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Wedding Venues Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

BRIDES Florida: 5 Unique South Florida Winery Wedding Venues

 Florida, Local, South Florida, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Florida: 5 Unique South Florida Winery Wedding Venues
Nov 132016
Lakeridge Winery

Photo: Lake Ridge Winery and Vineyards via Facebook

Florida residents dreaming of having a wedding at a winery do not have to venture to the west coast of the country to find what they're looking for. For South Florida brides, there are plenty of options for sipping wine and basking in that newlywed glow on your wedding day. These wedding venue options will please both the wine curious all the way to the ultimate wine connoisseur — with just the right amount of Floridian flair. From urban wineries that specialize in sustainably grown wine to acres and acres of quiet countryside, here are five unique South Florida winery wedding venues.

Lake Ridge Winery and Vineyards (Above)
Lake Ridge is set on 127 acres of Florida countryside near Orlando, making it a lovely setting for brides interested in a wedding with a more rural feel. This vineyard is the largest winery in Florida with over 100,000 people visit the winery every year. Lake Ridge's labels have won more than 600 awards in winemaking.

Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery
Rated one of the top 18 wineries in the U.S., Schnebly Redland's Winery and Brewery is located in Homestead, Florida. With gorgeous surroundings amidst acres and acres of tropical gardens, Schnebly makes brides feel right at home. Brides can have three location choices for their ceremony: the courtyard with a paved runner leading up to a waterfall and two additional choices, a more intimate "Waterfall Tiki," and a larger "Grand Tiki." With new catering menus and gorgeous views, Schnebly's is perfect for weddings both big and small. Read real brides' reviews here!

Endless Summer Vineyard and Winery
Couples can enjoy a relaxing and laidback wedding vibe at Endless Summer Vineyard and Winery. With unique touches like the oldest boogie board in existence displayed and other quirky ambiance fillers, Endless Summer is perfect for the wine lush-turned-surfer. There are shaded wooden swings perfect for your wedding photos (including many one-of-a-kind wedding props and chairs), and guests can even feed turtles and fish from a covered dock,

See More Still Searching for your Dream Dress? One of These South Florida Bridal Shops May Have Just What You're Looking For!

Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery
Bunker Hill is an environmentally-friendly winery with multiple eco-friendly options for brides. One such option is the recycled wine bottle wedding arch. Brides can choose a bottle to engrave in the wedding arch, creating a lasting memory at the wedding venue. Newlyweds can stay in the vineyard's quaint "Winter Garden Farm," a two-bedroom, two-bath home located on the premises. For brides who love a little mystery, Bunker Hill has an ongoing blog on their site with ghost stories about spirits who haunt the vineyard.

Quantum Leap Winery Quantum Leap Winery is an urban winery, which is not often found in Florida. Their wine production model is based on sustainably grown wine. Located near downtown Orlando, the winery can accommodate as little as 35 to as many as 400 guests. It's contemporary yet rustic, so brides with many different tastes can enjoy a beautiful wedding day. Tasting room hours are Thursday through Saturday, so couples looking to sample their wine before making a decision will have ample days to choose fromThat's the most fun part of a vineyard wedding, right? Read real brides' reviews here!

Not a winery bride? Browse dozens of other wedding locales to find your perfect fit on our South Florida Venues page!

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BRIDES Washington DC: Your Guide to Getting Married at the Monuments

 Local, MD, DC and VA, Planning Tips, Washington DC, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Washington DC: Your Guide to Getting Married at the Monuments
Nov 062016

Brides in D.C. looking to have a wedding ceremony that no other bride in the country can have? You may want to consider marrying on the National Mall at one the iconic monuments. There's just something truly magical about marrying the love of your life with the looming shadow of one of our founding fathers in the background. Not to mention — guests who are history buffs will love such an original, historical wedding venue. Brides who want to experience this special affair can find out how in the step-by-step process below.

