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Sonoma County/Russian River


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#1 zbandicoot

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    Posted 14 October 2007 - 01:23 PM

    I'm getting hitched in Guerneville next August, and I thought I'd start a thread so anyone who's doing the deed west of Napa can share more localized info. Our families will be spending about a week there, and here are my tentative plans for actitivies & vendors - if you have experience with any of them (or recommendations for better ones), please chime in! If you have rather specific questions or advice, you can email me at zchance@hbs.edu.

    Catering - Preferred Sonoma Caterers
    Preferred Sonoma Caterers - Catering in Sonoma, Marin, Napa, and San Francisco
    These caterers were recommended by a very enthusiastic bride on indiebrides.com, and they have been incredibly friendly and responsive (got a proposal within an hour of my request). Their rates are reasonable and the chef is excited to do a vegetarian/vegan reception - she says she considers it "an exciting creative challenge" - what a cutie! We haven't decided on the menu yet, but the proposal was for heavy apps, a chocolate fountain, 2 servers & all taxes & delivery fees for $30pp for 30 people. Their proposal includes beautiful fancy displays & I'm going to supplement with pizza delivery & ice cream bars :-) See their web site for very detailed menu & pricing information. Oh yeah, and they'll do day-of coordination for I think $350. Since their carryout meal prices are quite reasonable, we're going to hire them to cater some additional meals for the family during the week as well.

    Bulk Flower Delivery - California Organic Flowers
    https://californiaor....yword_weddings
    I'm not sure whether we'll do the flower thing or not, but if so, we'll probably get a bulk delivery of organic flowers from these guys. For around $250, you can get either 90 calla lilies or a party pack of bunches 12 different kinds of flowers.

    Photography - Donya Photography (Deeba Yavrom)
    Donya Photography
    (This guy isn't local, he's in Davis and charges a transportation fee.)
    I found this guy through indiebrides as well, and we're not going to hire him until I get out to California to meet him, but I really like his web site and he's extremely friendly and responsive. He shoots on digital, both photojournalistic style and portrait style, which is just what we're looking for. His rates start at $1,049 for a 6-hour shoot + editing, and for $200 he'll bring a 2nd shooter. We're going to have the 2nd shooter set up a portrait area for fun portraits of extended family and friends, which we're going to stock with costume accessories.

    Live Music (national search site)
    Live Entertainment Booking Agents, Wedding Music, DJs, Party Music Bands
    I came across this site randomly, and it has tons of information on performers, including sound bites for many of them and bid price history for most of them, and it makes it really easy and fast to get quotes from a number of bands or solo performers. I made 10 requests and got 8 quotes back within 24 hours. I think we're going to hire a cover band (for $1400, but I got quotes as low as $300), and maybe a xylophone player. I also want to find a balloon artist (to make balloon animals during the cocktail hour) and a firedancer or two, so if you know people who do this, please let me know.

    Activities

    Winetasting
    We're going to rent a few limos to take the family on a 4-hour winetasting tour, and I think we'll probably use this company, but I'm not sure.
    Napa winery tours, Sonoma winery tours, and transportation from California Wine Tours
    It comes out to $10 per person per hour.

    We haven't narrowed down our list of vineyards at all and we've never been to any of these, but we want to visit 3 or 4 places that offer maximum variety - free tasting, incredible wine, beautiful location, champagne, organic, educational tour, etc.

    Here's our current list:
    Korbel Champagne Cellars, Guerneville
    http://www.korbel.com/
    Davis Bynum Winery, Healdsburg
    Davis Bynum - Russian River Valley Wines
    Alexander Valley Vineyards Winery, Healdsburg
    Alexander Valley Vineyards
    Hanna Winery, Healdsburg
    Winery - Tasting Rooms
    Hop Kiln Winery, Healdsburg
    Hop Kiln Winery Welcomes You
    Sausal Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg
    Sausal Winery Estate Zinfandels
    Toad Hollow Tasting Room, Healdsburg
    Toad Hollow Vineyards
    Michel-Schlumberger Winery, Healdsburg
    http://www.michelschlumberger.com/
    F. Teldeschi Winery, Healdsburg
    Teldeschi Winery
    Sunce Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa
    SuncĀ© Winery : SuncĀ© Winery
    Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa
    Paradise Ridge Winery

    Beach Activities, at or near Bodega Bay

    Go horseback riding on the beach
    Bodega Bay horse riding stable Chanslor Ranch

    Take surfing lessons
    Bodega Bay Surf Shack

    Russian River Activities

    Go fishing, canoeing, kayaking or tubing (is the water cold for tubing??)
    Burke's Canoe Trips on the Russian River
    http://www.guernevil....r/Welcome.html

    Other Activities

    Safari West
    Home - Safari West
    Take a safari at an African wildlife preserve in Northern California (??!)

