If you’re looking for a Wine Country wedding expert that can help you create an extraordinary event from venue selection to customized cuisine, we’d like to suggest Ramekins. Not only are they a nationally acclaimed culinary school, event facility and inn, but they’ve also been chosen by some of the most sought after Sonoma venues as an exclusive or preferred caterer.
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.
Planning a wedding on the Maryland side of the DC Metro area? You’ll discover a wealth of sites full of history and character, including contemporary architectural masterpieces and a fairytale hilltop castle. Check out this selection of unique Maryland venues—and don’t be surprised if you become smitten with more than one of them!
What could be more memorable and romantic than a winery or vineyard wedding? And with Texas now the fastest-growing wine region in the country, you’ll have your choice of visually stunning locales, each with its own charms and personality.
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale has so much to offer when it comes to planning an intimate wedding—wonderful hotels, fantastic dining, secluded beaches, and an overall feel that's a bit more serene than its bustling neighbors.
Planning a South Florida wedding? The upscale, picturesque barrier island community of Golden Beach, and its vibrant neighbor, Hollywood, are definitely worth considering. The two cities are easily accessible from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, situated between two major airports, and minutes away from the area's most popular attractions.
With its beautifully preserved Art Deco buildings, pristine beaches, and ultra-hot nightlife, South Beach is an ideal wedding spot—whether your guests are traveling from afar, or just driving in from the next county.
Want to have a fantastic destination wedding but don’t want to learn a foreign language or take a 12-hour plane ride to get there? No problem—some of the best destination wedding venues are right here in the U.S.!
Patina Catering is all about celebrations. Every wedding or special event is customized to reflect your individual personality and style, thanks to a world-class team of experts.
Blooming rose bushes and lush greenery…quaint bridges and graceful statuary… splashing fountains, waterfalls and reflecting ponds…who wouldn’t want to exchange vows amidst a magical garden setting? Chic garden parties have a long tradition among high society (think “Great Gatsby”!), and some of the finest garden venues sparkle with sophistication. But modern couples also appreciate less formal landscapes, which make fabulous natural canvases for their own unique event stylings. Above all, today’s brides and grooms crave a wedding experience that’s connected to nature, as their own new beginning is reflected in the beauty all around them.
If nature is an essential element of your wedding vision, start your search by exploring these terrific Houston venues. From rustic and quaint to Shabby Chic and Old World Spanish, each one has its own distinct personality.
If you're dreaming of an outdoor wedding among blossoms, vines, and shade trees, Georgia is a great place to get married. Thanks to its temperate weather and a Southern knack for making all things beautiful, the Peach State is home to some of the country's most glorious gardens.
Luxury comes in many forms, and these downtown Chicago hotels showcase them all. From gold leaf detailing and crystal chandeliers to hand-painted ceilings and rich, wood paneling, the event spaces in the following venues are both stunning and unique. Add exceptional services to the mix (think in-room spa treatments, afternoon tea and customized everything!) as well as plush accommodations and you’ve got all the elements for an unforgettable upscale celebration.
If an "outside the box" celebration is on your list of must-haves, check out the following places. You’ll find a yacht, museums, soaring urban towers and a zoo among this selection of Tennessee’s unique and inspiring wedding venues.
If there's one thing Texans know how to do, it's throw a great party. (Well, that, and barbecue!) The Houston area, in particular, is home to some of the Lone Star State's most incredible wedding venues. From simple rural charm to Old World elegance, you'll find something to love among these awesome event spaces.
The Hamptons may be best known as an exclusive summer destination for wealthy New Yorkers, but this series of seaside communities on Long Island’s South Fork is also home to some exceptional wedding venues. Located along the water, on farmland, or in historic buildings, the following places provide an opportunity to celebrate in style.
With its prime location directly across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Arlington is a convenient place for a wedding, as well as a great home base for exploring the capitol. If you’re planning to host your celebration in this historic city, here are a few venues to consider.
Downtown LA is alive and thriving! Its mother lode of historic architecture and museums, as well as cultural, entertainment and sporting events, makes it a great place to turn your wedding into a mini-vacation. And, when it comes to venue choices for the Big Day, you’ll find whatever vibe you’re looking for: Old World glamour, sleek and modern, traditional elegance—even places with a hipster edge. Check out these possibilities—you’re sure to find one…or two…or three! that fit your personal style.
Whether you have a year to plan your wedding or you’re trying to organize a last-minute celebration, you don’t have to feel completely overwhelmed by the process.
The romance of a garden wedding is something everyone can appreciate. Who isn’t captivated by a gorgeous landscape with flowers, trees, fountains, manicured lawns and meandering paths? You’ll find all of those things and more among New Jersey’s garden wedding venues. Here are 10 that are well worth checking out.
