Featured Wedding: Kayla & Ryan

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This month's feature is the stunning Spring wedding of high school sweethearts Kayla and Ryan, who's wedding date was planned to land right on their 10 year anniversary! How magical is that??

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
We met at Dixon High School. We started dating on May 25, 2008, when I was a sophomore and he was a senior. We dated the rest of my high school career and all of our college careers. He asked me to marry him when I had just graduated from college!

Tell us about the proposal!
The proposal was perfect! I had just graduated with my undergraduate degree from Sacramento State. As a couple, we love to take trips together, so for a graduation present he surprised me with a trip to San Diego. The second full day into our trip Ryan planned a sunset horseback ride on the beach. He knew this was special to me because I grew up riding horses but did not get to enjoy them as much as I would like to. We had a trail guide on the ride with us, but other than that it was just the two of us. The trail to the beach was about an hour and a half ride. Once we got to the beach, we rode for about another 30 minutes. The view was amazing, the sun was setting, and we were the only people on the beach for miles. We reached the turnaround point of the ride and the guide had us get off our horses to “stretch our legs”, because she knew what Ryan had planned. He grabbed my hands and proposed in the most perfect way. I was completely in shock and was completely unaware that he had anything like that planned. He even hired a photographer to capture the moment.

Ryan was already enrolled/accepted into Law School at the time we got engaged. This led us to have a long, 3 year, engagement because we did not want the process of planning a wedding to be mixed with the stress of law school. It ended up being the perfect decision, because it allowed us to get married exactly on our 10-year anniversary, May 25, 2018.

Why did you choose Park Winters?
My mom, Leslie, is the person that found actually found our venue. She was involved in helping us search because she knew what we were wanting in a venue. We were looking for something that was reasonably close to Dixon, due to the fact that we and both of our families are from there.

We always pictured an outdoor wedding so that narrowed it down a little bit. We were also looking for the venue that would give us the freedom to make our wedding special and put our own twist on it. As soon as we toured Park Winters we knew we wanted to get married there. The venue was the total package from all of the outdoor spaces, the house itself, and even the food. Not to mention, everyone there was wonderful to work with and very accommodating in working with us.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
I am not sure how many brides can say that their wedding day was the definition of perfect and more than they could ever imagine, but mine was that and more. To pick a favorite wedding moment is difficult.

If I had to choose one I would say it was the cocktail party. Ryan and I decided on being introduced early so we could spend the extra time with our guests. Being introduced as man and wife then getting to spend the next hour or so with the people closest to us was unforgettable. We were very grateful we had that special time with our guests.

A close second favorite was our ceremony. Even though it was short, it summed up Ryan and I’s relationship perfectly.

VENDORS:
Planning and Design: Leslie Sherlin (My mom was the mastermind behind the wedding. From the table layout of the reception, to every table detail, and everything in between.)
Day of Coordination: Rachele Poplin with Alluring Events
Floral: The Dixon Florist 
Hair: Adreana Cross
Makeup: Marissa Stacey
Photography: Anna Perevertaylo
Videography: By Design Film
DJ: Extreme Productions
Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen
Bride Dress: Galia Lahav
Bridesmaids Dresses: Hayley Paige
Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Recipe: Crème Brûlée French Toast with Blackberry Coulis

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We've been told that the best part of staying at Park Winters is the breakfast the next morning! And, while you can't replace the magic of starting your day in our little country oasis, you can at least recreate one of the decadent breakfast dishes we offer! 

INGREDIENTS

Crème Brûlée Base
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup egg yolks
½ cup + ¼ cup sugar
2 tsp bourbon vanilla

French Toast
1 loaf challah bread
3 tbsp unsalted butter

Blackberry Coulis
1 cup blackberries
2 tbsp sugar
⅛ cup water
1 tsp lemon juice

Fresh Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp bourbon vanilla

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the crème brûlée base: Heat cream to a simmer (don’t boil). In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla together until incorporated. Next slowly add the hot cream a little at a time to the egg yolk and sugar mixture while whisking vigorously.

Cut the challah bread into 1 ½ inch slices and soak both sides in the crème brûlée base until soaked all the way through. This is best done while the base is still warm, but not hot.

Place the soaked bread onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper that has been sprayed with pan spray. Bake soaked bread for twenty minutes or until the custard is set. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Make the blackberry coulis: Heat the water, sugar, and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves. Cool the mixture in the refrigerator. In a blender add the cooled mixture to the blackberries and purée until smooth.

