Napa Wedding Photography – 2023 Couple’s Guide

Widely recognized as one of the most romantic locations for a destination wedding in the United States, Napa Valley embodies the rustic, elegant, vineyard wedding. There is so much to love about Napa wine country, but before you put down a deposit for your Napa wedding there is a lot you should know. And I am not talking about Pinot Grigios, Merlots, or Cabernet Sauvignons! There will be plenty of time for drinking wine and celebrating later. For now, let this Napa wedding photographer with over 12+ years of experience provide some helpful tips regarding Napa Valley wine country weddings! Let’s dive in! 

napa valley wedding photographer

For nearly a decade, I have been capturing wedding photos in Napa, California, capturing photos that are authentic, candid, and filled with raw emotion. The goal of my Napa wedding photography has always been to mix a photojournalistic style that intertwines elegance, unposed moments, and all the elements that epitomize luxurious, modern, Napa wine country weddings. I invite you to review some of the previous destination weddings I have captured throughout the years and see firsthand all the good times. And if my wedding photojournalism style of photography connects with your vision for your destination wedding please do not hesitate to message me to learn more about Napa wedding photographer packages! Say hello by sending me a text message (951-704-9503), using the contact form, or completing the information below. I look forward to learning more about your Napa wedding! Cheers- Ryan

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    Related Article: SF City Hall Elopement Guide 

    6 Napa Wedding Venues – Best In Wine Country 

    The first step in wedding planning is choosing the venue you want to get married at in Napa Valley, CA. The good news? There are many majestic outdoor wedding venues in Napa Valley that offer stunning vineyard views among other luxury amenities for couples planning a destination wedding in wine country. Although I strongly recommend each bride and groom take a guided tour of the unique wedding venues Napa Valley has to offer, sometimes that is not possible due to logistics. For couples doing online research on destination wedding packages and the different venues in wine country, here is my list of the 7 best wedding venues in Napa, California!

    Auberge du Soleil

    If you’re looking for a wedding venue that offers breathtaking panoramic views and a luxurious setting, look no further than Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley. As a wedding photographer, I have seen firsthand how the stunning natural backdrop of the valley floor and the Mayacamas Mountains in the distance creates a perfect setting for your special day.

    At Auberge du Soleil, the outdoor Terrace and Ceremony Deck provide an idyllic spot for exchanging vows and celebrating your union. And with exclusive guest use of the entire property, you and your guests will enjoy complete privacy and access to all locations on the property, ensuring a truly memorable experience.

    When it comes to capturing your wedding day memories, Auberge du Soleil offers countless picture-perfect opportunities. From the breathtaking views to the luxurious setting, this venue is the perfect choice for couples looking for a modern and luxurious wedding experience. As a wedding photographer, I highly recommend Auberge du Soleil as one of the top wedding venues in Napa Valley.


    V. Sattui Winery

    V. Sattui Winery is a premier wedding venue in Napa Valley. In fact, this luxurious winery located in Napa has even been recognized as one of the “Top Five Winery Wedding Venues in The World” by Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Abroad.

    V. Sattui Winery is renowned for its romantic ambiance, lush landscapes, and rustic charm, providing the perfect setting for your dream wedding in Wine Country. Oh, and don’t forget to try some of their award-winning wines to cap off your celebration in style!

    As a foodie, what I like most about V. Sattui Winery is the dining experience. Italian Michelin Star Chef Stefano Masanti and his hand-selected team will create your wedding menu, perfectly paired with V. Sattui wines. As a special treat, brides and grooms get a complimentary Chef’s Table tasting with Stefano to help create the perfect menu for their big day. Pretty rad right? Overall, V. Sattui Winery is a top choice for couples seeking a truly unforgettable wedding experience in Napa Valley.


    Trentadue Winery 

    As you plan your dream wedding in Napa Valley, you’ll want to consider Trentadue Winery as your ultimate venue. Located in Alexander Valley, this charming wine country venue is surrounded by picturesque vineyards and stunning mountains, providing an idyllic backdrop for your special day. With both indoor and outdoor options, Trentadue Winery can easily accommodate small and large weddings.

    The outdoor space at Trentadue Winery provides a romantic and intimate atmosphere, with vine arbors and matured redwood trees that evoke an old-world Italian feel. The stunning Sala de Leon Pavilion boasts picturesque French doors that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains, allowing you to enjoy the scenery while being indoors. Whether you choose an indoor or outdoor ceremony, your wedding at Trentadue Winery will be unique and unforgettable. With a variety of venue options, this winery is the perfect place to celebrate your love with family and friends.


    Beaulieu Garden

    If you’re looking for an enchanting wedding venue that seamlessly combines old-world charm with modern elegance, Beaulieu Garden is a perfect choice. Tucked away in a secluded and breathtakingly beautiful setting in Napa Valley, this venue offers a half-mile drive beneath a canopy of sycamore trees that sets the tone for your unforgettable day.

