Emily + Siddhartha’s Abundant Love

For their wedding, Emily and Siddhartha wanted to celebrate not only their love, but the natural bounty and sweet refinement of California’s wine country. With thoughtful design elements, powerful color choices and a gorgeous venue, we were able to highlight the peaceful nature of Napa’s rolling hills and green vineyards.

The invitation suite, created by Yonder Design, was thoughtful and well curated. With a unique horizontal orientation and muted color tones, the cards added style and reflected the understated elegance of the day. It was the perfect way to set the rustic yet modern tone for the wedding.

Photography by Jesse Leake Photography 

Emily’s garden-inspired bouquet was a sight to see, tying in richly colored dahlias, sweet smelling jasmine, and gorgeous greenery. Natalie Bowen Designs tied it all together with a hand-dyed silk ribbon. The bouquet and the bride were stunning. The groom and wedding party added to the vivid color pops, looking dashing in various shades of blue.

In classic Indian tradition, the groom traveled with friends and family to the venue, encircled by loved ones while dancing to hit Bollywood songs and the beats of traditional Indian dhol drums. And when they arrived at the barn, Emily and her side of the party joined in the celebration, a beautiful blending of the joining families.

Guests were then led to the dreamiest of ceremony sites: a large, wooden structure with airy, white drapery. The neutral palettes of white and green florals were highlighted with wooden elements, creating a relaxed and natural atmoshpere for Emily and Siddhartha to begin the rest of their lives. The service was perfectly blended with Hindu, Jewish, and non-denominational elements to create a personal and beautiful moment.

As the celebration continued into cocktail hour, pops of color were introduced through the florals and intimate lounge settings. Soft pinks and bright raspberry tones in the flowers brightened the space, while the vintage rentals from Found grounded the space in luxurious comfort.

Multiple design elements throughout the night gave nods to the couple’s love of fresh food, local markets and the abundance of California’s wine country. The escort card display utilized fruits and veggies, which were nestled in wooden market crates. And all the fine produce served as a delicious parting gift to guests.

Guests were wowed when they finally entered the barn for the reception. They were greeted with abundant greenery, vivid florals, and bountiful produce that added natural warmth and wonder. Organic wood tones and textures paired with linen runners along the farm tables added to the pastoral feel.

Jessica Lasky Catering sourced local cheeses, fruits and vegetables for the most delicious family style meal. Marble platters on each table were engraved with the couple’s monograms, adding to the touches of elegance and personality of the evening. The enjoyment was capped with a smattering of their favorite desserts in leu of traditional cake. Such a sweet way to end the evening.

There was bounty and colorful brilliance in all elements of Emily and Siddhartha’s beautiful celebration. The entire event was a true reflection of the joyful and abundant spirit of their love.

 

Event Planning: Jesse Tombs of Alison Events Planning + Design // Photography: Jesse Leake Photography // Venue: The Barn at Green Valley // Catering: Jessica Lasky Catering // Flowers: Natalie Bowen Design // Videography: Shark Pig Weddings // Stationery: Yonder Design // Calligraphy: Plume // Rentals: Bright Event Rentals, Found Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linens, Standard Party Rentals, Zephyr Tents // Music: Dart Collective, Fusion Roadshow // Bride’s Gown: Mira Zwillinger // Hair + Makeup: Betten Chaston // Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monique Lhuillier // Groom’s Attire: SS Homme, Tom Ford // Groom’s Accessories: Brioni, Mont Blanc // Groomsmen’s Suits + Ties: J. Crew // Lighting: Bright Event Rentals // Transportation: Napa Valley Wine Tours


Caitlin + Michael’s Napa Nuptials

We have a soft spot in our hearts for Napa weddings. There’s just something about the beauty of the natural landscape and the way the area lends itself to events that can be both modern and romantic. Pair lush surroundings and cultivated design, and you’ve got yourself the picture perfect Napa wedding. And that’s just what we did with Caitlin + Michael’s inspired day.

San Francisco natives, Caitlin + Michael knew that Napa would be the perfect destination for their big day. And Meadowood, a luxury resort tucked away in the hills, provided the perfect amount of character and charm for the romantic celebration the couple envisioned.