Intimate weddings give Virginia’s classic Southern hospitality a chance to truly shine. The state’s perfect mix of bustling cities and rural countryside offers a wide variety of choices to match any couple’s style. As the following venues prove, a shorter guest list doesn’t mean having to compromise your vision for a fabulous day.
With cobblestone streets, 18th-century buildings and a historic waterfront, Alexandria is consistently named one of the most romantic cities in the U.S. So it’s no wonder that it’s home to some of the most appealing wedding venues around. Whether they transport you to a bygone era or contrast a modern setting in the midst of Old Town, many boast water views, easy access to the nation’s capitol—even upscale accommodations with charm to spare. Here are some great places to check out!
Make it clear that this is your wedding, yet you also want to make your families’ customs a part of your day. If they’re not 100% happy with your choices, don’t sweat it. The important thing is you tried, and they’ll probably come around once they see the awesome party you’ve put together.
Get married in the country, and you’re likely to be surrounded by open sky, mountain vistas, hay bales, and maybe even a weathered red tractor. If you want to tie the knot on a farm or party in a barn, pay a visit to these Northern Virginia wedding venues.
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.
Virginia is home to a wide range of exceptional wedding venues, from botanical gardens and historic landmarks to luxury resorts and fabulous farms. We’ve selected a dozen places that showcase the state’s wealth of event locations, and you just might want to check them ALL out!
You don’t have to go to a faraway tropical shore or exotic island to channel your inner beachcomber. If you crave the sand, sun and sea, you can get all that and so much more right in beautiful Southern California. From glamorous resorts to quaint waterfront hotels, here’s our pick of 9 beachy destinations for a romantic getaway:
Some of Texas’ most beautiful waterfront wedding venues aren’t on the Gulf coast—they’re on Lake Travis! Just 20 minutes from Austin, the lake and its surrounding area offer a natural environment with woods, hills, and prairie land, not to mention plenty of outdoor recreation options (fishing, boating, swimming, scuba diving, picnicking, camping, and zip lining). Host your wedding at any of these Austin waterfront venues, and you can easily turn your celebration into a vacation!
Think about it: rehearsal dinners include a high concentration of people you love who have gathered in your honor. So why not relax and let your hair down? With very little effort, you can assemble a pre-wedding event that provides some much-needed calm before the busy storm of your wedding weekend. Learn how to make the most of your rehearsal dinner.
It makes sense that a city as rich in history and culture as Miami would have some truly amazing places to celebrate. Want to get married at a private estate or on a beach? Maybe a historic Spanish Monastery is more your style… Here is a selection of unique Miami wedding venues, each one with something special to offer.
Mary Allred faced a common dilemma that most grooms’ mothers know all too well: where to hold a rehearsal dinner for her son’s Atlanta wedding? Ultimately, Mary did more than just come up with an interesting venue—she came up with a totally different experience that all members of the wedding party will remember for a long time.
Austin’s a great place for an outdoor wedding. It offers a variety of venues and settings, and whether you celebrate at a Victorian Mansion, a resort, or a Sculpture Garden and Museum, nature will enhance your event.
Austin gets high rankings for so many things: its outdoor attractions (parks, lakes and trails), fine restaurants, support of the arts, and overall quality of life. After checking out the city’s wedding venues, we’d have to say it’s a great place to get married, too. Here’s a selection of some of Austin’s best spots to tie the knot.
Even if you’re on a budget you can still have a celebration with panache. Whether you’re into historic charm, industrial chic or penthouse panoramas, you’ll find a place that’s compatible with your style—and your bank account—in this selection of some of Virginia’s most affordable wedding venues.
If you’re getting married in New Jersey, you have your pick of an incredible range of wedding sites: From private estates and country clubs to historic landmarks and amazing museums, the state boasts just about every type of event location you can think of. To give you an idea of what’s available, we’ve put together a little “tasting menu”—10 hand-selected places that we love, each one from a different venue category.
Nowadays, with so much digital wedding inspiration, you can literally hold all your wedding ideas in the palm of your hand (thank you, smart phone!) You’d think this would have simplified wedding planning, but in reality the limitless options can leave even the most decisive of couples feeling bewildered. How are you supposed to commit to a Gatsby-style wedding when you’re tempted by an effortlessly chic beach ceremony one minute, and tantalized by a down-home barn reception the next?
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.
Getting ready to send out your wedding invitations?? Here’s a little secret for you.
