Venue Scouting in Napa & Sonoma Wine Country: How to find the perfect wedding venue

Are you recently engaged and looking to get married in the highly desirable Wine Country? Whether you are local or looking for a destination wedding, we are here to help you find a perfect fit for your wedding venue. With over 60,000 acres of vineyards and more than 600 wineries in Napa and Sonoma Counties collectively, there are an immense and diverse range of options to choose from when visiting these popular tourist destinations.

Over the years, Napa and Sonoma have rapidly become two of the top desirable locations in the world for destination weddings due to its rustic charm, upscale wineries, vineyards, restaurants and its vast scenic beauty. With so many options in these two areas for wedding venues, it can be an overwhelming and tedious feat to try to pick and choose where to host your big day. This is where we come in.

We have recently created a special package for this exact reason. With the majority of our team being from the Napa and Sonoma regions, we are highly knowledgable of all that these destinations have to offer, from wineries and vineyards, to hotels and restaurants and beyond. Combined, we take pride in our ability to create an efficient and productive day of venue scouting that will give you a great kickstart to your wedding planning. We believe that the entire wedding planning experience should be fun, inspiring and enjoyable for the couple, and we want to help create this easygoing and memorable experience for our clients.

How It Works: 

We come on board to get to know your visions, dreams and ideas for your wedding and focus those into one cohesive list of qualified venues to suit your style and price point. We put together a lovely day of venue tours, lunch on us, and wine tastings. This is an excellent opportunity for us to get to know you as the couple better and discuss logistics of the venues, paint a picture of how the wedding day/weekend would look and how the style and design could be produced in each space. We really want to make this fun, exciting and inspiring for you, so we follow up with a detailed spreadsheet with information about each venue we visited (inclusions, requirements, suggestions, etc.) so that you can not only make a confident and positive decision, but also not have to worry about retaining all of the information during the day. This will allow you to focus on seeing and visualizing the space without having to take notes or worry about remembering the many logistical details that will be discussed.  

Hopefully, by the end of our day together, we have established trust and a great relationship and you are interested in bringing us on board to be apart of their wedding planning dream team. We know how overwhelming this aspect of planning your wedding can be, and our goal is to provide our clients with valuable information and affordable assistance that will help you moving forward and ease any stress or worry that you may have around planning. While we are focused in Sonoma and Napa, we are always excited to see new venues and locations and the challenge of designing a new space, regionally, domestically or internationally. The sky is the limit, and we look forward to any chance to help you make your dream wedding a reality.

Learn more about our Venue Scouting Package

Di + Peter

Di and Peter met by happenstance as a friends Christmas party.  They went on their first date the next day and fell into an international romance which had Di in New York City and Peter in Hong Kong.  Peter knew early on that Di was The One and told her so on quiet park bench just a few months into their relationship.  After a few years of dating, Di moved to Hong Kong to be with Peter. He proposed to her on a romantic getaway to the Maldives.  Di and Peter love the Napa Valley lifestyle and wanted their guests to enjoy all that wine country had to offer.  They were married at Calistoga Ranch with a sophisticated color palette of whites, lilac and olive green.  Everything about their day was the perfect representation of classic elegance.

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Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea Venue: Calistoga Ranch | Laura Vaughn Ceremony Officiant: Michael LeBlanc Photographer: Sylvie Gil Photography Ceremony Music: Harpist | Jessica Schaffer Reception Music: Boutique Wedding DJ Florist: Valley Flora | Polly Harrington Wedding Cake: Perfect Endings Transportation: Napa Valley Tours & Transportation efrediani@nvtt.net Hair & Makeup: Betten Chaston Rentals & Lighting: Classic Party Rentals Cinema: Edge Fog Films | Joel Kling Stationary: Minted {Invitations} | Vellum & Vogue {Day Of Materials}

Jules + Chris

This elegant French country inspired wedding had our hearts fluttering from our first design meeting. It certainly doesn’t need to be said that Jules and Chris, above all else, have impeccable taste. From the bubbling champagne tower and artisan cocktails [complete with smokin’ bartenders] to the luscious floral and stunning lighting design – their celebration radiated fun, romance and beauty.

