All posts tagged sonoma

Destination Wedding Recap

Published September 16, 2013 by jenmatteson

I mentioned a few days ago that Nate and I just got married in Sonoma, CA.  It was a small destination wedding for us Minnesotans.  Quite funny, when people found out we were from Minnesota, they would ask how cold it was there or if we were enjoying the warm weather.  It’s Minnesota, people, not the Arctic Circle!  And actually, while we were gone, it was miserably hot and humid in Minnesota, and gorgeous, sunny and mid-80s everyday in California.

But you’re not reading this for the weather report, right?  You wanted to read about our trip. Okay, if you’re like me, I’d prefer pictures to reading, so I’ll share a few good ones with a short caption.  It was so hard to cut it down from all the great pictures and times we had, but I tried to keep it to a minimum.  Tried. Here we go…



My Princess, Charlotte


This is my peanut, princess, snuggle buddy and all around fur bestie, Charlotte.  She was not happy the morning we left and really tried putting up a fight.

Getting Started


While this is a classic plane picture that almost everyone I know has taken, mine comes with a wonderful story.  The morning we were leaving, we weighed our one checked bag, and it was almost 70 lbs.  We have to take some stuff out and put in another carry-on, as we were trying to only check one bag.  Nate suggests just taking out a bag full of items we were putting in the welcome bags for our guests, which I agree and we’re good to go.  Fast-forward, as we’re checking in, I realize I’ve forgotten my credit card.  Now, that’s not a huge deal, but inconvenient as we put everything on that card for the points.  Fine, no biggie, Nate’s parent’s will bring it when they come on Sunday.  We get upstairs to the security line, and are just unpacking our items on the belt when I realize I’ve forgotten my water bottle at the ticketing counter.  Since we have time, Nate says to go get it, and he’ll wait for me on the other side of security.  He takes everything through with him, with the exception of one carry-on bag (the extra one with the welcome bag items in it) and my ID.  I walk back down to the ticketing counter, my water bottle is exactly where I left it.  On my way back upstairs, I realize, I can’t carry this bag on, it’s got a ton of liquids in it.  As I turn around to go back to the ticketing counter to check it, I also realize that I don’t have any way of paying for this bag as Nate is with my purse.  I then turn around again (I’m sure people thought I was insane just turning in circles as I continue to think of things), and have to see if I can get Nate’s attention through the glass, as he’s on the other side of the security line.  We have to sign (as best we can) what the heck is going on, and finally he gets a security agent to pass his wallet through to me.  I check the bag, and we’re golden.  But, being that I am an extremely organized person, I’m completely frazzled for all that had gone wrong already.  Hence, my well deserved screwdriver, which Nate had to buy me!

Crossing Golden Gate

Leaving cool, cloudy San Fransisco for sunny warm Sonoma County.


Seeing ceremony site fot first time

Seeing our ceremony site for the first time in person, less than a week before.

Stocking up

Stocking up on one of our favorite wines at Viansa for our guests.

Domaine Chandon

Domaine Chandon in Napa with Nate’s parents, having oysters and picking out sparkling wine for the wedding.

Getting the party started

First guests arrive and we get the party started with a welcome BBQ.

Ladies Spa Party

Kim relaxing at the spa

Leah relaxing at the spa

Ladies Spa Day!

Groom's Dinner

Guy time

Kim and me at Groom's Dinner

Groom’s Dinner at Hopmonk in Sebestapol.

Late night cards

End of most nights was either cards or pool after dinner.

Getting ready for big day!

Getting ready for the big day!

Saying our vows

Saying our vows at the ceremony with our “official officiant”, AKA my bestie, Leah.

The Whole Gang

The entire group.

Tasting grapes

After the ceremony at Kunde Family Estate, we had a private tour of their wine caves and got to taste all the grapes.

On the way to dinner

The group in the party bus on the way to dinner.

St. Francis

Walking into St. Francis, where we had a private food and wine pairing from the kitchen of Executive Chef Bush.  One of the best meals I’ve ever had!

Tasting room at St. Francis

Dinner at St. Francis.  SO GOOD!  I absolutely loved that round table.

My parent's at Bodega Bay

The day after the wedding, Nate and I went with my family to Bodega Bay for some great views and a little rock climbing.

My dad, my brother and me

After taking the long way (climbing up the rocks) we made it!

Guys at El Dorado Kitchen

Ladies at El Dorado Hotel entrance

On Friday night, the “friends” went out for dinner together.  We started at El Dorado Kitchen in the Sonoma Square; I had to have the peach jalapeno martini.  YUM!

