Monday, August 06, 2007

Missing In Action

Time flies. I can't believe the last time I posted anything was in January, 7 months ago. During the winter we were editing weddings from last year. Then, the wedding season zoomed into high gear. I popped my head out of the gopher hole, and now it's August. I'll try to catch up over the next several weeks by telling you the places I've seen and the people I've met.

I've seen a few new venues worthy of your consideration. The first grouping are all on the contemporary, modern, maybe even on the edgy side in a few cases. I'll start with edgy first.

Dog Patch Studios
A hip, modern open and light space in San Francisco which you can transform into anything you please. Got-Light did a fantastic job of lighting each space on several different floors in a different way.

Hotel Vitale
Candace Palec, a very charming lady, oversees weddings at the chic, contemporary venue which has several levels of rooftop terraces which overlook the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero in San Francisco, with a spectacular view of the Bay Bridge. A creative idea that Candace has pioneered is offering substantial hors d'ouevres rather than a sit-down dinner so that guests can continuously mingle.

Carneros Inn
Brooke Baglietto is simply one of the nicest people in the wedding industry. A recent bride herself, she completely understands a bride's mindset, and her desires. The Carneros Inn in Napa has a relaxing, elegant simplicity. Imagine sheer white curtains fluttering in the breeze under the portico which looks out onto a large grassy lawn. The infinity pool reflects the beautiful mountins and vineyards which form a perfect backdrop. And the apple orchard is a charming place for the ceremony.

Natural, Wine Country Feeling

The next two venues each have a unique feeling. Sometimes these things are hard to articulate, but you "know it when you see it".

Bear Flag Farm
Tina is such a nice person and this working farm is quite unique. Your caterer can harvest fruits from the trees and vegetables from the earth on the 25-acre farm in the morning, and prepare and serve a tasty meal by evening. Two of our favorite caterers work closely with Tina: Rolando Mafnas at Alex's Catering and Jennifer Bowman at Elaine Bell Catering. If you are looking for an organic, earthy feeling to the wedding (though there's nothing to stop you from hanging chandeliers in the trees), then Bear Flag Farm may be for you. They only do about 12 weddings a year, so check it out sooner rather than later.

Nicholson Ranch
Sarah Roach does an outstanding job of making you feel right at home. This working winery has a distinctly Tuscan feeling to it. Everyone at the Ranch is relaxed, and makes you feel warmly welcomed. This winery also only hosts 12 weddings per year and books up quickly.

Old World Charming Wine Country

Right in the middle of wine country, there are several large stone buildings that make for grand weddings. You can rent three, but the fourth I must tell you about anyway.

Ledson Winery
Gina Batti the Director of Hospitality (such an appropriate title) has the charm and grace befitting such a splendid venue. Ledson Castle is an imposing structure in Kenwood, just north of Sonoma. And yet, since it was a family's home for a time, it has a warm feeling.

Jacuzzi Vineyards
Yes, there really is a Mr. Jacuzzi. He invented water well pumps and eventually the Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath. The Jacuzzi family just finished building a lovely Italianate villa with a large fountain in the central courtyard. Chris Merino and Jennifer Alvarez who also run events at Cline Cellars across the street, are simply delightful ladies to work with.

Sebastiani Vineyards
Sebastiani, another family whose roots run deep in the wine country, have a very beautiful stone building and a small casa for weddings right in the center of the town of Sonoma. Piper Andersen is the very sweet and soothing person who assists you with your wedding.

Next time, I'll post some notes on some lovely people I've met in the wedding industry.

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