Courtesy of Wine & Roses
Destination does not have to mean flight. A winery in the valley or foothills, a ski resort in Tahoe or a ranch in the Capay Valley all offer a faraway feel, but are just outside of town. Below are six easily accessible escapes for your wedding—no boarding pass necessary.
Wine & Roses (above)
2505 W. Turner Road, Lodi
(209) 334-6988, winerose.com
The name alone implies a successful spot to tie the knot. Wine & Roses, in the heart of Lodi wine country, is a hotel, restaurant, spa, garden and events center all in one. Despite the multiple hats the venue wears, no shortage of attention is paid to weddings. Indeed, weddings are a specialty here, and specifically designed event spaces carved into the ambling property lend a secret-garden ambiance to your celebration.
The cobblestone cellar patio bursts with greenery in bold contrast to the white wooden arbor under which the ceremony may take place. Following the “I do’s,” guests are ushered into the cozy wine cellar, with space for 50. For larger events, the garden space and ivy-covered ballroom, with a stunning vaulted ceiling and fireplace, can accommodate up to 350 people.
Delight in a seasonal menu designed by French-born chef Didier Gerbi. Wine pairings are suggested to complement the menu, but a fully stocked bar also is an option.
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (Gina Munda Photography)
111 Country Club Drive, Incline Village, Nevada
(775) 832-1234, laketahoe.hyatt.com
Waves lap gently on the sand. Snowcapped mountains reflect vividly on the glassy surface of the lake. A gentle breeze brings the faint smell of pine. If dreams of a beachfront wedding fill your head, look no further than Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. Skirting the North Shore, the resort is the only one on the lake to offer a beachfront ballroom.
For an intimate gathering of 10 or a lavish celebration of 500, the Hyatt has multiple ceremony and reception sites available. The Water Garden, with its flowing streams, is a romantic spot for a ceremony with up to 80 guests. The newly remodeled Lakeside Ballroom provides unimpeded views of Lake Tahoe for up to 350 people. Other options include the Regency Ballroom, an interior space with 15-foot ceilings that can accommodate up to 500 guests, and the Lakeside Cottage Green, which can hold 400.
Perhaps the biggest draw is 999 Beach, a private cove that also may serve as a ceremony site. “It’s a hidden gem in Lake Tahoe,” says catering manager Lauren Hall.
Because Tahoe weather can be a bit unpredictable, an indoor area always is secured for outdoor events.
Invite friends and family to stay in some of the 422 guest rooms, many of which were remodeled in 2012. Other amenities include a spa, restaurants, the Lake Tahoe Casino and a private 55-foot catamaran.
Heavenly Lake Tahoe (Indigo Photography)
3860 Saddle Road, South Lake Tahoe
(530) 542-5153, skiheavenly.com
“Imagine your wedding day overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe, surrounded by your own piece of heaven,” says Heavenly Lake Tahoe’s Public Relations Coordinator Sally Gunter.
Sounds sublime, doesn’t it? Both Heavenly wedding sites are on-mountain at 6,255 feet, providing views of South Lake Tahoe and beyond.
Pause at the Mid-Station Observation Deck for stunning views and photos, then continue up the Heavenly Gondola to the Tamarack Lodge, a private mountaintop retreat perfect for your reception. Built in 2010, the LEED-certified building can accommodate 400 guests.
The Lakeview Lodge, at the top of the Historic Aerial Tram, has both indoor and outdoor space for 250 friends and family. Lake Tahoe provides a natural backdrop for a ceremony on the outdoor deck. “From every angle, Lakeview Lodge has amazing, scenic views of the sapphire-blue waters of Lake Tahoe,” says Gunter.
All catering is handled on-site, with buffet, station and plated options.
Aston Lakeland Village Beach & Mountain Resort (Aston Lakeland Village Beach & Mountain Resort)
3535 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe
(800) 822-5969, lakeland-village.com
Aston Lakeland Village is aptly named. Boasting a 1,000-foot private beach on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, the 19-acre resort—a condominium property with luxury hotel amenities—rents personal watercraft, boats and fishing gear for you and your guests’ enjoyment. The property also has two outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a sauna and restaurants, making it a little destination unto itself.
Lakeland Village is less than five minutes from the casinos, shops and restaurants of South Lake Tahoe and Stateline. For winter-sports enthusiasts, a ski and board shop is located on-site, and transportation is provided to area ski resorts.
Had your eye on a cute little alpine chapel for your nuptials? Take the resort’s complimentary shuttle to any of the area’s chapels for your intimate ceremony, then party with friends and family back at the resort. Reception site options include the Lakeshore Room, an indoor venue that can accommodate 75 guests. Weather permitting, the adjoining Pavilion Deck, a tented wooden platform overlooking the lake, has additional capacity for 50 people. In late spring, say your vows underneath a flower-draped arch looking out over the blue waters of the lake. Available during the warmer months, this lakeside site rental includes an aisle runner, flowers and officiant, and has a capacity for 200 guests.
David Girard Vineyards (Courtesy of David Girard Vineyards)
741 Cold Springs Road, Placerville
(530) 295-1833, davidgirardvineyards.com
Since 1993, David Girard Vineyards has been bringing a bit of Tuscany to El Dorado County. Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just outside Placerville, David Girard is within an hour’s drive of downtown Sacramento yet worlds away from city life.
“David has taken pride in developing the property to not only feature outstanding vineyards but to have many areas on the property for people to enjoy,” says events manager Judy Collinsworth.
Rolling vineyards sit adjacent to lush lawns, hidden gardens and fountains. A hilltop amphitheater can accommodate up to 300 guests. The new Viticulture Galleria has space for 275 people and offers 360-degree views of the foothills. For smaller celebrations, a private nook near a waterfall provides a dreamy setting for vows.
Hiking trails, picnic areas and a shady area for dogs dot the 90- acre property, so don’t be surprised if your out-of-town guests stay for a little post-wedding R&R. Nearby hotels include the charming Bella Vista Bed & Breakfast and Coloma Country Inn.
“We get so many notes from brides telling us that their wedding day exceeded their expectations,” says Collinsworth. “The grounds are amazing, the wines are fantastic, and the staff is gracious. It’s a winning combination for the celebration of a lifetime.”
Taber Ranch Vineyards & Event Center (Courtesy of Taber Ranch Vineyards and Event Center)
Road 81, Capay
(530) 908-2359, taberranch.com
A barn, grapevines and rows of lavender bring the rustic. Five hundred acres of rolling hills and valleys don’t hurt, either.
Deep in the Capay Valley, just outside of Woodland, Taber Ranch Vineyards & Event Center is an operating farm, specializing in almonds, olive oil and wine grapes.
More rural charm comes by way of the historic farm equipment situated throughout the ranch—perfect stations for surprise lemonade stands or dessert buffets. A large lawn enclosed by a hedge of vines provides a superb setting for an outdoor wedding. The 70-year-old tin- and wood-paneled barn looks lovely draped in fabric or filled with flowers. The venue can accommodate up to 300 guests. Add a little vintage to your wedding by shuttling friends and family around the ranch in one of two on-site red Cadillac convertibles.
For a moment of peace during all the festivities, you can ascend a hilltop plateau offering great views of the valley below; a lake filled with reeds also can serve as a private retreat.
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