Elopement Packages

In 2016, newlyweds and their families spent an average of $28,427 on weddings and related events – the highest amount since 2008, according to a survey of 17,500 couples conducted by TheKnot.com wedding website.

Yet some couples may prefer to use their money to buy a nice car, take a lavish vacation, put a down payment on a house, buy about 7,106 cups of Flying Goat Coffee or pay their daily bills. Eloping starts to look pretty good…

However, a modern elopement doesn’t mean that couples need to line up at County Clerk offices, rent a witness, sacrifice the pomp and ceremony or even run away and marry on the sly. With thoughtful packages like those offered at the Hacienda or Casabela, these “impromptu” weddings can still be significant event, for a much lower price tag.

Owner Leigh Milleur is also a photographer specializing in wedding and elopement photography, and has put together comprehensive packages designed to make the special day entirely memorable….

While technically the organized event isn’t a real elopement, since guests can be invited, it sounds romantic, and is increasingly popular across Northern California. That is why all the big hotels and wineries have elopement packages now. Couples want their weddings in a elegant venue, but don’t want to break the bank.

Depending on the package chosen, there can be a catered reception, and a honeymoon built in.

More info »


Recently i was told by a prominent county person that the reason the county was not giving permits for weddings at wineries in Napa was

that wineries did not want nor like having brides/grooms and their wedding parties on their property.

Interesting news,  since i own a Bed & Breakfast in Calistoga,   and upon greeting my new guests that check into the Hacienda,   and

since i am booked most of the time,  i always ask the new guests what brought them to Napa Valley…..

I would say about 60%  of my guests are here for a wedding in the Napa Valley at a winery.

To say that wineries do not want weddings at their venue’s  is to keep your head in the sand….  of course they want the money

that weddings bring in.  Also the weddings brings in all their guests who stay at hotels,  eat at restaurants,  visit hair salons,

visit wineries and buy wine and stay for more days than just the wedding itself…..

So wake up Napa County,  and start giving permits and collecting the revenue that they are loosing that Sonoma County is collecting……..

Recent Wedding Photos

Here are some recent photos.

Family Photographs

When arranging your family photographs, be sure to let everyone who will be in all the family photo’s to wear colors that won’t stand out in the group shots. nothing worse for your album photographs is “grandma” wearing a turquoise dress or print, when everyone else is in pastels…

Looking at Local Wineries Having Weddings

I talked with a person who is high up in county government this weekend, and asked how Clos Pegase winery starting having weddings again.   A few years ago, they were the first to be stopped by the county for having weddings at their winery.  They had a neighbor who would run into the winery during a wedding in her night clothes and rant and rave about the noise.  Finally the county shut them down for any future weddings. From then on, several wineries fell under the knife,  as well as almost all of the private venues around the Napa area having weddings on their property.

Now, word is out that Clos Pegase is having weddings again and have a web site up advertising same. I asked how this had happened and how they were able to start the events again, and she told me that they were “grandfathered in” and that most wineries do not want to have weddings at all due to problems with brides, although most are able to….

Possibly this is due to the fact Clos Pegase was recently purchased by a very prominent, well known owner of another winery and restaurant etc. I consider this good news only if the ban is lifted for others to also have weddings besides the “special events” that they already are able to have.  It seems they are only prohibited if someone wears a “white dress” during the event…     Crazy as that sounds….

Stay tuned, more to come…..

Location of Your Wedding

In Napa Valley,  there have been many problems with booking your wedding at different locations.  In 1999,  Napa County  decided to close down all the private locations and wineries that did not have permits to do weddings…  They also decided to give stiff fines to people who continued to book weddings at locations that did not have permits.  We went to a county meeting and presented a packet with information showing that Sonoma County was bringing in  $80 million per year just on weddings alone.   However,  the board in Napa  put their foot down and said no to weddings in Napa County.  This hurt a lot of vendors, and property owners etc.  Basically most caterers moved their business over to Sonoma County as well as florist and wedding photographers.

Now,  here we are in 2014,   and I have heard through the grapevine that several wineries are up an running with weddings again.  This is very good news for all concerned.

A little tip,  anyone in Sonoma County can have a wedding as long as it meets their county code, which is much more lenient than Napa County….