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Julie Atwood Events

Wedding Coordinator / Planner
Main Office Location:
135 W Napa St #100
Sonoma, California 95476


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Service Area:

Wine Country, Marin, Solano, and Yolo Counties.


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You Need To Know...
Vendor Type { Coordinator / Wedding Planner }
Company Founded { 1999 }

Services Offered

With a background in interior design, it’s no wonder Julie Atwood provides some of the most “distinctive furnishings, textiles, lighting, decorative elements and imaginative design in the Wine Country.” Her company, Julie Atwood Events, provides comprehensive planning, design, and management services for weddings and special events. Along with their own creative design and styling expertise, they also have access to some of the best vendors Wine Country has to offer—including some of the top local artisan food producers and floral designers. With a focus on sustainability and a highly organized yet down-to-earth planning approach, Julie Atwood Events makes the planning process enjoyable and takes your wedding vision to a level you never imagined possible.

Couples engaging Julie Atwood Events as their wedding planning team have exclusive access to the Atwood Ranch in Glen Ellen, CA, yet Julie is available for off-site weddings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area as well. Coordination fees begin at $5,000 for events at Atwood Ranch, and $8,500 and up for other SF Bay Area locations.

For complete pricing and package information, please visit the Dollars and Details page of the Julie Atwood Events website.

Questions and Answers

What 3 words best describe your work?

Personal, creative, organized.

Why should someone hire you?

Because I will help couples through the planning and design process in a way that removes stress and provides a platform for calm, creative, and highly efficient planning! My goal is to help them realize their vision, maintain budget parameters, look ahead so there are no surprises, and have a good time along the way.

What makes your approach different?

I possess many years of experience working with couples in all stages of planning a major project, an unparalleled combination of creative design, access to beautiful antiques, and styling expertise, and an organized, down-to-earth planning format. That, and I really know the neighborhoods I work in—having lived there for more than 30 years!

Tell us about your company name.

It's me—pure and simple. Nothing cute, no gimmicks...I had an eponymous architectural and styling business for a long time, and kept the name when I went into event planning and design.

What are the common misconceptions about your services?

That I am just a "facility manager." Julie Atwood Events provides highly detailed, comprehensive destination wedding and event management and design services.

What drew you to this field/how did you get started?

Well, it sounds a bit dramatic, but I had a very successful career as an architectural and interior designer and stylist in San Francisco and Marin, yet badly deteriorating eyesight due to a degenerative disease. Despite surgeries, I needed to change from architectural design and look for something that would utilize my skill sets, but not require travel or reading blueprints. As a designer, I had tremendous experience in event planning for many of my clients, and as a photo stylist, I had acquired a warehouse full of fabulous antiques and accessories. This enabled me to move into event planning in the Wine Country where I lived, long before "event planning" was even a recognized industry!

What are some sources of inspiration or influences on your work?

First, my clients! It all starts with their personalities, fantasies and ideas. Then, we look for the common denominators—what moves and excites them. I help them identify the elements that pull it all together. I find my inspiration in nature, in fashion, and in working with artists and craftspeople. Architecture and location are important, too—with my background, I absolutely must keep the look and feel of the event consistent with the setting.

Tell us about a favorite, unusual or very interesting moment at a wedding:

Cultural and spiritual elements always move me! Hindu ceremonies are beautiful and somewhat mystical. You really feel married after a 3-hour ceremony! I once had a couple where the groom was a playwright and the bride an editor of children's books. Their ceremony was enacted with the help of about 20 friends and relatives reading and speaking from his plays and her books. It was special, funny, and the most personal wedding I have ever witnessed!
Another special moment occurred when one of my guys, a songwriter, wrote and recorded both his first dance with his bride, and his dance with his mom. So he danced with each of them to recordings of him singing the songs he wrote for them! That has stayed with me.

What makes a wedding memorable for you?

The interaction between the people making the commitment, and their friends and families. When I can really feel their energy and the power of their relationship. When couples write personal vows, and choose readings and/or music that are truly intimate.
Then there is the energy they put into making their guests welcome and well fed! The guests often make a difference for me—when they reach out, want to chat about the location, how I met the couple—those make me feel really good about a celebration. I love to feel that a family and peer group has adopted me—even just for a weekend!

What have weddings taught you?

Patience! Also about the power of affection—between the people making the commitment, and their relationships with friends and family.