Make the whipped cream: Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whip on a medium speed until the whipped cream holds under its own wait. Do not over-whip or the whipped cream will turn into butter. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer, or whip it by hand with a whisk.

Cook the French toast: Heat a pan on medium heat. Coat the one side of the French toast in sugar. Add butter to the pan, and as soon as it is melted, place the French toast onto the pan, sugar side down. Cook on the sugar side down until the edges start to get a little crispy. Flip the French toast and place in the 350 degree oven for 7 minutes or until it is warmed through. Place French toast on a place and garnish with the blackberry coulis, and the whipped cream.

Featured Wedding: Laura & Alexis

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This month's feature is the intimate Spring wedding of Laura and Alexis, who's love for each other radiates with pure joy.

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
I was being recruited by a company, and they invited me to wine and dine with potential co-workers. Alexis was sitting nearby as I played a game of pool against myself. I missed pretty much every shot, and would occasionally hit the ball clear off of the table, all the while laughing hysterically. I remember noticing Alexis watching me with confusion, but luckily I intrigued more than scared him! And, the rest is history!

Tell us about the proposal!
We got engaged on Wailea Beach in Maui  —  Alexis got down on one knee in the middle of the ocean at low tide and popped the question. I couldn't actually tell he was on one knee because of the water. I thought he was joking! But, after realizing what was going on, I said yes. :)

Why did you choose Park Winters?
We visited a lot of wineries and farms before choosing Park Winters. We were looking for something magical, whimsical, and not pretentious. All of the wineries were pretentious, and the farms usually had horses or other animals—the smell of manure really takes the magic out of things. Park Winters had the perfect combination of history and timelessness, and we loved that it was secluded amongst the farmland.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
Vows and speeches! We wrote our vows late the night before, and we didn't have any paper, so we ended up writing them on paper grocery bags from Whole Foods. Despite the frantic rush, our vows were so heartfelt and genuine. Hearing our friends and family talk about us as a couple at dinner meant so much to us. A lot of people travelled from out of town to attend our intimate wedding, and it was a really special time with the most important people in our lives. We also loved the stormy sunset at the end of the day. It was dramatic and perfect.

VENDORS:
Invitation Suite, program fans, seating chart, chalkboard signs, dinner menus, favor calligraphy, table numbers, disposable cameras: (Bride) Kristin Hashimoto Read
Photography: Ruth Nyquist
Officiant: Tan Weddings & Events
Dress - Sarah Seven
Floral Design - Bouqs, Blooms By The Box
Hair & Makeup - Christi Reynolds
Day-of Coordination - With Grace and Love Events

Summerland in Winters

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Last month, we welcomed some of the most influential bloggers, event planners and social media mavens to Park Winters for a full day of fun and inspiration! At Summerland, guests were treated to dreamy photography vignettes, delicious food & drinks, pool party fun and so much more! One of our favorite parts of Summerland was getting to work with the amazing event planners we often recommend to our wedding guests. We asked them to create something magical... and boy did they deliver! We will be sharing more about each event planner's vignette in the days to come, but thought we would start by sharing this amazing photo collection of the event, shot by the lovely Crystal Lynn Collins. (for even more amazing inspo, check out the #PWSummerland hashtag on Instagram!)

Featured Wedding: Lauren & Graham

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Let's be honest, we were all swooning over the simple, chic wedding look of our favorite fairytale Princess, Megan Markle. Her minimalist style is a growing trend amongst modern brides, and yet we are actually looking back to one of our favorite understated, elegant weddings: Lauren & Graham. Their neutral color palette, simple green florals and Lauren's stunning wedding day look proved that less is most definitely more.

Spring Wedding Inspiration

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We host many unbelievably beautiful weddings each year, often thanks to an amazing team of professionals working tirelessly to perfect every last detail. Along with the many real weddings we host, we've also had the pleasure of working with some of the best wedding vendors in the region to create stunning inspiration shoots. Last May, as the lavender on the property was emerging, we hosted a magical styled shoot led by Hailey Yeager of Two Roads Event Co. (and former Park Winters bride!). You've seen some of the images on our Instagram, but we've never shared the whole album! Be prepared for some major Spring wedding inspiration... made possible by an all-star team:

Photographer: Susan Yee
Plan / Coordinate / Design / Style: Two Roads Event Co.
Floral Design / Styling: Bloomers
Cake: Paper Heart Patisserie
Stationer: Pop Calligraphy
Hair + Makeup: Angela Nunnink
Dress(es): Bride to Be Couture
Linens: La Tavola
Plant Dyed Ribbons / Textiles: Jennifer Tan

Mother's Day Gift Guide

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Mother's Day is right around the corner and finding the perfect gift for someone so important is no easy task! While we are all sold out for our Mother's Day Lunch, we still have plenty of wonderful options to treat Mom to the experience of Park Winters. Read below for some inspiration!