    With its picturesque sunken garden, romantic sycamore arbor, and sparkling pool bordered by manicured lawns and grapevines, Beaulieu Garden is the ideal backdrop for your exchange of vows, exquisite dinner, or elegant reception. As the stars come out, your guests can dance the night away in a dreamlike atmosphere, surrounded by rolling hills and magical lights.

    With Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events as the exclusive caterer for Beaulieu Garden, you can rest assured that every aspect of your event will be nothing short of perfection. Whether you’re envisioning an intimate gathering or a grand celebration, the possibilities are endless at Beaulieu Garden.


    Solage Resort 

    If you’re dreaming of a luxurious and stress-free wedding venue in Napa Valley, Solage is an exceptional resort and spa that offers everything you could wish for. The resort is nestled amidst lush, densely wooded hills, boasting an exquisite sense of space and flow that radiates a sense of relaxed luxury. Here, you’ll find all the comforts of a posh retreat, with breathtaking views of the Palisades Mountains and Mt. St. Helena.

    At Solage, couples can enjoy the ultimate peace of mind, knowing that the staff is highly skilled at ensuring their comfort and relaxation. Guests can arrive a day or two early to unwind in private courtyard accommodations, and couples can walk through the wedding and reception site two hours before their ceremony to ensure everything is perfect. The stunning Solstice pavilion is Solage’s prime wedding venue, featuring soaring floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a terrace and lawn with awe-inspiring views of the mountains. For more intimate ceremonies or post-wedding brunches, Solage’s smaller venues, Spectera and Nova, are also available. With exceptional catering and world-class service, Solage is the ultimate destination for couples seeking a stylish, sophisticated wedding venue that’s infused with relaxed, stress-free luxury.


    Carneros Resort & Spa

    For an unforgettable wedding experience in Napa Valley, look no further than Carneros Resort & Spa. This stunning venue boasts 10,000 square feet of event space, perfect for an intimate reception or a grand dinner under the stars. With eco-friendly lawns and landscaping, as well as scenic views of vineyards and rolling hills, Carneros Resort & Spa is committed to sustainability while providing a beautiful backdrop for your special day.

    Carneros Resort & Spa offers 35,000 square feet of event space and nine unique venues, both indoor and outdoor, with a reception capacity of up to 300 guests. What makes this venue truly unique is its ability to cater to weddings of all sizes, from small ceremonies to resort-wide buyouts. The vineyard setting offers a picturesque backdrop, and the outdoor venues provide a beautiful and memorable atmosphere. In addition to the stunning event spaces, Carneros Resort & Spa also offers cottages and luxury home rental accommodations, allowing you and your guests to fully immerse yourselves in the beauty and tranquility of Napa Valley.


    Wine Country

     Best Napa Valley Photographers

    Your Northern California wine country wedding in Napa or Sonoma is going to be AMAZING! I look forward to learning more about you and your destination wedding in the wine country. But if for some reason I am already booked, or if maybe you are not feeling my fine art, modern, colorful approach to wedding photojournalism then I would encourage you to check out the following wedding and portrait photographer teams in Napa. My only goal is that you get kick-ass wedding photos even if I am not the photography studio documenting your Napa, CA, or Sonoma County wedding. The portrait photographers listed below are known for specializing in weddings so check out each review and wedding website to see if one of these artists is a fit for your wedding and event!

    • Ryan Horban Photography: An award-winning wine country wedding photographer, Horban’s work has been featured in Green Wedding Shoes, People Magazine, and JuneBug Weddings. With over a decade of experience, his candid and colorful approach to photography has made him one of the top destination wedding photographers according to Yelp!
    • Jen Philips Photography: Event photography based in Napa, California
    • Megan Reeves Photography: Husband and wife team based in Napa, specializing in telling your story through photography
    • Tim Halberg Photography: Capturing real weddings and providing cost guides for couples planning their special day
    • Christophe Genty Photography: Specializes in weddings in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond
    • Shannon Stellmacher Photography: Based in Santa Rosa and capturing weddings throughout Wine Country
    • Rose Photography: Providing beautiful wedding galleries for couples throughout Napa Valley and beyond
    • Caitlin O’Reilly Photography: Capturing natural, candid moments for couples and families in Napa Valley and beyond
    • Willow and Ben: San Francisco-based wedding photography studio available for Napa Valley weddings
    • Kristine Herman Photography: Specializes in capturing timeless, romantic images for couples throughout the Bay Area
    • Blissful Stories Photography: Telling the unique story of each couple’s wedding day through photography

    It is no surprise that the best winery wedding venues in California are located in Napa Valley. A Calistoga Ranch wedding will be absolutely stunning, or Auberge du Soleil wedding will offer any bride and groom the most luxurious Napa Valley wedding experience. With so many romantic wedding venues Napa the best advice is for couples to tour at least 5 vineyards and book the venue that sings to their rustic hearts. Ideally, with a wedding planner with attention to detail who specializes in Napa and Sonoma weddings. From the perspective of a Napa wedding photographer, as long as you have that vineyard golden light and good vibes that is all that matters.

