Destination weddings are a trend that is on the rise. Today’s couples are craving experiences and intimate events over long guest lists. If a smaller affair with style appeals to you, then saying, “I do,” in a faraway location – such as having a destination wedding in California – may be the perfect fit!
I was an invited guest of Sonoma County, Off the Beaten Path Weddings, and Venone PR. All opinions are my own about these lovely experiences. All images are by Krista Marie Photography.
From casual farm events to posh wine cave experiences, the world really is an oyster for the couple wishing to have a destination wedding. Imagine an event at a one-of-a-kind privately owned estate. Your guests will enjoy gorgeous scenery and lingering around intimate seating areas. All of these small destination wedding ideas sound divine!
Of course, there are things to establish, such as logistics, location, budget, and whether you are looking for all-inclusive wedding venues. These are considerations for any wedding. That is where a trusted planner can come in to aid you in curating small wedding packages or elopement packages.
Having a Destination Wedding in California
I had the pleasure of heading to wine country in Sonoma County, California, where I experienced the offerings of Off the Beaten Path Signature Experiences (OTBP). The owner, Stephanie, is equipped to handle everything. From securing a location to providing food, flowers, and décor, she can arrange everything. Stephanie is also able to find different locations such as small, all-inclusive wedding venues and wedding venues with lodging in Northern California.
So, no matter your budget or taste, you can gain inspiration for your own destination experience. Take a peek at three events that are different stylistically yet equally lovely in their own right.
Relaxed, Casual Destination Wedding
When considering all-inclusive wedding packages, keeping it intimate and casual is not only appropriate for weddings. It can also include events such as rehearsal dinners and bridesmaid luncheons. Offering an upscale, healthy buffet lunch with beautifully wrapped sandwiches adds to the feel and allows for guests to mingle and enjoy conversation with others.
Swanky, Modern Outdoor Weddings
Whether you want a more formal rehearsal dinner or tend to enjoy chic events, the look and feel of a hidden, wooded estate decked out in globe lights is incredibly memorable as a wedding venue. All-inclusive additions such as farm tables and monochromatic décor can be complemented with colorful, fresh food offerings and well-stocked dessert bars.
Passing food family style will ensure your guests have a good time. Lingering by a bonfire allows for conversation to flow just like the wine. If you adore the event below, it is showcased in full here on our blog.
Lavish California Destination Weddings
For the couple that adores decadence, a destination wedding in California’s wine caves may be just the ticket. With a controlled temperature and ethereal atmosphere, this experience is truly for the dramatic.
Guests can enjoy a cocktail hour outside on the gorgeous grounds. Then they can finally head inside to enjoy a decadent, plated meal at long tables that are centered down the middle of the cave. This is one of our favorite all-inclusive wedding reception packages!
How to Plan a Destination Wedding in California
So, you’re considering affordable destination weddings, but where exactly do you start? Follow the steps below to work with Off the Beaten Path on all-inclusive wedding packages. Northern California (particularly Sonoma County) has so many unique destination wedding locations.
Whether you are planning a wedding in Virginia or having a destination wedding in California, having a planner is a must! It’s so helpful to have someone on your side when you are searching for all-inclusive wedding packages in California.
- Fill out a contact form at www.offthebeatenpathwinecountry.com.
- Complete a client questionnaire.
- Schedule a complimentary consultation.
- Share any inspiration you have – a Pinterest board is great for this!
- OTBP will help find and secure the perfect venue, source your ideal vendors, and help create a personalized style board for your wedding.
- If possible, visit and schedule tastings and design consultations with OTBP.
- Relax and enjoy your engagement.
- Head to Sonoma County to eat, drink, and be married!
Oh, and if you are curious about what to wear in wine country, never fear. Take a peek at our wine country fashion guide here.
Ashley RollinsThat looks gorgeous! I was recently in Sonoma for a bachelorette and the area was so pretty!! I’m getting married in December so I’m always on the lookout for inspo!