Their love story is similar to their style – simple, classic and beautiful. They met one fall evening at a mutual friends birthday party and no more than a month later Jules knew Chris was “the one”. Fast forward through a few yoga classes, dinner dates and happy years to New Years Eve in Hawaii where Chris got down on one knee and told Jules that she was “the one” – they lived happily ever after!

Planning & Design by L'Relyea
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Planner: Julia Evans | l’Relyea Events
Venue/Caterer: Solage Calistoga
Beverage: The Grand Bevy
Ceremony Officiant: Father Jovic
Photographer:Kevin Tachman
Videographer: Cana Family
Reception Music: Pride & Joy
Florist: Studio Choo
Wedding Cake/Sugar Cookies: Susie Cakes
Hair & Makeup: Marisa Perel
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; One True Love Vintage Rentals; Blue Print Studio
Calligraphy: Bernard Maisner
Lighting: Lux Productions




 

Erin + Victor

We are loving the bold purple hues that were set into this classic white toned wedding!  The lovely couple celebrated their special day at Trentadue Winery in Geyserville, Ca, surrounded by lush vineyards, giant oaks and fresh summer air.  They used rustic wine barrels and iron candelabras to embrace their Spanish-infused Wine Country wedding.

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Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue: Trentadue Winery
Caterer: Park Avenue Catering
Ceremony Officiant: Brian Plaugher
Photographer: Jennifer Bagwell
Ceremony/Reception Music: AMS
Cocktail Music: Jay Alverez, Guitarrist
Florist: Fleurs de France
Wedding Cake: Cousteaux
Transportation: California Wine Tours
Rentals: Wine Country Party 
Rentals Video: Uforia Films

Tatiana + Sam

"As soon as she walked into the room, stole my cigar and demanded my seat, I put my arm around her, kissed her head, and fell in love."  Sam's description of how he fell in love with Tatiana is the perfect representation of these two as a couple: fun, spontaneous and head over heals in love.  The wedding was a reflection of them which featured bright pink color and edgy yet fun details.

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Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/ Caterer: Farmstead
Ceremony Officiant: Fr. Kenneth J. Babauta  
Photographer: Caitlin O’reilly 
Ceremony/Reception Music: Napa Valley DJs 
Florist: Teresa Stoner Floral Designs
Hair & Makeup: Bella Bridal
Transportation: CWT

Lori + Ryan

What does it take to pull off a wine industry wedding? A stunning venue and award winning wines is certainly a start but throw in mouthwatering food, a crafty bride, amazing friends and family {and a handful of co-works} and there you have it - a Trione wedding is born! Lori and Ryan met as wine industry interns and when planning their wedding couldn’t think of a better place to get married than the one that brought them together.

When we asked Lori what the most important part of her wedding day is for her, she replied “that I’m marrying the love of my life, and I want everyone to have fun and dance a lot!” and it’s safe to say that they did just that. The day itself was so filled with love, laughter and joy - they were both grinning from ear to ear the entire time. We loved being a party of the day of festivities for this heartfelt homemade wedding!

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Planner: Julia Evans | l’Relyea Events
Venue: Trione Winery 
Caterer: Peloton Catering 
Ceremony Officiant: Derek Manus (Groomsman)
Photographer: Marc Blondin 
Ceremony/Reception Music: Runaway DJ 
Florist: The Leafy Lady 
Wedding Cake: Costeaux French Bakery
Hair & Makeup: Koree | St. James Salon 
Rentals: Wine Country Party

Leah + Rob

Leah and Rob were so adorable together and their details for the day reflected the sweet simplicity of themselves.  Leah had envisioned their wedding to be rustic chic, elegant, fresh, romantic and of course intimate.  We decided on a color palette with lush white flowers with subtle hints of pink and champagne.  She handcrafted her alter, and various details inside the reception including the flower garlands.  It was truly a sweetly romantic day.