Whether it’s on a faraway tropical island, at a secluded wine country villa or at a seaside manse, weddings at signature private properties top the charts for couples tying the knot—and we’re not just talking about celebrities.
You’ve visited a lot of potential wedding venues, and the private estate you’re considering for your Big Day has it all: it’s gorgeous, romantic, and, of course, totally private—truly your dream location! However, while it’s great to get swept away by the beauty of the place, make sure you’re aware of all the extras you’ll need to provide to turn your vision into reality.
What makes a place “romantic” is different for every bride. To some, it’s a rustic barn or country estate…to others it’s a seaside resort or historic mansion with Old World charm. What do you envision? Here’s a peek at 10 of the country’s most romantic wedding venues.
Connecticut’s coastline makes an irresistible backdrop for events. Each of these waterfront wedding venues has its own style, but all of them possess the unique quality that being on the water bestows.
Sparkling fountains, waterfalls and reflecting ponds…acres of blooming rose bushes…quaint bridges and graceful statuary—these are just some of the things that make gardens so irresistible. If a romantic outdoor celebration is what you have in mind, here are a few of the best garden wedding venues from coast to coast.
I’m a lover of all things DIY, and a graphic designer with a teensy addiction to paper crafting. And I’m also a bride, so naturally I’m incorporating my obsession into my wedding details. One challenge came when my fiancé, Dale, and I wanted to come up with a creative way to ask our bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up with us at our wedding. We felt that a DIY project would add a personal touch to let them know how much more meaningful our day would be if our “besties” were right beside us.
With so many charming places to get married in Connecticut, it’s hard to choose favorites! Offering a mix of options that include wineries, historic buildings, a resort and a farm, here are 10 of the state’s best wedding venues in no particular order.
Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary place to host your wedding? From a lakeside villa to a funky, fun restaurant with world-class comfort food, Austin is home to quite a few unique venues. Here are just a few of them to explore!
If you have your heart set on getting married in the great outdoors, then you’ll want to check out Washington’s great outdoor wedding venues! There are so many options to choose from: You can celebrate on the water, overlooking the water, in a garden, on a ranch or farm…. We promise you: At all the venues described below, Mother Nature is definitely front and center.
Chicago is fortunate to have a wealth of outdoor wedding venues. Want to get married in a gorgeous garden? On a yacht? At a historic private estate? Here are just a few of the al fresco ceremony and reception options you’ll find in and around the Windy City.
The Hill Country surrounding Austin may be known for its gorgeous scenery and thriving wine industry, but it’s also a mecca for rustic weddings. Whether you’re planning a down-home celebration with a casual barbecue or a cowgirl-chic bash with a silver-and-crystal reception, you’ll find the natural beauty of the region on display at all of these venues.
Elegant, romantic and very photogenic, Austin’s mansions are popular wedding venues for good reason. There’s definitely something special about saying “I do” beneath a 100-year-old oak or sipping champagne on a shady veranda. Host your celebration at one of these historic places and you and your guests will be transported back to a more genteel time.
There are so many ways to get married al fresco, and Maryland’s outdoor wedding venues run the gamut. From waterfront hotels and museums to mansions, farms and yachts, this state is blessed with a multitude of open-air options. Here are a few you might want to check out!
If you want to get married in a setting that’s a bit more relaxed than Chicago proper but still close to the city, check out these wedding venues in the West Chicago suburbs. See our full list of West Chicago wedding locations…or, expand your search to the entire Chicago area!
With its prime oceanfront location, historic Art Deco district, trendy South Beach nightlife and multicultural flavors, Miami is a premier wedding destination as well as a top vacation hotspot. This city is truly a great choice if you want to have a beach ceremony, and here’s a list of some of the amazing places where you can not only say “I do” on the sand but also host an incredible reception.
If you want your wedding to have a taste of the tropics, head for Fort Lauderdale. Not only will you find pristine beaches, swaying palm trees and nonstop sun, the town boasts an average temperature of 77 blissful degrees year-round! Honeymooning from here is a snap, too, because the city’s Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise-ship ports in the world. But before you dash off to the Caribbean, Mexico or another destination, consider spending some quality time with your new spouse at one of the following fabulous Fort Lauderdale wedding venues where you can tie the knot and have an amazing vacation.
Spectacular during the day and positively electric at night, the New York City skyline is famously photogenic. So why not make it part of your own wedding—not to mention your wedding album! If you’re looking for a place that will bring New York cityscape views to your celebration, here are some venues to check out.
If you’re wondering why we’re including a brief item about recycling it’s because parties and special events often generate recyclable materials and leftover food that the bride and groom don’t want to take home. Nowadays, you and the caterer can feel good by donating the excess, and recycling plastic bottles, glass, metal and paper. An added benefit is that food donations are tax deductible for either you or the caterer. And if you recycle, the cost for extra garbage containers (bins) can be eliminated or reduced.