GIVE THE GIFT OF PARK WINTERS

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Mom should be celebrated every day of the year! Luckily, our Farm Dinners are scheduled several times a month, and rooms at the Inn are available for booking throughout the year! The Park Winters gift certificate can be used towards either experience (and more!), giving her the freedom to redeem when she's truly in need of a relaxing retreat.


SHARE AN EXPERIENCE

Treat your Mom this Mother's Day to this very special workshop with succulent expert Noelle DeMartini of Succulents by Noelle DeMartini and Sweet Pea's Nursery! In this one hour workshop, you will create a one-of-a-kind succulent wreath, learn tips and enjoy the beauty of the land around us.

We only have a handful of tickets left... click the button below to purchase before they're all gone!
 


MAKE HER SOMETHING DELICIOUS

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Mom has probably made you more than a few meals in your lifetime... give her a break and make something special for her this Mother's Day. This light recipe we shared last Fall is the perfect appetizer for brunch, although we suggest switching out the fresh fig (which is out of season) with a freshly hulled and halved strawberry. And, to make it extra special, gift her with her very own jar of our delectable fig jam!


PAMPER HER WITH SIMPLE COUNTRY LUXURY

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Our online marketplace Simple Country Luxury carries a selection of wonderful, locally-made artisan goods... including luxurious soaps and body butters by Yolo Press! Find a unique vanity tray, add an embroidered hand towel, lavender-mint soap, body butter and lip balm, and finish off with a few sprigs of fresh lavender for an extra special presentation!

Featured Wedding: Kristin & Isaac

This month's feature is the beautiful wedding of Kristin & Isaac! This lovely and talented bride designed everything from the invitation suite to the dinner menus, and hand-lettering the chalkboard signs. All those personal touches are what make a wedding extraordinary, and this stunning affair was no exception! 

FROM THE BRIDE:
Tell us about the proposal!
Every summer since we’ve met, we always make a trip to Isaac’s hometown in New England to visit his family. We always take a walk through town to this tree-lined path that leads to a secluded cove overlooking the water. One year on Father’s Day, he called my mom & dad to ask for their blessing and took me to that same spot to get down on one knee.

Why did you choose Park Winters?
Park Winters was the first place that we saw and nothing else compared. The grounds are beyond beautiful and the event barn was the perfect place for our reception. It is truly a magical place with the most kind and wonderful people. Every time we go, we never want to leave.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
There were a million moments that made that day so special and memorable! Walking down the aisle with my dad... seeing Isaac standing under the arbor he built for us... even Isaac's dad dropping our rings during the ceremony! Being announced as Mr & Mrs... celebrating my Grandpa's 95th and our niece's 1st birthday... and dancing the night away with our friends and family! It was truly the happiest day of our lives. 

VENDORS:
Invitation Suite, program fans, seating chart, chalkboard signs, dinner menus, favor calligraphy, table numbers, disposable cameras: (Bride) Kristin Hashimoto Read
Photography: Molly Gilholm Photography
Dress - BHLDN
Floral Design - The Floral Loft
Hair & Makeup - Ricochet Salon
DJ - DJ Eli Freshmode
Cake - Freeport Bakery
Bar & Guestbook Signs - Tara Typography
Day-of Coordination - Inspirations by Gina

Featured Wedding: Jimmy & Kirsten

This month's feature is the joyous Fall wedding of Jimmy & Kirsten. They met at a singles mixer and Kirsten knew after they met that Jimmy had the KEY to her heart! 

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
Jimmy and I met in February 2013 at a singles mixer in downtown Sacramento. I had made it my new years resolution to join meetup.com (a website that helps you meet people in your area with similar interests, such as kayaking, hiking etc.). My first and only meetup group that I attended was a “lock and key” singles mixer with my best friend and MOH Emily. At the mixer the ladies have locks and the men have keys and you are supposed to walk around the room to find the key that would unlock your lock around your neck. As cheesy as it sounds and as much as I hate to admit that I attended such an event, it obviously worked because it was the night I met Jimmy.

