Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

(This is Part 11 in a series. Did you miss Part 10? View the post here!)

Wine Country is such a beautiful place filled with food, wine and adventure. For those of us who love a low-key weekend, there’s no better place to plan for a fun vacation before the knot is tied.

Here are some ideas we love for planning your Wine Country bachelor or bachelorette party:

Spa Weekend

If you’re just wanting to relax before the big day, your go-to should be the spas and resorts here in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. The town of Sonoma boasts amazing resorts close to its charming downtown plaza and abundant stops for food and wine. Check out the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, The Lodge at Sonoma, or MacArthur Place for a comfortable stay, relaxing spa amenities, and Sonoma hospitality.

harmony-1229893_1920

Just a ways north in the Napa Valley is the small town of Calistoga, where they boast natural, mineral hot springs. This quaint and cozy town is a perfect setting for a quiet weekend of relaxation, and you can find several natural spas waiting to welcome you. Check out Mayacamas Ranch for yoga retreats and beautiful views.

Wine & Beer Tasting

It goes without saying that there’s no shortage of wine in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. If wine tasting is a must, or if you just want to learn and explore, plan a memorable wine tasting weekend with your best friends. Let one of our local wine tours help you plan your wine tasting path or choose your own adventure from the multitude of wineries and tasting rooms spread throughout the region.

beer-939438_1920

For those who love the hoppier side, there are plenty of well-known as well as up and coming breweries to explore. Hop on a brewery tour for a guided adventure, or discover on your own.

Nature

Sonoma is a perfect slice of California’s sunny landscape, with gorgeous coastal areas and inland waterways, impressive redwood forests, and brilliant inner valleys.

sequoia-274158_1920

Spend some time in Guerneville, floating down the Russian River or hiking in Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve. Spread your toes in the sand at one of the beaches along the Sonoma Coast, and then jump over to Occidental to zip line through the redwood canopies. Head inland to Glen Ellen to hike or bike the trails at Jack London Park and experience a property just as full of history as it is with beautiful views. Go camping at Sugarloaf Ridge in Kenwood, and head to the Robert Ferguson Observatory for a Star Party or walk to Pluto on their PlanetWalk.

Happy Planning!

Next post: DIY Weddings

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Dressing Your Bridal Party

(This is Part 10 in a series. Did you miss Part 9? View the post here!)

It seems like there are infinite options when it comes to bridal party attire. Here are two of my favorite trends to help narrow your choices and hone your style:

Mix it Up

One of the most important things for me is that my bridesmaids are comfortable. I chose one color that will be flattering on everyone and let everyone choose between several different necklines; whatever they would be most comfortable with wearing. Variations of this are trending now: different styles, different colors, mixing and matching. Play around with having multiple choices in your color palette, different fabric textures and prints, and varied dress styles.

Ruffled - photo by http://www.imagenphotographyblog.com - http://ruffledblog.com/california-winery-wedding-with-fuchsia-accents

For groomsmen, try varying suits or accessories by color palette, or let them provide their own outfit or a more casual mix and match look. Go for unique tie or suspender patterns, or plan out a more casual ensemble with khakis or even jeans.

Check out these articles from The Knot on mix and match bridesmaids and groomsmen trends for more inspiration.

Rent Instead of Buy or Buy Instead of Rent

If you’re hoping to save your bridesmaids some money on their dress, consider a dress rental instead of having them buy. Sites like Vow to be Chic and Weddington Way let customers rent their dresses at a fraction of the retail cost with easy returns, easy sizing, and plenty of options to choose from.

For groomsmen, it seems that the most common way to go is a rental, but why not have them buy? In some cases, buying may be less costly and you can create a custom, unique look that you may not find with a rental. For our wedding, we chose suits in one color from an online shop. Suits come sized according to your measurements, and you can tailor the length to suit your height and preference.sylviegil2

Quick tips:

  • When choosing dress colors, keep your flowers in mind. What colors will complement or make your bouquets stand out?
  • Don’t forget the details. Things like unique cufflinks or tie clips make great groomsmen gifts as well as add a touch of charm.
  • Enlist the help of your bridal party. My maid of honor helped to choose the dresses with feedback from the bridesmaids, and my groom planned out his groomsmen’s suits. Easy!

Happy Planning!

Next post: Wine Country Bachelor/Bachelorette Party


PHOTO CREDITS for this post: Bridal Party – Imagen Photography; Groomsmen – Sylvie Gil Photography

 

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Registries

(This is Part 9 in a series. Did you miss Part 8? View the post here!)

We had fun putting together our registry, and I was surprised to see all of the incredible options we had online. We decided to do both a traditional registry and an online registry that allowed us to include a lot more options than we had expected, including a honeymoon fund.

SylvieGil-0072Traditional Store Registries
If you want the experience of walking around a store with a price gun in tow, don’t skip the traditional registry. The best thing about this is that you get to build up your registry with items that you’re seeing in person, and your guests can choose to either shop your list in person or online.

Fund Registries
If you are hoping for cash gifts in place of physical gifts, look in to creating a fund registry. Sites like Honeyfund allow you to create your dream honeymoon (from transportation costs to hotel stays), and guests can choose to contribute what they’d like.

Online Registries
Online registries like Zola and Blueprint allow you to combine your wishlists into one. You can add items directly from these sites as well as from outside sites. If you have an item that you think is too expensive, designate it as a group gift so that multiple guests can contribute toward it. Want to create a cash registry? You can add that too, and it can even be customized so that guests are contributing to anything from a dinner for two to plane tickets for your honeymoon.

