Sonoma Wedding With a TwistWords by Courtney Kellar
It only took one visit to Sonoma County to turn me into a NorCal convert. If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the rugged coastline of Northern California, your destination wedding or honeymoon is the perfect time to discover this unique and breathtaking stretch of land.
The misty coastal setting not only creates picturesque backdrops for your big day, but unique wines, as well. Any lover of California varietals, who wants to skip potential wine country pretentiousness, should consider the Jenner area of Sonoma County.
To maximize the landscape and event planning potential, consider Timber Cove Resort. Located in Jenner, just off historic Highway 1, this bluff-based hotel will serve as a hip host. Located roughly an hour from Sonoma County Airport and 90 minutes from San Francisco International Airport, it’s a bit of a hike to reach. But, navigating the narrow and winding roads of Highway 1 will set the scene for an epic wine country getaway.
Upon arrival, head straight to the bar in the cavernous and cool communal lobby. Timber Cove first swung its swanky doors wide in 1963 and recently underwent a head-to-toe renovation; bringing its unique, mod-style into the modern age. The 46 rooms boast high beamed ceilings, sweeping views of the Pacific, cozy fireplaces and cool touches like retro kitchenettes and record players. Timber Cove’s bold vibe is infectious and even the geekiest guest will feel cool by association.
When it comes to your wedding day, say “I do” with up to 120 guests in the shade of wind-swept cypress trees on the events lawn. Host your reception on the Ansel Adams redwood deck and charge your guests to keep their eyes peeled for Western Gulls (who mate for life) surfing the coastal breezes.
After ogling the views from Timber Cove, you’ll be itching to get out and see the sights. Drive through nearby towns like Healdsburg to enjoy tiny shops and calendar-worthy houses surrounded by foggy farmland. The rocky cliffs and chilly beaches aren’t conducive for swimming, but make up for it in the ambiance department.
A visit to Salt Point State Park is an absolute must. It will bring to mind an episode of “Planet Earth” as you spot swaths of wildflowers, gray whales and their calves just off shore, along with octopus-wrestling seals and even a stray orca or two. Area tasting room standouts include Flowers Vineyards and Winery (known for their Chardonnay) and Eric Ross Winery (known for its Russian River Pinot).
Let Mother Nature play host at your wedding in Sonoma County. She’ll not only bring the wine, but will also provide the entertainment and décor.
Images courtesy of (in order of appearance): Courtney Kellar (1st & 3rd) & Timber Cove Resort (2nd)
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2019 issue. You can order a copy here.
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