We chatted briefly a few times that night, but never ended up exchanging phone numbers. I left the singles event thinking I was only interested in seeing one guy again, and that guy was Jimmy. Luckily, Jimmy found me through meetup.com, asked me for my phone number and we have been together ever since!

Tell us about the proposal!
Jimmy completely surprised me with a weekend in Tahoe in December of 2016.  My parents were in on the surprise because they invited Jimmy and I to North Shore at Tahoe to utilize some of their “time share points.” I never say no to a trip to Tahoe, so Jimmy and I decided to go for the weekend with my parents. Little did I know… the whole time my parents were never planning on coming to Tahoe that weekend.

We drove up to Tahoe, texting my parents along the way, asking when they would be leaving Sacramento. We checked into the Hyatt and I thought nothing of them upgrading our room to a suite with a view.  I wanted to go into the spa, since my parents were “running late,” but Jimmy insisted we go to the beach at sunset. So we poured ourselves a glass of wine and headed to the beach, the same beach Jimmy asked me to be his girlfriend three and a half years prior. We sat and watched the sunset and then I decided I wanted to head up to the fire pits at my favorite restaurant, Lone Eagle. I turned to head up the beach when Jimmy said wait a second and pulled a ring box out of his sock! (He had kept the ring box in his sock ever since Sacramento!) He then got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife. I was in complete shock, but of course said yes!

Jimmy had asked my mom for her wedding ring, which was previously my grandma’s wedding ring, and had it polished and dipped to become silver. It was a ring that I had not seen in over twenty years and it was just perfect, exactly what I wanted. A simple, classic solitaire that is over sixty years old and so timeless. I had no idea that Jimmy had been planning this proposal for months, asking my dad permission and my mom as well.

We then finished watching the sunset, shed some tears and went back to our room to call our parents over facetime.  Jimmy had the hotel deliver champagne and chocolate strawberries to the room, during the proposal, so they were waiting for us in the room when we came back. Then Jimmy made reservations at my favorite restaurant and had a guitar player serenade us with the song “Marry Me” by Train.  We then enjoyed an evening by the fireplace and celebrated our new beginning. The next day Jimmy surprised me with a sleigh ride around Sand Harbor at Tahoe. It was really the perfect weekend and perfect proposal. Jimmy made me feel so special and I was so happy he was now my fiancé!

Why did you choose Park Winters?
Park Winters was only the second venue we had looked at for our wedding and once we found it there was no need to look any further.  Both Jimmy and I wanted to have our ceremony and reception outdoors and the back drop Park Winters provides was exactly what we were seeking.  We booked Park Winters in January, so I knew if I thought the venue was beautiful in Winter, I could only imagine what it would look like in the Fall.  The grounds of Park Winters are so well maintained, from the lavender gardens to the koi pond it is just absolutely stunning.  The Park Winters team made our wedding planning process and our wedding day seamless, through their professionalism and just genuine love for their couples.  I honestly can’t say enough good things about Park Winters and their staff, I was completely happy and satisfied with our big day and all the planning leading up to it.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
We both agreed that the ceremony was our favorite part of our wedding. We had worked with our officiant to create a ceremony that was very personalized, so that it would truly represent who we were as a couple.  We wrote our own love story that was used in the ceremony as well as our own vows.  We also included a “lock and key” ceremony, which represented how we met four years prior. Our ceremony made us smile, laugh and cry which was exactly what we wanted.  After the wedding, receiving compliments on our ceremony was unexpected by both Jimmy and I. It was nice to know that our guests enjoyed our personalized ceremony that we had worked so hard to create.

VENDORS:
Officiant – Rev. Jeri Murphy
DJ: Joe Kalamaras – SJs Disc Jockey
Florist: Violette Fleurs
Photographer: Chris Howard Imagery
Bakery: Sweet Dozen Bakery
Hair: Christine Alba – For the Love of Hairspray
Make-up: Kirsten Buffham – KEB make-up
Videographer: Alex Cristescu – Love Genre Films

Recipe: PURE Honey Glazed Walnuts

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We are so blessed to be surrounded by such bounty - from a honey apiary down the road, to acres upon acres of walnut groves. This incredibly simple recipe, provided to us by our neighbors, PURE Honey, embodies our region in one sweet bite. Candied walnuts add a finishing touch on salads, compliment cheeses, or make for a perfect topping on ice cream! You really can't go wrong!