What is the best advice you give a couple when planning their wedding?

Be realistic about shared visions, about budgets, and about what's REALLY important.

If you could have any superpower on the job, what would it be?

Climate control.

What's your favorite book/movie/work of art?

The Art of Eating by M.F.K.Fisher
Dr. Zhivago or maybe Out of Africa—may be a tie...
Favorite work of art is too hard to choose! Almost any painting by the California Impressionists; but if I have to choose, I would say Ansel Adams' photograph, Moonrise, New Mexico. I want to be there...

What's your favorite quote?

"You had me at hello..."

What's your favorite marriage advice?

Stay present. Passion, romance, health, energy—these all ebb and flow. But if you can remain mentally engaged with the person you love and have chosen to be with, it all works out OK eventually!

Extracurricular activities:

Riding horses, reading, listening to and promoting live music—especially jazz...kayaking, looking at the night sky, watching old movies, dancing, cooking and tasting.

If you weren't in your current profession, what would you do instead?

I'd go back to designing homes for families. Especially fabulous kitchens, which were the mainstay of my previous business!

What's your favorite way to wind down after a hard day?

Going to eat interesting food, or cooking it. Watching a movie!

Tell us about your pets, if you have any.

I love almost every animal...I always have cats, and right now have 5. I usually either have, or are surrounded by people with, ranch dogs. We have a group of semi-domestic waterfowl refugees on our pond, and I am finding that they have really cool personalities. And I have lots of wonderful equines, but a special relationship with my white mule, Elizabeth.

What are some of your favorite places to eat—either everyday spots or special occasion splurges?

That IS hard! I live in the Wine Country and SF Bay Area—food Mecca! But here are a few...

  • I love Rosso in Santa Rosa—probably my favorite place to just sit and eat absolutely delicious food. Ditto for Syrah.
  • Bar Agricole in San Francisco—fantastic, unusual food and the most cutting-edge cocktails! Inspiring architecture!
  • Redd in Yountville—such a cool space, and always really interesting flavor combinations!
  • The Carneros Bistro in Sonoma—they pamper me, and Chef Andrew's food is a super combo of Sonoma chic and Southern comfort.
  • The Boonfly Café—just the BEST mac-n-cheese there is, plus great cocktails!
  • I am also a ballpark hotdog freak and love the Marin Farmers' Market.
 

Julie Atwood Events Covers These Areas:

Northern California
  - Napa and Sonoma Wine Country
  - And other areas by special arrangement.

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Bride Reviews

Julie is a pro. She knows exactly what she’s doing, will hear what you want, and then materialize it in a way that is much more spectacular than you can imagine. She is creative and fun but the most special part about working with Julie is how personal the whole experience is. Every wedding she does is different, but she makes you feel like your wedding is her favorite and the most important one ever!”

“The wedding turned out absolutely perfect. For this alone, Julie Atwood receives our highest recommendation.”

“I really thought of Julie as a friend throughout the process. She paid attention to what I wanted, cared what I felt, and contributed to my ideas.”

“Julie’s team was very responsive and always kept us on schedule. I am very busy, so having someone pay attention to the details while not letting things slip through the cracks was important to me. I felt like they thought of everything.”

“There were absolutely no stresses on the day of my wedding and the only surprises were good ones—details that Julie incorporated and I loved.”

“Everything was perfect! Every person who was there still talks about our wedding. It felt like we didn’t have to do anything but show up and have a great time. Julie and her team felt like part of our family.”

“I was very happy with the vendor referrals and felt like they all made me look good!”

“My wedding reception is the best and most beautiful reception I’ve ever attended, if I do say so myself. I got so many compliments for how beautiful everything turned out.”

“Julie has a very good eye and good ideas. She listens to your needs but she also makes sure she adds her expertise.”

“I didn’t lift a finger and never had to think about anything but enjoying myself.”

“She is very sincere and genuine about wanting to help you plan a great event.”

“Julie really ‘got me’ and was able to run with the details that fit our vision.”

“I felt totally at ease on the day of the wedding. Everything went super smoothly.”

“Many of my guests commented on how well organized and well planned all of the festivities were.”

“She was great at achieving my vision and never pushed her ideas on me. She actually achieved my vision more than I thought possible.”

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Alternate Info: Julie Atwood Events Atwood Ranch Julie Attwood Events