Azanique RawlA wine country wedding would be a dream! I love destination weddings 🙂
JenniferAh! Have fun planning, and yes – Sonoma County is perfect for bachelorettes, too!! <3
WanderlustBeautyDreamsThese photos are so gorgeous. I can see why people would want to have their weddings here, looks so dreamy!
Nicole FlintThese photos are dreamy! Great tips and perfect for a wedding destination!
Soumya GayatriWow! What lovely pictures! I would love to be married again in one of these places. Destination weddings definitely seem to be the trend nowadays and having one in California looks so dreamy and gorgeous. Plus, there are so many options to choose from.
Yukti AgrawalWow what a wonderful destination wedding in wine county. It is a superb idea to host wedding in or around vineyards as grapes sound romantic too. I loved the decor, food and the venue for this destination wedding. Good to know we can select our wedding style from many given options.
AndaGreat guide for picking a destination wedding in California. I can’t imagine a better place for a wedding than sunny California. We are blessed to live in Los Angeles and had our son’s wedding in Redondo Beach, but the Wine Country seems like a great place too.
amar singhI must admit weddings can get a bit overboard these days and people end up spending huge amounts but this lovely destination seems perfect and not over the top. This is minimalistic yet very different and the perfect venue for that special day. Love the natural beauty and surroundings. Surely the wine must be great. It makes me want to get married again. Thanks for sharing a unique wedding destination.
PaulaThe wedding at a winery are definitely a California thing, and they are always so lovely and romantic. Sonoma is beautiful! I especially love the early fall and the harvest time in wine country.
Pooja ShahI myself had a destination wedding and I suggest it to every other couple. Planning and execution become very easy to handle at a 3rd destination. California seems to have some beautiful sights for destination weddings. I specifically loved the swanky modern weddings. What are these locations? They are amazing. Loved the photographs.
JenniferThey are actually private estates that the wedding planner can book for you. They aren’t available to the public, which is super cool!
Bhushavali NI love destination weddings. It automatically becomes a private affair as well (unless someone is super rich! lolz!). Small, minimalistic, unique weddings are always nice. Having a wedding at a vineyard is indeed splendid. The food & drink options look so delicious. Planning a wedding is a very very stressful thing, I know coz I’ve been there, done that! Haha. So yeah, having someone to organize it all and provide an all-inclusive package is such a good thing!
MedhaOh how I would love to be invited to a destination wedding in the wine country in California! These venues look charming, the food looks delicious and the wine has to be amazing. I am sure I would never be able to afford a wedding like that for myself but I do hope I end up with some rich friends who can LOL!
Ami BhatIf I were to get married again, well then I think it will all be about the wine caves. There is something so dreamy abt the setting. And of course, the vineyard smells and the intoxicating atmosphere owing to that 😉 . What a lovely description of all venues. Enjoyed the read
Katie AaronBeing a resident in the Napa Valley and a neighbor to an illegal wedding event venue, these businesses who cater to “destination wedding” seekers should take into consideration what impact you have on the neighbors. The neighbors who chose to live in the country years ago, before Napa became cool. The neighbors who see your large busses cause near misses while turning into a venue that isn’t permitted to have large busses bringing guest. These venues are not permitted for a reason, they don’t have the building permits, access permits and fire code requirements. A huge liability and risk to be taken considering its a couples special day. To the industry that caters to the brides, be responsible, and do it legally.
JenniferYou are absolutely right! Anyone that hosts private events on their property should go through the proper channels for permitting and zoning, as well as discuss with their neighbors possible solutions to minimize the impact on their neighborhood. While I’m sure that there are unpermitted event venues operating in your area, all of the venues featured by our publication are either permitted or operating under zoning allowances. Thank you for taking the time to stop by – I appreciate you commenting in such a thought-provoking way! <3
Villa ChanticleerGreat guide for a destination wedding in California.