Promise rings, as we’ve mentioned here before, are as versatile as they are meaningful. We’re loving the recent popularity rise in these wearable symbols as well as the variety of promise ring choices out there today.
Because a little sparkle goes a long way in adding romance and beauty to a piece of jewelry, one of our favorite trends is the small diamond promise ring. We think these five rings below showcase the small diamond, a glittering wink if you will, just perfectly.
We're not suggesting you have to pop the question on the jumbotron for all to see, but if you and your partner are sports fans, the baseball field might just be the perfect spot for your proposal. Even if you're not a fanatic, any of these ten charming parks is a romantic and memorable location to get engaged.
1. Dr. Pepper Ballpark
Home to the Frisco RoughRiders, the double A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, this ballpark is a blast from the past with its grey wooden exterior. Minor league stadiums in general have more communal feel, but this park, with its old timey architecture, creates an especially cozy and nostalgic atmosphere. An evening game is your best shot at prime romantic lighting, with the Texas sun setting in left field.
2. MCU Park
With both Coney Island's coasters and the ocean as an outfield backdrop, this park is truly one of a kind. You can take a stroll on the famed boardwalk before attending the Brooklyn Cyclones game. Not crazy about baseball? MCU park is a versatile venue, hosting concerts, and an assortment of sporting events (they host weddings, too!). You'll be sure to find the perfect event for your proposal!
3. Modern Woodmen Park
Built in 1931 this Davenport, Iowa stadium is built on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is one of the oldest minor league stadiums still in use today and has a real Field of Dreams feel to it, with corn growing along the left field foul line. You can sit in the grass atop the outfield wall and watch the game, or turn and face the river. The ferris wheel in left field is the most popular proposal spot (some couples have been wed in front of it, too!). There's also a tiki bar and a hot tub--plenty of cozy spots to choose from!
4. McCormick Field
If you're looking for a true small town atmosphere for your proposal, McCormick Field in Asheville, NC is an excellent choice of location. Built on the side of a hill and surrounded by lush green trees, this ballpark is breath of fresh air, where anyone with youthful memories of bleachers and concession stands will feel the nostalgia. Bonus: many of the scenes from Bull Durham were filmed here, so movie fans can channel their inner Kevin Costners and Susan Sarandons.
5. Whataburger Field
Spread a blanket on the grassy outfield berm and you are set for a night of baseball in one direction and romantic views of the iconic Harbor Bridge in the other. Couples can watch both the game and the massive ships heading toward the Gulf of Mexico via Corpus Christi Bay. There are plenty of choices when it comes to food (including a Whataburger, of course) and many family fun activities at this park for those hoping to make their engagement a family affair.
6. LoanMart Field
Located in the suburb of Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino, California, this park makes our list for the views alone. Couples can watch the game as well as the California sun playing off the San Gabriel mountains in the distance. LoanMart Field (previously The Rancho Cucamonga Epicenter Entertainment and Sports Complex) has a reputation for its energetic atmosphere with high attendance at each game and passionate fans. If you're hoping to emulate the charge of a high stakes major league game for your engagement, this is the park for you!
Speaking of major league games, we've saved our last four spots for our favorite, most romantic big league stadiums.
7. PNC Park
Home to the Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park is considered by many to be the most beautiful baseball stadium in the world. Team allegiances aside, no one can deny this ballpark, situated on the shore of the Allegheny River, is a stunning location for a proposal. Unlike many stadiums being built today, PNC Park was constructed with classic architecture and nostalgia in mind. It is a throwback to early 20th century parks (the stadiums of baseball's heyday, arguably) with lovely views of the downtown skyline and riverfront. Every seat here is a good seat--for both watching the game and a memorable engagement.
8. Wrigley Field
One of the most iconic venues in baseball, Wrigley Field is most charming and and a dream proposal location not just for Cub fans, but any baseball lover. It first opened in 1914 making it the second oldest stadium in the major league and has remained much the same in appearance. Wrigley's most charming details include its location in Wrigleyville, a residential neighborhood, its ivy covered outfield wall, hand turned scoreboard, and nostalgic architecture.
