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Archive for the ‘Wedding Venues’ Category

Marianna and Darwin, June 4th, 2011

I adore each wedding we plan, but is there a more memorable one than your own little sister’s? Unlikely.  This couple, high school sweet hearts, have been together for the past 7 years.  Choosing a theme of family traditions was so clear for them.  Details shots to come will showcase their theme and feel of their special day. Be sure to check back for photos of their guest favors: an old family recipe of pepper jelly. Marianna hand made the jelly with her future mother in law.  From the old photos of grandparents on their wedding day displayed in the barn to the table names of past and present family pets, this day was comfortable, classy, and pulled on every heart string.

Marianna and Darwin’s wedding was held at River Highlands Ranch in Smartsville, just outside of Grass Valley.  What was planned as an incredible summer day wedding utilizing the perfectly groomed ceremony tiered lawn turned into the most incredible rainy day wedding.  I wouldn’t be surprised to hear guests recounting this event and forgetting that the rain was even a factor.  We had enough time (3 days!) to regroup and find one of the last tents available in our area.  This afforded us some additional space and the ability to use the ‘outdoors’ for the ceremony.  Thank you clear sided tent for that!

Simply changing ice cold lemonade to hot coco with marshmallows and whipped cream created an intentional event that appeared to be planned for rain (never in the plan!). From the tent, heat lamps, and fire pit to the incredibly warm and comfortable group of guests, this day is sure to be remembered.  I learned how useful market umbrellas can be in the rain as they were placed to keep the s’mores station by the fire pit dry from the sprinkles.

The barn is a dream space to create a perfect flow and we did just that.  The cocktail hour was filled with the sound of shakers at the specialty martini bar, and the photobooth by Mr. DJ Service was a hit even before dinner.  Dinner was spectacular with paired wines and family style food service by Chris Jackson Catering and Events.  The bride claims the food was even better than the food at their tasting which almost never happens for anyone!  The dinning portion of the barn made my heart skip a beat and felt just like Marianna and what we had envisioned early on.  Martha, with Blooms by Martha Andrews, was given some basic ideas and then allowed floral designer freedom to create what we described without boundaries.  We trusted her whole heartedly and she knocked it out of the park. Though the vineyards were supposed to be the backdrop to the incredible dining room in the barn with the doors flung open, we improvised and added a backdrop, moss lettering, and up lights for a breathtaking effect.

The day was full of the ‘dream team’ in action.  This included the vendors above in addition to photography and video by the Memory Journalist (huge team! Thank you Jen, Kelly, Keith and Kirsten), entertainment, MC, and lighting by Mr. DJ Service, wedding cakes by Sweet Cakes by Rebecca, and rentals though both Classic Party Rentals and Celebrations Party Rentals.  The ceremony was officiated by one of Marianna and Darwin’s high school teachers whom they both admired tremendously. Last, but not least, an extra shout out to our adorable paper pieces by Bella Vita Invitations and Invitations Ink…can’t have just one, right?!

I suppose I forgot to mention that Catrina Maria Designs did plan this event; I was of course, also a Matron of Honor.  Being the smart planner that I am, I handed over the reins to my long time best friend and planner, Michaela Rodgers of Plush Weddings.  With my assistant, the amazing Katie, they teamed up to allow me a stress free day with my family. I will be forever grateful for being able to fully enjoy this time and be the best MOH possible.

I imagine Costa Rica is warm and amazing and each day will be sunny for these two! Wishing Marianna and Darwin a perfectly sunny life together!

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We all know that Napa Valley is a hot spot for weddings, but with so many different vineyards, inns, and ranches to choose from, it can be hard to narrow things down and find a venue that is perfect for you.  The girls here at Arcularius Events want to help all you venue-hunting brides out there by saving you the legwork and sharing some of the most interesting venues we’ve seen.  Over the next few posts, we’re going to show you the unique, beautiful, and somewhat lesser-known places that we got to visit on a fantastic Napa Valley site tour hosted by La Tavola Fine Linen.
 

The morning of our tour started at La Tavola’s gorgeous Napa showroom, where we were picked up by Pure Luxury Wine Tours, a Napa-based green transportation agency.  Pure luxury drove us in an uber-comfortable shuttle bus to our first site, Shady Oaks Ranch and Vineyards.

