With the new wedding season fast approaching, I thought it might be nice to take some time and reflect back on some of the wonderful moments we have had here at Twenty Mile House. One Wedding that kept sticking out in my mind was all the way back in August of 2012 with Grace and Brad, this couple sticks out because of the many fun and unique ideas they had for their ceremony and wedding. From working with a local vendor to create a doughnut bar, to using all the nieces and nephews to make them feel important and keep them occupied, the wedding was chalk full of great memories and beautiful moments. So please, come with me as we take a look back at Grace and Brad’s Big Day.
If you are getting married at Twenty Mile House or interested in doing so Please Sign-Up to come to our Spring Wedding Fair, March 30. 2014 from noon to 2pm!
The Wedding Fair will be informative, fun and helpful, whether you’re still deciding on venues or ready to start planning out the details of your big day at the Twenty Mile House.
All of Twenty Mile House’s vendors included in our all-inclusive eco-wedding packages as well as other local preferred wedding service suppliers will be on hand to offer tastings, ideas and options.
You’ll get to meet face-to-face with our caterers and cake designer to taste and discuss menus and servings. Our floral designer, linens/tableware expert and DJ/music services director will be present with samples, and ideas that will make your decision-making easier. We’ll also have hair/makeup stylists, wedding design experts and other wedding suppliers in attendance, including a local brewery and candy company.
You can also speak to our wedding coordinator, collect wedding planning worksheets, learn how to make your wedding eco-friendly, and obtain information on accommodations and area recreation for your destination wedding guests.
The Wedding Fair will also feature an “Open House” of the Twenty Mile House 200-acre property, including the Main House rooms, cabins, General Store, patio and ceremony venues (lawns, forest and river.) Bring boots and jacket just in case the weather turns.
Don’t miss this important event that’s sure to take a lot of stress out of your wedding planning! The staff of Twenty Mile House is excited for this year’s wedding season and to meeting you at the Wedding Fair.
The Twenty Mile House is honored to have been selected as a 2013 winner in The Knot Best of Weddings.
“We are very excited to continue providing wedding parties our excellent one of a kind experience and we are so happy to have received this recognition.
We are really looking forward to our 2013 wedding season and helping brides and grooms have the wedding of their dreams.” (Kevin Gage, owner Twenty Mile House)
The Knot Best of Weddings 2013 provides a “by brides, for brides” guide to the top wedding professionals across the country,
and is a must-have when it comes to selecting the best-of-the-best wedding resources.
Different cultures, colors, themes and styles made each wedding unique and personal this past season at Twenty Mile House. Yet the 2012 wedding season at this historic, eco-estate did bring out a series of similar wedding trends, many of them eco-friendly and recyclable, that were well suited to the secluded mountain-and-forest setting. Here’s a list of the season’s Most Popular Wedding Trends at Twenty Mile House:
1. Mason Jars. Guests drank lemonade, water, beer and more from the sturdy Mason jars, which stood up well to knockovers. They were used to display photos, hold straws and snacks, and filled with flowers and LED lights to adorn aisles and tables. There were signature drinks pre-made in Mason jars and mason jars filled with jams and honey given out as wedding favors. They even gained status as part of the formal dinner table setup.
2. Burlap. Colored cloth overlays were replaced by burlap runners, squares and tablecloths
for a majority of weddings this year.
There was a trend toward the simplicity of ivory and burlap, sometimes dressed up with lace and platinum rim plates, and letting the color pop from floral centerpieces
or napkin ribbons or coverings. It was a look that let tables blend in well with the surrounding natural beauty of the venue.
3. Wood rounds. Wedding cakes and cupcakes were served on rounds of wood in varying thicknesses. Some bridal parties built or bought elaborate cupcake stands made out of wood; the rounds were also used to hold beverage containers, flower arrangments and more. The wood rounds again fit well the outdoor decor of tall pine trees on the property. And they could be used over and over again.
4. Hanging table assignments. Wedding guests found their way to assigned dinner tables/seats by finding their name on placards that were clothespinned or stapled to twine and then hung between pine trees or between the fretwork of the General Store. This worked well because it was often too windy to place namecards on the place settings themselves.
5. Converse tennis shoes. These were worn not only by young ringbearers, but groomsmen, bridesmaids and even the bride and groom themselves! It wasn’t just a fashion statement; the bridal parties were thrilled to be comfortable negotiating the lawn, patio, and forest pathways, train tracks and sandy beach that encompass Twenty Mile House grounds!
One bridal party had brand new Converse in various sizes waiting for young boy attendants; and one couple had custom-made Converse with their wedding date on them!