9. Fenway Park
Fenway is the oldest park in the major leagues, built in 1912. It is a cozy stadium, second smallest in the MLB and, in recent history, always packed. Home to the Boston Red Sox since the early twentieth century, the stadium retains its old timey feel, but even more notable than the nostalgic aesthetic is the absolute electric energy from the Boston fans. If you're looking for a most exciting venue to pop the question, a trip to Boston might be in order!
10. AT&T Park
Home of the San Francisco Giants, this park has all the ingredients for a perfect proposal. Nice weather, a water view, a winning team and a quintessential baseball atmosphere.
What is it about baseball that makes it the perfect game for a proposal, anyway? The slow pace? The exciting crack of the bat? The nostalgia? We're not quite sure, but the sport's romantic allure cannot be denied. So if you're ready to buy a ring, buy a couple tickets to the game, too!
Want to see more dreamy proposal locations? Check out our first installment of this series, The Best Wineries in California to Propose
It's time to celebrate the oft overlooked yet lovely pear shaped diamond.
Pear shaped diamond basic facts
The beautiful cut, often referred to as a "teardrop diamond" is a cross between the marquis cut and the emerald cut and is perhaps the most elegant of all diamond shapes. When worn as a ring, it works to elongate the fingers, making it a good match for those with small hands.
The Taylor-Burton Diamond
The first pear shaped diamond was created by renowned diamond cutter, Lodewyk van Berquem, in the thirteenth century, but its modern fame can be attributed to none other than Elizabeth Taylor. In 1969 a magnificent, and very big (69.42 carat), pear shaped diamond was auctioned off. Legend has it that Richard Burton went to great lengths to win the diamond, ultimately paying $1.1 million for the beauty. That's over $7 million today, thanks to inflation, though the stone, now known as the Taylor-Burton Diamond, has a current estimated worth of nearly $19 million.
The Taylor-Burton pear shaped diamond was the first ever to go for a million dollars at auction (the previous record was just $300,000), and in order to insure the stone, Elizabeth Taylor had to agree to wear it no more than 30 days of the year and to be surrounded by guards any time she stepped out wearing the diamond. That's a lot of trouble for a necklace, but this is Elizabeth Taylor, famed diamond lover, we're speaking of.
Celebrity Pear Shaped Engagement Rings
Following in Taylor's footsteps (albeit a bit more modestly) a handful of celebrities are wearing pear shaped diamonds. Among the owners of these engagement rings are Jessica Simpson, Katherine Heigl, Anna Kournikova and Victoria Beckham. Worth mentioning is the fact that pear shaped diamonds are most vulnerable when it comes to revealing flaws in color; for this reason, the pear shaped cut is often reserved for the best and purest stones. Perhaps this is why Elizabeth Taylor and her superstar counterparts are perfect matches for the pear shaped style.
Affordable Pear Shaped Engagement Rings
Even though the average engagement ring shopper will never come across a diamond like Elizabeth Taylor's, the inspired cut is available in all price ranges. One of the loveliest traits of the pear shaped diamond is that it needn't be big to be impressive. It's unique proportions, elongating powers and natural shape make it forever elegant.
If you're searching for the perfect engagement ring, give pear shaped diamonds a try. Your hand and eyes, when they fall on it every day, will thank you.
You can view Shiree Odiz's selection of pear shaped diamond engagement rings here.
For the earth conscious brides and grooms out there, planning a wedding can seem an intimidating challenge. Weddings are traditionally excessive in nature, overflowing with luxurious drink and food. Not to mention all those lovely flowers and guests shipped in from overseas, full-to-the-brim waste bins and one-time-use clothing. Though they do sparkle in your memory for the rest of your life, it’s hard to deny that weddings are, well, wasteful.
The good news is, there are many ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your big day, limit waste, and feel good about your earth championing efforts. The even better news is that you don’t have to stretch your budget to do so. In fact, green weddings are often big money savers.
Photos by Cassidy Carson
We’ve talked with some of the the top earth-friendly professionals in the wedding industry as well as the internet’s most passionate eco-bloggers to bring you a comprehensive guide to planning your green wedding on a budget. All you need is a little creativity.