Photography by Meg Smith Photography

The ceremony was one of warmth and connection, to the couple, their love, and the family and friends they were surrounded by. Light humor and the couple’s loving and deeply personal vows created a sense of intimacy felt by all. It was a truly beautiful ceremony within a beautiful setting.

Cocktail hour took place on Meadowood’s golf course, amidst the picturesque landscape. Vignettes of living room lounge furniture created a casual and welcoming vibe in which guests enjoyed delicious bites and signature cocktails.

The design was all about understated elegance and warm elements to create a serene and rich aesthetic. With personal nods of indigo and deep blues against a neutral palette, it brought Michael’s love of the ocean to life. And with a backdrop of Meadowood’s tranquil and natural atmosphere, these elements completely inspired.

Max Gill Design had free creative rights on the bouquet and floral design throughout, with an inspired result. Caitlin’s bouquet delighted with pale pink and ivory flowers and pops of berries to add natural texture. The same tones were included in the tablescapes, which paired perfectly with the rich indigo elements in the design and the added pops of deep red in some of the blooms, adding to the seasonal warmth.

The cake was a sight to see, incorporating the neutral palette with the deep notes of indigo. The texture and color tones perfectly highlighted the oceanic nod of Caitlin + Michael’s design elements. Not only was it gorgeous, it was absolutely delicious.

The night ended on a high note, with a wild silent disco from Dart Collective. The unique celebration made way for some epic dance moves and enough hilarity to last a lifetime. What better way to celebrate?!

We love everything about this wedding, and are thrilled to see it’s feature on Martha Stewart Weddings! 

Photography: Meg Smith Photography // Event Planning + Design: Alison Events // Location + Catering: Meadowood // Flowers: Max Gill Design // Videography: Elysium Productions // Stationery: Yonder Design // Cake: Jasmine Rae Cakes // Music: Wine Country Entertainment, Dart Collective // Rentals: Casa de Perrin, Found Vintage Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen, Standard Party Rentals, Zephyr Tents // Bride’s Gown: Mira Zwillinger // Bride’s Accessories: Jennifer Behr, Ashley Morgan Designs, Stuart Weitzman // Hair + Makeup: Artists by Sherrie Long // Groom’s Suit + Menswear: J. Hilburn // Groom’s Accessories: Eton, Salvatore Ferragamo


Suzanne + David’s Day of Rustic Elegance

For their wedding day, Suzanne + David wanted a rustic escape that fostered intimate moments and romance. The Peace Barn in Bolinas, California provided all of that and more with its distinctly tranquil and unassuming vibe. It was the most effortlessly romantic and serene day.

Photography by Braedon Photography

The couple kickstarted their day with a distinct ceremony overlooking the grounds. A moss-covered tree was further adorned with florals and greens to provide a beautiful backdrop for their words of forever. After the intimate and heartfelt ceremony, guests then strolled to the charming barn, where they were met with fresh oysters and bubbly champagne.

After a fun group photo, the evening continued within. Amidst the organic setting of the barn, elegant chandeliers provided the perfect touch of sophistication. And Loop Flowers wowed with seasonal blooms that added a wild and organic feel to the day. The flowers paired with the locally sourced family style dinner resulted in a warm and inspired ambiance for all to enjoy.

A blue-grass band serenaded the guests into the night, where dancing and lots of laughter filled every moment. Sometimes you have to escape to reach those places of purest romance. And Suzanne and David’s beautiful day provided an intimacy that will not be forgotten, with laughter and love abound.

Coordinator + Stylist: Alison Events // Photographer: Braedon Photography // Flowers: Loop Flowers // Venue: Mint Locations – Peace Barn // Cakes + Catering: Jasmine Rae Cakes, Paula De Luc // Rentals: La Tavola Linens, Theoni Collection // Paper: Yonder Design // Entertainment: Dart Collective


Heather + Crain’s Distinct Wedding in the Heart of San Francisco

Love and life is about working through the unexpected twists and turns, and Heather and Crain’s big day was no exception. Jesse spent 10 months working with the fabulous couple to plan a beautiful wedding at Durham Ranch in St. Helena, California, but mother nature had other plans. With the spread of wildfires in Napa Valley just a few days ahead of the wedding, it became very clear that their big plans had to change.