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cup walnuts
5 tbsp PURE Wildflower Honey (purchase HERE)
1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium sized bowl, mix together walnuts and honey. Spread walnuts evenly on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt. 

Place in oven for 10-15 minutes (If you like crispy walnuts cook for 15 minutes). Let the walnuts cool before serving.

Featured Wedding: Melissa & John

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This month's feature is the stunning Fall wedding of Melissa and John. This beautiful couple met in college and have been inseparable ever since. We were especially moved by Melissa's touching and emotional story of her mother, we suggest you get out the tissues before reading any further...

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
We met in college at UC Irvine. Our paths crossed through fraternity and sorority life. We had many mutual friends, but John was a senior and I was a sophomore when we met. There was an instant attraction and we’ve been pretty much inseparable since 2007.

Tell us about the proposal!
John matched into Anesthesia Residency at Stanford. In preparation for our move North, we planned a trip to the Bay Area in April 2017. We made a stop in Sacramento to visit my family. I was really excited to show John the new Golden 1 Center. John was not as excited being an avid Lakers’ fan. Little did I know, John had his family fly up from Los Angeles, and both of our families surprised me in front of the arena as they witnessed the proposal. My 97-year-old grandfather and his 91-year-old grandmother were there.

Why did you choose Park Winters?
We decided on a NorCal wedding since my mother was battling stage 4-lung cancer and we knew it would be difficult for her to travel. All of our wedding planning was done remotely from our apartment in Orange County, CA. We made another weekend trip up North to conduct site visits after flagging venues we found from internet searches. Park Winters was the second venue we visited. My mom knew Park Winters was the venue from the moment she walked into the beautiful bathrooms. She sat on the couches in the barn and said Park Winters fit our style. We were all impressed with the pristine grounds and rustic, but elegant country oasis feel. In addition, John and I love to cook and frequently support our local farmer’s markets, so the farm-to-fork cuisine at Park Winters was a perfect match. Everything about Park Winters, from the beautiful grounds to the staff made it our dream location. 

It’s only appropriate to share the rest of our story, which transpired between the proposal in April to the ceremony in November. As we prepared to move North in June, we wanted to make sure we had our house in order. After discussion with our church leaders and John’s dad and stepdad, John and I shared our desire to be married before we moved. My dad already planned on bringing my mom down to visit her UCLA oncologist for a second opinion. My brother was in town as well visiting Disneyland with his friends. John’s father married us in a small private ceremony in his grandmother’s living room in Los Angeles. Our immediate families were present. Our marriage certificate would be the last document my mother signed. 

Just 5 days later my mom experienced stroke-like symptoms and was hospitalized. With minimal progress in functionality over the following 2 weeks, her neurologist determined her cancer in the brain was the cause of her symptoms. She passed one week later after being placed on hospice. 

We hoped my mother would be present for our Park Winters wedding, but God had different plans for her. I’m comforted that she was in love with Park Winters just as much as we were. We know she was there in spirit on November 4th as the wind blew as I walked down the isle and the leaves magically fell from the trees.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
Every part of the day was amazing, but if I had to choose one moment, it would probably be when John and I did our first look in front of the fountain. Every other part of the day, from getting ready, to the ceremony and reception, felt like it flew by with all the hustle and bustle. In that one moment, it was just the two of us in the serenity of the fountain. Time stood still.

VENDORS:
Videographer: byDesign
Photographer: Preserve Studio
Hair and Makeup: Kollage Salon
Florist: The Blonde Bouquet
DJ: DJ Eli Freshmode
Day of Coordinator/Cake: Marissa Weller
Rentals: Rustique Country Rentals

Recipe: Elderberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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As the days of Summer heat up, the elderberry tree at Park Winters becomes heavy with stunning deep blue clusters of fruit. The plump berries are harvested and pressed for their wonderfully sweet juice, which are then blended with high quality balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, Italy. This unique balsamic makes for a lovely vinaigrette, perfect for a salad featuring fresh fruit, cheese and nuts.

INGREDIENTS

½ cup of local extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbsp Park Winters Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar (click here to purchase)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour olive oil into a medium-sized, round bottom bowl. Whisk in the Dijon mustard.

Slowly whisk in the Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar, about ½ teaspoon at a time, until all the vinegar is fully incorporated and the mixture is fully emulsified. Add salt and pepper, adjust to taste.