Historically, flowers were used in ceremonious events like weddings because they were an accessible and free-of-cost decoration--a beautiful piece of the earth, clipped straight from the garden to accompany the bride down the aisle. Today, florals are still the very best of accessories, but we’re sourcing them in an entirely different way. Often wedding flowers are heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides before being shipped long distances to the florist. When assembled into beautiful bouquets and centerpieces, they may seem the perfect representative of a fertile and healthy earth, but in fact flowers are often the biggest earth-damaging culprit of a wedding. Want to turn that trend around? Prioritize local, sustainable sourcing for your floral needs. Here are some tips on how to do so from designer, Kaitlyn Partin of Flowers by Milk & Honey:
- Let your floral designer know up front that you are planning a ‘green’ wedding
- Be open to the new trend toward a fuller, more greenery-heavy aesthetic
- Be flexible with your color palette
- Grow your own flowers to add to your order or source from local sustainable sources
- Allow your designer to help you choose textures and colors that are seasonally appropriate
Photos by Cassidy Carson, courtesy of Flowers by Milk & Honey
You can take things a step further by seeking out a florist like Partin who adds foraged elements to her designs whenever possible:
“Not only does this allow me to maximize my client's budget,” Partin says, “but it also connects my work to the locale where they are wed. Their wedding then feels so much more connected, both in the ecological sense and also in sentimentality.”
Before the wedding planning even begins, there’s the ring to think about. Conflict free diamonds have been a topic of great interest and an absolute requirement for many ring buyers in the past decade, sparking a powerful movement that is now expanding to include eco-friendly diamonds. One option for the earth conscious buyer is to procure an heirloom or vintage engagement ring, either by family inheritance or purchase. Another option is to buy a diamond created in a lab. Lab grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds with the same chemical makeup and physical properties, only they don’t require mining.
Much like choosing a ring, shopping for a wedding dress--top priority for many brides-to-be--can be done second hand. Wearing the dress of a loved one, such as your mother or grandmother is a big money saver as well as the most eco-friendly choice. There's a plentiful selection of pre-owned wedding gowns online as well as in your local thrift and consignment stores. You never know, you might come across a vintage gem!
Brides with their hearts set on a brand new gown need go no further than their computers--because why limit yourself to the local bridal shop when there is a wonderful eco-friendly and ethically made selection to choose from online? On the web, you'll find a broad selection of responsible brands working diligently to make Fair Trade and eco-friendly dresses available to all brides, no matter the budget.
It can be tricky to know just what to look for when shopping for a new eco-friendly dress. We asked Lisa Kaehler from the Fair Trade and earth conscious brand Celia Grace for her number one piece of advice, and she gave us this:
"Look for natural fabrics and avoid anything synthetic. It will feel much better and these fabrics are environmentally conscious."
Natural fabrics are a great place to start. If you'd like to even further assure your dress is minimally damaging to the earth, look for a gown that meets these criteria:
- Natural, pesticide-free fiber fabrics
- Locally sourced fabrics, when possible
- Non-toxic dyes
- Fair trade
- Hand sewn
Photos courtesy of Celia Grace
Selecting a caterer and menu for your green wedding should look a lot like selecting a floral designer:
- In season
- Vegetarian, if you can swing it
Working with locally sourced produce and meats means your wedding food will be at peak freshness, healthy for your guests (and the earth's soil!) and contributing to your community's economy.
When it comes to location, photographer knows best! We asked Nashville, TN photographer, Cassidy Carson for some tips, and she had this to say:
“By choosing to have an early ceremony and reception (think brunch wedding) you can cut down on how much artificial lighting is needed to brighten your space. You can also eliminate the use of lights by having a completely outdoor wedding! The best types of outdoor venues have a gorgeous site for an open air ceremony and reception as well as a covered space incase of inclement weather. Bonus if that covered space is a pavilion or has windows that allow for tons of natural light.”
Photo by Cassidy Carson
While some outdoor venues do come with a hefty price tag, others are completely free of cost! Backyard and garden weddings are wonderful choices for eco conscious couples looking to save money.
If you've planned a wedding before, you know how important and time consuming the details can be. From the big picture decisions (How big should the wedding be? Where should we get married?) to the little flourishes like the rose petal exit, that often get left to the last minute, staying eco minded can be tough! But greening up your details can help make your wedding unique and authentic to your values. We asked eco blogger, Jennifer Nini, of Eco Warrior Princess, for some advice and she sent along these tips:
- Aim to keep the wedding as small as you can. Small weddings are the most sustainable, just as tiny homes are sustainable! So if you can, why not consider eloping? Tiny weddings are not only cheap, but eco-friendly, too. But if you can't do this or it's something you don't want to do, try to keep your wedding invites to the people that mean most as your wedding's environmental footprint goes up the more people you invite.