Shady Oaks is a lovely  site in the heart of Napa Valley with expansive green lawns and lush gardens.  The main estate home sleeps 16 and is accompanied by 3 more cozy cabins that come with rental of the site.  The 12.5 acre grounds are home to a reflecting pond and gazebo, several intimate gardens, and 400 year old Oak trees (the oldest in the valley).  Shady Oaks is secluded and romantic and, with little lights scattered among the gardens and a string quartet playing, would make the perfect setting for a fanciful, elegant, Secret Garden-type wedding.
For more information on this site, contact Wayne at wayne@gwines.net.  Next time, we’ll leave the fairy tale charm of Shady Oaks for a site that can only be described as “California Country Chic”…

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Wine Tasting Tour hosted by
Beth Sogaard Catering
Avio, Terra d’Oro, and Young’s Vineyards

Steve Lach with Beth Sogaard Catering was more than a joy to spend the day with. He planned this perfect outing for me, Lora Ward with A Day to Remember, Kendra Pfeiffer-Wershing with Pfeiffer Event Planning, Laurie Schmalzel with Laurie Schmalzel Events, and Darcie Swedelson with A Dazzling Day. A day in the limo consists of almost nothing but wedding talk and each stop was filled with wine tasting and site research.

Avio Winery

Avio Winery Avio Winery is one of my new favorite locations for weddings. This property has to be seen in person and in the spring it is so much more stunning. The owners of Avio, Stefano and Lisa, are a joy to spend time with and open their property to brides for their special event.

Ceremony site at Avio Winery The views from one of the optional the ceremony sites are spectacular. This site can accommodate up to 200 guests and has multiple options for the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, and other intimate gatherings.

Terra D'Oro Winery
Terra d’Oro Winery (previously Montevina)
is another outdoor winery option for weddings in the Amador area.
The outdoor covered reception space can accommodate up to 200 guests and has the advantage of an overhead arbor for us designers who love to hang fabrics and unique lighting!

Reception site at Terra d'Oro Winery They have a stunning Barrel Room that can accommodate up to 500 guests. This could be ideal for a larger wedding of 200-300 guests since the room size can be varied by moving wine barrels.

Barrel room at Terra d'Oro Winery
Young’s Vineyard
http://www.chefbethcatering.com/

Young's Winery Young’s Winery is a fantastic clean slate to design with and plan strikingly different events. This open, lush, grassy area overlooking the pond can accommodate up to 200 guests if using it for the ceremony and reception sites. The options are endless. The bride enters through the grape vines for the ceremony and the guests face the pond for the best views.

Ceremony site at Young's Vineyard I especially love the two tiered patio. Great option for another ceremony site. I am a fan of separating each event of the evening so the guests transition from space to space for each new experience.
Don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions on these beautiful sites!

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Here are the other two wineries we checked out. Each has a banquet facility for events and weddings.

Dutch Henry Winery is a beautiful spot just off of the Silverado Trail in Calistoga. We loved the bocce ball court and lined olive tree driveway.

4310 Silverado Trail
Calistoga Ca 94515
http://www.dutchhenry.com/
Dutch Henry Winery

Bocce ball court Dutch Henry Winery

Cuvaison Winery
Cuvaison is a beautiful property with tasty wines. We were lucky enough to have Travis with Cuvaison pour and educate us on their wines. I, of course, just had a sip of the brides tasting! I just found out that Trader Joe’s is currently carrying Cuvaison’s Chardonnay that we tasted ($27 in the tasting room and $14 in TJ’s).
Cuvaison Winery
4550 Silverado Trail
Calistoga, Ca 94515
Cuvaison Winery grounds

Picnic area at Cuvaison Winery

Building at Cuvaison Winery

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Saturday was a full day of rehearsal dinner site searching in Calistoga. The concept is to find a great winery in Calistoga (near the wedding site) to invite the wedding guests to the afternoon prior to the wedding day. Tour, taste and enjoy a uniquely romantic European style picnic lunch. Each guest will be offered a hosted tour of the winery, tastings of the current flight of wines, and then everyone will group together and sit on the grassy lawn to enjoy some good food and good company. Each unique picnic basket will be lined with a custom fabric clothe and filled with sparkling water, baguettes, meats, cheeses and other treats for the guests.

We viewed three wineries and the decision was simple for the bride. She chose Clos Pegase Winery.

Here are some photos of the winning winery.
Clos Pegase
1060 Dunaweal Lane
Calistoga, Ca 94515

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