Whether you’re a wine-lover at heart or simply want to get married in one of the most scenic areas of the country, there are seemingly endless reasons to love Napa Valley weddings. This lush region is renowned for its Mediterranean-like climate and Tuscan-style buildings, serving up an irresistibly romantic setting for any couple. Napa Valley is also famous for its sophisticated-but-relaxed lifestyle (it is California, after all), making it an ideal location for couples who want a refined yet inviting atmosphere on the big day. Surrounded by fresh air and beautiful landscapes, you really can’t go wrong!
Here are all of our must-know details for Napa Valley weddings.
Home to rolling green hills, endless acreage of vineyards, and a handful of charming towns, Napa Valley is an ideal backdrop for hosting a fairytale-worthy wedding. Napa Valley is a year-round destination, with each season bringing new vistas as flowers bloom, foliage changes and grape harvests begin. As a distinguished winemaking region, it’s no surprise that wineries are among the most popular Napa Valley wedding venues, making the area an excellent choice for any vino-obsessed couple. But even if wine isn’t a top priority on your list, there are plenty of reasons why 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 venues for your big day. You can also find a number of affordable wedding venues offering wedding packages for nearly every price point, meaning that no Napa wedding is out of reach.
Peak tourism season in Napa Valley corresponds with the region’s grape harvest, which takes place between August and October. Expect more crowds and less availability at hotels, restaurants, and other attractions during this time — unless you book several months in advance. If you’re planning a Napa Valley wedding, you should also consider popular events occurring around your wedding date. The Napa Valley Truffle Festival and Restaurant Week take place each January, while sporting events such as the Napa Valley Marathon and bicycle competitions are held in March and April. The PGA Safeway Open is an annual golf tournament at the Silverado Resort and Spa every October.
Getting There and Around
There are several major airports providing easy access to 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 operate regularly from SFO and OAK to Napa Valley. If you don’t have a car, bicycles, public busses, shuttles, and ride sharing services (Uber/Lyft) are all easy ways to get around once you arrive.
The climate 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 enjoyable, with highs averaging 70 to 80 degrees in the spring, summer and fall. High temperatures in the winter are around 60 degrees, with the occasional rainy day. Evening temperatures can fall to 50 degrees, even during the summer months, so dressing in light layers is usually advised.
- Vineyard & Winery
Napa Valley is the ultimate destination for anyone envisioning a vineyard or wine country wedding.
Whether you choose a luxury resort, golf course or charming restaurant, Napa Valley has a great selection of non-vineyard wedding venues.
Having your dream wedding in Napa Valley doesn’t have to blow your budget.
To obtain a marriage license in California, both parties must be at least 18 years old (parental consent is required for anyone younger). You do not need to be a state resident. The license requires at least one witness signature and will be issued the same day you apply. It expires after 90 days. Both parties must present a valid form of ID, such as a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or green card.
Things to Do in Napa Valley
Napa Valley weddings provide a memorable experience all their own, but if you’re looking to turn the wedding into a full-blown getaway, there are a variety of activities to enjoy while you’re 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 Napa Valley creates perfect growing conditions for more than 30 grape varieties, and it’s estimated that there are about 500 physical wineries in Napa alone — even more if you include wineries in Sonoma. You won’t have to travel far to find an inviting tasting room or a gorgeous vineyard. There are dozens of local companies providing winery tours, but our recommendation is hopping aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train for a scenic journey through the countryside. You’ll be treated to vineyard and mountain views from a 100-year-old locomotive, while indulging in a gourmet, made-to-order meal. Some train tours include stops at wineries where you can enjoy a group tasting.
- Golf Courses
Napa Valley is home to a variety of golf courses, including several PGA championship courses. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or have never picked up a club in your life, Napa Valley is an excellent place for group golf outings, private training sessions, or catching a glimpse of pro golfers at one of the many tournaments.
From luxury jewelers and outlet malls to boutique stores and farmers markets, Napa Valley has something to satisfy every type of shopaholic. Stroll through downtown Napa and along the riverfront where you’ll find stores offering everything from fancy olive oil to charming home decor.
With the Culinary Institute of America’s campus located in downtown Napa, it’s no surprise that Napa Valley is not only home to some of the best wine in the country, but also the best cuisine. Many of the local restaurants offer farm-to-table dining and change their menus daily, based on whichever ingredients are freshest at the time. You’ll find a number of prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Napa Valley, including The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood, which have both received three stars. Fancy trying your hand in the kitchen? The CIA offers cooking, baking, and wine pairing classes for all levels.
- Hot Air Balloons
If you’ve always dreamed of experiencing a hot air balloon ride, Napa Valley is the perfect place to try it out! Take flight and experience unbelievably beautiful scenery from above as you soar over northern California’s most iconic region. Most local hot air balloon companies launch around dawn, undoubtedly resulting in amazing sunrise views.