There are a number of advantages for booking small uncomplicated destination weddings. The most glaring is price. When you book mid-week, especially in Wine Country, the difference is dramatic. That price difference is in the site rental fee. Venues want mid-week business and price accordingly. With this in mind, I’m comparing pricing of large weekend ceremonies in Wine Country and not what you might find in your local area. If you have been to Napa and Sonoma, you know that Wine Country is pricey. One other point, lodging rates are less Sundays through Thursdays.
Here is where there is no price break. Reception dinners are the highest single expense. Make sure that when you see a menu’s per plate cost, you figure in room rental and set-up fee, alcohol and gratuities. When I’m asked about this, I ball park a $100.00 per plate average. I want to be sure you understand reality. Luckily, I have, a florist, a photographer, an officiate and a baker who also want mid-week business. They have more than they can handle on weekends and charge accordingly.
The issue of Fridays arise and here is the resolve. Some of my venues will agree to late morning or early Friday afternoon ceremonies. They want evenings for larger events where they can charge greater fees. If your choice is a Friday, I will call to see what’s available.
Next is the time of year for your ceremony. September through October because of harvest and crush is Wine Country’s high season and also San Francisco’s convention season. This is the only time of year when late arrangements shouldn’t be made. Lodging, airfare and rental car pricing is unrealistic. Should you or your guests want to stay over weekends, you could easily find some of my venues with lodging sold out.
Needless to say, Wine Country is a wonderful spot for a destination wedding. As a travel agent over the years, I have found that if everyone knows exactly what to expect, then everyone is happy. I don’t want you to have any surprises. Call me if I can help.