It isn’t often, as an independent planner, that you are able to work at the same site at least once a year.  Nicholson Ranch, in Sonoma, is one of those sites for me.  I feel as though I know the property well. Knowing the minute details of a site can be critical in an area with constantly changing weather patterns and unique arrangements for event spaces.  When does the wind pick-up, what is the best flow and use of the spaces, and how can we make the most of our specialty rentals?  All great questions to have answers to for Nicholson Ranch.

Nicholson Ranch and Vineyard sits up on a hill overlooking 160 acres of vines.  The Tuscan style design immediately takes you someplace else.  A beautiful driveway takes you to the main building where there is a small event space available.  The Vintners Room is best for small groups or late night dancing and is decorated with elegant rustic armoires.  Heavy candle light sets the mood for this space as does lighting the inside/outside double sided fireplace.  Useable event patio space leaks out of this room along with the space that most couples fall in love with: a true Tuscan courtyard event space.  There is space for a fountain, stucco half walls, and full landscaped beds surrounding.  The courtyard is open and airy, but sits up against the main building, so wind gusts that pick up as the sun sets don’t reach the main courtyard. An extra bonus of this site is that they own tables, so a few less rentals to bring in. Many table configurations work in this space for 40 or 150 guests.  It’s one of those rare spaces you can use a portion of and have it not feel like only half of a room is utilized.

A simple lawn ceremony area is available adjacent to the grapevines and pond. The direction of the ceremony can face the vineyard or the hillside which carries some history.  A little church monument sits atop this hill.  Great history lies in this area and many couples love the story Ramona, owner of Nicholson Ranch, tells.  It’s more surprising than the vineyard as a backdrop to a Sonoma wedding.

What Sonoma winery can function without a wine cave?  Nicholson Ranch offers a long  narrow space that is often used as the cocktail area.  A fun way to utilize all of the sites at Nicholson is to tie this space into the wedding lineup.  A brief walk takes the guests to the cave where barrels line the walkway with small candle lights on each. The movement is nice and offers a break for the courtyard completion or ceremony to reception transition.

The Bombay Room is a sweet touch for any couple.  This makes a great overnight spot for the wedding night in addition to a great getting ready room for the girls. A completely private overnight, once guests leave, makes for a fantastic complimentary perk for this property.  If wine quality is your driving force for choosing a property in the wine country, you won’t be disappointed.  Nicholson Ranch has received consistent Gold Medals for their wines and I never miss a tasting when I visit with a couple!

Many of the photos in the Gallery were provided by Marc Weisberg Photography, Allison Stahl Photography or taken from this venue’s website.

~ Vixen Catrina