- If you are to send wedding invitations, choose eco-friendly recycled or FSC certified paper and vegetable non-toxic inks. Or if you're game, you can just email out your invites electronically and save time and resources!
- When choosing a makeup artist and hair stylist, choose ones that use cruelty-free, non-toxic eco-friendly beauty products.
- For decorations, aim to rent them (a good person to ask is a bridal store or wedding planner) but if you can't, you can find beautiful decorations from charity stores and thrift stores. As long as you're comfortable knowing that your decorations are going to be a mix and match of beautiful pieces because this is the nature of second hand shopping.
- If your ceremony or reception is far from public transportation, offer a bus service so that guests can reduce environment impact. Instead of your guests all driving to the venue or reception, a bus service will help to reduce the carbon footprint because they won't need to drive their private cars.
- When sending invites out, encourage guests not to purchase physical wedding gifts but instead, contribute to an 'experience' such as your honeymoon.
- For wedding favours or bombonieres, give guests succulent plants or potted herbs as these gifts are practical and useful and will help them foster an appreciation for nature.
So there you have it! Planning a green wedding takes commitment, but can easily be done. We encourage all brides and grooms to consider the environment with each and every wedding day decision. Save money and feel great about your eco-friendly big day!
The great allure of the modern promise ring is that each individual couple gets to define its meaning.
If you are old enough, you may remember the sacred tradition of wearing your high school sweetheart’s class ring. Or, if you’re a bit younger, you might recall the promise ring, a daintier piece of jewelry, taking its place. I still have mine from years ago (occasionally huffed at by my husband) shining its sapphire nostalgia from my jewelry box. I’m a big fan of the promise ring, and if you are too, you’ll be happy to know its popularity has soared in recent years.
Today, promise rings are no longer exclusively reserved for young lovers. People of all ages are wearing them, drawn to their simplicity and variable significances. Unlike the engagement ring and wedding ring, the promise ring does not come with any universally understood meaning. Instead, it is a fully customizable symbol of commitment in its myriad forms.
Since its first historical appearance as an Ancient Roman betrothal ring, the promise ring has taken on many forms--be it the English Posie ring, the Irish Claddagh ring, or the all-American class ring--though it is perhaps now experiencing its most exciting evolution.
Interesting Promise Ring Facts:
* In the United States, promise rings just might be most popular in the southeast region. Online search volume for these symbols of commitment is highest in West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky and South Carolina
* Worldwide, online interest in promise rings has increased every year for the past five years
* Pictures of celebrity promise rings are popping up all over the internet. Most recently Kylie Jenner and Prince Harry's lady, Meghan Markle, were spotted wearing rings.
* Every year, promise rings see a spike in online interest on December 25th and February 14th.
It's safe to say, promise rings are back! More versatile than ever with a seemingly unending online selection. View our collection of promise rings here.
* Source: Google Trends
Today, engagement ring trends are moving toward more subtle, customized and unique rings―reason to celebrate for those with relatively modest budgets.
With its monumental meaning and sentimental value, the engagement ring is the one piece of jewelry she will wear and cherish for life. At Shiree Odiz we work hard to unite couples with the perfect ring. We know how essential it is to find the ultimate match for both your love story and her style, and we know this is easier said than done! Here we’ve selected five of our favorite unique engagement rings under 2000 dollars to spark your creative mind.
Pear shaped engagement rings are rare and truly special. This vintage beauty was designed to echo the look of handcrafted antique keys. For the old souls, the elegant and unique personalities, this ring is the perfect match.
The Liquid Love ring is truly distinct. A 0.5 carat diamond set between two spiraling bands of smaller natural diamonds, this ring is for any couple wishing to put a unique twist on the traditional diamond ring.
For the love story that is as surprising as it is special, this gorgeous Green Tourmaline Gemstone ring is a wonderful choice. Gemstone Engagement Rings are becoming more and more popular for those looking to break with the traditional diamond ring.
This delicate 18 karat gold ring contrasts beautifully with its brilliant .35 carat center diamond. It has a quintessential vintage feel and is a wonderful match for the subtle beauty with an understated grace.
