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Napa Valley Weddings 101: How to Plan a Wine Country Wedding

Photograph by Megan Clouse

If you are a wine lover at heart or just want to get married in one of the most scenic parts of the country, there are seemingly endless reasons to love Napa Valley weddings. This lush region is famous for its Mediterranean climate and its Tuscan-style buildings, which offer an irresistibly romantic setting for any couple. Napa Valley is also famous for its sophisticated yet laid-back lifestyle (it is California after all), making it an ideal place for couples who want a refined yet cozy atmosphere on the big day. Surrounded by fresh air and beautiful scenery, you can’t go wrong!

Here are all of our must-have details for weddings in the Napa Valley.

The basics

Home to rolling green hills, endless acres of vineyards, and a handful of charming towns, Napa Valley is the ideal setting for a fairytale wedding. Napa Valley is a year-round destination, with each season bringing new sights as flowers bloom, foliage changes, and grape harvests begin. As a distinguished wine country, it’s no wonder wineries are among the most popular wedding venues in the Napa Valley, making this area a great choice for any wine-obsessed couple. But even if wine isn’t high on your list, there are many reasons we love Napa Valley weddings. The valley is steeped in sophistication and history, with numerous five-star resorts, golf courses, and historic estates all available as locations for your big day. You can also find a number of affordable wedding venues that offer wedding packages for almost every price point, meaning that no Napa wedding is out of reach.

The peak tourist season in the Napa Valley corresponds to the region’s grape harvest, which takes place between August and October. Expect more people and less availability at hotels, restaurants, and other attractions during this time, unless you make your reservation several months in advance. If you are planning a Napa Valley wedding, you should also consider the popular events that occur around your wedding date. The Napa Valley Truffle Festival and Restaurant Week take place every January, while sporting events like the Napa Valley Marathon and bike competitions take place in March and April. The PGA Safeway Open is an annual golf tournament at the Silverado Resort and Spa each October.

How to get there and around

There are several major airports that provide easy access to the Napa Valley. Oakland International Airport (OAK) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are the two closest hubs, about 70 miles outside of Napa Valley. Sacramento International Airport (SAC) is 75 miles away, while San Jose International Airport (SJC) is 85 miles. Shuttle buses run regularly from SFO and OAK to Napa Valley. If you don’t have a car, bikes, public buses, shuttles, and ride-sharing services (Uber / Lyft) are easy ways to get around once you arrive.

Rue 29 Napa Valley


The weather throughout the year can vary greatly depending on the time of day and your exact location in the valley. In general, temperatures are mild and pleasant, averaging 70 to 80 degrees in spring, summer, and fall. High temperatures in winter are around 60 degrees, with the occasional rainy day. Nighttime temperatures can drop to 50 degrees, even during the summer months, so dressing in light layers is recommended.

Wedding venues

Napa Valley is the ultimate destination for anyone envisioning a vineyard or wine country wedding.

See the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley “

Whether you choose a luxury resort, a golf course, or a charming restaurant, Napa Valley has a great selection of vineyard-free wedding venues.

Our Favorite Napa Valley Wedding Venues That Aren’t Vineyards “

Having the wedding of your dreams in Napa Valley doesn’t have to blow your budget.

Check out the affordable wedding venues in the Napa Valley “

Scott & Dana Weddings

Requirements for marriage

To obtain a marriage license in California, both parties must be at least 18 years of age (parental consent is required for anyone younger). You do not need to be a resident of the state. The license requires at least one witness signature and will be issued the same day you request it. It expires after 90 days. Both parties must present a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card.

Things to do in Napa Valley

Weddings in the Napa Valley provide a memorable experience on their own, but if you’re looking to turn the wedding into a true getaway, there are a variety of activities to enjoy while in town.

We can’t talk about Napa Valley without addressing the world famous vineyards and wineries located throughout the region. The rare soil found in the Napa Valley creates perfect conditions for growing more than 30 varieties of grapes, and there are an estimated 500 physical wineries in Napa alone – even more if you include Sonoma wineries. You won’t have to travel far to find a cozy tasting room or a magnificent vineyard. There are dozens of local companies offering winery tours, but our recommendation is to hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train for a scenic drive through the countryside. You’ll enjoy views of the vineyards and mountains from a 100-year-old locomotive, as you feast on a gourmet, custom-made meal. Some train tours include stops at wineries where you can enjoy a group tasting.

The Napa Valley is home to a variety of golf courses, including several PGA championship courses. Whether you are a seasoned pro or have never picked a club in your life, Napa Valley is an excellent place for group golf outings, private training sessions, or to watch professional golfers at one of the many tournaments.

From high-end jewelry stores and shopping malls to boutique stores and farmers markets, Napa Valley has something to satisfy all types of shopaholics. Walk through downtown Napa and along the riverfront where you will find shops offering everything from luxury olive oil to charming home decorations.

With the Culinary Institute of America campus located in downtown Napa, it’s no wonder Napa Valley is home to not only some of the best wines in the country, but also the best cuisine. Many of the local restaurants offer farm-to-table meals and change their menus daily, based on the freshest ingredients available. You’ll find a number of prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants throughout the Napa Valley, including The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood, both of which have received three stars. Would you like to try your hand in the kitchen? The CIA offers cooking, baking and wine pairing classes for all levels.

If you’ve always dreamed of experiencing a hot air balloon ride, Napa Valley is the perfect place to try it! Soar and experience stunningly beautiful scenery from above as you fly over Northern California’s most iconic region. Most of the local hot air balloon companies launch around sunrise, which undoubtedly results in some incredible views of the sunrise.

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