Cheers at The Girl and the Fig

Friends dinner at The Girl and the Fig.  Ladies only champs cheers!  Another of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.  If you travel to Sonoma County, you HAVE to eat here.  Plus, we had fantastic service!

Cline Winery

Saturday was a day of friends wine tasting.  This is the ladies at Cline Winery.

My honey with Suzanne at Naked Wines

Nate and I had visited Naked Wines and became “Angels” (wine club members) on the first visit.  We had to bring our friends back.  We had such a fantastic time, we met the manager, who gave us two bottles for free as a wedding gift!  Not only that, but she gave us a private tour, let us taste juice that was just crushed and wine from a barrel that was ready to be bottled.  Definitely recommend a visit to this place if you ever are in town.

Nate and Kim at Viansa

We said goodbye to our friends at Viansa.  All but one went back to San Francisco that evening to catch early Sunday flights. Overall, we had such a fantastic wedding trip, everything was perfect, and we couldn’t thank our family and friends enough for sharing in this special day and trip with us.

St. Francis Tasting Room

Not gone, just married!

Published September 4, 2013 by jenmatteson

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and I bet you’re wondering if I’ve quit blogging.  Well, I haven’t.  I was just off getting married in Sonoma, CA for the last 10 days, so I’ve been slightly preoccupied.

I’ll be sure to write a full (slightly full to protect the “innocent”) re-cap, but to tide you over, here are a few quick pics for you to enjoy!

My Groom and Me

Site of our Wedding Ceremony


More later.  Have some catching up to do at home first, and must use up all my great veggies that flourished while I was gone!  Oh, and also have the at home party to plan.  But I promise, I’ll share more!

A Wine Country Wedding: Invites and Information Packets

Published April 4, 2013 by jenmatteson

Most people who know me well, know that I love planning events, so planning my destination wedding has been a lot of fun so far!  A lot of work, but still fun.  I sure wish this was my job, but alas, I’m not so lucky 😦 I spent quite a bit of time compiling information for our guests for our wine country wedding in August.  Here is a quick peek at what our guests received.  I’ve included some PDF links to the actual (some partial for privacy of our guests) documents that I developed.

Outside of invite package

Inside of wedding invite package

Invitation: The ceremony will be held at Kunde Family Estate, and performed by my bestie!  Reception to follow immediately at St. Francis Winery, prepared by Executive Chef David Bush.  Transportation is provided for all guests by limo bus. Wedding Invitations

Wedding Week Itinerary: Itinerary of major events from Monday through Sunday (days most guests will be in town).  This was a tri-fold with a list of guests and their relationship to the bride and groom on the back (I didn’t include this part in the PDF link to protect the innocent 😉 ). Wedding Itinerary

Travel Information: Through Vacation Rental by Owner, we are renting a house in Santa Rosa where our guests will be staying.  All important travel information including flights, car rentals, shuttles, lodging address and amenities, and tips on packing for the trip. Travel Information

Driving Directions: Turn by turn directions from San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport to rental house.

What To Do: A brochure I put together specifically for this group of people.  We have mostly couples coming and one family with two small children.  I compiled a list of popular activities for the adventurer, families and children and the wino (ME!).  Price ranges from free and higher, and include activities such as state parks, Train Town, Charles Shultz (Peanuts creator) Museum, shopping, gardens and day trips.  In this brochure, I’ve also included a list of wineries that we recommend.  Being that there are far too many for anyone to make it to all of them in a single trip (let alone a lifetime), I thought a list of those that we’ve been to and enjoyed with a few highlights might be helpful for the first timers. Sonoma Brochure

Restaurant Recommendations: This list includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night options for guests, ranging in casual to fancy, inexpensive to pricey.  Most are restaurants that I’ve been to.  I used information from my very favorite travel advice site, Trip Advisor, for options close to where we are staying and highly rated by Trip Advisor users. Restaurant Recommendations

Spa Menu: We are planning a spa day while we are out there.  In order to make reservations for everyone before we arrive, I included a menu of the spa services and requested guests let me know what services they’d like, if any. Spa Menu

Save the Date!

Published December 20, 2012 by jenmatteson

We’ve (I’ve) had a busy last few weeks!  I’m sure you haven’t forgotten that I announced our engagement not too long ago, and we’ve set a date!  Sorry, but if you haven’t received yours, that means you aren’t invited 😦  But don’t take it too personally; we are only inviting 13 people to join us for our nuptials in Sonoma, CA.

I just wanted to share our adorable Save the Dates.  We used wine from Kunde, the family estate that the ceremony will be held at in Sonoma.

Save the Date

What are some cute ideas you’ve seen for save the dates?Save the Date

%d bloggers like this: