As one of the oldest vineyards in California’s Wine Country, Abbot’s Passage is a historic yet modern winery with a stone barrel cellar, open vistas, sunny patios, and a backdrop of old vines offering the perfect location for your wedding day. When you plan your Sonoma wedding or special event at AP, our team will be your one-stop-shop to help bring your dreams to life! Haven’t decided where to host your event? Check out our top 8 unique tips (hint hint: this is supposed to be fun!) to plan the perfect Sonoma winery wedding.
venue & vineyards
1. Finding your venue is the best part! After that, everything else starts to fall into place. Looking for that quintessential Sonoma wedding? Make sure to find a venue where you can get married IN the vineyard. It doesn’t get better than that view for the ceremony and photos! Plan some time to take photos with your photographer among the vines right after your ceremony and then make your debut again as the reception gets underway.
2. Check the noise ordinance for your venue. At AP, the noise ordinance is ten o’clock, so if you want to keep the party going, you can plan an after party at a downtown location or even transition into something like a silent disco. Our venue is a short shuttle ride to downtown near the hotels and guests always like to let loose at one of our local watering holes. Many couples make a quick appearance and then sneak away. The stories you’ll hear will likely bring big laughs to your brunch the following day.
CATERING & PHOTOGRAPHY
3. If you’re going to splurge, splurge on catering and photography – this is what you are going to remember for the rest of your life! Remember to get that photo book made right away. It’s so much more enjoyable to experience and share your wedding with a coffee table book back at home.
LARGE FORMAT WINE BOTTLES
4. During the planning process, pick out a magnum (or two!) of wine for your guests to sign with the guest book. Open them up on your anniversary with friends while you reminisce about your favorite moments from that night. Many of our red wines age very well and fun fact, because the air to wine ratio is smaller in a magnum they age better than standard format wine bottles.
INDOOR OR OUTDOOR
5. For a wine country wedding, it’s best to find an indoor space for dancing and dessert (since Sonoma can get so cold at night!) It’s always a good idea to be prepared for a weather shift from the day into the evening. While it’s hot during the day, temperatures can drop drastically in the evenings due to some maritime influence coming from San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It’s worth considering adding umbrellas for the daytime or heaters outdoors for when the sun goes down to be extra prepared for all sorts of weather. A lot of couples I have worked with in the past have gone above and beyond and created customized blankets for their guests as a creative and curated way to help guests stay warm.
DESTINATION: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
6. At Abbot’s Passage, we’re one of the lucky few wineries who can host weddings in wine country (only five wineries in all of Napa and a handful in Sonoma have the permit to host). Hosting a Sonoma wedding is not just great for the bride and groom (hello early honeymoon) but allows your guests to also take a vacation. We are located just 25 miles from Sonoma County Airport, 65 miles from Oakland International and 70 miles from San Francisco International Airport.
NO HIDDEN FEES
7. Always check what’s included in the site fee. Those little things add up! At Abbot’s Passage, we include lighting, lounge furniture and ceremony arbor in addition to the space rental.
WINES TO KEEP CELEBRATING
8. Last but not least, joining the club at the winery where you get married is a great way to continue to celebrate. There is a proven link between taste buds and memories – and you won’t believe how the memories come back to you every time you have the wine!