Photography by: Michelle Walker Photography Check out some more gorgeous images. Click here!
About the Venue
What do you call it when the charming, laid-back atmosphere of the wine country meets the refinement of the world's most luxury resorts? That's easy - the Sonoma Mission Inn!
The Sonoma Mission Inn is a Fairmont resort property, and as a guest you receive all the lux accommodations and services associated with the refined level of resort living. The hot springs of the Sonoma Mission Inn have been providing holistic healing properties which date back to the Native American Indians, but the current hotel (an architectural replica of a California Mission) was built in 1927 after a fire had destroyed the original property. For a destination wine country wedding, you can't pick a more spectacular location. The 228-room hotel feels like a boutique venue, but the level of service is unquestionably among the best in the valley. The red adobe architecture is stunning, as is the California mission-style architecture with its brightly colored tile accents. Your wedding photo album will be incredible with no staging necessary.
Your main question will be where to hold the event? The world class resort has five standard reception venues, but more than that, they have an unlimited amount of property where you can construct your own custom reception where the only limitations are your imagination.
Ask the Expert
The DIY photo booth... I'm not sure who first thought of having a photo booth as an activity at a wedding celebration, but I do know that thousands of happy couples are thankful that they did. The photo booth has taken the place of the cheesy wedding video where the videographer goes around to each person and makes them say something profound to the bride and groom. For the more timid guest, this is a moment of dread, and for the bride and groom, a microphone in the hands of "tipsy" wedding guests could be complete disaster.
Enter the photo booth. What a brilliant idea. It offers a tiny corner of privacy where you can let your silly side show - no judgment, no pressure. The trend seems to have started start with several of the entertainment companies providing great all-inclusive booths. We love these as a planner - I have to say they make life very easy. Most of the booths include a person to handle any problems, refill supplies, bring props, and help make suggestions to those that lack imagination.
Recently we have seen many DIY brides, and even several ingenious photographers, put together the DIY open-air photo booth. The creativity behind the open-air style as pictured above is the interaction. Instead of one or two guests going into a booth and having a bit of fun, now the entire crowd can be entertained while mom and dad, brothers and sisters, and friends all take part in a bit of irreverent wedding frivolity and document it on film. If you choose to go the DIY route, it is significantly less expensive, but you need to facilitate the booth as well. The camera, printer, and supplies need to have someone in attendance at all times. The crowd always needs to be encouraged, at least at first, and if problems should arise, you need to have an on-site troubleshooter to take care of business.