Know Where and When You Can Hold Your Ceremony
When we say ceremony — that's the only thing we mean (no receptions allowed). Couples can only marry in three specific places on the National Mall: the west lawn of the majestic Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the stately D.C. War Memorial and the serene George Mason Memorial. There are time limits for each except the D.C. War Memorial. The Jefferson Memorial is also specific to the west lawn only. Read real brides' reviews here!

Know What Paperwork You'll Need
Weddings are considered Type 1 Special Use permits on the National Mall. The link to the special use permit application is available here. The doc is 3 pages, and can be easily filled out — just keep in mind there's a non-refundable fee of $50 that goes along with it.

Brides can use this handy guide to help them figure out details for their National Mall wedding. Additionally, couples will need to meet with a National Park Service Representative to schedule an appointment to discuss set-up as well as schedule an inspection of the site after the ceremony. Specific items like staking for tents can't be driven more than 18 inches into the ground and no glass containers are permitted, so make sure that you read their rules very carefully.

See More: Not Cherry Blossom Season? Reach Out to These Local Florists for Some Beautiful Big Day Blooms

Study the Calendar
Washington, D.C. can be a busy city. Brides must make sure to plan the wedding around concerts, holidays, and yearly demonstrations so as not to conflict with any major events. Another must-know tip: The National Mall has had areas of construction going on for years, so it's important to know your specific location's situation so that you don't have any construction-filled backdrops in the photos.

Think About Transportation
Parking can be tricky around the National Mall, and riding the Metro in a wedding gown is not ideal, so reserving alternate transportation is necessary. Brides who wish to marry at one of the three permitted monuments should consider transportation like Uber or Lyft, or perhaps local D.C. transport services like Reston Limousine or Chariots for Hire. That way the couple of honor and guests will all be stress-free on the big day.

For more places to say "I do" throughout D.C., be sure to browse our Local Venues page!

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BRIDES New York: 5 Romantic Vineyard Wedding Venues

 Local, New York, NY, NJ and CT, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES New York: 5 Romantic Vineyard Wedding Venues
Nov 022016
Martha Clara Vineyards Wedding

Photo: Courtesy of Martha Clara Vineyards

From rolling vineyards to crafting some of the world's finest wines, this list of New York vineyards holds the title for some of the East Coast's most stunning outdoor wedding sites. Here are our favorite romantic vineyard wedding venues near New York City.

Martha Clara Vineyards (Above)
What was once a flourishing potato farm (bought by the Entenmann Family back in 1978) has steadily turned into one of New York's most sought-after wedding venues. Growing from 18 acres to over 100 acres of vinifera grapes, owner Robert Entenmann has turned the rustic charm of North Fork into a vineyard getaway for his extensive list of clients (and up-to 200 of their closest friends and family). Located in a Long Island region — home to some of the best grape growing conditions in the world, this high-quality atmosphere utilizes its one-of-a-kind conditions to cultivate some of the best wines in the world. Read real brides' reviews here!

Brooklyn Bachelorette Party Ideas

Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Winery

Brooklyn Winery
Best known as one of two full-service winemaking facilities in New York City, this robust Brooklyn vineyard offers couples an extensive list of house-made wines to accompany some of New York's lavishly hosted events. A unique vineyard backdrop offering accents of reclaimed wood and custom vintage décor fill the atmosphere of this sophisticated and urban chic Brooklyn winery. A meticulously calculated and designed interior space full of warm and romantic elements compliments the outdoor Atrium — which flaunts a glass roof and botanical hanging wall garden. Read real brides' reviews here!

Wolffer Estate Vineyard Hamptons Wedding Venues

Photo: Courtesy of Wolffer Estate Vineyards

Wolffer Estate Vineyards
With its creation tackled over the span of three decades, Wolffer Estate Vineyards' owner Christian Wolffer dedicated meticulous time and creative vision into transforming this former potato farm into one of New York's most celebrated outdoor settings. Continuously adding more acres, paddocks, and stables, this 55-acre vineyard quickly became partners to a 175-acre estate and boarding stables. With a seamless combination of rustic vineyard vibes and elegance, this open-air getaway is the perfect destination for every nature-seeking New York couple.