    Miniature golf, Guerneville
    Pee Wee Golf, Guerneville, California

    Calistoga
    - Mud bath: Golden Haven Hot Springs (couples treatments) Napa Valley Spa Specials at Calistoga Golden Haven Hot Springs or Indian Springs (maybe nicer) Indian Springs Resort and Spa
    - Petrified Forest
    - Old Faithful Geyser

    Leopards, Etc, Occidental
    Maybe we'll have some wild cats in our wedding?
    Leopards, Etc. Home

    Restaurants & Cafes

    Mosaic Restaurant & Wine Lounge, Forestville
    www.mosaic.com/about.htm
    East West Bakery Cafe, Sebastopol
    Screamin' Mimi's, Sebastopol
    Screamin' Mimi's Ice Cream - Ice Cream is fun, but we take it seriously!
    Coffee Bazaar, Guerneville
    Coffee Bazaar Guerneville | Yelp.com
    Pat's Restaurant, Guerneville
    Yelp | Pat's Restaurant Guerneville
    Adorno's Pizza, Guerneville
    Forestville Club Forestville | Yelp
    Union Hotel Restaurant, Occidental and Santa Rosa
    Family-style Italian dining, also bulk take-out orders
    Restaurants and Facilities

    Bars

    Russian River Resort, Guerneville
    Russian River Resort :: Triple R Bar & Grill
    Stumptown Brewery, Guerneville
    Stumptown Brewery
    Main Street Station Pizza & Cabaret, Guerneville
    Main Street Station Ristorante, Cabaret & Pizzeria
    Club Fab, Guerneville
    Gay dance club
    index
    Forestville Club, Forestville
    Forestville Club Forestville | Yelp

    Thanks for your input, and good luck!!

    #2 TammyWright

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    Posted 14 October 2007 - 02:35 PM

    great info...my friends went to safari west and had a wonderful time

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    #3 Christine

    Christine
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    • Wedding Date:July 20, 2007
    • Wedding Location:Napa, California
    • LocationReno, NV

    Posted 14 October 2007 - 04:28 PM

    yeah another Wine Country Bride. you have a lot planned and it sounds like you will have so much fun!
    I got married in Napa but please let me know if you need anything.

    I got all my flowers from Trader Joes in Napa, I saved a bundle but had to be somewhat flexible in my choices, but I was really happy with my flowers.

    We also did the wine tour and our friends had a blast, we rented a bus to drive us and everyone loved it. Also please keep in mind that Napa Wine Tours charges a lot more than what is on their website, they actually charge for gas, driver surcharges, etc. I found it cheaper to go with a bus and more fun because everyone was in one vehicle.

    My photographer Matt Kim did not charge any extra for traveling, he was awesome and so much fun to work with, let me know if you might want his info.
    Christine + Will (married 7/20/07) + Ainsleigh (born 6/25/08) + Nolan (born 11/9/10) + Delaney (born 12/31/13) = One Very Happy Family!

    #4 LCBride2007

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      Posted 14 October 2007 - 04:41 PM

      wow - lots of info.!! but I am confused ... are you getting married in PV or CA?

      #5 starchild

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        Posted 14 October 2007 - 04:45 PM

        Beautiful area, I know it well from my Reggae on the River days. Thanks for sharing, great info!

        #6 zbandicoot

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          Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:35 AM

          Christine - TJ's is a great idea (love their $12 potted orchids), thanks for the heads up on the wine tours, & please send me your photographer's info, thanks! zchance@hbs.edu

          akh - Thanks, I just updated my profile

          Anyone - I'm booking a picnic spot for a rehearsal dinner barbecue, here's the skinny:

          "Smoky's Den" Group Picnic Area in Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, Guerneville
          (This link has the wrong email address but the right phone number)
          Armstrong Redwoods SR
          Good: beautiful forest, seating for up to 150 people, you can reserve a spot months ahead of time, less expensive than most wedding-related things ($150), barbecue pit & 3 grills
          Bad: you can't have an official reception here, there's no cover in case of rain, there's no electricity

          Thanks for welcoming me to your posse!

          #7 zbandicoot

          zbandicoot
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            Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:36 AM

            Christine - TJ's is a great idea (love their $12 potted orchids), thanks for the heads up on the wine tours, & please send me your photographer's info, thanks! zchance@hbs.edu

            akh - Thanks, I just updated my profile

            Anyone - I'm booking a picnic spot for a rehearsal dinner barbecue, here's the skinny:

            "Smoky's Den" Group Picnic Area in Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, Guerneville
            (This link has the wrong email address but the right phone number)
            Armstrong Redwoods SR
            Good: beautiful forest, seating for up to 150 people, you can reserve a spot months ahead of time, less expensive than most wedding-related things ($150), barbecue pit & 3 grills
            Bad: you can't have an official reception here, there's no cover in case of rain, there's no electricity

            Thanks for welcoming me to your posse!




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