To many brides, Wine Country wedding = barn reception. Nothing else says rustic elegance like a beautiful barn, and the wide open spaces inherent to the structures are perfect for a big party. I asked three of San Francisco’s best wedding pros (wedding planner Laurie Arons and photographers Lisa Lefkowitz and Anna Kuperberg) for their favorite rural buildings, and here's what they said:
Atwood Ranch, Glen Ellen
This is a gorgeous barn with a traditional, almost New England form that is on lists of all three women. One of the reasons people like primitive buildings is that they can be dressed up or down and made classic or contemporary through décor. Atwood Ranch’s wood interior and rough-hewn rafters can easily adapt to most styles. I interviewed a bride who was married here and she said: “When you dream of a barn, this is what you picture.”
Durham Ranch, St. Helena
Created by interior designer Ken Fulk, who is profiled in the latest issue of California Home+Design, Durham Ranch has a stylish modern barn. The interior of most barns are, well, brown. But this one is white on the outside and inside (white plexi and gray metal struts). What’s more, there’s a nearby pool and a cottage you can rent. If you like your barns light and bright, this one’s for you. A bride I interviewed for an upcoming blog told me that the best moment of her life was after the wedding, as she and her groom ate reception leftovers and looked at the sky outside the barn.
Healdsburg Country Gardens, Healdsburg (Lefkowitz)
If your idea of Wine Country is vines, oaks and a vintage barn, try this classic spot for your wedding. It features 25 acres and the definitive Sonoma County elements, plus it’s located very close to Healdsburg’s hotels and restaurants, which is great if you don’t want to spend the time and effort required to move people around.
Santa Lucia Preserve, Carmel Valley
Until recently, you had to be a homeowner or sponsored by a homeowner to get married here. That changed recently when the management of the exclusive community offered the ability to host events to a very select group of wedding planners (Arons is among the lucky ones). This Monterey County Wine Country barn is lovely, and your dream wedding can happen under the redwoods.
Annadel Estate Winery, Santa Rosa (Kuperberg)
A huge heritage oak and creeping red roses mark the entrance of this simple barn, located behind the ruins of a turn-of-the-century winery. Everything about this building says authentic, including the weathered white siding and olive doors.