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Wedding Venue: BR Cohn Winery The Perfect Ceremony Location

Posted Feb 26, 2015 by I Do Venues

Photography by: Micah and Megan Photographers

About the Venue

There is a reason why so many brides choose the wine country to host their nuptials. Actually, there are many reasons: beautiful weather, amazing scenery, and of course, the wine. BR Cohn Winery offers the true experience of a wine country wedding right in the heart of Sonoma. The gorgeous 90 acre venue nestled between the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains is host to several vineyard view ceremony sites including the amphitheater, which is perfect for a bride with a sense of drama, with its grand stage and terraced lawn overlooking the Sonoma mountains.

If your taste tend to run a bit more “outdoorsy,” another fantastic option to consider is Oak Hill which offers panoramic vineyard views set within a lush grove of  Live Oak Trees. Nothing makes a more sensational backdrop for a wedding ceremony than a massive and sprawling tree like the one that marks the spot for ceremonies at Oak Hill. Receptions at BR Cohn take place in the Olive Grove, a lovely outdoor space shaded by 140 year old French Picholine Olive Trees. The white twinkle lights adorning the olive trees give the space nighttime sparkle. BR Cohn produces stellar wines as well as some of the region’s most talked about olive oils and balsamic vinegars, so your guests can sip and nibble on the bounty of the land while enjoying the scenery.

Ask the Expert

There is something so soft and romantic about an all-white bridal bouquet. With the natural backgrounds, towering trees, and stately buildings at BR Cohn, the bouquet, whether in white or color, should be lush and offer flowers such as peonies, tea roses, and hydrangea with the addition of some wildflowers to tie in the beautiful landscape. Try adding in anemones, thimbleweed and foxtail to add rustic flair to your bouquet.

Everything about the styling of this event speaks to the location. Using long wood tables without linens in the Olive Grove allows the decor to blend beautifully with the natural landscape and speaks to the low key charm and winery setting of the event. Using wood chairs in a different tone gives visual interest while keeping the design from being fussy or overdone. Additionally, the king style tables feel communal and festive. This couple used simple white on white linens and dishware which allow the wood furniture, floral arrangements, and gorgeous scenery to make the statement.

Pops of color were brought into the design with the flowers in purple, blue and yellow. The flowers are sweet and simple wildflowers which look as if they were plucked straight from the gorgeous grounds to adorn the dinner tables. Collections of milk bottles and mason jars with small arrangements work well on this type of table as they are small and easy to talk over and work well in clusters so there is no part of the table left un-embellished. There are many types of vessels that will work for creating this type of look – long wooden wine boxes overflowing with garden flowers can be mixed in with smaller arrangements in vintage tea cans and white porcelain vases. Trips to flea markets and antique shops can yield magical finds for your centerpieces, and this eclectic and romantic look works perfectly against the white buildings, olive trees, and twinkly white lights of BR Cohn’s Olive Grove.

The cheerful blue and yellow block printed table numbers are designed with the same bicycle artwork as the invitations. Tieing the invites back into the event design brings the entire wedding style full circle and helps guests feel connected to the details of the event. The blue and yellow motif is vivid and fun and adds to the generally comfortable feel of the day.

I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Micah and Megan Photographers, Designer/Planner – Jenne Hohn and Michelle Dillon of Jenne Hohn Events, Florist – Chestnut and Vine Floral Designs, Catering – Melissa Teaff Catering, Lighting – Lux Productions, Rentals – Classic Party Rentals, Cake – ABC Baker.


Los Altos History Museum Lights, Camera, DIY!

Posted Feb 25, 2015 by I Do Venues

Photography by: Gavin Farrington Photography

About the Venue

How about a sun-drenched, country-style adventure at this incredibly intimate and gorgeous setting lit to perfection? With all the charm and finesse of a barn wedding, Los Altos History Museum is an incredibly fun and sophisticated indoor/outdoor location. Nestled among heritage oaks and surrounded by the oldest apricot orchard in Silicon Valley, the property includes a historic wooden house that towers three levels high at 8,200 square feet. Sprinkled with 1930’s decor, what’s known as the Smith House offers an aspiring collection of historical artifacts surrounded by tall glass doors, wood floors, and soaring ceilings. Filled with romance, nostalgia and lush gardens, the outdoor ceremony and reception locations are warm and magical! The brick courtyard provides a truly lovely ceremony and reception space (as you can see in the photos above). This location is perfect for a wedding of up to 230 people. For ceremonies of 140 or less, you can say your vows under the beautiful heritage Oak tree at the Smith House garden set up. Reminiscent of old Lake Tahoe, this true garden setting is tucked between the Smith House and the gazebo area. At night, ceremony locations are transformed into a warmly lit reception. With outdoor dining under twinkly cafe lighting (provided by the venue), you can dance the night away inside the Museum.

Ask the Expert

Mark Perry, wedding coordinator at the Museum, ‘absolutely encourages DIY!’ In fact, many couples come to this quaint and unique venue with concepts and ideas that are typically homegrown. This wedding is a great example that demonstrates making the space your own, from the colorful ribbon backdrop to the delicious array of “homemade-style” cakes. All DIY creativity is welcomed, and almost any color palette under the sun or specialty design scheme could fit right in at this venue.

