Sonoma County Wedding? What You Need to Know
Your wedding, such a beautiful thing. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could predict and prepare for a seamless event, beginning to end, for your group of 100+ guests that are arriving from hither and yon? Well, we can’t foresee all that you might encounter, but we can give you a head’s up on some common missteps that can happen along the way to your special day.
The first thing to remember is the wine country region has significant swings in weather during our summer months. While there are averages for our area, they are just averages. https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/sonoma/california/united-states/usca1076 That hot summer day you planned for may turn chilly halfway through your event, and you will need heaters. On the inverse, that temperate day you expected could turn surprisingly warm necessitating shade structures of some kind. Our suggestion is to always have a contingency fund and plan that enables you to quickly react to these weather swings and have the resources available to mitigate them.
Secondly, regardless of your planning and well intentions, wine country is, well, country. That means that we have unpaved paths and things like breezes and sunlight and even grass. It is amazing how many guests arrive not planning for temperature changes, as well as the need to get from point A to point B on an uneven surface. While you have the most on your plate with planning your wedding, we cannot stress enough to remind your guests to always “be prepared” for the unexpected, even if they leave that wrap or sweater or sneakers in the trunk of their car.
One needs to consider time, or not having enough of it, when travelling in Sonoma County. It is one large area and straight roads are few and far between. We have seen more than our share of guests coming in hot, tires smoking, minutes before the ceremony begins. We can only imagine what they might have been saying to each other during the trip, but by the forced smiles we get, it couldn’t have been pretty. Help your guests enjoy the beauty of the area, including the not-so-direct roadways. Encourage them to arrive earlier and have time to have a refreshing beverage prior to the beginning of your event.
Stamina is something you do not want your guests to need on the day of your wedding. No matter where your guests are staying, it is a given they will pass dozens and dozens of wineries while in route to your wedding site. Wineries, both large and small, offering wines of every type for your guests to enjoy…just not on your wedding day! We recommend you help your guests plan some activities other than visiting wineries for this special day. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of fun activities that are possible that do not require a corkscrew. Check out a sampling of some of them here: http://www.sonomacounty.com.
While we know everyone wants to say something, one of the biggest reasons weddings get off schedule, is the speeches go over. We know it’s great to hear the heartfelt thoughts of friends and family, but it might be good to take a cue from the awards shows – coordinate with those that are speaking and let them know the maximum amount of time you would like them to speak. Once you have your speakers, provide this list to your DJ or MC and let them coordinate with you when it’s time for the music to play, just like it does in Hollywood, to signal the speaker that it’s time to draw their comments to a close. Once all of the speakers have spoken, if you still have time open the floor up to additional people who would like to share. If you find you do not have any additional time, then the DJ or MC should up the volume and move your reception to the next phase.
Keeping these tips in mind will insure your guests arrive on time, your reception will run on time, everyone remains comfortable, happy, and makes it to the finish line.
About the Author – Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s largest event management company providing site selection services to over 15 locations throughout Napa and Sonoma. Milestone helps clients simplify their site selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranch’s, and other locations for their private events. After the site selection process is complete, Milestone is also available should the client select to help produce their event in a stress reduced and highly professional manner.