It’s all about the experience…

When I meet with couples touring Oak Hill and planning their big day, I am often told how they want their wedding to be unique & memorable for their guests…they want it to be an experience that won’t be forgotten. The venue choice and location clearly plays a large role in creating the atmosphere desired. A wedding in a city hotel or banquet hall will have a much different vibe than an event held on an estate with rolling hills, ponds, vast outdoor spaces and roaming donkeys. I might be a little biased but sign me up for those donkeys (Earl and JoJo are heartthrobs)!

So once the venue is chosen, how does a couple continue to personalize their wedding and build on the unique experience that they are hoping to capture for their guests?  At Oak Hill, we have a long list of suggestions to optimize your guests’ adventure on our property. Here are a few examples:

1. Utilize the many amenities Oak Hill offers by stationing food, decor & activities at various locations on the property…

• Schoolhouse – Brides often use this space for: escort cards, framed photos of bride and groom, favors on desks, messages on the chalkboard, champagne toast outdoors, thumbprint tree/photo frame and/or guest book on teacher’s desk.  We’ve even had brides provide old homework assignments from childhood to display on the desks. Displays of vintage family wedding dress attire are also a great idea, especially when accompanied by the wedding photo.

• Country Store – A fun place for… Candy buffet using apothecary jars on the store counter, Appetizers or popcorn/ice cream/root beer floats and local craft beers and old-fashioned sodas/lemonade; Placement of favors, photos or guest book on counters of the store

• Path between pine trees – Décor such as the following can be added: Hang place cards, tack ribbons with photos hanging from them (bride’s family on one row of trees, groom’s family on other row), Hang framed pictures from horizontal branches or string pictures overhead

2. The Fire Pit is really popular during the receptions – bring s’mores ingredients and we will set it up with our galvanized steel 3 – tiered tray and a vintage table. We provide the roasting sticks!

3. Oak Hill has a wide variety of ceremony Locations…

• Chapel (up to 200)

• Steps of Chapel (smaller – about 50 people is best)

• Lawn at Barnhouse (up to 250 seated)

• Twin Oaks area (amongst the trees near pond below Barnhouse) – up to 250

• Pine Trees near main house (smaller ceremonies – 125 or less)

and our newest addition in June 2019…the Woodland Forest location! We cannot wait for this to be revealed!

4. Cocktail Hour locations…the favorite areas for Cocktail Hour are as follows:

• Schoolhouse Lawn – a shady, central location with a playground nearby. Lawn games are great in this area!

• Barnhouse Lawn – use the lawn and decks overlooking the pond for a stunning setting (best for groups under 150)

• Farmhouse Arbor – a shady spot close to the tent and focused around our arbor and fire pit.

Pretty sure the new Woodland Forest site will be an amazing cocktail hour location as well.

5. Don’t forget transportation to and from the ceremony site: • Use the antique 1931 Ford Model A Roadster with rumble seat • Enjoy the horse drawn white carriage with seating for four

We encourage all wedding clients to make the most of our property! If you have an idea, please share it with us as we appreciate all your creativity.

Selecting Your Style

With today’s social media influencing every area of our life – especially wedding life! – it can be difficult to choose your wedding vision. Let’s face it – Pinterest can make us all a little crazy. My best advice – stay true to you. Here are a few ways to find your inspiration.

  1. Let your personalities shine through! This is the time to develop a theme based on hobbies, goals, and passions. Maybe it’s travel, or you’re both foodies, or perhaps a cause that you believe in,or maybe even a sports team that you both love. Make your wedding fun and memorable by personalizing the details.
  2. Choosing a venue is probably the most impactful way to determine the theme and style of your wedding. Outdoorsy and “rustic chic”? Oak Hill Farm is the place for you. Or maybe you prefer a city atmosphere in a prestigious hotel. Follow your instincts! Your decor and bridal attire will be influenced by your venue choice.
  3. Season and time of day can also reflect your personalities and narrow down your vision. Are you a morning person or perhaps cringe at the thought of dancing and partying all night? Consider a brunch reception! Do you love a warm night under the stars? Summer is the season for you. Craving those fall colors? Mid October is best. Oak Hill is open May – October and each month offers a bit of a different feel in terms of temperature and foliage.
  4. Intimate or grandiose? This can be tough for couples! The number of people you choose to invite will affect the environment of your wedding day. When building your wedding day style, keep the size and scale of your invitation list in mind. Remember: it is up to you to manage the guest list. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone!
  5. Once some of the above decisions are made, your vision will start to come into focus. Be authentic to yourself and your true style! Once you’ve narrowed it down, make sure you carry this vision through to all areas of your wedding planning (invitations and printed materials, wedding day attire, signage, welcome kits, bridal party gifts, wedding favors, etc.).
  6. Choose your vendors according to your style and inspiration. Does your venue allow you to bring in your own vendors? Oak Hill allows vendors of your choosing! This is very important as you want to be able to make these choices on your own. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for!
  7. Lastly, enjoy the process! This is the first big event that you and your partner are planning and hosting together as a couple so have fun with it and don’t sweat the small stuff.
  8. The team at Oak Hill is always here to help guide you and encourage your personalities to show through. Our venue is perfect for personalization…bring photos to display in the Schoolhouse, serve your favorite candy, popcorn or snacks in the Country Store. Host a whisky and wine tasting at the firepit! Pick your own caterer or food truck and bring in the alcohol of your choosing for us to serve. Four outdoor ceremony locations offer a fit for every couple (or create a new location on our 170 acres!). The possibilities are endless and we would love to help you create your vision at our unique farm. Cheers!