The couple kept their cool and Jesse jumped into action, working his magic to create a new plan. By happy chance and everyone’s willingness to be flexible, we were able to move the wedding to San Francisco. Everything came together so beautifully and despite the last minute changes, all the special details of the event remained intact and as special as ever.

Photography by Sylvie Gil 

It was really important to the couple that their personalities shine on their big day. The couple knew they wanted to work with Happy Menocal, and they took Heather + Crain’s inspiration to the next level. After all, no invitation suite is complete without a personalized crest and caricature of the couple. Heather blossoms and cranes were represented in their crest as a nod to their names, and the likeness of their portrait captured their loving spirit.

The bridesmaids dressed in a soft palette of pinks, mixing blushes, champagnes, and other muted tones for a perfectly casual yet elegant style. Heather was radiant in her grecian style Vera Wang gown and crown of white flowers. And Crain kept the vibe cool and personal by wearing the same white Levi’s he was wearing the day the couple met. That paired with a navy blue blazer and custom tie added such a fun and stylish touch.

We were thrilled to be able to secure the Sculpture Garden at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for the ceremony. The art installations and skyline views wowed. The couple’s “I’Do’s” were shared beneath a simple chuppah, adorned with greenery and classic hydrangeas. They wanted to keep the flowers simple in order to allow the sculptures of the garden to shine. And as a very special touch, the bride’s brother officiated the ceremony.

Following the charming rooftop ceremony, guests traveled to the historic Ferry Building for an unforgettable reception. Within the Ferry Building’s vaulted ceiling, soft lighting and lounge vignettes transformed the space. Found Rentals provided cozy sofas and love seats in classic blues and whites for a special touch of intimacy.

Charlotte & Daughters perfected the summer vibe with their floral design. Greenery in ornate ceramic vases lined the tables and complimented the decorative plates, while smaller bud vases with neutral florals provided another subtle yet sweet element. Live trees throughout the space created a natural, forest feel that drove home the natural components of the design.

Vintage plates in mixed designs added a touch of blue and white that is so quintessential of New England design. And wooden flatware paired with sleek table numbers added a modern touch to the classic ambiance.

The toasts were heartfelt, the food delicious, and the dance party lasted well into the night. It was a magically beautiful night, full of Cape Cod vibes in the heart of San Francisco. We absolutely adored all the distinctive details and loved sharing in Heather and Crain’s special day.

Planning & Design: Jesse Tombs for Alison Events // Photography: Sylvie Gil // Ceremony Venue: SFMOMA Sculpture Garden // Reception Venue: San Francisco Ferry Building // Floral Design: Charlotte & Daughters // Paper Suite: Happy MenocalUnion Street Papery // Rentals + Decor: Found Rentals, Frances Lane, La Tavola Fine Linens, Hensley Event Resources, Got Light // Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Cupcakes: Susie Cakes // Music: Élan Artists 


In the Press: Elizabeth and Patrick on Style Me Pretty

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There’s nothing like a wedding at home, especially when your family’s backyard is as gorgeous as Elizabeth’s! She and Patrick pulled out the stops for their elegantly rustic wedding at Elizabeth’s mother’s home in Napa, with stunning mountain views and an intimate garden vibe. From the softly textured invitations to the linen tablecloths and lush blush and white centerpieces, it was everything you’d imagine for a wedding on a September afternoon in California.

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The lace appliqué on Elizabeth’s gown gave the classic silhouette a modern spin, while Patrick was so handsome in a traditional tuxedo. And those kids! From ring bearers in pink suspenders to flower girls (six of them!) in blush dresses in flower crowns, the little ones almost stole the show — almost. Elizabeth came down the aisle carrying a bouquet that included blooms from her mother’s garden, then the couple’s wedding bands were passed amongst the guests before the couple exchanged vows.