This traditional and symbolic 3-stone engagement ring with a unique black diamond in the middle is the ring for the daring and different bride-to-be.
Haven’t found the perfect match yet? View more of our engagement rings under 2000 dollars.
Still searching? Shiree Odiz has a lovely selection of rings currently on sale.
A guide to the best places to propose in California’s wine country
So you’ve found the love of your life. Now all you need to do is find the perfect place to pop the question. What could be more romantic than watching the sunset over a vineyard with your special someone? But with more than 4,000 wineries in California, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are 14 wineries with the most charming fireplaces, picturesque vistas, award-winning vineyards, friendly staff and special packages to ensure you give your partner the proposal of their dreams. Don’t forget to hire a proposal planning agency to ensure the proposal goes off without a hitch and a professional photographer to capture the “I do.”
Nestled at the foot of the Vaca Mountain range, Quintessa is known for its sweeping vineyard views, luscious rolling hills and organic farming practices. Described by owner Agustin Huneeus as “a property of destiny,” the winemakers are inspired by the land’s natural beauty, growing their grapes on previously untouched soil and preserving more than 100 acres of woodlands. The wine is known for its finesse and elegance, and concierge services are available at the winery to enhance your visit.
Picture this: dropping down on one knee at Casa Terra, a private pavilion on top a hill that offers stunning views of Dragon Lake. Quintessa really is the quintessential Napa Valley winery.
For a fairytale proposal, head to Castillo di Amorosa, a 13th-century medieval castle winery that’s name, translated in Italian, means the “castle of love.” More than 170 containers of handmade antique bricks and tiles were brought over from Europe to construct this authentic Tuscan-style castle, complete with five defensive towers, a drawbridge and a moat. Named a “must-see destination” by the Wall Street Journal, the 121,000-square-foot castle and 30 acres of estate vineyards have been visited by everyone from Jon Bon Jovi and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Pierce Brosnan and Adam Sandler.
Reserve a VIP tour experience, which includes an exclusive sparkling wine toast in the North Tower, a guided private tour with a sommelier, a barrel tasting of the current vintage of cabernet sauvignon, and a cheese and chocolate pairing in the Il Passito Room. With breathtaking views of the Napa Valley, Calistoga and Mt. St. Helena, a proposal at Castillo di Amorosa will serve as the cornerstone of lifelong marital bliss.
"There are so many reasons why proposing in a vineyard is a good idea. Rolling hills filled with ripe vines always look amazing as a backdrop for a proposal. If you are planning on having a photographer capture the proposal, do it right in front of the vines, it will look amazing."
- Michelle Velazquez, Proposal Consultant
The Heart Bandits
Steve Ledson not only makes award-winning wines, but he also designs gothic castles. What started as his family home quickly grew into a 16,000-square-foot French Normandy castle that now doubles as a winery and tasting room. Whether you propose in front of the dramatic circular driveway, marble fireplace, water fountain or grand staircase, the Ledson Winery & Vineyards castle is the most romantic backdrop for the biggest moment of your life.
Book a private wine tasting on the veranda overlooking the 17 acres of estate vineyards and 100-year-old oak trees in the heart of Sonoma Valley, and add a cheese and charcuterie tray from the Ledson Winery Marketplace for a sensory feast. Or, for the ultimate keepsake, reserve your own castle vineyard row. The row will be marked with a personalized plaque, and the estate vineyard grapes will be harvested to make a minimum of four cases of wine that will display your own wine label, which could feature your names and the date you got engaged.
"The day you get engaged is a day that you and your loved one will remember forever - a vital part of any amazing love story. Being surrounded by intense beauty while someone to spend the rest of their life with you only adds to this incredible and memorable day."
4. Mumm Napa
Mumm Napa believes life’s moments deserve celebrating, which is why their winemakers create not only the some of the best sparkling wines in the United States but also the most picturesque settings for proposals. At the heart of the vineyard is the Oak Terrace. Centered around an 180-year-old oak tree and surrounded by the Mayacamas mountain range, the terrace provides breathtaking wine country views and the ultimate spot to ask those four little words.
