Tamara J Events – Napa Valley Wedding Planner and Event Designer » Fabulous Events For Fabulous People

How To Plan A Destination Wedding?

Destination weddings are often a life-long dream come true. But like any wedding, they take lots of careful planning in order to go off smoothly! If you are asking yourself, “How do I plan a destination wedding?” then today is your lucky day. I sat down with Chloe Jackman of Chloe Jackman Photography (CJP) to discuss the ins and outs of what it takes to plan a destination wedding. I should say that not only is Chloe one of my favorite photographers, but I just planned her magical Riviera Maya Mexico wedding and can we just say it was…..amazaeballs. More about Chloe’s gorgeous Mexican fete in a future post…..playa del carmen beach wedding

Here’s our chat:

CJP: So, how do I plan a destination wedding? What are the main differences when compared to regular wedding planning?

Tamara: When planning a destination wedding, several factors need to be considered. Beginning with accessibility. How will guests arrive to the destination? What season is best for the venue/location you’re considering?  Will the ceremony and reception be in the same location? Will you need additional transportation once your guests arrive?

CJP: Do you have any advice on choosing the size of your guest list for a destination wedding or who to invite?

Tamara: Destination weddings are usually more intimate in nature, but some guests will jump at the chance to attend especially if it’s some exotic locale. So the key is to be strategic in who you invite.  Travel plans need to be arranged with a longer lead time and you really should concentrate on guests that will surround you in love, support and friendship.  That second cousin you’ve not seen since third grade probably won’t make the list.

CJP: We’ve seen a lot of day-before events this season. How should you plan the day before the wedding? Sightseeing?

Tamara: A destination wedding is an opportunity to create an experience for you and your guests so whether you plan a group outing or make recommendations for activities that are available to them they will definitely be looking to you for guidance on where to go and what to do. Make sure to balance time with your guests and time for them to explore on their own. Thinking of a welcome event: keep it to low-key with cocktails and apps.

CJP: What about legal issues – passports, marriage license, etc.?

Tamara: Definitely research marriage requirements for your destination wedding. Some countries have a residency requirement (meaning you need to live there for a certain period of time – Turks & Caicos is 24 hours, England is 7 days and France is 40 days). You may also need to get “legally married” in your home country, aka a civil service.

CJP: Now a bit about you. What makes your business and what you offer unique?

Tamara: I am fortunate enough to have a business that allows me to be creative and a part of one of the most special days in a couple’s lives.

CJP: What is your favorite thing about your business?

Tamara: I’m inspired by so many elements in the world and I love being able to bring a couple’s personality into their design. The biggest challenge is finding that key element that I can build on – sometimes it’s a custom designed print, or the transformation of space. My favorite moment of what I do is when everything is done, candles lit, flowers in place and the couple ready to walk down the aisle… that’s when all of the design and planning becomes real and what’s been swirling around in my head comes to fruition… that’s when I can breathe.

CJP: What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do for a client? A dream job?

Tamara: Truth be told, I would love to plan and design a wedding in Paris completely from the dress to every element of the ceremony and reception – but with a twist, smack dab in the middle of Fashion Week and the ceremony would take place on the runway.

CJP: When you aren’t working, what might you be found doing?

Tamara: When I’m not working, I love to travel and explore new places or even be a tourist in my own state. Also, I’m the queen of junkin’ (estate sales, thrift stores and garage sales).


We are always passport ready, so let’s pack our bags and get to work planning your perfect destination wedding.



Thanks to Chloe Jackman Photography (photos 2 & 3) and Rachel Capil Photography (photos 1 & 4)




Napa Wedding Private Estate Tamara J Events (212)

Eclectic and classic….two words that define C & K’s wedding on a gorgeous private estate in Napa, CA. From the non-traditional seating and food stations to the Cuban band and chandeliers galore, I loved designing this wedding.  Both C & K are Napkins {Napa Locals} so finding a venue that fit for them was a fun challenge…..I mean when you live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, choices for architecture, scenery and food are endless, so when friends of theirs offered their estate for the nuptials, it was an immediate yes.

With a blank slate we knew we wanted the space to be fun and interactive for the guests. We worked with an amazing creative team, including custom designed furniture from a fabulous Los Angeles designer, Bright Event Rentals, Floral Design by yours truly and our good friend, Joellen Pope and Sonoma Cake. The catering, by Park Avenue Catering, was a fusion of world influences was absolutely amazeballs….short ribs, portobello fries with parmesan, chili flakes and balsamic glaze, roasted butternut squash arancini with truffle oil, wild mushroom mac n’ cheese and Paella…amazeballs!!!

When it came to music for this wedding and given they couple’s honeymoon destination, Cuba….we had to bring in some of the best….the Maestro, Fito Reinoso, Gabriel Navia and all-around phenomenal band. Guests were on the dancefloor non-stop.

