I was recently invited to join a group of industry friends for an unforgettable few days exploring the treasures of Napa Valley and Sonoma. What a joy! The most spectacular scenery, fine wine and dining, jaw dropping entertainment… And all in the company of some of the nicest people you could ever meet. It was the kind of trip that really feeds your soul. My imagination was immediately caught up by all the creative possibilities at the beautiful venues we visited, as well as the exciting options for guest experiences. Napa Valley immediately jumped to the top of the list of places I’m dying to plan a destination wedding!
We experienced so much over the three wonderful days we spent in California! I just had to break it down into two posts, so this is the first. A huge thank you to Elan Artists for hosting us and completely blowing us away with both your entertainment and hospitality. As always, Elan’s creativity was inspiring. It’s amazing how complex layers of entertainment can really elevate the whole experience of an event. Wedding and event entertainment isn’t just about music anymore.
We spent our first day at the extraordinary Calistoga Ranch, a private luxury retreat situated in a peaceful canyon at the north end of Napa Valley. Staying in one of their freestanding lodges feels like owning your own little piece of California paradise! I especially loved the way that the architecture embraces the natural surroundings. It makes a dream backdrop for either a wedding or honeymoon. Not least thanks to the delicious cuisine! We first got to sample this at the intimate Lakehouse venue, washed down with Calistoga Ranch’s own wines. Birdies Slippers (Meghan Markle’s favorites!) also treated us to a popup. What a great party favor idea for a small group! Have a look at the video above by Anna Davis Films, to give you a little taste…
But the best was yet to come! That evening, we entered a magical world down in the ranch’s underground wine cave. It was filled with candles – so romantic! This is such a unique and special venue for a rehearsal dinner or even an intimate wedding. While we sipped and supped, an array of talent from Elan Artists entertained us. This included a ballerina, chamber strings, singers and musicians. What a night!
The next day we got to experience just some of what Napa Valley has to offer as guest activities. We started off on a high (literally) with a hot air balloon ride (those views!) before heading to the beautiful Promontory Winery for some wine tasting. When in Napa! We followed it up with a hearty lunch of burgers and fries at California institution, Gott’s Roadside.
After a jam-packed day, it was wonderful to arrive at Sonoma Vineyard Estate. There we found a welcoming and relaxing event space filled with beautiful flowers and cozy touches. Over delicious cocktails and a sumptuous dinner we all caught up on the day’s events. Of course, both were accompanied by fantastic music too! After dinner, we retired to luxury tents to enjoy the night breeze, good company and a night cap.
Stay tuned for more highlights and Napa Valley destination wedding ideas from me later this week!
Photography: Scott Clark Photo | Film: Anna Davis Films | Luxury Accommodations & Cuisine: Calistoga Ranch & Solage| Entertainment: Elan Artists | Luxury Transport: Napa Valley Tours & Transportation | Design & Floral: Rion Designs | Pop Up: Birdies Slippers | Hot Air Balloon: Napa Valley Balloons | Wine Experience: Promontory Winery | Lunch: Gott’s Roadside | Dinner: Sonoma Vineyard Estate – Distinct Locations | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events | Rentals & Design: Found Rentals | Florist & Design: This Humble Abode | Table Top: Encore Event Rentals | Luxury Tents: Shelter Co. | Vintage Auto: CC Wine Tours | Rimowa courtesey of Elan Artists