Salad ideas:
- Mixed greens, green apple, gorgonzola, candied walnuts
- Spinach, strawberries, bleu cheese, red onion, toasted pecans
- Arugula, mandarins, fennel, goat cheese, sliced almonds

Featured Wedding: Kelly & Louis

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This month's feature is the magical Fall wedding of Kelly and Louis. They met in college, but their love story didn't begin until years later. Every detail of their wedding was so dreamy... in fact, we shared an image of their reception awhile back and it's one of our most 'liked' photos on Instagram in 2017!  

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
Louis and I both went to Sacramento State. We met in our college days, when a mutual friend introduced us while out in Midtown, Sacramento. We saw each other now and again, but it wasn’t until a few years later, in spring of 2014, when our love story began. We got to talking, went on our first date, and the rest was history! Over the past three years, we have shared many adventures together, however we are looking forward to the greatest adventure of all, marriage!

Tell us about the proposal!
Louis proposed to me while on a wine tasting date in Auburn, at Vino Castellano. It was October 1st, 2015. I had no idea of the surprise he had planned for me that day! We did our tasting, and then he asked me if I would like to go for a walk in the vineyard. It was a beautiful fall day; warm with golden leaves covering the vines. He popped the question in the middle of the vineyard, and made me the happiest girl in the world. I have to say, my first response was, “Are you serious!?” I was in shock! Once it set in what had just happened, the happy tears started to come. It was a very special day celebrating.

Why did you choose Park Winters?
Park Winters was the first (and last!) venue Louis and I visited, and it was love at first sight. It was a rainy gloomy day the first time we visited, but even through the gloom, we could see how special Park Winters was. Originally we thought we wanted to get married in wine country, however Park Winters checked everything off our list, and so much more. The grounds are breathtaking. It is nestled against the mountains which make a beautiful backdrop, and there is so much rich agriculture surrounding the property, which was important to me. We also loved how many unique areas are scattered across the property; the sunken garden, the pool, the fig garden, the original foreman’s quarters, the house. There are so many neat areas, which makes a fun experience for guests to explore. Moreover, the food was divine. We loved that we could have a true farm to fork, local dining experience for our guests. We chose to stay the night with our bridal party the night of the wedding, which was unforgettable. We were able to continue to enjoy the night after the final guests left, and had a beautiful (and much needed!) breakfast the next morning. The owners and employees at Park Winters are second to none. The planning was so easy, and we felt like royalty on the day of the wedding. I had my dream wedding at Park Winters, thank you!

What was your favorite wedding moment?
It is so hard to pick one! But, my favorite moments were walking down the aisle with my dad, and experiencing the ceremony with Louis. There was such an overwhelming sense of love and support in the ceremony, and even though we had 200 guests, it felt very intimate. Right before our pastor pronounced us husband and wife, and told Louis he could kiss his bride, the sun shone down in a way where the light was only on Louis and me. It was a special moment where we could feel God’s love and presence for our marriage. 

VENDORS:

Wedding Planner: Alicia K Designs
Florist: Bloomers Florals
Photographer: Jihan Cerda
Videographer: Cloudless Weddings
DJ: Four Leaf Entertainment
Specialty Rentals/Décor: Bright Event Rentals
Makeup: Christi Reynolds
Hair: Suite 14
Dress: Amy Kuschel
Cake: Freeport Bakery

Wreath Workshop Recap

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Sometimes things just come together in the most magical way... and that convergence happened at our first ever Wreath Workshop earlier this month!! Taught by one of our favorite flower farmers and florist, Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm, the workshop was held inside the barn at the Farm at Park Winters. We've recently turned it into 'The Flower Factory', utilizing the space to dry the many flowers and foliage we forage from the property - and as a location for events just like this.

We are very excited to share the beautiful images from this unbelievably dreamy day... and we look forward to hosting many more events like this in 2018! If you haven't already, be sure to get on our email list for updates on upcoming events.

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Photography by Alyssa Onaka

Featured Wedding: Cheyenne & Rob

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This month's feature is the stunning Summer wedding of Cheyenne & Rob. This sweet couple met on a cruise, locking eyes before even boarding the ship... and after meeting later that night, spent every moment they could for the rest of the trip. From a fateful meeting on the ocean, to a magical Christmas proposal, their beautiful story was apparent in every photo and moment of their wedding day.