See More: Pair Your Wedding Wine with Delicious Dishes From These Local Wedding Caterers

Bedell Cellars Vineyard Wedding

Photo: Courtesy of Bedell Cellars

Bedell Cellars
Pioneering the art of wine making in the New York region of Long Island, it's no surprise that this family-owned vineyard has continued to balance creativity with quality dedication when it comes to crafting some of New York's finest wines. For 35-years, this Long Island legend has transformed the art of wine making with the use of artistically blended grapes grown in unique maritime terroir. With an experienced onsite team set to create an event of a lifetime, weddings held at this renowned vineyard incorporate the elegant backdrop of the land's rolling vineyards and a unique open venue layout. Read real brides' reviews here!

Channing Daughters Vineyard Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Channing Daughters Winery

Channing Daughters Winery
Grown in a climate adaptable to creating a wide variety of eccentric grape varieties, this Bridgehampton winery continues to be the only winery on the East End that grows and produces wines from many of their 28-acres of vines. Sourcing about fifty percent of grapes from North Fork locals, Channing Daughters' commitment to producing quality wines stems from their passion to create wine from their own New York region. An added sculpture garden and tasting room enhances the surrounding features of this unique wedding hotspot.

Browse even more New York "I do" locales on our Local Venues page!

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BRIDES Northern California: 5 Historical San Francisco Landmarks Where You Can Tie the Knot

 California, Local, San Francisco, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Northern California: 5 Historical San Francisco Landmarks Where You Can Tie the Knot
Oct 312016
Swedenborgian Church San Francisco Wedding Venue

Photo: WeddingWire

Sometimes newer isn't always better. San Francisco's magnificent historic landmarks serve as a testament, and if you're the type of bride that gets more excited about your 'something old' than your 'something new,' we've found five historic San Francisco landmarks rife with a storied past and oozing with old-school elegance.

Swedenborgian Church (Above)
Built in 1895, this magnificent church was named a National Historic Landmark in 2004 for paving the way for the Arts & Crafts movement on the west coast. Inside, the sanctuary will be awash in warm candle light as you walk down the aisle to meet your fiancé at the alter, which is beautifully flanked by arching beams. After you seal your marriage with a kiss, celebrate in the Parish House, or if the weather permits, opt for an intimate party in the church's lush garden. Read real brides' reviews here!

Firehouse 8 San Francisco Wedding Venue

Photo: WeddingWire

Firehouse 8
Once home to San Francisco firefighters, this historic 1916 Russian Hill firehouse (complete with a firepole!) has since been transformed into a Pinterest-worthy event space. The brick-walled building's Skylight Room (seats 127) and Engine Room (seats 100) can easily be dressed up for a rustic party or be glammed up for a more opulent affair. The possibilities are endless. Read real brides' reviews here!

Payne Mansion Hotel San Francisco Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of The Payne Mansion Hotel

The Payne Mansion Hotel
As soon as you step foot inside, you'll fall in love with the Payne Mansion Hotel. Formerly a mansion, which was transformed into a luxury boutique hotel, it's easy to see why the striking 1881 structure was declared a San Francisco historic landmark. Its Victoria-period architecture is downright glorious. Rent out the place for just few hours or host all your wedding festivities here by booking the entire weekend. Whatever you decide, the hotel's main event space (accommodates 300 guests) complete with five different rooms can be easily arranged to create your dream configuration.