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The sweet ceremony was capped off with an indulgent spread from Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, from tuna tartar cones and miniature tacos to a salad of tomatoes and smoked mozzarella and local beef filet with grilled corn ragout. A white dance floor overlooked the valley, full of grape vines, and Project M kept it packed until guests headed to the grotto for the after-party.

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Want more about this fabulous fall celebration? Head over to Style Me Pretty to see the feature!

 

Photography: Jesse Leake // Planning & Design: Alison Events // Venue: Bride’s Family Home // Floral Design: Kathleen Deery Design // Invitations: A Day in May Design // Officiant: Lisa Francesca // Hair & Makeup: SHE Artists // Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen, Urban Parlor, Standard Party Rentals // Draping & Tent: Bright Event Rentals // Lighting: Illusions Lighting Design // Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering // Cake: Perfect Endings // Band: Élan Artists // DJ: Boutique DJs // Photo Booth: Magbooth // Cinematography: Max and Molly Films


In the Press: Katelyn and Anthony on The Southern California Bride

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We had so much fun celebrating Katelyn and Anthony’s wedding at the Parker Palm Springs, and loved getting to see it on Southern California Bride! Desert-inspired hues of berry and ochre, paired with warm wood, gold, and gray, accented the setting while creating a warm and inviting space for the couple and their 140 guests. Katelyn loves the Beverly Hills Hotel’s iconic banana leaf print, so we sprinkled a hand-painted version of it throughout the day, from the invitation belly-bands to the calligraphed dinner menu.

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Anthony and Katelyn wed beneath a creamy draped tent-like structure, with vintage pews and wooden chairs taking the place of traditional seating. Their ceremony was incredibly personal, written and performed by two of the couple’s closest friends. At dinner, we mixed mismatched chairs with bare farm tables, arranging an eclectic collection of vases full of burgundy dahlias, peach peonies, and white ranunculus amongst votive candles and geometric objects. The theme continued overhead, with geometric light fixtures strung above the tables.

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Katelyn and Anthony’s priority was to create an amazing weekend for their friends and family and ensure every guest felt special. They pulled it off with aplomb, and we are so thrilled we could be a part of such a special day!

Photography: Abby Ross for Lauren and Abby // Venue: The Parker Palm Springs // Event Planning & Design: Alison Events // Floral Design, Rentals & Decor: Brown Paper Design // Paper Materials: Paper Plane Paperie // Hair & Makeup: Jessica Belknap & Amanda Chaney // Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Elan Artists // DJ: Dart DJ // Videography: Shark Pig

In the Press: An Interview with Jesse Tombs of Alison Events on Borrowed & Blue

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Photos by Leo Patrone

We recently had the chance to speak with Stephanie, a Napa & Sonoma Market Specialist for Borrowed & Blue, about what we do, why we do it, and what we love most. She spoke with managing partner Jesse Tombs, and we’re so excited to share the interview with you! Here’s a little peek into the world of Alison Events.

If you’ve ever sat down and thought about everything that goes into planning an event—let alone, your wedding day—then you know why it’s sometimes just best to leave it all to the professionals. Enter: your very own wedding planner and designer.

“Trust us when we say that wedding planners and designers will make your life a WHOLE lot easier. That’s why Borrowed & Blue loves Alison Events, who time and time again proves they’ve earned the title of one of the top wedding planners in the world (as instituted by Vogue Magazine). Today we’re doing an exclusive interview with Alison Events and after working closely with Jesse Tombs, Managing Partner of Alison Events, we’re going to give you a peek into the stunning, spectacular world of an event planner.”  – Stephanie, Borrowed & Blue’s Napa & Sonoma Market Specialist

Here’s Borrowed & Blue’s Q&A with Jesse Tombs of Alison Events:  

If you could possibly narrow it down, what is your favorite moment of a wedding day?
I love watching the client as they see the whole picture come to life, seeing the excitement in their eyes and on their faces. We see weddings as a way to tell stories from the beginning of the guest experience (usually a mailed save the date) to the final goodbye at the end of a wedding weekend. I want to help our clients create a vision that gives their guests a glimpse into who they are, both individually and as a couple. It can be a challenge for some of our clients to visualize the concept we’re creating, so the most gratifying moment for me as a wedding planner and event designer is when they see all the details and beauty come together on their wedding day and can truly understand the vision we have brought to life for them.