6. Succulents. This was a big trend in floral arrangements this year. One couple actually used succulents in a planting ritual during their wedding ceremony. Succulents were also given out as wedding favors and used not only for centerpieces, but in corsages, bouquets and boutonnieres.
7. Edible/organic wedding favors. Seeds and succulents were big. So was honey, homemade jams/jellies, and even cannedvegetables and fruit. And several wedding parties opted for self-serve candy bars or chocolates for their guests to enjoy or take home.
8. Nature-themed tables. Instead of just numbering their reception tables, many wedding parties created nature-oriented themes. There were tables labeled with different bird species and tables identified by summer harvest fruits and vegetables.
The travel theme also was popular with another couple who labeled tables with photos of trips they’d taken together prior to getting hitched.
9. Lawn games. Wedding parties made good use of the spacious lawns of the Twenty Mile House property by bringing along games for guests, children and adults alike.
Croquet, bocce ball and cornhole (bean bag toss) were popular. Some set up badminton sets and horseshoes. There was also a giant bubble blower!
10. Alternative guestbooks. There were a lot of wedding guests signing things that weren’t “books.” Probably the most popular was the “leaf-signing,” whereby guests either signed a paper leaf attached to manzanita branches, or used an ink stamp to thumbprint a leaf on a tree graphic, which they then signed. Many guests signed photo mats on a frame that would hold a future wedding photo. At one wedding, guests signed a wooden porch swing engraved with the couple’s
name. And guests at another wedding signed in on a surf board! One wedding party had a video guestbook where guests recorded congratulatory videos to the couple on a laptop.
11. Wooden signs. It’s not something you’d likely see at a hotel ballroom wedding reception. But wooden signs were erected all over the place in the outdoor setting of Twenty Mile House. Some were directional, pointing the way to the venue, the ceremony or the reception area. Others were simply inspirational or cute. Some of the signs were left to be recycled by future couples.
12. Signature cocktails. With wedding parties providing the alcohol, many chose to serve guests a special cocktail. Among the most popular were Mojitos, Cosmopolitans, Margaritas and Dark ‘N Stormy’s (rum and ginger beer.) And there were also some more unusual ones: a Cucumber Vodka fizz, Moscow Mules, Pink Greyhounds, and a Whiskey Waffle (bourbon and apple cider), among others. There were some cultural influences in the cocktails as well; during Scottish and Irish weddings there some special import whiskeys being poured. And of course, plenty of tequila shots went down at the Twenty Mile House patio bar!
The 200-acre eco-estate gives brides and grooms plenty of choice when it comes to where they wish to say their “I do’s.”
There were gorgeous lawn ceremonies that faced three different directions on the property, using the charming wooden arch that matches the fretwork of the historic house.
However, the most popular ceremony site, the forest, had wedding guests crossing a footbridge across a creek, down a short forest path and into a clearing surrounded by pine trees. Most chose to have their guests face towards the creek, staging the processional generally from Trackside Cabin.
But others had their processional follow the forest path, with guests facing towards the river and train tracks. Either direction, it’s a magical spot!
Four bridal couples this year (14 percent) held their ceremonies at the private access riverside venue, on the banks of the Middle Fork Feather River a short stroll away. Although a bit sunnier, and sandy, the river venue with its breathtaking views and flowing water is really hard to beat!
Many thanks to the vendors, prospective brides and grooms and our 2013 wedding couples who attended Twenty Mile House’s Wedding Faire on Oct. 14!
The Faire guests sampled appetizers and entrees from three caterers, Pangaea, Southern Accent and Grizzly Grill. They also tasted five cake flavors offered by Traci’s Sweet Surprises and gourmet chocolates and truffles from Buckaroo Chocolates.
It’s done! Twenty Mile House is thrilled to unveil its new brick patio and patio bar!
Just wait until you see what an improvement it’s made for the venue! The patio gives wedding parties a larger space for staging cocktail hours, rehearsal dinners, brunches and more. There’s also bench seating wrapped around larger flower boxes and more space for dancing.
The bar and new entrance to the General Store greatly improves bar service with a sink, fridge and hot water! The fully functional bar now has easy access to cold beverages, ice and glassware inside what was once Cromberg’s original post office in 1925. Yes, once a post office, now a patio bar!
What’s really amazing is how well this addition ties the eco-wedding estate together, with red brick blending in with the brick-walled Main House and lush grounds, and retaining the property’s historical character. There are even more plants and flowers, making it a truly exceptional outdoor setting.
