Destination Wedding Location Series: Wine Country Destination Wedding

In celebration of Earth day, I’d like you to come away with me to wine country.  Northern California wine country is crisp, beautiful, and rustic and as you know, has some of the best wines in the world.  I’m talking about the Napa and Sonoma valleys, home to not just great wine, but some amazing farm-to-table, locally grown, sustainable and organic food.  People here celebrate the land and what it produces and caring for the earth is a big part of that.  Beyond the wine and food, there are a plethora of gorgeous venues from wineries to inns to private estates and ruins.  A wine country destination wedding is a relaxing getaway and a fun destination for you and your guests.

North of San Francisco, in Napa and Sonoma (and its respective valleys) wine country are some of the most popular destinations for weddings.  It is the country, so the landscape is vast yet simple and pretty.  It’s peaceful and people love to come here to kick back, relax and just enjoy what is around them.  While there are a bunch of activities specific to the area like wine tasting, bike riding and hot air ballooning (this is on my to-do list!), couples really enjoy having a wine country destination wedding because it encourages time to unwind.

Garden wedding Wine country destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Deborah Laver)

The weather in Napa and Sonoma varies a bit throughout the year but is obviously warmest in the summer.  Rain tends to come in winter and the early spring.  In terms of the vines and the vineyards, winter won’t give you much to look at, but come spring the vines start to bud and the wildflowers are in bloom.  Summer is when the vines show lots of vegetation and you are able to see the grapes.  The fall brings the harvest and the change of colors, which makes a great backdrop for any wedding.

One thing to keep in mind is that Napa and Sonoma is a tourist destination, so if you have your wine country destination wedding during peak tourist season (the summer) there will be larger crowds, prices will be higher and you’ll be competing for venues, rooms, restaurants and activities.

Sonoma wedding Wine country destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: VAS Photography)

Getting married in wine country is easy as there are no blood tests and no residency or citizenship requirements.  You must both appear in person to get your marriage license and once you get your marriage license, the ceremony can take place anywhere in California (ceremonies for confidential marriage licenses must take place in the same county).  In both Napa and Sonoma counties, they also have a program called the Deputy Marriage Commissioner for a Day.  This allows a family member or a friend to be deputized, which gives them the ability to marry only you on that day only.  It’s a nice alternative for those who don’t want to become a minister.

Healdsburg Country Gardens Wedding Wine country destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Deborah Laver)

Couples who are attracted to a Napa and Sonoma wine country destination wedding enjoy doing things outdoors and thus are looking for an outdoor wedding.  While wine country has both indoor and outdoor venues, couples who get married here like to take advantage of the beautiful scenery.  Couples who like a wine country destination wedding are looking for something more low key and enjoy the rustic style that the area provides.  And if you are eco-conscious and want to have a green wedding (or at least, some parts green), this is a great location for that with many vendors going for green.

I personally love a Napa or Sonoma wine country destination wedding because of the feeling you get when you are there.  It feels peaceful and I think that has something to do with being in the country.  There is a small town feel to it that is homey, easy and comforting, which I enjoy.  There are also a ton of little towns and small businesses in the valleys, which are fun to explore.  I think couples and guests also really enjoy that aspect of it and since most of us live in cities or suburbs, it can be a great vacation from normal life.  The Napa and Sonoma wine country are a great place to consider for your destination wedding.

Wedding couple on train tracks for a Wine country destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: VAS Photography)

We love a wine country destination wedding, but if Napa and Sonoma don’t seem like quite the right fit for you, don’t you worry!  There are a ton more exciting locations to come!

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