Want to host your big day in a historic ballroom? Perhaps you’re leaning toward industrial chic…or maybe you’ve got your heart set on a gorgeous garden. If it’s an out-of-the-ordinary place you have in mind, Portland is home to some truly unique wedding venues. Here are just a few for your exploring pleasure…
Established in 1843, Portland has a rich past that’s been beautifully preserved in a variety of unique historic buildings. Fortunately for us, many of these architectural gems now host weddings and other special events. And whether you’re a fan of Victorian splendor, industrial chic or European flair, each of the following venues offers an opportunity to step back in time.
Seattle is famous for many things—the Space Needle, coffee (Starbucks originated here!), the movie Sleepless in Seattle, and Pike Place Market to name a few. But this vibrant port city is also a watery wonderland, with up-close views of Puget Sound, Elliott Bay, and Lake Washington. If you’d like some gorgeous liquid scenery to be part of your celebration, check out these popular Seattle waterfront wedding venues.
Seattle has so much more going for it than the Space Needle—especially when it comes to unique wedding venues. If you’re looking for an interesting place to tie the knot (and host a great party!), consider these out-of-the-ordinary locations.
What makes an event venue special? It could be any number of things, like a spectacular view, remarkable architecture, gorgeous gardens or topnotch cuisine. Northern New Jersey happens to have a selection of unique wedding locations, all of which offer one or more elements that make them exceptional. Check them out—you may discover one that fits your wedding vision to a T.
Who knew that Northern New Jersey is home to so many historic—and amazing—wedding venues? Each of the locations listed below comes with an interesting (or even notorious!) past, along with spectacular architecture and equally stunning event spaces. If you truly want a fairy-tale Big Day, visit any or all of these fabulous places. Hey, when your choices include mansions, a castle and a château you can’t go wrong.
Planning a rehearsal dinner in the DC Metro Area? The DMV provides a wealth of venue options! Want to dine amidst historic surroundings? In an elegant hotel? On the water? These venues offer some interesting choices.
Yes, it is possible to have an affordable Manhattan wedding. The following venues offer options that accommodate a wide range of budgets, and don’t forget: If you’re flexible with your date and can host your event on a weekday, Sunday or during an off-peak time, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.
There’s a reason so many couples opt to tie the knot in Upstate New York. When you celebrate in the Catskills, you’re surrounded by Mother Nature in a setting that’s tranquil, beautiful, and about as “un-city” as you can get. Here are some Catskills wedding venues you might want to explore.
Chicago is a diner’s paradise, offering some of the best places to eat in the country. This is great news if you’re planning a rehearsal dinner, because you’ll have plenty of choices. Here’s an enticing selection of the city’s restaurants—some are casual and some are more upscale, but all are happy to host your special event.
Next to playing with my dogs and sharing a chocolate soufflé with my husband, browsing wedding dresses is one of my favorite pastimes. Are you with me on this? I thought so. Then believe me when I say that one of the best ways to indulge your fashion passion is by attending a bridal trunk show.
Does it seem like everyone you know these days is a self-confessed Foodie? Satisfying the culinary expectations of the modern wedding guest can be little bit intimidating. But we have some good news: Current trends in wedding cuisine emphasize the local and the interesting (as opposed to the foreign and the fancy.)
Often called the “Heart of the Arts” by locals, Midtown Atlanta is home to a wealth of cultural attractions (museums, the symphony, theaters) as well as some of the city’s most iconic and historic buildings. With so much to offer, it’s an exciting place to host a wedding. Here are 10 venues that will help you tap into the area’s energetic vibe (listed in no particular order).
If an outdoor ceremony or reception is at the top of your wedding “must have” list, Atlanta offers a wide range of options.From mansions and private estates to historic landmarks and restaurants, here are some of the best places in and around the city for an al fresco celebration.
Established almost 200 years ago, Atlanta is home to quite a few mansions that reflect its history. And fortunately for couples who want to experience the charmed lifestyle of a bygone era, many of them are available for weddings. Here’s a selection of beautifully preserved venues where you can get a delicious taste of the past.
If your wedding fantasy has you getting married at a fairytale place, then you should definitely check out this selection of Boston Area mansions, estates and manor houses. They’re all within a short drive from Boston, and most give you exclusive use of the property during your event so you can have your own private domain for a day!