Happy Holidays!

It’s hard to believe the year is almost over (and that I’ve only posted once during 2017 – oops! Blogging is not my forte, clearly). Upon reflecting on our season, there are so many beautiful events and amazing people that graced our venue. I have visions of our new harvest tables laden with eucalyptus runners and hydrangeas, succulents, lanterns and mixed metals. We saw many soft colors and romantic themes along with personal details that really made each wedding unique.

In 2018, we are looking forward to an increased level of woodsy, rather than rustic, decor. Silver will be mixed in with the copper, brass and rose gold that we’ve been seeing a lot of in the past few years. Interactive cocktail hours, which Oak Hill is all about with our various spaces for guests to explore, will be popular as well as entertainment beyond the typical DJ and photobooths. We saw many interesting backdrops as DIY photobooths last year and we expect that trend to continue. Another popular feature – hanging florals! We can’t wait for wedding season to begin!!

Cheers to a happy holiday season and a blessed New Year!

Welcome 2017!

It’s January 4th and 4 degrees – brrr. The wind is howling outside and all I can think about is warmer weather and our upcoming season. I’m so looking forward to planning and preparing with our 2017 couples! I’ve been reading all about the top 2017 wedding trends and I’m excited to see them in action at Oak Hill. Some of my favorites include eclectic decor, lots of greens (think eucalyptus runners!), bold colors coming back into the mix, unique invitations, flower crowns, off-beat place settings, metallic accents and interesting food stations. I literally can’t wait!

Winter is planning season…not just for the Oak Hill team but for all couples getting married this year. By now, the venue, date and master guest list have probably been established. So what’s next? Establish your theme (your wedding dress and dresses should reflect your wedding day style), hire your vendors (photographer, band/DJ, florist, caterer, baker and officiant) and reserve hotel blocks for your guests. Don’t forget to send those Save the Dates also! Developing a timeline for your day is helpful to your vendors, guests and wedding party. Be sure to consult with your caterer and me as you map out your day. Once your major decisions are made, the designing of all those fun details will kick off. Enjoy every crazy moment and don’t ever hesitate to contact with any type of question. Happy planning!

Ahhh, Spring!

Finally, Spring! We are so happy to see blooming flowers, green grass and sunshine. Wedding season is in full swing at Oak Hill and we are thrilled to be back in action! Our 2016 brides are bringing new inspiration to the venue and we love it. Some of the trends we are seeing are:

  • Couples today want a wedding that showcases who they are, that’s a fun experience for their guests,  and that won’t look or feel dated — ever. 22-KalinBrian-2034
  • Couples are increasingly looking for ways to bring in elements of places that hold special memories — no matter where the actual wedding is being held. Naming tables after places they’ve traveled or including keepsakes from special vacations is becoming popular.18-130039687652325120
  • Lighting is key. Couples want to create a more romantic and intimate environment and the right lighting can create both. Oak Hill features plenty of warm, bistro lighting in the reception tent, tree path, fire pit and a (new) lighted canopy over our raised bed garden.IMG_3802
  • Seating arrangements are changing and the traditional round table of 8 is going by the wayside. Mixing the style of tables to include both round and banquet tables is popular as well as designing a pattern of tables in the reception space. Farm tables are all the rage – linens not necessary for these!farm table
  • Metals, coral, blush and navy are popular color and texture trends.f5f101232514703c762174975d82323f

Can’t wait to see what new tabletop, food and beverage trends arise in the next few months!

Change of Seasons

It’s hard to believe that we are already at the end of October, which also is the end of our tented reception season at Oak Hill. Our last event under the canopy will be this Saturday, October 31st.  Season endings are always bittersweet. Here are few peeks into autumn days at Oak Hill…

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Summer days…

Summer is in full swing at Oak Hill and couples are loving the long days, warm summer nights and lush gardens. Some of my favorite shots of the Oak Hill grounds were taken early last Sunday morning at the end of a full holiday weekend. Warm weather, sunshine, a cup of coffee and a camera…

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