The Napa/Sonoma Wine Country is famous for its wines and gorgeous scenery, but it’s also renowned as a wedding mecca. And although hosting your Big Day here can be pricey, you’ll be happy to know that the region is also home to more affordable venues. Here’s a list of places that are easier on your wallet!
The main point of any wedding is for you and your partner to get married, right? But beyond that, it may also be the biggest party you'll ever throw! And when we think of the word “party,” we think FUN.
My father is Middle Eastern, my mother hails from Louisiana’s Cajun country, and I’m proud to say that both cultures have always been an integral part of who I am. I can make hummus and shrimp gumbo pretty darn well, and I can swear in Arabic and Cajun French if the need arises. We’re also Texans, so that means we all can whip up a mean barbecue, too. When I became engaged to Jon, who has Nordic and German roots, we just sprinkled a few more ingredients into our family’s melting pot.
If you’re planning a small wedding, you may feel a little like Goldilocks as you try to find a place that fits your event “just right”. But if you’re searching in Chicago you’re in luck! The Windy City offers plenty of options for hosting an intimate wedding, from a private mansion or vintage loft to a sleek yacht or Italian restaurant. While some of the venues we’ve listed also have spaces that are great for larger groups, all of them happily accommodate cozier celebrations.
While I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, I took my very first trip to Lake County only recently when I rented a house on Clearlake for a much-needed family vacation. Now that I’ve finally visited, though, I’m already starting to wonder when I can return to this peaceful region north of the wine country. Of course I managed to scout out some ideal wedding ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner sites while there. A couple of my new favorite places:
Through the front door swooped the lovely staff from Tarpy’s Roadhouse, there to make our dinner. But, more than that, they took care of us. They made us tea, they served us in front of the TV so we could watch Glee and they whipped up fantastic, comforting food: a salad with apples, pecans and gorgonzola, steak and garlic mashed potatoes, Chilean Sea Bass with a mango relish and, finally, strawberry shortcake—yum!!!
by Joyce Scardina Becker, CMP, Events of Distinction
Seven hip tips for couples and their wedding professionals, as well as sneak peeks on what lies ahead.
We dined in the Lake Room upstairs, which extends over the lake and has views on three sides plus a fireplace and it’s own bar. This room, as well as the Gondola Room on the opposite side of the restaurant, is a charming space for a rehearsal dinner, reception or other kind of private party.
I recently visited Ca’ del Sole Ristorante for Here Comes The Guide, and I have to say: If you’re looking for a great venue for wedding rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions and bridal showers, this North Hollywood restaurant should be on the list:
Yes, you will save money by hiring the cheapest vendors you can find or doing things yourself. But the old adage, “You get what you pay for,” really comes into play here. Skimp on services and you could end up paying a big price anyway. More info on saving yourself some headaches.
For a love note ceremony, the bride and groom both write a good old fashioned love letter to each other on their wedding day, expressing in detail how they feel about their relationship. They’re not allowed to see the other’s letters or show them to anyone else. The letters are then sealed and given to the officiant at the ceremony, who locks them in a box with a bottle of good wine, creating a time capsule and emergency wedding kit in one. If the bride and groom ever feel that the marriage is in jeopardy, they’ll open the box, drink the wine, and read the letters together.
The Dream Inn, a Santa Cruz landmark, has just reopened after a fantastic retro-chic makeover—and their stylish new oceanview banquet space is so ready for primetime.
I spent my 4th of July at The Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa for the wedding of Christy & Christian. It was such a treat to be a part of this event. Not only did I get to go to one of my favorite places in Wine Country but I got to witness a truly beautiful wedding. Martha Stewart eat your heart out!
It would be great if you could turn your entire wedding wish list into reality, but in this tough economic climate it’s not always easy to do. So rather than trying to get everything perfect, couples are striving for a more realistic goal: making just one detail of their wedding so memorable that guests will be talking about it for years to come. I like to call this the “wow” factor.
Want to have a giraffe crash your wedding? It’s possible, and for animal lovers, it would be a jaw-dropping story to tell for years to come. If you want to get wild at your wedding, consider these animal-friendly venues in Southern California:
Recently, a couple getting married at The Historic Castle Green had planned to have their ceremony in a clear tent (outfitted with a gorgeous chandelier, of course) on the facility’s grounds.
I have two good friends, both unmarried. One is a City Girl through and through. Her dream wedding would probably be at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco, surrounded by 350 of her closest friends, dancing the night away in front of a 25-piece orchestra. She’s looking for complete refinement and urban chic.
Even if you aren’t aspiring to be like the “Real Housewives of Orange County,” you’re likely to find an wedding venue in the OC that seems like it was made just for you. Here’s a taste of this region’s vast range of options:
It really is a fruity kind of year. Hues of raspberry, plum, deep strawberry seem to surface every week. This beautiful wedding, photographed by the talented Jennifer Skog, is no different. Our gorgeous bride (and I mean gorgeous) took my breath away. Her eyes are just stunning. Her dress fabulous. The décor lush. It’s my kind of wedding. It’s my kind of year. See for yourself.
There is a Disney heroine for every girl to relate to. At least on some level, right? While I’ve never run through a meadow, arms outstretched, singing to the great beyond about my lifelong dreams, as a young girl I strongly identified with Belle from Beauty And The Beast. She has dark doe eyes and brown hair, and she reads a lot. That’s all I needed in a kindred spirit.