Gavin Farrington, who did a gorgeous job at photographing this wedding, shares a little behind the DIY inspiration:

Mei (the beautiful bride) put a lot of work into going around to a ton of antique and vintage shops, so everything was matched but mis-matched. For the scheme of the wedding Mei knew that she wanted a soft, romantic feel, giving the scene in the Disney film Tangled with floating lights as an example. The wedding took place on May 5, Cinco De Mayo, and they thought it would be a fun thing to include a piñata. The kids had a blast with that! On a limited budget, Mei was looking for a less well-known and more unconventional venue with a beautiful natural setting and lots of trees. She stumbled across Los Altos History Museum from a friend’s wedding on Facebook. Usually when you hear the words history museum, you don’t automatically think wedding venue…but it’s an open, outdoorsy space with crawling plants and vines that is isolated, it makes it feel really pretty and ideal.

I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Gavin Farrington Photography; Floral – Annie Siu Floral and Events; Cake – Schuberts Bakery; Catering – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Entertainment – DJ Mike Ewing.


Glittery Pink Soiree at San Ysidro Ranch

Posted Feb 24, 2015 by I Do Venues

santa barbara wedding venues

santa barbara wedding venues


Glitter Glam Ranch Style

San Ysidro Ranch is a gorgeous setting for your BIG DAY! As one of the most luscious Santa Barbara wedding venues, today’s venue is great for small wedding celebrations. Romantic cottages or colorful, fragrant gardens offer a breathtaking warmth for your wedding ceremony and reception. A true whimsical, romantic atmosphere to be enveloped in, creating a backdrop as special and unique as your love for one another!


santa barbara wedding venues

santa barbara wedding venues

Photography by Jen Rodriguez


Endless Design Possibilities

Since this intimate space only allows for so many of your closest family and friends, (up to 60 guests in the Hydrangea Garden and up to 30 guests in the Wine Cellar) you might have a little extra room in your budget to put towards a great design! At this picturesque setting, almost any color palette or theme will work flawlessly. We love the choice of today’s couple to use glittery tablecloths by La Tavola, in this fun glitz and glam design that brings a fresh sparkle against the natural backdrop!



Wedding Credits: Venue – San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara; Photographer – Jen Rodriguez Photography; Wedding Day Coordination – Sophie Spier of Amazing Days Events; Floral Design – Camilla Svensson Burns Couture Floral & Event Design; Catering & Wedding Cake – San Ysidro Ranch; Sequin Linens: La Tavola Santa Barbara




Wedding Venue: Wente Vineyards Love in Livermore

Posted Feb 23, 2015 by Thea Smith

Photography by: Hagop’s Photography
Click here to take a look at the photo gallery.

About the venue

It’s no secret that Northern California is famous for its wineries and endless acres of vineyards, but when you think of Livermore, gorgeous vineyards and old world appeal aren’t necessarily the first things that pop into mind. When C.H. Wente came over from Germany, he discovered that the warm days, cool nights, and gravelly soils of the Livermore Valley were ideal for growing grapes, and so Wente Vineyards began its legacy.

Five generations later, Wente Vineyards has grown from 48 to over 2000 acres throughout the Bay Area, producing a world class Riesling that is perfect for toasting the bride and groom. The original Wente grounds features a grand gate tucked away from the main town and when the gate opens, it’s as if you’ve entered a wonderland. Surrounded by beautiful grapevines and foothills and a magnificently landscaped lawn, Wente Vineyards has undoubtedly become one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the Bay Area.

The main attraction of the vineyard, pictured here in this perfectly romantic wedding, is the historic California mission-style tasting room which converts into your reception area. Also functioning as a tasting room, the structure has an old world Spanish-style feel to it with blends of polished oak, exposed wood beams, and terracotta tile. After you’ve said your vows and the rose petals are tossed with your friends and family cheering you on, this reception room is where some of Wente’s real magic begins. Known for its world class catering, the vineyard will work with you on a customized menu and bar that will leave you and your guests delightfully full, and as merry as you are.

I Do Tip: The vineyard also features a golf course for the groom and his groomsmen to work out the day of nerves, not that he has any! Also, book early – these guys are busy!

I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Hagop’s Photography; Floral – Jory’s Flowers; Cake and Catering – Wente Vineyards; Entertainment – 21st Century Sounds; Videography – Video Madness.


Wedding Venue: Holman Ranch

Posted Feb 22, 2015 by Gloria Atherstone

Wedding Venue: 1 Fort Mason

Posted Feb 18, 2015 by Gloria Atherstone

Photography by: Choco Studio
Click here to see more images from this beautiful wedding!

About the Venue

With incredible bay views, sweeping vistas, and gorgeous surrounding scenery, the photography options available at 1 Fort Mason are endless. More than just the sum of its parts, the photography equation is elementary: just add the bride and groom and you have perfect wedding portraits! Don’t miss out on the surrounding landscape and architecture as tall cypress trees and complex old-world architectural elements can be found all over 1 Fort Mason’s grounds. Many couples focus immediately on the incredible bay views (which I Do Venues wholeheartedly recommends!), often overlooking the area’s surrounding greenery and military artifacts. You will be amazed by the role these simple elements can play in your wedding photography as they create uniquely beautiful pictures of your special day.

