It’s no secret whatsoever that I love photographing at Stone Tower Winery! At last count, I’ve been lucky enough to photograph out there something like a DOZEN times. We love the venue so much, Matt & I even joined the wine club to have extra excuses to visit for their Tower Cru weekends for wine pick-ups. It’s one of my absolute favorite places to shoot AND visit for pleasure! So for all my current and future STW couples, here are a few of my best insider tips for planning your wedding out at Stone Tower!
1. Keep in mind that sunset is going to be slightly earlier because of the higher ridge line! I always consult sunrisesunset.com when planning timelines with my couples so that we can take advantage of that gorgeous golden light in the evening, but if the forecast is saying sunset will occur at 7:51pm, I’ll plan to shoot sunset portraits a bit earlier than that. Otherwise, you’ll miss out when the sun dips below the hill!
2. Don’t freak out if it rains. Stone Tower’s tank room is a perfect fallback in the event of inclement weather!
3. If you’re planning for an indoor ceremony at sunset in the Vineyard View Ballroom (more of a concern for my late fall/winter/early spring couples), make sure you bring in a simple white pipe & drape for your ceremony! Those gorgeous panoramic windows are to die for, but if your entire ceremony is backlit, your guests will be staring into the sun and your photographs will be super washed out. A simple pipe + drape can fix both issues!
4. Expect a few [read: a LOT of] cheers when you walk through the Tower View tasting room- the winery’s open until 6pm, and their guests LOVE seeing brides & grooms in all their wedding day finery! It’s one of my favorite parts of shooting there :).
5. Pad your timeline with 5-10 minutes here and there. The winery’s property is beautiful AND expansive, so it does take a minute to get from, say, the Tower View tasting room out to the Chardonnay vines (GORGEOUS views at sunset). It’s so worth the trip, and is so much more enjoyable when you’re not pinched for time!
Also, planning for a relaxed timeline allows your photographer to capture the little in-between moments that I love so much!
6. Make sure you rent out the new bridal cottage! I’ve yet to shoot there (it’s that new), but it’s perfectly situated on the property to allow you space to breathe while getting ready, and close enough to the action that you don’t have to stress about running to your First Look. So much more convenient than a hotel nearby!
And a bonus tip #7: if you haven’t already decided to serve their Rosé Cuvée, Blanc de Blanc, or Blanc de Noir at your reception, DO IT. Assuming there’s still some left- they tend to go fast!
See more of my past work at Stone Tower here!