Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and where you have your ceremony and reception is one of the most important decisions you’ll make regarding your wedding. The location will set the tone for the entire wedding. A winery, a beach, a vineyard, a ballroom, a Victorian home, or ? Weddings are done everywhere now with wineries and vineyards being the most popular.
In this article I’ll mention a few reception venues in the California Gold Country. The wedding ceremony is sometimes done at the same site as the reception; often the ceremony will be held outdoors at one place, then move (but on the same property) so the reception is done inside. Many ceremonies are still done in churches and the receptions are being held just about anywhere.
The HanfordHouse in Sutter Creek, specializes in weddings that are fairly small in size and intimate. I fondly recall this little town as very charming with several unique shops and many eateries. And, the Hanford House is just beautiful. Its Hanford Room, complete with a fireplace, can be easily designed just for your wedding. There are also 10 guest rooms and three suites for your guests. And, if necessary, there are other accommodations nearby. Their parlor is also excellent for your wedding. They can handle up to 50 guests. A dance floor can be installed and they can also cater the event. There is a 2 night minimum for Saturday weddings, and the parking is exclusively for your checked in guests. Your wedding party will have exclusive use of the inn; breakfast times are flexible and there are always refreshments available. (Visit them at hanfordinn.com for more details)
How about a wedding against a backdrop of Mediterranean influence and beauty and vineyards too. You’d get that at this California Gold Country wedding venue, the Bella Piazza Winery, nestled in the foothills of the Shenadoah Valley. Here, there are four different sites for your wedding, all overlooking the wonderfully landscaped grounds which offers a romantic atmosphere for your special day. They’re able to handle 170 people outdoors and 300 guests inside. The dressing room for the bridal party overlooks the vineyard. Their food is prepared by the Executive Chef in their new state-of-the-art-kitchen. Your guests will enjoy a little time to browse their unique gift shop. (See them at www.bellapiazzawinery.com for more information.)
Then, there is the Black Bear Inn up in Arnold. I’ve done many a craft show in the area, and I just love it. In the summer and fall you can hold your wedding in the beautiful meadow which will hold up to 150 guests. A seasonal creek meanders through the area, adding to the ambiance. In winter and spring, the Great Room is wonderful for an intimate setting up about 75 guests. It has a beautiful large granite rock fireplace and timber frame adding natural beauty to your wedding. By candlelight, this is truly awesome. The lawn area, a little ways from the Inn, offers privacy and the patio just behind the inn works out well for dining. This is the only B & B in Arnold, and it boasts five guest rooms with private bath and fireplaces. There is also a covered spa outdoors. There are many nearby eateries, gift shops and antiques shops to enjoy at this perfect wedding venue in the Gold Country. (Please see them at www.ARNOLDblackbearinn.com)
Next, is a great B & B I stayed at many years ago, The Groveland Hotel, in Groveland. I know the owner, Peggy, and she, their wedding planner, and the rest of the staff do an excellent job for all their weddings and other events. This ideal location can handle 60 guests outside and up to 150 persons in their Garden Courtyard. They also can handle many, if not all, of your guests in their 17 tastefully decorated rooms. There are also other top-notch accommodations nearby. Some couples may prefer to stay here but actually go into Yosemite for their wedding ceremony and/or reception. The Groveland Hotel was also listed as “the best place to kiss” by The Best Places to Kiss in Northern California, a Romantic Travel Guide.” Now, I think that is fun! (Check them out at groveland.com for more information.)
If I had to pick a favorite town in the Gold Country, it might just be Murphy’s California. Quaint, charming, cute, clean, attractive – so many different ways to describe this gem of a town. And, right in Murphy’s, is the Ironstone Vineyards, which is another wonderful wedding venue to consider. Here, they have three indoor sites for your wedding – the Alhambra Music Room, where the original MGM Lions (I wondered where they had gone!) guard the entrance with their magnificent presence. At the far end of the 3,886 square foot opulent, formal ballroom, you’ll find the Alhambra Theatre Pipe Organ, and, in between, antiques and artwork from the Kautz family’s private collection. This Gold Rush style ballroom is the pride of this area and the views from the fifth floor windows overlooking the vineyards are simply splendid.
Next is the Heritage Room, 2500+ square feet of space for weddings and other events. It’s fully carpeted and hark ens back to an era of gold and silver mining. It is adjacent to a terrace with overlooks the amphitheatre. It can handle up to 180 guests for a banquet style wedding reception or similar event.
The Placer Room is slightly smaller than the Heritage Room and is a wonderful location for an intimate wedding reception. Outdoors, the Lakeside Park is a beautiful place to recite your vows, enjoying the wonderful views of nature surrounding you.
In addition to many other unique features, there is a fine culinary institute on the premises of the complex. Here they will prepare a sumptuous feast for your wedding guests.
And, last but not least, you might be able to co ordinate dates so you can attend a concert around the time of your nuptials. The Doobie Brothers and Bonnie Raitt are just two of this summer’s acts coming to the Ironstone Winery. (For more information visit www.ironstonevineyards.com.)
These are just a few of the magnificent wedding venues available in the California Gold Country. Hopefully, one of them might be just perfect for your wedding day.
Happy wedding planning!