See More: Adorn Your Venue in Beautiful Blooms from These Local Wedding Florists

Bently Reserve San Francisco Wedding Venue

Photo: WeddingWire

Bently Reserve
Constructed during the Roaring 20s, the Bently Reserve is the jaw-dropping venue that wedding dreams are made of. If you crave a fairytale wedding complete with a storybook venue, this is for you. The locale's Banking Hall is perfect for a lavish affair (seats 805) with its solid bronze doors, Doric columns, high ceilings, ornate chandeliers, and Italian marble floors. When it comes time to walk down the aisle, make a dramatic entrance by floating down from the bronze and marble imperial staircase. Read real brides' reviews here!

San Francisco Ferry Building Wedding Venue

Photo: WeddingWire

San Francisco Ferry Building
The stunning San Francisco Ferry Building first opened in 1898 and served as a ferryboat station welcoming locals and travelers alike to the San Francisco Bay. Rife with history, the waterfront venue offers an inspiring event space on its second level (seats up to 400 guests) that sets the scene for romance with its marvelous architecture, soaring ceiling, and mosaic floors.

Click here to see even more Bay Area venues to say "I do!"

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BRIDES New Jersey: Vineyard Wedding Venues for the Wine-Loving Couple

 Local, New Jersey, NY, NJ and CT, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES New Jersey: Vineyard Wedding Venues for the Wine-Loving Couple
Oct 212016
Tomasello Winery

Photo: Courtesy of Tomasello Winery

If you're a vino-loving bride, what better way to express your fondness for the good stuff than hosting your wedding at a winery or vineyard? Rows of vines can serve as a backdrop for your first look and your guests can tote home some local bubbly as a favor, all while you mark the occasion at a locale steeped in history. If you're on the hunt for a New Jersey venue where you can uncork some good times, then take a cue from Plautus, who said it best: "Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words."

Tomasello Winery (Above)

If you want to get hitched at a winery but don't want to abandon your dreams of having a true ballroom reception, no need to fret. Tomasello checks both of those boxes. Couples can exchange vows outdoors under a flower-covered archway with rows of vines in the background and then roam the grounds where topiaries and well-maintained greenery can serve as a setting for bridal party photos. Later, head indoors for a reception in an opulent hall with luxurious drapery and over-the-top chandeliers where a caring and detailed staff will wait on you hand and foot. Read real brides' reviews here!

Renault Winery

Photo: Courtesy of Renault Winery Resort and Golf

Renault Winery Resort and Golf

One of the oldest operating wineries in the U.S., Renault has helped to earn Egg Harbor the nickname "Wine City." The venue has a number of outdoor ceremony options for brides searching for a classic winery feel. Its expansive property is dotted with barrels and Mediterranean touches like vines, grapes and corks serve as décor at Renault's restaurants and four private party locations. Looking to give your guests something to do at the venue in between your ceremony and reception? Invite them to tour Renault's priceless wine glass collection—some of the vessels date back to the 1200s! Read real brides' reviews here!

See More: Still looking for dresses for your bridal party? Browse local bridal boutiques for your bridesmaids' and mom's gowns in New Jersey!

Laurita Winery

Photo: Courtesy of Laurita Winery

Laurita Winery

Laurita is known for its picturesque premises, and even a quick visit will clue guests in to why. The grounds are immaculately maintained and provide breathtaking views, especially for summer and fall weddings. Rustic touches like wooden posts, fences and barrels give a farmland vibe to photos and excellent catering staff make sure that guests leave happy and well-fed. You'll definitely have a fully stocked bar at Laurita—the venue will work with you to provide the best wines available that time of year and directly connect you with a vendor that can provide other liquor and spirits at your fete. Read real brides' reviews here!

Unionville Vineyards

Photo: Courtesy of Unionville Vineyards

Unionville Vineyards

For couples searching for an intimate setting with a bit of a country vibe, Unionville is the perfect pick. The venue's tasting room or winery building are a gorgeous setting for smaller affairs—100 guests or less—and its string lights and farm equipment lend a bucolic flair to the place. No need to worry if you're looking for a bigger bash—Unionville does after all have a nearly 90-acre farm, with plenty of space for a tented reception right after a ceremony behind the property's mansion. (Yes, mansion!) Read real brides' reviews here!

