having a local wedding is sweetly meaningful—but also smart. “Sacramento has some of the best wedding industry professionals Northern California has to offer.
Buy local, even when it comes to your wedding.
Whether Sacramento is your hometown, your college town or the town where you’ll start your married life, having a local wedding is sweetly meaningful—but also smart. “Sacramento has some of the best wedding industry professionals Northern California has to offer,” says Jennifer Robirds, owner of Jenn Robirds Events. “Aside from the obvious savings in hefty travel fees, working with local vendors who know the area and are connected with other top professionals ensures a smooth day.”
It also means your dollars stay in your own community—and since the average wedding costs about $37,000, this is a significant boost to the Sacramento economy. “We always encourage supporting local business whenever possible,” says Cole Cuchna, director of education for Temple Coffee. “And going local often provides a superior level of service and a tailored experience to meet your unique needs.”
In fact, there is an undeniable advantage to tasting, touching, smelling or seeing your choices in person—as opposed to scrolling a website or reading online reviews. There is also something about meeting face-to-face with a business owner that establishes a personal concern for you and your wedding day that a long-distance email or text relationship might not. “This is what I can say about local wedding vendors—and I know them well: Their priority is making your event amazing over making money,” says Angela Dal Bon, owner of Invitations Ink. “We work so hard to ensure that a couple is ecstatic over their event.”
So you’re convinced: a local wedding it is. Now take the challenge a step further: Can everything be done here in town? You bet.
Just like farm-to-fork dishes, flowers can be farm-to-bouquet (and to-boutonniere and to-centerpiece). Including seasonal, locally grown blooms is not only beautiful, it is also cost-effective and gives your wedding a genuine sense of place and time. Sacramento’s Flourish, for example, has a commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment, which means using flowers from nearby farms and from their own cutting garden. Other popular Sacramento florists are Scarlett & Grace, Visual Impact Design and Relles Florist.
Personalization—from the signature cocktail to the hand-written vows—is what makes your wedding memorable. So why not start it off right with a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind invitation arriving in each guest’s mailbox? “Every couple I work with leaves the experience saying, ‘These are just so us,’” says Dal Bon. “They set the tone for your entire event.”
It’s also fun to incorporate the season into your design. “When it comes to summer weddings, bright colors are amazing,” she says. “Coppers, antique gold, cream and a splash of silver make a fresh palette for fall weddings.”
In addition to Dal Bon’s Invitations Ink, locally produced custom invitations can also be found at Pigment and Parchment, Vita Popov Studios and Throne Invitations.
Many caterers or restaurants can provide you with locally grown produce, locally sourced meats and fish, and house-made sauces, condiments and bread. But if you are creating your own rehearsal or reception dinner for a smaller group of guests—or just want to know what to look for on the wedding menus you preview—here are some local artisans to consider.
Bledsoe Meats, for instance, specializes in pasture-raised pork, and has duck, beef and lamb available seasonally, as well as heritage turkeys in late fall. Passmore Ranch in Sloughhouse provides locally raised caviar, fish, lamb and produce to area chefs. Organic fruit and vegetables are available from Feeding Crane Farms (a boutique organic farm within the Sacramento city limits), Soil Born Farms (also with an urban location in Rancho Cordova), Watanabe Farms (in West Sac) and Del Rio Botanical (on Old River Road).
For handcrafted food items, check out Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies (honey), Preservation & Co. (pickles, sauces, cocktail mixes), Liquidology (granola, fruit cups and juices) and Puur Chocolat (bars, truffles, nuts and bark). And fresh, locally made bread? Try Grateful Bread, Sacramento Baking Company or The Bread Store.
“I’m a huge beer and coffee nerd,” says Kate Whelan of Kate Whelan Events, who urges couples to explore and include locally sourced brews at their weddings. In fact, she suggests beer tastings, pairings and coffee bars are fun reception activities that encourage mingling and give guests an experience they’ll remember.
And this is easy to do: The craft beer scene in Sacramento is exploding, with an ever-growing list of local microbreweries to choose from. But how to choose? One way is to try some out—with a knowledgeable bartender. For instance, University of Beer has 100 beers on tap and offers regular tasting events, including weekly Taster Tuesdays ($2 off a tasting flight, which is a selection of four different beers served in 5-ounce glasses). Matt Oehlke, general manager at UoB, works hard to find patrons pours they like, and recommends sticking with Sacramento breweries. “It helps the local economy, and beer is also freshest right out of the tank—you really get a better experience,” Oehlke says. Companies that tend to regularly top experts’ lists: Track 7 Brewing Co., Sactown Union Brewery, New Glory Craft Brewery and Bike Dog Brewing Co.
