapel and wondered if and when I got married, if I could limit my guest list to the 8-10 people that could be seated in the chapel.

When the time came, as an architect-and-bride-to-be, I did my due diligence researching wedding venues, but my husband to be had a feeling The Sea Ranch Lodge would be the place. What The Sea Ranch offered was not only Modern Architecture (yes, capitalized) blending with a beautiful landscape – but authenticity. When I took my fiancé to visit, we were reminded of our childhood homes in different ways and felt calm and connected to nature.


Our reactions to this place were no accident. The Sea Ranch was designed as a vacation community in the 1960-1970’s by the landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and several architects including William Turnbull, Jr., Joseph Esherick, and Charles Moore. The lodge, community buildings and 10 miles of vacation homes have been built since in strict accordance to an architectural style based on local barns that date to the late 19thcentury. There is something very unique and effective about the results.

I was unable to limit my guest list to fit into the chapel I had sketched years before – the one dramatic exception to the design guidelines. Instead, family, friends and friends who are also co-workers filled a tent flanked on two sides by the lodge’s guest rooms and wood walk ways. It rained, which was wonderful. Suddenly, everything was spontaneous and somehow better than what I had meticulously planned. Photos occurred in all the right places and a glowing sunset drew a crowd out of the tent just before dessert. – Camille