Valenzano Winery

Photo: Courtesy of Valenzano Family Winery

Valenzano Family Winery

The award-winning winery boasts a laid back and friendly approach to learning about wine that extends to its way of handling weddings. The welcoming feel of the Napa Valley inspired locale strikes the delicate balance of being relaxed enough to make guests feel comfortable, but special enough to host a monumental occasion like your wedding. Couples who get married at Valenzano work with one of a half-dozen approved caterers for a menu that fits your budget and taste. Brides will have a hard time deciding between the venue's tasting room where wine racks line the walls and the on site converted farmhouse with exposed brick and a fireplace that creates a charming and intimate space for smaller parties. Read real brides' reviews here!

Can't decide between red or white for your wedding? Read up on how to pick the perfect wine for your big day!

Looking for a different type of venue? Check out other NJ locales and find your perfect fit on our New Jersey Venues page!

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Oct 202016
Inexpensive Stunning Wedding Venue Idea

Photo: Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae

Shopping for the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony and reception is an exhausting endeavor that may leave you clutching your wallet tightly — your venue can account for up to half of your total wedding budget. If you find yourself wary at the thought of throwing that much cash down for a place to park your wedding crew for a day, consider these typically affordable wedding venue options, which are just as beautiful as they are reasonably priced.

A National Park
While private parks and gardens can sometimes have years-long wait lists and prices that'll make your eyes grow wide, national parks allow you to secure special use permits (SUP) for a tiny fraction of the cost. For example, this couple got married at Glacier National Park and paid $100 for a four-hour permit that allowed them to hold their ceremony in one of the amphitheaters. Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Smoky Mountain National Park are just a few examples of national parks that provide SUPs for weddings. Talk about jaw dropping ceremony backdrops.

Someone's Back Yard
If you have an inviting house with a gorgeous backyard — or know a friend, family member or acquaintance who does — channel your inner Gatsby and throw a bash at home. You'll have a comfortable space to prepare and save tons of money in the process. With all that extra cash you can enlist the expertise of an event designer to transform your space with beautiful lights and decor, as well as hire a kick-ass caterer and bartender.

See More: 10 Airbnb Wedding Venues You'll Want to Get Married at ASAP

City Hall
Though city hall weddings tend to have a reputation for serving those looking for a quickie elopement, that's certainly not always the case. Though they do work best for intimate gatherings, city hall weddings can also provide beautiful scenery as you tie the knot with your closest friends and family. In addition to being basically free, many city halls are located in historic buildings with beautiful architecture in the heart of cities, allowing you to get some gorgeous, cityscape wedding photographs.

A Bed & Breakfast
Both AirBnB and privately owned B&Bs can provide stunning, affordable venues for your wedding ceremony and reception. The bonus, of course, is that you and your closest guests will have a space to sleep that evening, so the party can really go on all night. You also won't likely have to deal with catering restrictions as you do with many venues, which can also help reduce the overall cost. Prices vary, but expect to pay between $500 and $3000 for large spaces. For example, you can rent out this 8000-square foot Hollywood, Florida mansion, or this lavish, ocean view home in California, both for under $1500 a night.

Oct 202016

What should be one of the first things you do after getting engaged (after taking that picture-perfect engagement ring selfie, of course!)? Choosing your wedding venue should top your to-do list. Before you send out invites and start tasting cakes, you gotta pick your place! After all, your wedding date, your décor, and your guest list all depend on the size, feel, and availability of your chosen space. Another major wedding day detail your wedding venue can influence? The food!

Whether you've been dreaming of saying "I do" in a classic hotel, a trendy restaurant, or a unique event space, the wedding venue you choose will greatly impact just how unconventional your catering can be (although most locations can accommodate some degree of personalization and surprise). Be sure to add these pro and con columns to your list when venue shopping. You do want your guests asking for seconds, don't you?