How’d you get into wedding planning?
I have an extremely mixed professional background. I worked in catering in high school and college, and then after in the fashion industry. I returned from New York to the Bay Area and worked in restaurants and hotels. I have always loved taking care of people and feel like hospitality runs in my veins. I also love to create and make things with my hands. When I was six or seven, I moved all the furniture in my parents house and re-hung all the pictures on the walls. I’ve always had an innate design capacity and enjoy using the skills I have gained over the years to provide unparalleled personalized service to my clients. My background enables me to bring a truly hands-on approach to design and aesthetics. I’m not the type of wedding planner that sits in a corner barking orders. I am a servant leader: In the room, moving furniture, folding napkins, and personally making sure that every detail is seen to so that the client’s vision can be brought to reality.

Describe your event aesthetic in three words.
Effortless, Innovative, Rich.

The first thing you ask when you sit down with a couple?
Who are you? What turns you on? What makes you laugh?

Top three pieces of advice for couples who just got engaged?
Don’t rush into anything. Enjoy the planning process, it should be fun. Spend what feels right to you.

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What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My team and the people I get to work with. I love our vendors and consider many of them dear friends, if not family.

What’s the best thing about having your wedding in Napa?
The weather, the views and the amazing local vendors and venues.

What about Sonoma?
I really enjoy the relaxed, laid back feel of Sonoma, it is less pretentious than Napa, and also provides beautiful backdrops for weddings and events.

Most important detail of wedding decor?
Paper Materials. Guests come in direct contact with these, and they make a huge impact. Paper sets the tone for the whole event so take that into consideration when you’re deciding on the design and materials. The invitation can be simple, with the majority of the information for guests on an inexpensive custom website, but the feel of the piece of paper they do receive is important, and that usually costs a bit more.

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Photos by Christina McNeill

The celebrity wedding you wished you planned?
Carolyn Bessette & John F. Kennedy Jr.

Your thoughts on DIY weddings?
I certainly don’t have anything against clients making things themselves for their wedding. I had a client this year design the invitations and they are stunning, however he is a graphic designer by trade, so that was a project that made sense for him to take on. If you are not a painter or a sculptor, don’t paint a backdrop or create a sculpture for your alter. Hire professionals to do the jobs that aren’t in your wheelhouse. But if there is something that you love doing, like making granola, by all means make granola as the parting gift for each guest. In my opinion, doing it yourself should be a way to to make things more personal, not more affordable.

Your favorite out of all the Napa wedding venues?
Z Modern.

What about Sonoma wedding venues?
Annadel Estate Winery.

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Photos by Elizabeth Messina

Tell the story of the biggest day-of disaster and how you swooped in to save the day.
I worked my first wedding when I was 15 and worked for a caterer, and I dropped the wedding cake. I was able to save the top and ran to the closest store to buy frosting and another cake. I pieced it back together and did the best I could with frosting and flowers. It wasn’t beautiful, but the couple saw the amount of effort (as well as the tears) that I’d put into fixing it. They forgave me and ended up having the best day of their lives! It was a day I’ll never forget. After the wedding, the client sent a thank you note and specifically thanked me for all of my hard work. They said their cake was one of the things they would never forget, which was terrifying but also made me realize that my hard work will be remembered, even in the shadow of an embarrassing error.

Describe your dream wedding.
My dream wedding would be small, with my closest family and friends. It would feel authentic to me and the location, as well as intimate and personal in both size and details. I want all the weddings I plan and design to feel like a dinner party —not overly produced or overthought, but specific and planned with thoughtfulness, clarity and purpose. Design should be a big factor, but practicality is also at the top of my list. I want everything you need, and none of the things you don’t, so everything is just right.


In the Press: Ashley and Nick on Style Me Pretty

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We are so thrilled to see Ashley and Nick’s laid-back vineyard wedding on Style Me Pretty!