Waterfront weddings offer something extra—a refreshing tang in the air…expansive harbor, river, or cityscape views…in some cases even the opportunity to leave terra firma altogether and host your celebration afloat. Boston Harbor and the Charles River are home to many wedding venues that put you close to or on the water, click here to see a selection worth exploring.
Your rehearsal dinner is an opportunity to bring close friends and family together in a more informal way than during your wedding, and an Italian Restaurant can provide the perfect combination of ambiance and cuisine. The setting is often relaxed, and dishes can be served family style. Plus, Italian food is so popular it’s easy to include menu items that will satisfy all your guests. Check out these Bay Area Italian restaurants.
This super-chic Atlanta neighborhood is an upscale destination for fine dining, luxury shopping, art galleries, museums, and much more. Buckhead not only gives visitors an opportunity to experience the good life, it’s home to some of Georgia’s finest wedding and special event venues. Here are 8 of the area’s best.
When it comes to scenery, wedding venues in Georgia have a lot to offer. Whether you envision a down-home country celebration or a black-tie affair, there’s an authentic barn, charming farmhouse or historic home below that will fit the style of your event.
What’s so great about wedding venues in Boston? Everything! The range of options is amazing, from waterfront hotels and museums to a rooftop aerie and a fleet of tall ships. Here’s a selection of some of the city’s most interesting locations to tie the knot.
Trees are transformative: They can beautify a landscape, elevate the spirit, and bring nature into your wedding. All of these venues feature forest views, so you’ll be accompanied by trees no matter which place you pick.
Massachusetts offers some exceptional—and scenic!—country wedding venues. Whether you envision an informal celebration in a rustic barn or farmhouse or a black-tie affair in a historic inn, you’ll find a wedding location that fits the style of your event.
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Dear Here Comes The Guide: My fiance and I are considering a destination wedding somewhere in California. We aren’t sure what the expectations are in terms of covering the costs of our guests. Also, what do you think is the best place for a California destination wedding? Thanks!—Janet O., Clackamas, Oregon
Chicago is not only the most visited city in the Midwest, it’s one of the most dynamic cities on the planet. From its fabulous parks and museums to its world-class dining, shopping, entertainment and hotels, it has everything you (and your guests!) could want—including a long list of amazing wedding and special event venues.
San Francisco is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, which makes it a much sought-after setting for both local and destination weddings. And although it has a reputation for being pricey, there are quite a few affordable venues where you can host your event.
Dear Here Comes The Guide: We are planning a fairly upscale and costly wedding for our daughter. It is a destination wedding for our guests, but more local for the groom side. Therefore, our guests are not as likely to attend as the groom side. Do we have to split the guest list fifty-fifty? My thoughts are that we should have a thirty-seventy, or forty-sixty split. We are paying for the whole thing. What is the norm?
I’ve attended two weddings this year where the bride and groom decided to move away from the traditional guest book and mix it up a bit with a Wish Tree. The Wish Tree is a Dutch wedding custom where guests are given a piece of paper, either shaped like a leaf…
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:
I rarely go to weddings (maybe it’s because most of my social circle is either already married or never going to be), but a year ago a friend invited me to one.
As my friend’s date I wasn’t obligated to bring a gift, but I’d I’d been told the bride and groom liked to cook, so I got them a few of my favorite kitchen gadgets from Sur La Table as a wedding present. I put my present on a table with dozens of other gifts, and hoped that it wouldn’t get lost in the pile.
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!!!
You’ve done it—found “the dress.” Now it’s time to pull the rest of your look together. Before you proceed, it is useful to identify which shade of white your dress really is. (This article should help.) Then you can begin to add the finishing touches like jewelry, shoes, and hair accessories.
It’s housekeeping time at Here Comes The Guide! We’ve reorganized our website a bit. If you’ve been reading our blog (thank you!), you’ll now find all our newest stuff over in Find Ideas, our online guidebook of wedding ideas, how-to’s, advice and lists of questions to ask prospective locations and vendors.
I paid $220 for my wedding dress. My colleague Jennifer? Got hers for $125. Since we were both footing the bill for our own weddings, there was precious little in the budget for our gowns (I had to make sure there were enough offerings at the pasta bar to satisfy my Italian relatives!). We both looked lovely, by the way, even without spending 2 two months’ rent on our wedding attire. Here are some of our dress-shopping secrets:
A Moveable Feast promises exactly what its company name implies. This is not your everyday catering company. Don’t believe me? Just 24 hours after returning to the States from my own adventure in Tuscany and Rome, I, along with the rest of the Here Comes The Guide ladies, had the privilege of being treated to Chef Michael’s 5-course culinary adventure (as he so dryly referred to it), along with 12 different appetizers and dessert. (Chocolate and sea salt, anyone?)