Great chefs are often found at restaurants, so buying one out for your big day is the ideal way to get the menu you want. You could also save big because food, rentals, and service are included. "But avoid small places that don't have the staff to handle a party of your size," says Hugh Acheson, James Beard Award-winning chef at Empire State South.

For a truly stellar meal, find a hotel with an award-winning restaurant where ingredients are locally sourced or made from scratch. But no matter which you choose, meet with the chef to tell him about your wedding style and the foods you like, says Chris Huerta, executive chef at North Carolina's Old Edwards Inn. Work with the in-house team to create a custom menu or, at the very least, tweak the preset options to reflect your own tastes. "Good caterers can adapt, so don't be shy about telling them what you want," Acheson says.

See More: 5 Things All Instagram-Worthy Wedding Venues Have In Common

Event Spaces
Aim for one that lets you bring in any outside vendor (cue food truck for cocktail hour or late-night snacks). "Look for companies that participate in local food festivals or have a background in the restaurant industry," says Lara Ziemba, private-events manager at the Chicago Cultural Center. If the venue insists that you use a "preferred vendor," ask if you can pay a fee to go off the list. If the site's people won't budge, Ziemba says you can hire a chef you love to work with the caterer (the chef will craft the menu, which the staff will execute and serve) or enlist your favorite restaurant to cook the meal for a licensed caterer to simply pick up, transport to the venue, heat in ovens or warming trays, and serve to guests.

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BRIDES Northern California: 6 Beautiful Spots to Elope in Wine Country

 California, Local, Napa Valley, Planning Tips, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Northern California: 6 Beautiful Spots to Elope in Wine Country
Oct 172016
Harvest Inn Elopement

Photo: Courtesy of Harvest Inn

The Napa and Sonoma wine regions are all about romance. Hot-air balloons float above the valleys in the early mornings, luxurious spas and candle-lit restaurants indulge every sense, and around every corner there are idyllic vineyard views. It's no wonder then that both areas are popular spots for weddings and elopements. If you're planning an intimate destination wedding for two, look no farther than these beautiful and romantic spots for a wine country elopement.

Harvest Inn (Above)
St. Helena's Harvest Inn, a lushly landscaped property with two on-site pools, a spa, and a bar and restaurant, is a popular place for weddings of all sizes, thanks to its central location and its setting adjacent to vineyards. For intimate elopements, services include an in-room ceremony with officiant, one hour of photography, a wedding welcome basket with a bottle of Domaine Chandon plus chocolates from local chocolatier and a cheese plate, a $100 credit to the Charlie Palmer restaurant, Harvest Table, and breakfast delivery to your room. Read real brides' reviews here!

Meadowood Elopement

Photo: Courtesy of Meadowood

Meadowood, Napa Valley
Meadowood, a full-service resort in the heart of Napa Valley, has romance and luxury down pat. The sprawling grounds include acres of secluded spots for a romantic rendezvous, and the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, multiple pools, and gorgeous spa ensure a memorable post-elopement honeymoon. The resort's elopement package includes a two-night stay in a private suite, ceremony officiant, floral arrangements plus bouquet and boutonniere, daily breakfast, couple's spa treatment and a small wedding reception that includes champagne, hors d'ouevres and a wedding cake. Prices vary by party size. Read real brides' reviews here!

Farmhouse Inn Elopement

Photo: Courtesy of Farmhouse Inn

Farmhouse Inn
Tucked away near the town of Forestville in Sonoma County, the Farmhouse Inn is a chic retreat in the heart of Russian River wine country. Onsite, there's a spa and Michelin-starred restaurant, and stays include three-course breakfast, welcome wine, and evening S'mores by the fire. The elopement or "Tiny Wedding" packages include a bridal bouquet, welcome wine and cheese, services of a local photographer and a disk with 100-150 images, the services of a non-denominational minister, a tiny wedding cake from a local bakery, four-course wine-paired dinner, and a sixty-minute couples massage. Prices start at $5,500 midweek and $7,500 for weekends. Room cost is extra and there is a max of 6 guests.

