We just had our wedding at Calamigos Ranch, at the Oaks on August 29. It was truly a beautiful magical place. This was definitely in part due to our hard work. We brought in our own cutlery and plate chargers, and linens, as Calamigos offers terrible cafeteria style cutlery, linens. The place was transformed. We had an 8 piece band, Entourage by De Bois Entertainment, that played fantastic music. We still are receiving compliments and raves about the band and how beautiful the venue was. The setting is beautiful and lush and well taken care of. However, it requires a lot of ""fixing"" to get it up to speed. The process along the way was fairly smooth. Because there are several people in the weddings ""department,"" I never knew who to exactly contact. So, I would contact a few of them and wait to see who responded first. Once, I received two different answers for the same question. However, this was remedied quickly withe the correct answer. At first their communication was slow, or nonexistent, in response to my emails and telephone calls. However, this improved quickly, after by accident I CC'd Calamigos on an email to a vendor, complaining that they never respond via email or telephone. The on-site coordinator is really just someone to make sure all the staff is operating correctly and that the tables are set appropriately. You definitely need a coordinator or point person the day of. I have to mention how fantastic the wait staff and head captain were for the evening. In perfect times did the head captain always ask if we needed anything, if he could help with telling the band anything, keeping me on schedule, etc. He was gentle, helpful, and amazing. The food was very good. Prime rib was delectable. We were supposed to have the pecan crusted chicken. However, two days before, Calamigos emailed me asking for the final numbers of ""artichoke chicken."" I responded saying I wanted X number of pecan crusted chicken and asked what she meant by artichoke chicken. I heard no response. I followed up after the wedding informing them that it would have been nice to know that our chicken was being prepared differently than expected, since we had the menus printed, and guest had chosen their meals. Still no response. We selected the chicken because it was very moist because it was pecan crusted. The artichoke chicken was moderate, nothing special, and a bit dry. A few of my closest friends told me the same.
Lastly, seems like an odd operation, but after the first few required deposits, the final payments were required in cash or cashier's check.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this venue because of it's natural beauty and landscape. It did require a bit of patience on my part to deal with the staff, but it was a good practice.
Pros: Beautiful lush grounds, fairly organized, wait staff
Cons: Communication, linens, cutlery, plates, cash payments