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
We met on a cruise- to Alaska! The one that is 90% retired people, haha. We were very un expecting to meet someone on this trip as we were both on family vacations to enjoy the beauty of Canada and Alaska. We locked eyes first in the security line to board the ship, and I thought, “Wow!…but there’s no way this guy is going on my cruise, he must be boarding the other ship.” And lo and behold we saw each other again soon after boarding but did not have a chance to talk, then again some hours later after dinner. Rob saw me walking with my family and ran to catch up with me. I saw him coming and turned around and said, “Okay this needs to end, hi! I’m Cheyenne :)” We spent the rest of the 7 days meeting up as often as time would allow to get to know each other, and we mutually agree it felt as though we had known one another for years. Like we had already lived a lifetime together, it was so surreal!

Tell us about the proposal!
Rob proposed to me on our faux Christmas morning (we were apart for actual Christmas). We were sleeping in after a evening of driving around seeing the beautiful decorations and lights in the nearby neighborhoods. I awoke and when I rolled over there was Rob, smiling at me with so much love in his eyes. I kissed him and snuggled into him, when he whispered, “Merry Christmas!”, I sleepily replied, “Merry Christmas, I love you,” to which he replied, “Cheyenne Elyse, I love you with all my heart and soul, will you marry me?” 

Why did you choose Park Winters?
We decided we wanted to have our wedding in Northern California in a beautiful outdoor setting. We visited 3 venues, 2 in Napa and then Park Winters. The moment we pulled up to Park Winters, we felt the magic and couldn't wait to explore the beautiful property. It was everything I had been hoping for, a unimaginable setting from start to finish with amazing attention to detail. From the quaint gardens, to the Koy fountain, the beautiful victorian for getting ready in, and the gorgeous reception barn. When we found out how much work would actually be alleviated from our planning by having it here, with the catering, linens, chairs, wait staff and so much more included, we fell in love and knew this place would be the perfect picturesque setting for our big day.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
My favorite moment of the wedding was walking down the aisle. Being arm and arm with my Mom, seeing Rob, under the beautiful draping pecan tree, his face so lit up and at peace, and seeing all our loving friends and family members smiling back at me. This is the one moment that brought the tears, quite unexpectedly, to my eyes. In that moment I fully realized the potential of our love and it was so powerful! 

VENDORS:
Coordination: Pearl Events
Photography: Red Eye Collection Photography
Videographer: Final Frame Studios
Dress: Made With Love Unique Bridal
Rentals: Celebrations Party Rentals, La Tavola Linen
Floral Design: Dixon Florist
Cake: Above and Beyond Cakes
Hair: Julie Gridyushko - Glamour Salon
Make-Up: KEB Makeup
Emcee: Extreme Productions

Featured Wedding: Andrea & Greg

This month's feature is the magical Fall wedding of Andrea and Greg. From lovingly crafted handmade details, to a stunning ceremony arch built by the groom, this wedding had so much personality and love!

FROM THE BRIDE:
(via Style Me Pretty)

How did you two meet?
Greg and I met through mutual friends. I was in pharmacy school at the time, and some of my pharmacy school friends had a close friend named Joe that worked at BioMarin with Greg. Joe was moving down to San Diego and had a going away party. During that going away party, our groups of friends merged, and that’s when I first started talking to Greg. I had lost my phone that night, but Greg insisted on getting my phone number, and we began dating after.

Tell us about the proposal!
One day about three months after my sister Wendy had given birth to my niece, Abigail, my two older sisters and I all decided to go on vacation to Hawaii. My sisters and I love Hawaii, and we used the excuse “Abigail’s first trip to Hawaii” to plan a trip to Honolulu. In my head, this was a fun family vacation with my sisters, brothers-in-law, niece, and boyfriend. I had no idea what was going to happen!

One of the days there, Greg planned a day for just the two of us to go scuba diving and spend the day together. We planned to meet up with my family for dinner after our scuba adventure. Scuba diving was amazing! I am usually not too scared of adventures like that, but with coordinating how to breath and learning to use all the new gear, including huge flippers, I got a little nervous, but Greg was with me the whole time. After scuba diving, we had a little time before dinner, and Greg suggested we grab some spam musubis and hang out at the beach. He drove me to Makapu’u beach. The trek down to the beach was not the easiest, but the beach was beautiful and quiet. There were a few surfers in the water, but not too many on the beach. We were laying down eating when Greg said, “I got you something at the market last night.” I honestly did not think anything of it because he’s always doing sweet things like that. It was a little box wrapped up in cute wrapping paper. I was opening the box while laying down in the sand and Greg said, “sit up and open it – it might fall out!” Unsure as to why the panic, I curiously sat up and inside the box, the gift was covered with tissue paper. I slowly removed the tissue paper and uncovered a ring holder, and then I saw the ring! I was in shock. I could not believe it. I immediately started crying, and then Greg asked me to marry him. The more I thought about how special he made it, proposing in Hawaii with my family there, the more I cried. Of course I said yes, and I immediately called my mom and dad to tell them the good news, as well as asking them questions about when and how he asked permission, because I had no idea. We celebrated at dinner of course. It really was the perfect trip.

