We love a winery wedding, but there are some things to take in to consideration when you begin to think about planning in the Wine Country.
First things first, why do you want to get married here? The answer to this question is different for every couple. Some want the quintessential wine country wedding complete with sweeping vineyard views and others want a dinner in a working barrel room. Begin with finding photographs that reflect the vision you have pictured in your head, and then make a list of the “must haves” for your special day. You might find that your must haves include having an outdoor ceremony, or you must be able to dance into the wee hours of the night. This list will come in handy once you get to the site selection phase.
The second step should be your guest list. This list plays a huge role in the beginning stages of planning and should be taken into consideration when thinking about the must have list you have begun creating. You may envision dinner in a wine cave that only holds 85 people, but your guest list may top 200. It is in these early stages that you will need to tweak your original vision; this doesn’t mean you toss the thought out completely; you can always host the cocktail hour there.
Budget is also an area that needs attention early on, regardless of whether you are planning your wedding in Wine Country or another location. We never want anyone to fall in love with anything that they can’t afford; so knowing budget and its upper limit is key. You also want to determine what makes up that number, for instance, is your dress included? What about your wedding rings? A lot goes in to creating that perfect day outside of just the caterer and DJ, so it’s best to know what you want to spend and what you want included in your overall budget number. Having this number in place will help you evaluate venues or vendors and will allow you to easily decipher if a quote is within, over, or under budget.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Location, Location, Location” and that is pivotal when planning your Napa or Sonoma wedding. If your heart is set on a winery wedding, the first thing you should do when looking at locations is to check and see which wineries are permitted to hold weddings or if you have a winery in mind, determine if it is permitted to hold weddings. Napa County has some pretty rigid restrictions when it comes to winery weddings (only a handful can legally hold the ceremony and reception). If your desired location is unavailable, you may want to visit some locations outside of Napa Valley, but still located in the heart of the Wine County. There are amazing locations in Sonoma County not to mention Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Healdsburg, and beyond. In addition the Tri-Valley is a well-kept secret and should not be forgotten; has some wonderful options as well.
The final key consideration you want to keep in mind is the date of your event. Wine Country is well known for their wine and culinary experiences, and along with that comes many festivals, winery open houses, wine maker dinners, and the crush, just to name a few. You want to check with your winery to see what is going on in the area so that your guests won’t be faced with a difficult time getting here and also won’t be hit with a whopping hotel bill.
All in all, you want your engagement experience to be as fun and care free as possible so keep reading and researching. Good Luck and Happy Planning!!