Monday, January 18, 2010

Sonoma County Wine Country Wedding Venue

California wine country is such a popular place for weddings that I'm always on on the hunt for fabulous weddings venues to share with my readers. So, I'm really glad I discovered the Inn at Occidental, located in Occidental, Sonoma County, just northwest of Sebastopol, and east of Bodega Bay.

Situated in the hills of the redwood forest, this little slice of Sonoma County is the perfect spot for a romantic wedding. There's plenty to do for you and your guests, from hiking in the nearby Armstrong Woods State Reserve to visiting the area wineries and sampling some outstanding wine. The Inn itself has been awarded 4 diamonds by AAA.

You can choose to have your ceremony at the Inn, or at one of the local churches, then have your reception at the Inn in one of their two reception sites: their dining room which accommodates up to 48 guests, or their outdoor courtyard, which can accommodate up to 104 people. The courtyard is surrounded by an English-cottage garden and bubbling fountain. Should you wish to have your wedding or reception in the garden, you do have to rent the entire inn, which includes 16 rooms and cottage, plus the use of the dining room and all its amenities, the patio, living room, and veranda.

I've included a YouTube video of the Inn at Occidental to give you an idea of what a wedding there might be like.

For more information you can go to their website at

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Weddings in California

Where are some of the top spots for a hot air balloon wedding in California? Certainly the wine country regions of Napa, Sonoma and Temecula would have to top the list, as does the Gold Country in Northern California. Here are several hot air balloon companies in California which offer wedding services while aloft in a balloon:

Napa and Sonoma County

Napa and Sonoma counties are probably the most recognized wine regions in California, and the views from a hot air balloon are awesome. A couple hot air balloon companies of note which provide weddings aboard their balloons include:

Napa Valley Balloons, Inc.
Yountville, California 94599

Napa Valley Balloons, Inc. flies out of Yountville, located in the Napa Valley. In fact, the meeting spot is the Domaine Chandon winery, a lovely place to sample sparkling wine. Napa Valley Balloons has been flying over the Napa Valley for 28 years and has been featured on the Today Show, Oprah and the Travel Channel.

Wine Country Balloons
Email: hotline@balloontours com

Wine Country Balloons flies over the beautiful Sonoma County and Napa County wine country, where you'll be treated to views of the Pacific Coast, San Francisco's Skyline, the Redwood Forests and the Russian River. Their chief pilot is a minister who can perform hot air balloon ceremonies while you drift gently above the beautiful country below. Or, if you prefer, he can perform the ceremony on the ground before the launch.

Temecula, California

California Dreamin'
1-800-373-3359 or 951-699-0601

Temecula is Southern California's other wine country. Located approximately 80 to 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles, Temecula is a great spot for a wine country wedding. California Dreamin' can coordinate weddings in their hot air balloons, using either your own minister, or one of their qualified ministers.

Gold Country, California

Sky Drifters
Coloma, California

If you've never been to Gold Country, you're missing some beautiful scenery. Sky Drifters is located in Coloma, just 45 minutes east of Sacramento between Placerville and Auburn on Historic Highway 49. They launch the balloon from the banks of the American River near Sutter's Mill, giving you spectacular views of the American River Valley, flying over water and tall trees. Their pilots are legally qualified to perform weddings.