Inn at Occidental Elopement

Photo: Courtesy of Inn at Occidental

Inn at Occidental
Set in the small town of Occidental, among the redwoods of Sonoma County, the charming Inn at Occidental is a 17-room inn where every room is uniquely decorated and romantic touches include fireplaces, deep soaking tubs, antique furnishings, complimentary breakfast and evening wine hour. The inn's elopement package is one of the more affordable options, with prices starting at $2,600 for a package that includes: an artisanal cheese platter and bottle of Sonoma County Pinot Noir, gift basket, garden ceremony, services of a non-denominational minister, services of photographer for one hour, bouquet and boutonniere from a local florist, and wedding cake and bottle of champagne. The cost of a two-night stay in a courtyard room is included in the price.

See More: Who Says You Can't Elope in a Wedding Dress? Find Gorgeous Gowns at These Local Boutiques

The Carneros Inn Elopement

Photo: Courtesy of The Carneros Inn

The Carneros Inn
Located in the southern end of Napa Valley, The Carneros Inn offers deluxe cottages, grand suites, and opulent homes, all with private outdoor living space and access to the resort's three restaurants, two pools, spa, fitness center, bocce ball courts, outdoor lounge, and complimentary bicycles. The inn's elopement packages vary from private elopements in a guest cottage (with a witness and officiant supplied by the couple; cost is $500) to more extravagant events. An intimate ceremony includes use of the apple orchard for one hour. For the couple only, it's $1000 and goes up to $5,000 for up to 18 guests. For more bells and whistles, there's a package that includes an officiant, bouquet and boutonniere, solo guitarist, photographer for 90 minutes, sparkling wine toast, and tray of mini dessert bites or savory hors d'oeuvres. The fee ranges from $5,000 for a midweek event to $6,000 for Friday or Sunday. Read real brides' reviews here!

Milliken Creek Inn Elopement

Photo: Courtesy of Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa
Set on the banks of the Napa River, the Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, offers just 12 rooms, making it ideal for those who want a more intimate setting for their special day. Rooms feature king-sized beds, marble bathrooms, and beautiful river and woodland views. There's an onsite spa, complimentary breakfast, evening wine hour, and plenty of space for quiet interludes along the river. The inn's elopement package includes one night accommodation, evening turndown service with rose petals plus champagne and chocolate, and a wedding ceremony with officiant. The package is available Sunday through Thursday for $1,500. Read real brides' reviews

Find dozens of other places to say "I do" on our Local Venues page!

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BRIDES Chicago: 5 Unique Welcome Party Venues for Your Wedding Weekend

 Chicago, Illinois, Local, Showers & Parties, Showers and Parties, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on BRIDES Chicago: 5 Unique Welcome Party Venues for Your Wedding Weekend
Oct 122016
Seattle Welcome Party Venues

Photo: Courtesy of The Berkshire Room

Rehearsal dinners are generally a more intimate affair, a tradition reserved for the bridal party and close friends and family alone. So how can you make other guests arriving a night early for your celebratory weekend feel included in the pre-wedding festivities? A casual post-rehearsal gathering can really do the trick. Instead of the standard watering hole, consider a location with a little personality — like the five Chicago spots listed below — for this mood-setting meeting. Your guests, out-of-towners and otherwise, will thank you for it.

The Berkshire Room (Above)
Anchoring the trendy ACME boutique hotel, this cozy and chic bar stands out for its drink menu. If your gathering is a relatively small one, the dim ambiance and creative cocktails will win over even the hardest to please of guests. How? In addition to their pre-set drink menu, the Dealer's Choice option allows patrons to design their own swanky sipper based on the flavors and styles they like best with the help of the bar's talented staffers.

