Orchard Avenue Events is a wedding planning company based in Sonoma, California. The WeddingWire Couple’s Choice award-winning company will assist you in planning every step of your wedding day. From simple weddings to ceremonies on a grand scale, Orchard Avenue Events is committed to creating a flawless day for you and your guests that you'll be sure to remember for years to come.
Planners Sara Sugrue and Brooke Altman have over 20 years of hospitality experience each with a specialization in event planning.
Orchard Avenue Events is a full-service wedding and event planning company that offers full and partial, weekend and month of planning packages. The company also offers the following wedding planning services:
33 Reviews for Orchard Avenue Events
Recommended by 100% of couples
22 User photos
Curtis Ferland · Married on 10/26/2019
Sara is superwoman! We are from out of town and this was a destination wedding in wine country. Sara was our eyes and ears during the entire planning process. From our first call with Sara we felt like she was part of the family. Sara kept us calm through the whole process and was very organized, responsive, and knowledgeable. She understood our vision perfectly and helped us bring to life our dream wedding. We were hit with bad news during our wedding week with multiple power outages and the outbreak of the Kincade Fire. We were told 24 hours before our wedding that we would need to move the reception inside due to poor air quality. Sara made sure that everything was still beautiful and the event was amazing. Some of our vendors, including rentals and catering, lived in evacuation zones and needed to leave in the morning on our wedding day. Sara essentially set everything up herself with a very limited crew. It was completely seamless and you would never know that everyone was operating shorthanded. Sara went above and beyond every step of the way! Could not recommend her enough.Sent on 11/02/2019
Lauren & Jeff · Married on 09/07/2019
Brooke is the best wedding planner you could imagine!
There are just not enough words to fully describe how phenomenal Brooke Altman is—but I will try!
We worked very closely with Brooke over 16 months to plan our wedding at BR Cohn in Sonoma. Everything turned out spectacularly well—even a few little hiccups that arose along the way turned out to be even *better* than the original plan because of Brooke's incredible ability to problem solve on the fly. Most importantly, I had ZERO stress in the days leading up to our wedding and was able to thoroughly enjoy myself on our big day because I was 100% confident that everything was in Brooke's very capable hands. I cannot overstate how important this—my (now) husband and I looked at each other at least once a week throughout the planning process and agreed that the best money we spent on our wedding was for our awesome wedding planner.
More details about our specific story and experience are below, but for those who just want the bottom line: Brooke is exceptionally detail-oriented and creative in the way that she works to achieve your vision within your style and budget. She is a delight to work with, bringing many years of valuable experience and local vendor connections to the table. She makes you feel at ease from day 1, is amazingly fast with thorough responses to call/texts/emails, and is just hands-down the best wedding planner you could imagine. If you want the wedding of your dreams and an amazing woman by your side to expertly guide you through the adventure that is wedding planning, then you simply must choose Brooke at Orchard Avenue Events!
Now for our story: Several of our recently married friends gave us the advice to go for more than just a day-of coordinator. They told us that wedding planning was way more work that it might seem at first and therefore it is very important to choose a good wedding planner. In the course of interviewing 5 different planners, I found it odd that almost all of them expressed what came across as extreme excitement that we had gotten engaged, for example: "OMG! You're getting MARRIED!! Wow, that's so, so amazing—I'm just SO excited for you!!!" For me, this feigned enthusiasm for a stranger's wedding was off-putting. I wanted a planner who was more genuine—someone who I could trust to tell me the truth if my vision was ridiculously expensive, hard to pull off well, or unrealistic for any number of reasons.
Luckily, I found Orchard Ave Events by googling "how much does it cost to have a wedding in Sonoma wine country?" One of the top hits was this extremely helpful article written by Brooke, which gave actual dollar value ranges broken down by line item together with helpful context. This was a breath of fresh air, as most articles I found on other websites didn't actually answer the budget question and spent a lot of words to simply say "it depends." After clicking around on Orchard Ave's website I saw a beautiful photo of a lounge setup at what I recognized to be B.R. Cohn's newly constructed pavilion area. I sent Brooke an inquiry right away, figuring it would be great to chat with someone who had already had experience planning an event in this new space. From the very first phone call I could tell that Brooke was unlike any of the other planners I had talked to. She was happy for us, sure, but rather than spend time showering me in "OMG's" and "that's SO EXCITING's" she was keenly interested in getting to know us as a couple and helping us determine the type of wedding that would help us realize the things that were most important to us within our budget. She was personable, down to earth, and with her many years of experience in hospitality it was obvious she had a wealth of knowledge about the wedding industry in general and lucky for us, BR Cohn specifically.
Brooke worked with us to draw up a custom contract based on our needs. We chose a partial planning package, which turned out to be a highly collaborative arrangement with unlimited emails, phone calls, texts, in addition to a few strategically timed in-person visits. After we signed our contract, Brooke sent us a thorough budget worksheet made in excel, so we could play with the costs in each line item and see how it affected our bottom line. She also sent us an extremely detailed wedding planning timeline that outlined all the tasks to complete on month-by-month basis. This greatly helped us to stay on track, get things done in a reasonable timeframe, and not forget any step along the way. As we worked to choose vendors, we would ask Brooke for recommendations and she would send us detailed emails outlining about 3-4 good options. She would then explain which one she thought would be the best fit for us and why. In the beginning, I would dive into doing a bunch of research on all the options she suggested... but in the end I always ended up choosing the same one she thought would be the best for us. After a few months of working together I learned to trust Brooke's judgement so thoroughly that I just started going with whatever her top suggestion was without even looking into the others. I have no regrets about this and it saved me a ton of time in the long run.