Why did you choose Park Winters?
Planning was fun and exciting, but it did not come without its stressful times. Once we toured Park Winters, we said we would think about it and look at more venues just to be sure, but we really didn’t because we kept thinking about how beautiful Park Winters was, and it turned out to be the perfect location for us.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
I think my favorite moment was right after the ceremony when Greg and I had time to talk to each other after saying I do. It was a special moment for us to just talk with one another, laugh, smile, take in the fact that we were actually married, and not be surrounded by everyone else. Oh, and the sparkler exit was pretty great, too.

Featured Wedding: Shawn & Lauren

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This month's feature is the wedding of Shawn & Lauren, who met online... and clicked the moment they met in person!

FROM THE BRIDE:
How did you two meet?
We met on Match.com. About two weeks into the online dating world, I stumbled upon Shawn's profile. He looked so handsome and warm, someone I would definitely like to meet. I decided to email him; an email turned into a text and a text turned into conversations on the phone. We just seemed to click. Shawn suggested we meet at Eureka! Burgers, one of my favorite places in downtown San Luis Obispo, for our first date. One beer turned into another and before we knew it was 1am. We both felt as if we had been friends for forever. He walked me home since we lived on the same street, literally 2 minutes walking distance from each other. Shawn had to be up early the next morning for work but he made one quick stop first... As I walked up to my car I noticed a little white piece of paper on my windshield. Shawn had left me a note saying "I had a great time and I hope to see you again soon." The rest is history.

How did he propose?
He proposed in the snow. He made me hike up this huge hill, which I was not happy about L. It was totally worth it because he got down on one knee and proposed!

Why did you choose Park Winters?
It was the first and last venue we saw. We fell in love with it instantly! It was the feeling we felt when we stepped onto the property that made us pick Park Winters.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
There are so many but my favorite wedding moment was the first look. It was so magical and real.

VENDORS:
Photographer: Travis Hoehne, Studio THP
Cake: Jeff Lawson, Lawson’s Bakery
Flowers: Pin Damuth, Flowers by Myrna
Hair & Make-up: Crystal Nunez, Strands Salon

How to Save the Last Tomatoes

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Go ahead and let the tears flow... September marks the beginning of the end of tomato season! Deciding whether to pick the green tomatoes left on the vine, or risk getting hit by the frost, is a difficult choice. And while some Fall days can be warmer than others, once the days begin to shorten and remain cool, you will need to take some precautions to prevent losing your final tomato harvest. Here are some tips to get those last stubborn green tomatoes to ripen on the vine.

  1. Remove any diseased leaves and dispose of them.
  2. Give your tomato plants a last dose of food.
  3. Once night time temperatures start dipping into the low 70s F., you probably aren’t going to get any new fruits forming. To speed up ripening of the existing green tomatoes, pinch off any new flowers.
  4. If a light frost is predicted, cover your plants with a row cover.
  5. If you still have green tomatoes well into Fall, you can take the entire plant and hang it in a dry, sheltered location, like the garage. The fruits will continue to ripen and will still have some of the benefits of ripening on the vine. Try and take some roots with the plant, but shake off any soil. Do not want to hang the plants in direct sunlight or total darkness.

Recipe: Fig & Goat Cheese Crostinis

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We are in full fig mode these days, with the abundance of fruit peaking in Fig Forest, and the kitchen hard at work making batch upon batch of our amazing fig jam! We've whipped up this fun and easy recipe, perfect for a Fall cocktail party.

Total time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 small baguette, cut on the diagonal into 24 slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces goat cheese
1/3 cup Park Winters fig jam
24 basil leaves (if leaves are large, tear in half)
6 fresh figs, quartered (we used Black Mission, but any varietal will do)
Olive oil for finish
Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat broiler. Brush both sides of baguette slices with oil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side; set toasts aside.

Dividing evenly, spread each toast with goat cheese, and top with fig jam. Place one basil leaf, and one fig quarter on top.

Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.