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There are so many gorgeously intimate venues nestled around Healdsburg, California, and we think Ashley and Nick might have found one of the best ones. They were on the hunt for a remote, off-the-beaten-path spot for their wedding, and Wallace Creek Vineyards was all that and more. From a ceremony beneath a hundred year old oak tree to dinner at a single table for 75 in the vineyard to a fun and rustic dance party in the barn, we made use of every inch of the property (with a few golf carts making the sprawling space feel a little less… sprawling!).

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The food was spectacular, a five-course feast surrounded by vines and served at a table eclectically set with bowls of nuts, seasonal fruits, and rich earth tones. The watercolor invitations and menus make our hearts flutter!

Head over to Style Me Pretty to see more of the berry-hued details, and to hear the story straight from the couple!

Photography: Sally Pinera // Event Planning and Design: Alison Events // Venue: Wallace Creek Vineyards // Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs // Stationery: A Fabulous Fete // Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta // Reception Dress: Dolce & Gabbana // Makeup: Bianca Rubi // Hair: Jacqueline Duignan // Groom’s Attire: J.Crew // Rings: Kwiat // Catering: Sage Catering // Ceremony and Cocktail Music: San Francisco Conservatory of Music // DJ: DJ Funklor // Linen Rental: La Tavola Linen // Rentals and Lighting: Bright Event Rentals // Photo Booth: The Bus Booth // Transportation: California Wine Tours


In the Press: Jesse and Matt on Style Me Pretty

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Style Me Pretty has just published a fantastic post about a wedding we did in Northern California last fall!

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Last October, we celebrated Jesse and Matt’s wedding with a stunning celebration at the Burlingame Country Club in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was full of personal touches (like the cocktail hour dim sum from the couple’s favorite local Chinese restaurant!), and the cream and gold color scheme was the perfect complement to the dinner tent we erected around the club’s stone fountain. Head over to Style Me Pretty to see all the amazingly gorgeous photos, taken by Jose Villa!

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Photography: Jose Villa // Cinematography: Elysium Productions // Planning: Alison Events // Venue: Burlingame Country Club // Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Tailor: SewHeidi Wedding De-Tailor // Hair & Makeup: Kate Rodriguez // Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse // Invitations: Olive Route // Custom Signage: Yonder Design // Floral Design: Kathleen Deery Design // Oyster Bar: Hog Island Oyster Company // Entertainment: Elan Artists, The Hudson Project // Cake: Perfect Endings


Ten San Francisco Rehearsal Dinner Spots

If you’re considering a wedding in the San Francisco area, then you should definitely check out our list of great spots to host a rehearsal dinner. So many great options in this city, it’s hard to narrow down, but these are our top 10, in no particular order:

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Central Kitchen (ok, well all of the Flour + Water private dining rooms, really). Great food, lots of different areas for different party sizes, and the pasta tasting menu is amazing. Have more that 25 people? The courtyard fits 40 for a semi-private buyout and boasts a nice layout.

Bar Agricole. The private dining room fits 40, and the patio is ideal for pre-dinner cocktails (which are fabulous).

La Mar. This Peruvian seafood joint has one gorgeous view. And the patio seats 100 guests.

AQ The look and feel of the restaurant changes every season, as does the menu. You can invite two dozen loved ones to join you in their cellar room.

Town Hall. Perfect for about 40 people, and for Southern and comfort-loving foodies.

Tosca. You can fit up to 32 people at this former dive bar. Chef April Bloomfield always serves stellar cocktails and Italian cuisine.

Park Tavern. -The Eden room seats 50 and the burger is simply amazing.

Wayfare Tavern. Chef Tyler Florence’s restaurant that serves upscale bar food done right. Choose from two private rooms—one for 16 and one for 50.

Foreign Cinema. Want a beautiful outdoor setting? Consider buying out the courtyard, where you can even play movies on the large wall. The food is consistently great.

Cotogna. With 50 guests you can buy out the restaurant (which is a sister spot to Quince) and have a rustic Italian feast.