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Planner: l’Relyea Events | Lindsey Relyea
Venue/Caterer:Solage Calistoga
Ceremony Officiant: Rev Peader Dalton
Photographer: Matthias Photography
Cinema: Uforia Films 
Ceremony/Reception Music: Verducci Entertainment
Florist: Kate Stanley
Wedding Cake: Forget Me Not Cakes
Makeup: Jenna Dancer |  Hair: Courtney Sweat

Sayre + Jordan

Sayre and Jordan met when they were only a few years old in the backseat of a convertible. Over the years growing up Jordan pursued his love and years later their long time crush became a reality. When I asked the bride how she knew he was "the one" she said, "Being with him feels like coming home. The first month we started officially dating we were driving home from lunch with the windows down and music playing, his hand was on mine. I remember feeling like I never wanted to be without him. I think my exact words were "I have so much fun with you!" and he looked at me and said "I love you too." and that was it."

Their Day

Sayre and Jordan wanted an intimate affair in wine country that represented them. Relaxed, simple, intimate and fun. With the help of their loving friends, family and a beautiful venue like Scribe Winery they were able to achieve just that. Handmade floral arrangements, hand-sewed runners and fun lawn games were just a few personal touches they added. The ceremony took place nestled in the vineyards at the base of the soulful Hacienda, Scribe's historic Victorian style manor. The guests mingled on the steps before making their way through the gardens up the knoll to a rustic styled reception beneath the oak trees complete with burlap runners, hydrangeas, a banjo plucking in the background and a classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting and rainbow sprinkles!

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Planner: Lindsey l’Relyea Events 
Venue:Scribe Winery
Ceremony Officiant: Will Stewart, Cousin of the Bride
Photographer:Mary McHenry
Ceremony/Reception Music:Steve Pile Band
Florist: Mother and Aunt of the Bride / Paul Tesoro
Wedding Cake:Olive & Vine Catering 
Hair & Makeup:Stella Sevens Hair Salon /Audrey Crandall Makeup
Rentals:Wine Country Party Rentals

Caitlin + Trevor

For these two high school sweethearts, a blast from the past was exactly the way Caitlin and Trevor wanted to celebrate their nuptials. How did they do it? With a homecoming dance theme for their reception, complete with a Marcarana tribute. The location for the festivities? An open air, barn-style restaurant known as Barndiva. Located in Healdsburg and featuring a rustic style and all natural ingredients, Barndiva became the perfect atmosphere for a high school styled party. This time parents WERE invited. To compliment the restaurants country chic vibe, Caitlin hand stitched burlap silverware pouches, stamped cupcake flags, and added take-away treat favors for each guest. When the music came on, I had never seen a fuller dance floor! It truly was a unique and colorful wedding, full of infectious fun and laughter.

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Planner: Lindsey l’Relyea Events
Venue/Caterer: Barndiva
Ceremony Officiant: Lukka Feldman of Barndiva 
Photographer Tibidabo Photography 
Ceremony & Reception Music: AMS Wine Country
Florist: EV Floral
Beauty: Nikol Elaine Makeup Artistry
Wedding Cupcakes: Bardiva 
Rentals Wine Country Party Rentals | La Tavola Linen 
Make-up: Nikol Elaine Makeup Artistry

Real Wedding: Brooke + Matt

They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, and after being apart of this energetic wedding I can see why! There is something so romantic and impetuous about being caught in the rain with your true love. And when you aren't expecting it, what more could you ask for than to have all of your besties surrounding you to ensure a smile is on your face the whole day! Brooke and Matt had fun playing with the umbrella in the rain, and they were troopers when we made the last minute effort to pull the ceremony indoors. All of their guests cozied up indoors and watched as these two recited their vows with twinkles in their eyes. Personal touches included Brooke's initial-stiched ribbon wrapped around her bouquet, table numbers which declared the couples first date and other fun facts, and their cork-printed invitations to complete their wine country wedding.

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Officiant: Judge Carter Holly | Photographer: Luke Snyder Studio | Venue/Caterer: Solage Calistoga | Florist: Tesoro Flowers | Wedding Cake: Penelope Jane | Entertainment: ParTime Band | Favors: Napa Valley Chocolate Company | Hair Stylist: Angela Smith | Rentals: Hartmann Studios & La Tavola Linen | Cinema: Jordan Tabak 

Planning & Design: l'Relyea Events

Christin and Martin's Love Story

  We first met Christin and Martin during a site visit at a wedding venue; they were looking for their wedding and we were there visiting the property. We had such a great time chatting during our tour of the property that they later contacted us for their wedding planning. Over the next nine months we got to know thisadorable couple and hear all about their unfolding love story, and today I am thrilled to share it with you.

