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Stories from Calistoga Ranch

Stories from Calistoga Ranch

Celebrate Making Your Wedding Unique with What’s Hot in Weddings

A Q&A With Sarah Cole & Stephanie Drake of Cole Drake Events


Stephanie Cole and Sarah Drake of Cole Drake Events, a luxury destination Napa & Sonoma wedding planning company, have seen everything from flamenco performances to fire dancers when it comes to unique wedding reception entertainment. It seems dreaming big is trending and there are endless non-traditional entertainment options for the newly engaged to explore. Known for planning exquisite events in the Napa Valley at properties such as Calistoga Ranch, Solage Resort, and Auberge Du Soleil, Stephanie Cole & Sarah Drake let us in on the unique, modern wedding elements that will elevate your big day.


What wedding trends should we watch for this year?

Any kind of meaningful experience or personal touch that can be infused into a wedding is currently trending. Couples want their guests to experience an event that reflects their unique vibe, tastes, and interests. Additionally, because many couples are marrying later in life, the groom and bride often desire to create their own traditions while paying homage to some wedding traditions of yore.


What types of unique entertainment have you seen incorporated into receptions at Calistoga Ranch?

We recently planned a wedding that had synchronized swimmers perform at the cocktail reception. The performance was dreamt up by the groom, as he wanted to incorporate a unique surprise element for his bride and guests. The special performance was overall thematic with the event, down to the fabricated swimsuits and music selection. In addition, we have procured flamenco and fire dancers, stilt performers, trapeze and silk artists, strolling champagne skirts, opera singers, and live musical performances which compliment a DJ set. If you can imagine it, it can be done!


How do couples achieve a memorable event that stands out?

Couples want their events to not only be memorable for the sake of their wedding but also to impart a specific and personal experience on their guests. Said best by a groom we’ve worked with, “it’s a really magical thing to be surrounded by your family and friends who take part in a day you have so carefully collaborated on with your significant other… and then when they have the time of their lives, it’s (bleeping!) amazing! That kind of thing stays with you for life.” What’s more, given the broad number of social media platforms available, the couples can then relive the day not only through the professional pictures and videos taken but also through the lens of their friends’ social posts. Soon-to-weds are very invested in experiences that can be personalized and memorable.

 Stories from Calistoga Ranch