Follow up the proposal with a winery tour — named the best sparkling wine tour by Sunset magazine — and a stroll through the fine art photo gallery. Sip on the 2004 DVX, the first California sparkling wine to receive 94 points from Wine Spectator, while you take in amazing photography exhibits by Ansel Adams and Wayne Levin.
When you visit Long Meadows Ranch in the Mayacamas Mountains, you go for the wine, but you stay for the food. At the historic Logan Ives House, enjoy a farm-to-table culinary experience, showcasing estate-grown organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef and lamb, award-winning extra virgin olive oil, and honey paired with Long Meadow Ranch wines.
The rustic charm — from the American farmhouse cooking and family-style dining to the General Store and restored farmhouse — isn’t just for show. Committed to full-circle farming, Long Meadows Ranch produces world-class wine and food using sustainable, organic farming methods. Enjoy your big moment in a bucolic setting with incredible food-friendly wine.
6. Casa Nuestra (Organic Winery)
If you’re looking for a more intimate setting for your proposal, head down Silverado Trail until you reach Casa Nuestra. When you’re at Casa Nuestra, Spanish for “our house,” you’re home. Not much has changed since the 17-acre vineyard opened in the late 1970s.
Gene Kirkham, who calls himself the Happy Farmer, made the commitment to farm without the use of any chemical fertilizers and pesticides back in 1975. In 2005, his winery became the first in the Napa Valley to install solar panels. Today, the farm is also home to 23 English Babydoll sheep, Nubian goats Elvis and Colonel Parker, and brown goats Natalie and Sheila, who help keep the winery even more sustainable.
Specializing in noble grape varietals, such as Chenin blanc and cabernet franc, which are quickly disappearing from the area, the winemakers keep production small, making about 2,500 cases annually. Although the winery is small in numbers, the team is big in heart, making it the perfect spot for your proposal. But don’t forget to call ahead: Casa Nuestra is by-appointment-only.
"Being in the midst of the beautiful vineyards is an overwhelming breath taking experience. If you bring the one you love to this venue and propose they are going to love telling their story for the rest of their lives. They will want to show friends and family what an amazing guy they are marring while showing off their photos."
- Holly Drennen, Wedding/Proposal Photographer
7. Robert Sinskey Vineyards (Biodynamic Winery)
To Rob Sinskey, wine is all about the story — and his grapes have one. A child of the ’60s, Sinskey believes winemaking starts with the soil, so he turned his 200-acre vineyard into a 100 percent organic and biodynamic farm, forgoing herbicides for manure and compost and using a flock of 400 sheep to develop the vineyard ecosystem.
His wife, Maria, is cut from the same cloth. As culinary director of the vineyards, Maria uses food from her organic gardens to create menus inspired by the seasons (think pancetta-wrapped game hens with aromatic stuffing and chanterelles and succulent red wine-braised lamb with creamy polenta).
Named by Food and Wine as one of the best Napa Valley wineries to visit, Robert Sinskey Vineyards offers a chef’s table experience where you can stroll through the culinary gardens and vineyards, tour the cellar and caves, and enjoy a five-course tasting accompanied by a flight of both current and library wines.
"Napa vineyard proposals are so beautiful and full of the perfect combination of natural beauty and romance. I love capturing this special moment for a couple. What I especially love about Robert Sinskey Winery, is that there are many beautiful spots on the property for scenic photos. Additionally, their options for hosted tastings and tours offer the opportunity to make the proposal a whole wine country experience."- Lori Paladino, Photographer
8. Kamen Wines
You might not think you know who Robert Mark Kamen is, but you do. The creator of The Karate Kid, Transporter and Taken franchises, Kamen is now also the creator of what The Wine Advocate is calling one of the top cabernets in Sonoma. Although Kamen and his winemaking team use black and blue fruit to make full-bodied wine, the karate and tai chi enthusiast won’t leave you feeling black or blue.
No, as the sun sets on the 280-acre private mountain vineyard, the yellows, oranges and reds will have you feeling passionate, inspired and ready to propose. Book a private tour and tasting for you and your partner to enjoy Kamen Wines and artisanal cheese selections while taking in unparalleled views of the Mayacamas Mountains and San Francisco Bay.