After all the vendors were picked it was time to get deeper into the details of reception and ceremony layout, style, decor, etc. Brooke is just as detail-oriented as I am, which was crucial and much appreciated. There was literally nothing that got by her—even little passing comments I made about hating the overuse of Papyrus as a rustic font and that I love my food piping hot—these things showed up in our wedding overview sent out to all our vendors. In this way, she made sure to capture all these little preferences making sure the caterer didn't print our menus in Papyrus (lol) and instructing them to bring out the food for our sweetheart table extra hot! It was obvious that she listened carefully, taking meticulous notes and when we met in person she had all our information organized in a large folder ready to review the fine print of our various vendor contracts should any questions come up.
Sometimes I found myself working on a few different aspects of the wedding at once. I'd send long, late-night emails to Brooke asking a host of questions at once. I can only imagine how overwhelming that could be for some, but Brooke would reliably respond with a thorough answer to every question written in a different color under my original text. Amazingly, she'd accomplish this almost always by 9:30 or 10 am the next morning. Even during times when she would tell us that she might be slow to respond while she was handling another event, her responses were still remarkably fast. Looking back, it's hard to believe she *was* handling other events as she made us feel as though we were the only wedding she had that year. Perhaps one of the best things about Brooke is that she is easily able to work with people who have different communication styles. For instance, my husband is more of a get-to-the-point, bullet notes, 2.5 minute phone call kind of guy. On the other hand, I am liable to tell the whole meandering background story (for example, this review...) to the issue at hand and I want to discuss every option in detail over the course of 20-40 mins. Brooke was able to cater to each of our disparate styles with ease. My husband is still learning :)
So our vendors were all picked, save-the-dates sent, and everything was going great when a big wrench suddenly got thrown into our plans. BR Cohn wanted to schedule BottleRock on the day of our wedding and they came to us offering to pay for a significant chunk of our wedding costs if we'd agree to move to a different venue... definitely didn't see that one coming. This was a big dilemma: it would obviously be great to save a lot of money, but on the other hand we had already spent months finalizing our vendors and starting to plan our vision for the space at BR Cohn against the beautiful rolling vineyard backdrop we loved. And it wasn't a matter of simply moving venues—a whole set of new logistics would need to be sorted out and the wedding essentially re-planned. Thank god we had Brooke to guide us through this unforeseen situation. She graciously agreed to meet us at the other venue right away for an additional in-person meeting. She spent hours walking with us through the new venue, talking us through what would be different, how we'd deal with it, and helped us consider whether or not we should make the move. Suffice it to say I was really stressed about the prospect of moving venues—my heart was set on BR Cohn and although the new venue was also beautiful, it was very different and just not what I had envisioned. My husband, however, was far less attached to the venue and wanted to save the cash. In the end, Brooke helped us craft a counter-offer to stay at BR Cohn but switch dates instead and they accepted. I cannot thank Brooke enough for handling the immense amount of work that resulted from this, which included contacting all our vendors to ask if they had the new date available and literally re-doing every single contract. She also managed to move our rehearsal dinner, and a welcome reception we had planned at Lake Sonoma Winery, working out some scheduling conflicts along the way. This whole debacle was a great example of something that we had no way of anticipating would happen and we are SO glad we had Brooke to lean on to guide us through it!
In the end, everything turned out to be just wonderful. Some vendors even threw in a few extras for us for free just because they love working with Brooke. She also let us borrow a huge collection of wedding decor items that she owns, which saved us big time on rental costs. These are just some cherry-on-top items you'll get to enjoy by having Brooke as your wedding planner. I'm sure there are probably a ton of little mishaps that happened on the day itself that no one even told me about, but Brooke expertly handled all of it. From the very beginning she proved herself to be extremely competent, our biggest advocate, and was without a doubt our wedding MVP!
In closing, this is a long overdue review... over dinner tonight my husband asked me if the reason I was dragging my feet was because after leaving the review it would mean that our time with Brooke is officially over. You know, there just might be some truth to that—Brooke grew to be a constant presence and sense of calm in my life. To say that I'll miss working with her is an understatement and it's certainly the saddest part of our wedding being over. Choose Brooke at Orchard Ave Events and you'll see just what I mean.
Thank you for everything Brooke!!Sent on 11/11/2019
Orchard Avenue Events's reply:Aww! You are so sweet to write such a detailed review! I absolutely loved working with you. I truly can’t believe that photo!! I’m so honored that you took time on your honeymoon to create such a special thank you to me. You are so welcome for everything!! Xx
Miriam Green · Married on 08/19/2019
Sara To The Rescue!!!
I found Sara in the middle of our planning process, when we already really needed help. I had just figured out that a day-of coordinator was pretty much necessary for a wedding to run smoothly, and was realizing that we needed planning help in order for all the details to come together. My now-husband and I were planning a Santa Rosa wedding with him in LA and me in Seattle - we just couldn't do it on our own.Sent on 09/18/2019
At first, what set Sara Sugrue apart from other planners was her flexibility. We weren't doing a mega-wedding, we didn't need full service planning, and we already had a vision for what we wanted. She embraced our vision, without trying to change it, and made it come to life.
Throughout the process, Sara was patient, professional, responsive, creative, knowledgeable, an awesome communicator, caring, and diplomatic as she negotiated a balance between our crazy and super-specific set of needs and the reality of how to make it happen.
Sara saved our planning process and gave us a day that was smooth from start to finish. Literally everything was just as we imagined and hoped.
Sara, we couldn't have done it without you, and we are so grateful!!!
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