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C+M Wedding

How they Met

Christin and Martin lived only 3 blocks from one another in San Francisco for two years. Every day, they went to the same restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Christin, in fact, walked her puppy Riley by Martin’s apartment every single morning. Their paths, however, never crossed on the streets of San Francisco. In January 2011, Martin and Christin were both spending quality time in Las Vegas,  Martin and Christin saw one another for the very first time at a Garth Brooks concert. Martin, being the gentleman that he is, offered to take a group photo of her and her friends. After the successful photo shoot, Martin and Christin quickly got to know one another and could not believe how much they had in common, including almost being neighbors. After the girls went on their way, the two brothers were fortunate enough to score 2 front-row seats to the show. Having these far superior seats is something Martin would never gloat about to this very day. After the show, they made sure to run into each other again. In fact, all of their friends hung out for the rest of the evening and had a blast. That night, these friends saw Martin and Christin dance for the very first time and soon, they will see their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Laufik.

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Christin and Martin
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C+M Wedding

Courtship

Christin and Martin wasted no time in getting to know one another once they returned to San Francisco. On Wednesday of that week, they went on their first date at Solstice, a neighborhood restaurant. As usual, they were both late. The anticipated brief get-together turned into hours of conversation. Needless to say, both were quite smitten. When he got home, Martin immediately texted Christin and thanked her for a wonderful evening. He then stared at his phone, convinced that this bumbling maneuver appeared much too eager. But Christin promptly responded with: “I can’t stop smiling.” And the two have been smiling ever since…

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C+M Wedding

Travels

Their first trip together was on Valentine’s Day to Napa Valley, a place which would have very special meaning in the year to come. At dinner, they enjoyed a wine called “Terra Valentine.” On future trips, they were able to meet one another’s incredible friends and family. They included visits to Seattle, Alaska, Cabo, Washington DC, San Diego, Idaho, Sedona, Belize, the Carribean, Hawaii, and even Thailand. In between, Martin and Christin enjoyed their busy lives in San Francisco. That year, Christin accompanied Martin to multiple soccer games and every Stanford home football game. Now that’s love.

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Proposal

In early December, Martin surprised Christin with a weekend trip to Napa – a special place for them ever since Valentine’s Day. On December 3rd 2011, on a beautiful autumn day in Napa, he took her to a winery named Terra Valentine. A view of the Valley and a table with a bottle of “Marriage” wine awaited the couple. Here, with family blessings in hand, Martin got down on one knee, and asked Christin for her hand in marriage. It was the most wonderful Yes he had ever heard.

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From the Bride...

I will never forget walking down the aisle, it is the best memory from my wedding day.  It was such a poignant moment, filled with so much emotion and excitement! Another memorable moment occurred at the very end of the night as we all danced and sang to the last song of the night, "Sweet Caroline," all of our guests assembled in one large group hug around us.  It was so spontaneous and the love in the room was palpable!

There were so many special details that we incorporated to make it unique to our personality. We kicked off our wedding weekend with our rehearsal dinner, held in a 100 year old barn in Saint Helena emulating one of our favorite events during the courtship: a lobster feed! Our cake topper was hand painted by a friend that included our dog, Riley. Our wedding dinner was a romantic candlelight dinner in a wine cave that began with a slideshow made by family. Rather than table numbers we used photos from our favorite places that we've traveled together. Since Martin loves chocolate, and because we aren't huge cake fans our dessert table was replaced with port and chocolates. My Grandma made our sweet ring bearer pillow. Now, we are excited to begin making our own family traditions as newlyweds.

From the couple... Our Favorite part of planning the wedding:

He said--

planning the honeymoon & choosing the venue.

She said--

Pinterest!! Wedding planning is a great excuse to spend a copious amount of time on pinterest.  I loved finding creative ways to incorporate details that personalized our wedding.

Photography: Jen Skog, Planning & Design: l'Relyea Events, Venue: Hans Fahden Winery, Floral: FluerEssence, Cinema: Weddings on Film, Lighting: The Lux Productions, Catering: Park Avenue Catering and Best Beverages Catering, DJ: Michael's Music, Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events, Transportation: Pure Luxury, PhotoBooth: A Flying Camera

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