4 Perfect Wine Country Wedding Weekend Itineraries

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Courtesy of Solage Calistoga
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Sure, the wedding ceremony and reception are important, but true Wine Country weddings are all about the whole experience! With so much to see and do, you and your guests will want to make a weekend getaway out of it. To help you plan, we have compiled four perfect Wine Country wedding itineraries in Napa Valley and Sonoma County for every type of couple.

For the Couple That Wants it All

Pool at Solage Calistoga, Courtesy of Solage

Day 1:

Check into your hotel. For total luxury, book your stay at Calistoga Ranch or Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley. The Estate, a collection of 15 different event venues, boasts two distinct hotels, Zen pools, a spa, several restaurants, and shops. In Sonoma, Kenwood Inn, Hotel Healdsburg, Hotel Les Mars, and Vintners Resort are sure to impress.

For an over-the-top rehearsal dinner, surprise and delight your guests at one of Napa’s premier dining establishments. The Three Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena is the ultimate in gastronomic indulgence. Or, take your guests on a curated culinary adventure at J Vineyards’ Bubble Room in Healdsburg, where a five-course wine and food pairing experience awaits.

Day 2:

Enjoy some pre-wedding pampering at one of Wine Country’s many luxury spas, such as Spa Terra, located in an underground cave at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa. Or, book an in-room service through your hotel, an amenity offered by many Wine Country resorts.

Wine Country has plenty of luxury wedding venues. If a resort-setting is your preference, Solage in Napa is the ideal spot, sitting on 22 acres of pure beauty. If you’d like a true Wine Country wedding, exchange vows in the historic wine cave at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. Or, host your ceremony and reception at the iconic Charles Krug Winery, one of only five wineries in Napa Valley that can hold weddings.

Day 3:

No classic Wine Country wedding weekend would be complete without wine tasting! Bask in your post-wedding glow while sipping at some of the region’s most exclusive, appointment-only tasting rooms, like Promontory (sister property to Harlan Estate Winery), Hall Wines, or Schramsberg Vineyards.

For the Adventurous Couple

Courtesy of Sonoma Canopy Tours

Day 1:

While Napa and Sonoma are home to many classic hotels and resorts, there are plenty of off-beat, outdoorsy options as well. Get cozy at Fern Grove Cottages in Guerneville, or head to Napa Valley to stay at Aurora Park Cottages or The Cottages of Napa Valley. For something a bit different, reserve a luxury tent at Safari West, which also offers African wildlife tours for adventurers of all ages.

Hit the links for a quick pre-dinner tee time at Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa. Then, bring your guests aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train for a truly unique rehearsal dinner experience.

Day 2:

Kick off your special day at dawn with a hot air balloon ride over Wine Country through Napa Valley Balloons, Inc. or Up and Away Ballooning in Sonoma. Once you’ve seen the stunning landscape from the air, head out on a bike, kayak, or hiking adventure with Getaway Adventures, or go on a guided eco-tour through the Redwood Forestwith Sonoma Canopy Tours, which includes zip-lines, sky bridges, and rappelling.

For your wedding event, choose a venue that blends classic amenities with a laid-back, outdoorsy vibe. Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena offers rustic elegance throughout their indoor/outdoor event spaces. For horse-lovers, Hawkwood Hill Farm in the Petaluma countryside opens its facilities to weddings from May to October.

Day 3:

Reserve a croquet court at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards to close out the weekend with a little healthy competition amongst friends and family while enjoying wines, artisan cheeses, and charcuterie.

For the Flavor Seeker

Wedding event at The CIA at Copia, Courtesy of The CIA at Copia

Day 1:

Check in at Ramekins Inn in Sonoma, which features beautiful rooms, farm-to-table dining, and a culinary school on site. Or, book your stay at Vista Collina Resort and experience the best of Napa Valley’s boutique wineries at nine onsite tasting rooms, as well as a food and wine center for cooking classes, wine seminars, and more.

Invite everyone to meet for farm-to-bar cocktails at Hanson of Sonoma Distillery or spoonbar in Healdsburg. Or, convene at Napa Valley Distillery‘s tasting bar at Oxbow Public Market, then browse the other market stalls before dinner.

From Oxbow, head to The CIA at Copia and participate in an expert-led cooking class that culminates in a delicious and totally unique rehearsal dinner prepared by you and your guests.

Day 2:

Caffeinate at one of Flying Goat Coffee‘s three locations throughout Wine Country, then head off for a brewery tour offered every Saturday morning at Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg.

Wedding venues for foodies abound in Wine Country. For a flavor-driven experience, host your event at V. Sattui Winery. The winery’s Michelin-starred Italian Chef Stefano Masanti will create a culinary wedding experience that will delight your taste buds. The Napa Valley campus of The Culinary Institute of America is also a gorgeous and unique venue at which to say “I do.”

Day 3:

Head to Oakville Grocery or Big Bottom Market to pick up fixings for a gourmet Wine Country picnic. Or, book the seated, multi-course wine and food pairing experience at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, in which Executive Chef Trevor Eliason pairs hand-selected Artisan Collection wines with five delicious small plates.

For the Couple on a Budget

Sutter Home Winery, Courtesy of Sutter Home

Day 1:

Check in to one of Wine Country’s budget-friendly hotels, like Sonoma Creek Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma, or Embassy Suites Napa Valley. There are also plenty of vacation rentals to choose from. Check out Great Places to help plan your stay.

The rehearsal dinner doesn’t need to send you into the red either! Boon Fly Café, Ciccio, or the Depot Hotel Restaurant will be rich in flavor without breaking the bank, or plan to pick up some provisions and host your own chill backyard rehearsal dinner at your vacation rental.

Day 2:

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skip all the indulgence. Head off to Calistoga Spa Hot Springs for some pre-wedding pampering.

Venues like the River Terrace Inn and Flying Cloud Farm provide economical wedding packages while not skimping on spectacular surroundings. If you really want to keep things low-key, Elope in Wine Country offers all-inclusive, affordable elopement packages, including professional photography and a personalized, intimate ceremony.

Day 3:

Drag your wedding party out for a hearty, down-home breakfast at Black Bear Diner, then head to one of the many wineries offering free or budget-friendly wine tastings, such as Sutter Home and Alexander Valley Vineyards.


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Author

Devin Parr

Devin Parr is a San Diego-based freelance writer and consultant specializing in wine, travel and lifestyle. In addition to covering the global wine industry, she is the resident expert in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, serving as the region’s ambassador on behalf of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association and Visit Temecula Valley. She holds a certification in wine expertise from the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy, and is currently pursuing her WSET Diploma. In 2017, she was named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. Follow her adventures at @thesocalwinegal and www.devinparr.com.

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