Ask the expert

To fully take advantage of the photography options available, consider either hiring a photographer who has shot at this location before, or taking a pre-wedding tour of the grounds so you can scout out locations together. Your thoughtful planning ahead will result in breathtaking photography with a variety of sites, treasures, and emotions.

• Capture the wedding ceremony in progress with the bay, Alcatraz, and the San Francisco waterfront creating a one-of-a-kind background.
• The bride and groom standing together in front of one of the fireplaces, with a vintage crystal chandelier glistening overhead.
• The newlyweds standing in the bar area in front of the room’s curved windows, with twinkling lights from outside showing through the enormous windows.
• The fireplace in the foyer of the building creates a classic backdrop for portraits. It allows for true intimacy in portraits and exudes a lively, playful energy.

I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Choco Studio, Designer/Planner – Duncan Reyes & Dennis Menendez of F. Duncan Reyes Events by Design, Venue – 1 Fort Mason, Florist – Natalini Flowers, Catering – LRE Catering, Event Rentals – Hartmann Studios, Lighting Design – Got Light?, Cake – The Cakemaker, Tuxedo Rental & Sales – Black Tie Tuxedos, Hair and Make-up – Glama-Rama Salon, Entertainment – Synchronicity Strings and BKR Production, Inc., Transportation – C&M Limousine and SF Minibus.


Wedding Venue: Merryvale Practice Makes Perfect

Posted Feb 17, 2015 by Gloria Atherstone

Photography by: Julie Mikos

About the venue

The Cask Room at Merryvale perfectly embodies the romance of the Napa Valley. The stone walls resemble a cave and create the perfect ambient temperature for aging wine. The room is gorgeous, it is filled with one long King’s table that can hold up to 50 guests and as you can see by the rehearsal dinner pictured above, it definitely makes an impact.

The long table paired with soft lighting and lots of candles is perfect without any changes, but when you add a great Tuscan-themed tablescape down the center, scrolled iron chairs and off the chart table linen, the results are breathtaking!!

I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Julie Mikos; Day of Coordinator – Gloria Atherstone of I Do Wedding Management; Catering – Tra Vigne.


Wedding Venue: Villa Montalvo Blending of Families

Posted Feb 16, 2015 by Gloria Atherstone

Photography by: Sylvie Gil Photography
Click here to see more images from this gorgeous celebration!

About the venue

Your ceremony is truly the main attraction here at Villa Montalvo. The Oval Garden located behind the main villa is an incredible location for a memorable wedding ceremony. The setting is picture-perfect and needs very little embellishment. The large oval lawn is bordered by a wonderful brick courtyard which adds natural texture to the setting and vivid pops of color. The brick walkway was made to be your “red carpet” as you make your way up the aisle to exchange your wedding vows. The garden’s Spanish-style building is enchanting. The brick-tiled roof, the large columns, the elongated steps that lead up to the beautifully arched entryway all create great photo opportunities.

You and your bridal party can remove yourself from the crowd momentarily to take advantage of the numerous photo opportunities in many of the surrounding gardens and terraces. Meanwhile, your guests can be invited to join in the appetizer and cocktail hour hosted in the Spanish courtyard. I adore the Spanish courtyard! Two large and elegant stone staircases drop from the Oval Garden above to the courtyard below. As your guests descend, they will hear the light background sound of the gorgeous decorative fountains that lend authenticity to this amazing backdrop. The courtyard is surrounded on three sides by wonderful breezeways that have sculpted archways leading to the Villa’s interior spaces. What a great place to enjoy a sampling of light jazz and equally entertaining cuisine.

Why it works

An Indian wedding celebration is filled with tradition and robust colors; however, as everyone knows, the largest emphasis in an Indian celebration is on the joining of two families. Villa Montalvo is an ideal location to explore a celebration that is filled with family tradition and cultural ceremony. Their unique setting offers a combination of astounding natural beauty in a stylish and artistic setting, but the sheer size of the property makes it ideal for many cultural celebrations.

This celebration could not be better paired. The brick courtyards and walkways of the Spanish styled hacienda blend seamlessly with the rich crimson and rust color palette chosen by the couple. The scale of the veranda’s and outdoor spaces create a necessity to fill the space with vivid eye-popping colors and rich detail.

Take a look at how the couple played with color and texture. Three distinctly different patterns in the table linens create a subtle depth, the richly colored mahogany chiavari chairs maintain the feel of luxury, and even the choice to use heavy gold-rimmed water goblets and dinner plates create items of interest on the table and brings cohesion to the overall look.

I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride’s dream a reality: Photographer – Sylvie Gil Photography, Designer/Planner – Kathryn Kenna of The Wedding Resource, Florist – Leslie Grady Special Event Design, Cake – Torino Baking, Catering – Melons Catering.

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