If you’re not sure what to register for, check out The Knot’sUltimate Registry Checklist” before hopping over to get registry advice from Martha Stewart.
Chloe-Jackman-Photography-Buena-Vista-Winery-2015-91

Quick tips:

  • Most of the advice I’ve read says to register for about double the amount of gifts as you have guests. This will give everyone enough options to choose from.
  • Make sure to register for items in different amounts. Some guests may want to splurge for that $400 item you have your eye on, but not everyone will want or be able to.
  • Feeling like you don’t need your guests to bring gifts? Suggest making a donation in lieu of gifts to your favorite charity.

Happy Planning!

Next post: Dressing Your Bridal Party

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Favorite Trends

There are so many fun ideas that I’ve come across for special ways to make your wedding celebration unique. I wish I could do them all!

Here are some of the favorite trends I’ve discovered over the last few months:

Favors from Local Artisans
You are sharing Wine Country with your guests, why not have them bring a piece of it home with them? An added bonus is that you are supporting local artisans and merchants who, undoubtedly, put lots of Wine Country heart in their products.

I really love the idea of infused regional flavors, like Wine Country Chocolate’s amazing wine truffles. The truffles come in four flavors (Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Port, and Champagne), and they offer a two piece truffle box perfect for unique and delicious favors. You can visit them online or at one of their local tasting rooms.

Another delicious commodity from Wine Country is olive oil. Check out Sonoma-based The Olive Press for options and ideas for unique flavors that you’ll want to share with your guests.

And, of course, I can’t go without mentioning our own amazingly delicious figFOOD products. Check out our online store for your favorite fig flavors, like our Black Mission Fig Jam and Fig Caramel.

Steffen_TGTF_fig-food_Jan2015_AI9A2095_lo

Late Night Snacks
After all the drinking, dancing, and partying, who wouldn’t be hungry? Many couples extend the celebration by offering another round of food once the party is coming to a close.

One of my favorite ideas is a milk and cookie bar. Who doesn’t love milk and cookies? And think of all the flavor options, not only for the cookies but the milk as well: Regular, Chocolate, Strawberry. If Nutella is an option, I’m definitely on board. Check out some great cookie bar inspiration on Pinterest.

Another fun option is to hire a food truck for the after-party. There are so many different food options to choose from, and everyone loves a food truck! Some of our Bay Area favorites to check out are The Waffle Roost, El Sur, and the Lobsta Truck.

Photo by Jessamyn Harris

Photo by Jessamyn Harris

The Post Wedding Brunch
A fun conclusion to your wedding weekend is to have a post wedding brunch to say goodbye to your friends and family. I hosted a post wedding brunch for a friend last year; her only request was that there was a post wedding brunch in place of a wedding shower. It was a great ending to a memorable weekend, and it gave her and her groom a chance to spend time with their out of town guests once the stress from their actual wedding day was over.

If you don’t have a friend or family member who’s able to host a brunch for you, there are plenty of other options. Check with your wedding venue and caterer for suggestions as well as looking at local restaurants or event spaces. We think that Suite D is the perfect place to host a post wedding brunch; you can check out our unique space online.

ST D

Have any favorite wedding trends? Let us know in the comments below, and share your ideas for a fun and unique celebration.

Happy Planning!

Next post: Registries


Image Credits for this post:

Megan Steffen of Untapped Media Co.
Megan Clouse 
Nathan Larimer Photography

 

Planning a Wine Country Wedding: Seasonal Color

(This is Part 7 in a series. Did you miss Part 6? View the post here!)

If you’re anything like me, there’s no question in your mind about what your wedding colors will be. It has already been decided for years.

But, even though I have had my perfect color scheme planned forever, I am a little disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to play around with different colors. There are endless possibilities, and I have encountered so many inspiring florals, dresses, and accents in the last few months that I absolutely love. My favorites are those that truly evoke the season that they take place in, bringing a piece of Mother Nature in to the celebration.

Here are some ideas that I’ve come across for weddings in any season:

Spring
When I think of spring, I think of pastels and perfectly mild, sunny weather. New buds and delicate flower petals are perfect inspiration for this time of year. I love the idea of soft blues and pale pinks with classic whites, or even just an all-white color palette.

Flowers in season are Calla Lillies, Tulips, Pink Gerber Daisies, and Peonies.

Summer
The summer season is all about bright sunshine and fun colors. I think this is the best season for really playing with color combinations that allow you to accent beautiful pops of bright colors to echo the brilliance of the season. Try out a pairing of navy or classic grey with hot pinks and yellows.

Flowers in season are Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Poppies, and Freesia.

Autumn
My favorite of the seasons, autumn brings cooler weather, falling leaves, and pumpkins. Deep oranges, reds and purples with browns and yellows make the best autumn accents. Go to your garden for decorating inspiration in the way of pumpkins, squash, and other gourds.

Flowers in season are Dahlias, Chocolate Sunflowers, and Chrysanthemums.

Winter
The coziest season, winter gives us scarves, hot chocolate, and family holidays. My favorite winter colors are deep hues of reds or blues contrasted with stark white. Red holiday berries and bare branches make great decorative accents. I’m even tempted to suggest a little glitter!

Flowers in season are Carnations, Ranunculus, Gardenias, and Paper Whites.

If you’re looking for more color inspiration, check out these links:

Happy Planning!

Next post: Favorite Wedding Trends


 

Photo Credits:

Jessamyn Harris – www.jessamynharris.com
Ken Viale – www.kenviale.com
Imagen Photography – www.imagenphotos.com