Many thanks to Nick Polzak and his dynamite crew at Mountaincraft Landscaping of Cromberg, along with Dana Miller, Twenty Mile House’s bartender and facilities manager, for their amazing work in getting this project done in time for wedding season. Adds Kevin: “I really couldn’t have imagined a better wedding venue!”
Expect to say “WOW” when you see it in person!
Green weddings are moving mainstream and are among the top five new wedding trends, according to Kate Harrison of the Green Bride Guide. In a webinar last night, Harrison shared some of the latest ways for making your wedding more eco-friendly:
1. Paperless Invitations: Brides and grooms are using paperlesspost.com to send fine stationery over the Internet.
2. Green favors are the rage, especially tree and seed favors, organic and artisanal/Fair Trade products (jams, candy, syrup) and carbon offsets.
3. Do-it-yourself aisle runners, including flower petals, chalkboards, or avoiding disposable materials.
4. Local Flavor – hiring food-trucks or serving local microbrews, pastries, etc.
5. Vintage or DIY cake toppers, instead of those throwaway kind.
6. Wedding dresses that are two-in-one (for ceremony and reception)
7. Vintage accessories and hats.
8. Flower arrangements that mix in fruits or vegetables, or non-flower alternatives.
9. Green venues – staging weddings at farms, museums, vineyards or historic buildings (i.e. Twenty Mile House) that cut down on the need to decorate and provide lush backdrops for photography.
10. Eco-friendly gift registry: To help steer your guests to buy green gifts!
Gray’s Flower Gardens has over 40 years of design experience and is Twenty Mile House’s preferred floral design professional. Gray’s offers a variety of sustainable local and native flowers to create the perfect look and feel to reflect your wedding day vision. Bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres for everyone in the wedding party, centerpieces and flowers for the wedding arch all are included in the wedding package. Gray’s expert staff knows our venue and can help you choose the arrangements and sustainable flowers that will best complement your desires and the natural beauty of this setting.
Food! It’s one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. Twenty Mile House’s preferred chefs prepare both appetizers and an elegant dinner using fresh, locally grown and sustainably produced food. Menus are created using Thompson Valley (just outside Quincy) grass-fed beef, free range organic chicken, produce from nearby Dawn Institute and Sierra Valley Farms, and organic bread from the American Valley bakery in Quincy.
Preferred vendor Pangaea Café works closely with local farmers to shape their catering menu to incorporate whatever is seasonally available. “Small town, world flavor” appropriately describes their eclectic organic fare which appeals to both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Their menu spans the range of grilled sustainably harvested wild salmon and local grass-fed tri-tip to Thai curry, Indian dishes, Mexican and sushi trays.
Preferred vendor Grizzly Grill serves innovative cuisine using the talents of Chef Lyn Hagen, who trained at the California Culinary Academy and enhanced her talents in the Napa Valley before opening her own restaurant in nearby Graeagle. Grizzly’s menu features an inventive combination of diverse flavors featuring fresh seafood, prime meat, chicken and pastas. Her wedding buffet choices include roasted Sierra Nevada grown grass-fed New York strip, beef bourgignon, grilled mahi mahi, wild Alaskan salmon, rainbow trout, and organic free-range chicken with choices of delicious salads and fresh locally-grown vegetables.
Preferred vendor Southern Accent Catering in Quincy specializes in Southern cuisine but also works with wedding parties to provide individualized menu planning. The company has a mobile commercial kitchen for cooking onsite, along with an antique Victorian potato oven for preparing artisan pizzas, roasted potatoes and corn. Wedding buffet choices include smoked prime rib, tri-tip, chicken with an array of sauces, smoked leg of lamb, shrimp and scallops, grilled salmon and numerous vegetarian options including lasagnas, polentas and ragouts. Bayou favorites on their menu include a Southern catfish fry with hushpuppies, a Cajun crawfish boil, and a spit roasted whole pig. There’s a plethora of soups, salads, breads and side dishes to choose from, and Southern Accent also caters full breakfasts/brunches and late night sandwiches.
Twenty Mile House is proud to partner with Traci’s Sweet Surprises, a Quincy bakery that specializes in organic professionally designed wedding cakes. Traci’s imaginative cakes are individualized works of art featuring fresh, organic ingredients.
You can choose from 16 delicious wedding cake flavors, fillings and frostings, or opt for cupcakes, pies or other specialty desserts. Your guests will be wowed by the eye-popping designs and delectable flavor of your wedding meal finale presented by this passionate and talented baker! Be sure to check out Traci’s website for some photos of her creations.