For the other kind of brew, Sacramento also has no shortage of local coffee roasters who believe in fair trade sustainable coffee sourcing programs (meaning growers are treated respectfully), and create unique roasts right here in the Capital City. “Our coffee offering list changes monthly, but you can always find our Three Pillars blend available, which is great for the everyday drinker,” says Cuchna at Temple Coffee. Other favorites on the local coffee scene are Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, Old Soul Co. and Insight Coffee Roasters.
Just like beer and coffee producers, there is an increasing number of local winemakers (not to mention, of course, we are surrounded by world-famous wine growing regions like Napa, El Dorado, Placer, Amador and Calaveras counties). A fun reception idea can be sangrias made from—or small plates paired with—local wines. And an important component to wine-making is the terroir, or the characteristic flavor imparted to a wine from its unique environment. Wineries—all within the Sacramento city or county limits—that can offer you this interesting local experience are Revolution Wines at 28th and S streets, Cabana Winery & Bistro on Elvas Avenue, Scribner Bend Vineyards on River Road and McConnell Estates Winery in Elk Grove.
If you’ve ever watched a TV show like “Ace of Cakes”—where they crazily transported elaborate tiered cakes in the back of a panel van, often with the newest intern in charge—you know you don’t want your wedding cake to travel very far. Luckily, it doesn’t have to. Not only are there many talented Sacramento cake designers, these bakers also highlight the area’s wealth of farm-to-fork choices. “Using local ingredients is always ideal when it comes to baking the most delicious cakes,” says Amanda Ngo, owner of Paper Heart Patisserie in Elk Grove. “It’s so wonderful that Sacramento has an abundance of delicious fruit. Some of my favorites are fresh and locally grown strawberries. They are so sweet and amazing baked into a cake, used as a filling or put into a smooth buttercream frosting.”
Other highly recommended Sacramento-area bakeries include Freeport Bakery on the edge of Land Park, Ettore’s European Bakery & Restaurant on Fair Oaks Boulevard, and Peace, Love & Sugar in Granite Bay.
DISTINCTLY SACRAMENTO VENUES
So you have ideas for a wedding that is truly locally sourced—from the invitations to the rings to the groom’s shoes to the dinner menu and the cake. But where do you hold this event to ensure a true sense of the Capital City? “Something that screams ‘Sacramento and local’ would be the Memorial Auditorium,” says Lora Ward, owner of A Day to Remember. Ward also recommends Antiquite Maison Privee, located at 21st and P streets in the Chatterton Building, for an authentic historic feel. Other uniquely Sacramento venues are the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, the West Steps of the State Capitol building, and the McKinley Park or Capitol Park rose gardens.
The engagement ring you say “yes” to, and the wedding bands you slip on each other’s finger when you say “I do,” are the most personal and meaningful pieces of jewelry you’ll ever own. They are also the ones you will wear every day. Shouldn’t they be the most unique designs you can find? Sacramento has artists who can create custom pieces for you—searching out gems and metals, all to fit your budget—or studios that carry locally designed work. Check out Maya Kini Jewelry, Janet Lacayo at Nectar and A•RARE•ITY.
“I’ve had several brides who wanted to remake their mother’s or grandmother’s dresses,” says Robirds, “and Carole Kenney is amazing. She is my little Sacramento secret.” Carole Kenney Design also does handmade custom dresses for the bride, her bridesmaids, or the mothers of the bride and groom. Similarly, Miosa Bride will do alterations, customizations and couture dress design; La Soie Bridal carries its own line, with each dress handmade just for you, and also offers custom work.
But it’s not solely the dresses that can be made here in town—a local company like Old Country Tailor can design for any member of the wedding party, including the groom. Menswear is also available locally at R. Douglas Custom Clothier, which has custom-made tuxedos, suits, dress shirts and belts. R. Douglas recently introduced a line of locally made men’s shoes as well; another Sacramento option for distinctive handcrafted men’s shoes is Benjamins.