    San Luis Obispo wedding photographer

    Napa Elopement Photographer

    Escaping to Napa wine country for a wildly romantic and relaxing elopement is something many engaged couples are choosing to do. Then again, avoiding the stress of planning a traditional wedding, drinking some of the best wines in the world, relaxing by the pool, taking in majestic vineyard views, and finally enjoying the complete wedding experience is really not a tough sell. Napa elopements have become increasingly popular as many couples opt for the untraditional wedding, but even a ceremony with only 2 people needs to be documented. So what should you do? The best tip is to invest in a Napa elopement photographer who can capture you saying your vows in a breathtaking vineyard. And of course, toasting the night away with some intoxicating red wines or champagnes.

    Are you sitting on your couch right now, with a glass of wine in hand, thinking about Napa and Sonoma weddings? Maybe you and your fiancée want something simple and are planning a Napa elopement. Whether the guest count is 2 or 200, remember that this is your wedding and you should do whatever makes your collective hearts happy.

    Then take a moment to check out my free San Luis Obispo elopement wedding guide! The SLO elopement guide details everything a couple should know about eloping in San Luis Obispo!

    How Much Does A Napa Wedding Photographer Cost?

    The best Napa wedding photographer studios will have a variety of packages for any couples planning a wedding in Northern California wine country. Whether it is a full-scale luxurious wedding at Calistoga Ranch or private elopement at Meadowood in St. Helena, a good rule of thumb is that Napa photography packages will cost around $925 an hour for an experienced photographer. However, couples can save some money by booking the Napa wedding photographer for additional hours of coverage, as the hourly rate for photo services tends to go down the more hours a photographer is booked for an event. Napa engagement photos, fine-art wedding albums, second shooters, and professional prints are all additional costs that can bring a Napa wedding package up an additional $2500 to $7,500, depending on what the couple needs.

    San Luis Obispo Wedding Photographer

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    When Is The Best Time Of Year To Get Married In Napa Valley?

    Late spring and early fall offer mild temperatures and picturesque scenery for a Napa Valley wedding, making them the most popular times to get married in Napa Valley. Spring weddings in Napa are perfect for couples who want a backdrop of rolling green hills and blooming flowers. This is also the time of year tourism is a little slower, which means brides and grooms might be able to get better rates on Napa Valley intimate wedding packages. Although the lush greenery of Spring Napa weddings can be enchanting, couples should be aware that there could be a small chance of rain. That means be prepared for the possibility of having the wedding reception under a tent if rainfall does happen to occur on your Napa wedding day.

    Easily the best time to get married in Napa wine country is during the Summer. Yes, it is important to recognize that your Napa wedding could be 90-100 degrees during the peak Summer months when the weather is warmest. However, it is also important to know that the temperature drops roughly 25-30 degrees after sunset, which creates the perfect weather for an outdoor wedding reception in Napa Valley. Not to mention, the longer days provide more time to really absorb the breathtaking views and get incredible shots during the golden hour with your Napa wedding photographer.

    If you need help locating other wedding vendors from bridal shops who offer custom wedding dresses or handwritten calligraphy wedding invitations for your save-the-dates, please reach out to your planner as they will be best equipped to assist in those departments.

    Where Are Some Great Places To Have A Rehearsal Dinner In Napa Valley or Sonoma?

    Napa Valley and Sonoma offer many great options for rehearsal dinners, including some of the same wineries and vineyards that host weddings. Some popular options include The French Laundry, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and Bottega Napa Valley. For a more casual atmosphere, you can also consider spots like Oxbow Public Market or Gott’s Roadside.

    Are There Any Interesting Historical Or Cultural Sites To Visit In Napa Valley or Sonoma?

    Yes, both Napa Valley and Sonoma have rich histories and offer many interesting cultural sites to visit. Some popular options include the Mission San Francisco Solano, the Napa Valley Wine Train, and the Napa Valley Opera House. You can also explore some of the historic downtown areas, such as Yountville or Sonoma Plaza.

    What Are Some Fun Local Wineries To Visit In Napa Valley Or Sonoma?

    Yes, there are many great wineries to visit in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Some popular options include Beringer Vineyards, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Chateau Montelena. You can also consider visiting some of the smaller, boutique wineries for a more intimate and personalized experience.

    From San Franciso Bay to Half Moon Bay, Napa Valley California continues to be a top spot for destination weddings so nearly any time is a good time to get married, eat some wedding cake, and relax in a vineyard among loved ones!