Located on a ridge overlooking Calistoga, and with a view of Mt. St. Helena, Hans Fahden Vineyards is named after the founder of the place – a German immigrant, who along with his wife farmed the land to lay a foundation for the vineyards in the early 1900’s. Hindered by prohibition in the 20’s, the vineyard wouldn’t see action until its gradual restoration throughout the 1980’s.
Planning Your Hans Fahden Vineyards Wedding
The Fahdens who restored the vineyards also crafted a beautiful, tranquil and multi-faceted property that makes for wedding perfection. A Hans Fahden wedding in Calistoga means that you and your guests will have an opportunity to discover the many beautiful experiences the property has to offer.
Your day will start with preparations in the cozy bride’s room (the groom has a similar, slightly more ‘guy-like’ room on the other side of the house…yes…there’s a TV in there). The courtyard directly in front of the main house is perfect for mingling and enjoying pre- and post- ceremony drinks. The ceremony itself can be held in the beautiful tea house, or for larger groups, in an intimate setting nestled near the pond. Dining takes place in the intimate yet spacious cave room, and the main room is perfect for dancing and other festivities.
The expansive grounds are a journey in themselves, and make Hans Fahden wedding photos truly distinctive. Your portrait session can meander from the covered bridge, around the sprawling pond, to the bushes and vines and seemingly endless trails.
It’s always helpful to know what you can expect from your wedding photography when selecting a venue. A wedding at Hans Fahden Vineyards means that your expectations should be high. These tips will help you get the most of your wedding photography.
Find the Light
One of the biggest advantages to tying the knot outdoors is the abundance and quality of natural light. Depending on the time of year, I like to schedule the portrait session to stake out the best light. The good news is that because Hans Fahden is so self-contained, there’s plenty of time to romp around the grounds and create beautiful photographs – and you don’t have to stray very far at all from the main event.
Use the Entire Space
Hans Fahden has surprises around every corner. Be prepared to explore the entire property – both inside and out, in search of the best photo opportunities. The more time you can devote to playing and discovering and taking photos, the more diverse and memorable your Hans Fahden wedding pictures will be. The tea house is quite beautiful, seen both from the outside and within. The Chinese lanterns that adorn the ceiling light up in the evening, casting a warm glow over you and your guests.
Formal & Family Photographs
There are ample locations to arrange family pictures, but my favorite would have to be the opening of the tea house that looks out onto the property. The dark wooden beams and the surrounding foliage provide a perfect frame for a small- to medium-sized group of people. Alternatively, the green (or, depending on the time of year, yellow) bushes and grasses all around the property provide beautiful backdrops for formals.
When dining in the cave, the warm glow of candles and sconces provides the perfect ambiance. Since I am experienced with Hans Fahden wedding photography, I work carefully with low-light lenses and strategic lighting in order to preserve the warmth and tone of the space.