How to Plan a Vineyard Wedding in Napa Valley

How to Plan a Vineyard Wedding in Napa Valley

Dreaming of a vineyard wedding? Honestly, us too! What could be a better day than celebrating the love of your life with friends and family, surrounded by luscious scenery, and toasting a glass of world-class wine? As Napa wedding photographers, we are passionate about capturing these kinds of once-in-a-lifetime memories, so we’ve made it our mission to help you have the best vineyard wedding possible! 

If you’re at the beginning of your wedding planning process, congratulations! We are so thrilled for you, and while this is one of the most exciting times of your life, we also know how overwhelming it can be to plan a whole event by yourself. That’s why we’ve poured our knowledge of planning a vineyard wedding into this guide: to help you get started on creating the wedding of your dreams. Let’s get started!

Planning a Vineyard Wedding

One of the great things about planning a vineyard wedding in Napa is that there are so many incredible wedding vendors around! We’ve created a list of some of our top-tier, absolute favorite venues, wedding planners, florists, and caterers for you to peruse, so be sure to check out our complete guide to a vineyard wedding in Napa. In the meantime, let’s have a look at the process of planning a beautiful vineyard wedding. Where should you start?

Step #1 – Choose a Wedding Planner

Not everyone chooses to hire a wedding planner, which is understandable, but if you’re on the fence about it, we’d say to go for it! The amazing thing about wedding planners is that they have worked in the same area for years at a time, keeping up with all the changes and developments so that they can bring the best to their clients. In Napa Valley, there are several wedding planners who specialize in creating a gorgeous vineyard wedding – and if you’re not from the area and are coming here for a destination wedding, a wedding planner is a huge asset.

When you are choosing a wedding planner, narrow your search down to the ones who are in the area that you want to get married in, because these are the ones who will know the most. Make sure you look at the portfolio of weddings they’ve done before to make sure that they have created the kind of ‘vibe’ you’re looking for. You’ll be doing a lot of talking and back-and-forth with your wedding planner, so make sure you have a real conversation with them before you hire anyone – you want to make sure that you communicate easily and connect as people.

Step #2 – Decide on a Venue

This is probably the most significant step in planning a vineyard wedding – choosing the actual vineyard itself! Before you create your shortlist, make sure that you’ve established your budget and your guest list.

After that, there are some questions to ask yourself that will help you to narrow down your options. There are lots of beautiful vineyards here in Napa along with some truly stunning resorts – do you want to be able to stay the night on-site at a resort, or are you hoping for an intimate vineyard wedding on a small property? Do you want to hold your ceremony actually among the grapevines of vineyards, or do you want to have a sweeping view of the vineyards? Are you looking for a property that can host your reception and ceremony on the same premises or are you happy to travel?

All of these questions will help you to narrow down the key features you are looking for in your wedding venue, which will allow you to have a very focused and intentional search process. Check out our round-up of 5 Most Sought-After Napa Wedding Venues to help you out!

Step #3 – Book Your Catering

Many vineyard wedding venues here in Napa offer onsite catering and some don’t allow outside caterers to be brought in, so make sure you’ve done your research. It’s worth asking for an opportunity to sample a tasting menu at your venue to make sure that you are happy to hand the catering over to them!

Step #4 – Find Your Florist

We have some amazing florists here in Napa Valley and their work can really elevate your vineyard wedding into something extraordinary! What role do you want flowers to play on your big day? Are you looking for simple bouquets and not much else, or are you dreaming of a floral installation at the altar or by the dancefloor? Whatever you’re hoping for, make sure you see examples of past wedding work the florist has done to ensure that they are up for the challenge.

Once you’ve settled on a florist, your wedding planner will work with them, and likely with your venue’s own events organizer, to figure out how to install the flowers in the spaces you choose.

Step #5 – Sort Out Transportation

One of the often-overlooked elements of planning a vineyard wedding is transportation for your guests! If your ceremony and reception are at the same venue, you may feel that giving your guests the address is good enough. But have you organized transportation for your wedding party? Whether that’s a bus rental or a carpool spreadsheet, make sure that your wedding party isn’t scrambling to get where they need to be!

It’s always a great moment when the happy couple heads out from the wedding ceremony into the metaphorical sunset – what do you want that moment to look like? A vintage automobile, a luxury limousine, a fairytale carriage? Wedding car dealers will often do short-term rentals for things like this, so find a local dealer and nominate a couple of groomsmen for car-return duty on the day.

Final Thoughts on Planning a Vineyard Wedding

Planning a vineyard wedding here in Napa Valley is not too different from planning any other kind of wedding – but with a disproportionate number of jaw-dropping venues to tour and delicious wines to sample, it’s a lot more fun! And, of course, no vineyard wedding is complete without a photographer to capture every perfect moment, so if you’re looking for an incredible team to photograph your day – get in touch!