The Drifter Chicago Venue

Photo: Courtesy of The Drifter via Facebook

The Drifter
Plenty of places in Chicago try to cash in on the city's sexy prohibition history, but few do it with as much style as this secret speakeasy hiding in the basement of an unassuming sports bar. Steeped in real 1920s history, this tiny retro lounge gets bonus points for special details like a tarot card menu and carnival-like performers. Like Three Dots and a Dash, things get tight here, so renting it out might be wise if you have more than a few guests attending.

Three Dots and a Dash Chicago After-Party Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Three Dots and a Dash via Facebook

Three Dots and a Dash
Stepping into this subterranean cocktail lounge is like hula-ing back in time to a fabulous '60s tiki bar, complete with unforgettable drinks served in everything from a coconut to a retro chalice ringed with seahorses and adorned with tropical blooms. The space can get crowded and there's often a wait, so reserving the bar as a private event may be your best bet.

See More: Arrive in Style with These Chicago Wedding Transportation Options

Headquarters Chicago Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Headquarters

Unlike some other downtown nostalgic arcade-style bars, Headquarters two locations are brimming with old school pinball and video game machines that you can play free of additional charge. Playful without being exhausting, this choice is a memorable one for '80s enthusiasts and craft beer fans alike.

Pinstripes Chicago Welcome Party Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Pinstripes via Facebook

If you've got a particularly energetic group, this upscale bowling alley and event space rolls the line between playful game night and a posh party. The downtown location also features an impressive patio overlooking the Chicago river. Read real brides' reviews here!

Still not sold on a welcome party venue? We have more to choose from on our Local Vendors page!

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6 Must-Know Etiquette Tips for Bridesmaids Shopping for Their Own Mismatched Dresses

 Bridesmaids, Bridesmaids Dresses, Etiquette, Wedding Venues  Comments Off on 6 Must-Know Etiquette Tips for Bridesmaids Shopping for Their Own Mismatched Dresses
Oct 112016
tips for letting bridesmaids choose dresses

Photo: Melissa Fuller

When it's done right, mismatched bridesmaid dresses can look effortless, a little bohemian, and totally stylish. But that effortless look actually requires a lot of effort! If you've been invited to be a bridesmaid for a friend — and to choose your own bridesmaid dress instead of heading to a bridal salon — you've got some shopping to do! To help make sure you end up with something both you and the bride love, our experts have six tips to make shopping for mismatched bridesmaid dresses a little easier.

Follow the Guidelines
This is probably the most important tip to keep in mind. Whether it's a few color swatches she wants you to try to match, a certain fabric, or a length, sticking to the guidelines the bride has set will ensure that your dress fits in with the other girls — and the bride's vision.

Remember the Dress Code
Most black tie dresses are floor-length. You know what else is floor-length? Breezy, beachy maxi dresses! Make sure that you pick a style that is both within the bride's requests and appropriate for
her dress code.

Tone it Down
Yes, you want a dress that's flattering and looks fabulous on you, but you shouldn't pick the most show-stopping dress in the store. When it comes to wedding day, all eyes should still be on the bride, not on you!

See more: Bridesmaid Dress Shopping Etiquette 101: Rules Every 'Maid Should Follow

Leave Something to the Imagination
Along with not wearing the flashiest dress in the room, you also don't want to be wearing the sexiest or most revealing dress. Especially if the couple is having a ceremony in a house of worship, make sure the dress you pick is appropriate. Sure, we love a low-cut neckline or a skirt with a dramatic slit, but you may want to choose one or the other in this instance, instead of both.

Ask if You're Not Sure!
Having a hard time finding just the right dress? If you live near the bride, invite her to come shopping with you so she can give you her opinion in person. If not, take pictures of yourself in a few different options.

Check in With the Gang
The whole point of mis-matched bridesmaids is, well, bridesmaids that don't match! Once you've found your dress, send a photo or a link to the rest of the 'maids to let them know what you've picked out — that way you avoid showing up with the exact same bridesmaid dress as the girl walking down the aisle in front of you.

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