To capture all the magic from the first look at Carneros Inn to the last song was Chloe Jackman Photography. Chloe’s personality and talent are both big and full of life. We can’t thank her enough for these fabulous images.

Take a peek for yourself……

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Have a fabulous day,

Tamara J


Wedding Insurance What Every Bride and Groom Need To Know

Wedding Insurance What Every Bride and Groom Need To KnowPlan for the unexpected….

You’ve spent months or maybe even a year planning your dream wedding. The invitations are in the mail, the catering, flowers and cake ordered…everything is all set.  So what about those unforeseen circumstances….what’s your plan?

A light dusting of snow during your ceremony or first look could make for a stunning photo op….a blizzard….well that changes things. What about travel delays or something happens to the wedding cake or heaven forbid… your dress?

Why  Do We Need Wedding Insurance?

We’ve all heard the horror stories of wedding venues going out of business with no notice. Last year, one of my brides had the unfortunate experience of the dress shop where she bought her gown going out of business and never ordered her gown.  Thankfully, we found out early enough, got on the phone to the designer and we were able get the exact same dress she had fallen in love with in time….and because of wedding insurance…we didn’t have to pay for it twice.

So whether you are just beginning entering the final stages of your wedding planning, be sure to get wedding insurance.  Your venue is going to require at least $1 Million and in some cases, $2 Million in liability coverage.  If you’re planning a destination wedding, wedding insurance can cover all sorts of travel related issues.

Given that the average cost of a wedding in the Napa Valley  is in the neighborhood of $38,000…. it’s probably a smart thing to protect your investment. You wouldn’t buy a new car and not have insurance right?

What is Wedding/Special Event Insurance?

Wedding / Special Event Liability Insurance is a specialty insurance policy designed to protect and reimburse the named insured and/or Bride and Groom from certain types of claims and losses arising from accidents taking place during the wedding, reception, and rehearsal. Subject to the specific coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, wedding liability coverage can offer protection for the wedding couple if they are found liable for things such as damage to the facility caused by a guest or vendor, bodily injury to guests or even alcohol-related accidents.

Host Liquor Liability

Host Liquor Liability Insurance is an insurance term used to describe provides liability protection against bodily injury or property damage suits brought by parties injured as a result of an intoxicated guest who was served alcohol at an event you hosted

Where do I get Wedding Insurance?

Depending on your location and coverage, you may be able to purchase a policy through your homeowners insurance (check with your agent).  Other great options include companies like Wedsafe, The Event Helper and Special Event Insurance.

Have a fabulous day,



Bridal Fashion Week 2017…..It’s mid-April and it’s one of my favorite times of the year….just before my birthday and New York Fashion Week – The Bridal Edition.   Bridal Fashion week is full of the latest trends in bridal fashion and accessories and chalk full of inspiration.  This year’s designs feature intricate lace, 3D embellishments and beautiful designs that are fluid and ultra femme.

Design houses like Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier, Naeem Khan, Reem Acra, Claire Pettibone and Jenny Packham graced the runways with their flawless gowns and impeccable detail.  Color, length, texture and a mix of silhouettes ensure that every bride can find something that she absolutely falls in love with.

Here are some of my favorites from Bridal Fashion Week 2017…..#nybfw2017

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Fall 2017

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Fall 2017



Naeem Khan Spring 2017



Houghton Spring Collection


Jenny Packham 2017



Naeem Khan

Marchesa 2017

Marchesa 2017

No matter what silhouette or designer you choose for your wedding day, it should reflect your style and make you feel absolutely gorgeous.  Enjoy the process and have fun.




One of the perks of being a wedding planner, especially in Wine Country, is being invited to experience fabulous new event spaces. Tre Posti is a brand new premiere Napa Valley event venue located in St. Helen. Recently Tre Posti hosted a fabulous wedding planner’s luncheon complete with luscious libations, event space tour, live mozzarella demonstration and catered lunch at the Historic Merryvale Winery.

Tre Posti offers a mix of three private and semi-private event spaces – The Garden Grove, The Courtyard and The Harvest Room – perfect for your wedding celebration, social or corporate event. Chef Nash Cognetti has created a menu that is quintessential #napastyle, featuring a fusion of Italian fare and locally sourced ingredients and you have your choice of brunch, lunch, family style, buffet or plated meals.

Not only does Tre Posti have great space, atmosphere, plenty of parking….but your event can run later than 9:30pm (Napa County-Wide Sound Ordinance)…..just take the party inside to The Harvest Room.

Here’s a peek into our fabulous wedding planner’s luncheon…..Thank you Tre Posti for your gracious hospitality.



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Behind the Lens: Jen Philips Photography

Chandeliers & Draping: Five Star Productions, Napa Valley

Floral Arrangements: Flower Designs by Karen Brown

Bubbles & Vino: Merryvale Vineyards

Event Décor: Encore Events Rentals

Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen


Have a fabulous day,