Located at the northernmost part of the Sonoma Valley, Westwood Estate sits just 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean. If you arrive before noon, a sensual morning fog is still likely to be resting on the Annadel Gap Vineyard. But by the afternoon, the sun is bathing the 22-acre vineyard in a warm glow, and ocean is spraying a cool breeze across the estate. This unique location makes it an ideal climate in which to grow pinot noir and Rhône — and beautiful setting for an unforgettable proposal.
When you book an experience at Westwood Estate, you won’t just get a tasting flight. You’ll share in-depth conversations, stories from the past and visions for the future with the winemakers — and your new fiancée.
"Westwood Estates Vineyard, set in romantic Sonoma, is the perfect place to propose to the love of your life, bathed in warm sunset hues, the classic beauty of the vines and layout will enhance and keep this special day printed in your lovers mind for the rest of her life."
10. HALL Napa Valley
Kathryn Walt Hall has been combining tradition with innovation since she started working in her family’s Mendocino County vineyard in the 1980s. Now, as vintner at HALL Wines, she takes her strong respect for the environment and marries it with a commitment to cutting-edge vineyard technology. The first winery in California to be distinguished as LEED Gold-certified, fully sustainable production facility, HALL Napa Valley produced the 2013 cabernet sauvignon Jack’s Masterpiece, which was awarded 99 points on Robert Parker’s quality rating scale.
If you want to score a 99 on your proposal, book the HALL Special Proposal Experience. When you arrive at the HALL St. Helena winery and tasting room, located at the base of the Mayacama Mountains, you and your special someone will be led on an exclusive tour of artisan wines with a specially inscribed tasting menu accompanied by cheese and charcuterie. HALL promises to make it the second-most memorable day of your lives.
"If the couple are both lover's of wine then a vineyard is a perfect proposal location as it will be a place you can go back and visit for years to come. You can also continue giving gifts of wine from that special vineyard for future anniversaries."
- Michelle Velazquez, Proposal Consultant
The Heart Bandits
For a truly unique proposal, head deep under Napa Valley to the Del Dotto Venetian Estate Winery and Cave. Named Cellarpass’ Most Romantic Destination of the Year, the 350-foot wine cave, hand-dug in 1885, was one of the first wineries in the valley and is one of only six historic caves still in existence today. Venetian crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling, Italian marble and ancient tiles line the walls, and marble mosaics cover the floor.
The first winery to bottle wines directly out of individual barrels, Del Dotto Vineyards offers cave tours where you can learn about the effects of different types of oak on barrel-aged wine. Follow it with a barrel tasting and food pairing prepared by executive chef Joshua Schwartz for a proposal she’ll never forget.
If you want a proposal of historic proportions, then you need to visit Chateau Montelena, the Napa Valley winery that made history when its 1973 chardonnay beat four Burgundies in a blind tasting among French wine aficionados, putting California wine on the map. (If you don’t know the story, watch the fictionalized version of events in the 2008 film Bottle Shock, starring Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman and Chris Pine.)
To experience what makes Chateau Montelena’s wine so special, visit the stone castle, built in 1882, for an intimate limited release tasting. Then tour the Montelena Estate Vineyard, where you’ll see a gorgeous Chinese garden, a shimmering Jade Lake and the stunning Mt. St. Helena.
If your girlfriend has always dreamed of a Paris proposal, then the next best place to pop the question is at the château at Domaine Carneros Winery. Inspired by the home of the famous French family behind Champagne Taittinger, the château features exquisite vineyard views of the romantic Napa Valley.
For the pièce de résistance, book the Sparkling Suite for access to your own private château balcony overlooking the vineyards. The elevated experience includes a private tasting of sparkling wines and pinot noir paired with caviar and charcuterie. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Domaine Carneros Winery will even gift you a bottle of your favorite wine as a keepsake.
A champion for California wines, Robert Mondavi is synonymous with Napa Valley. For more than 50 years, Robert Mondavi Winery has been proving the world’s finest wines — from the signature wine Fumé Blanc to the finest cabernet sauvignon — come out of California.
For a spectacular setting for your special suggestion, schedule a twilight tour through the stunning To Kalon Cellar and barrel-aging rooms, and enjoy a tasting of the Reserve and Spotlight wines, accompanied by an artisanal cheese board, as the sun sets over one of the finest first-growth vineyards of the world. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for the wine and chocolate tasting, which pairs Robert Mondavi Winery wines with artisan chocolates from Montezuma to Switzerland.
"Napa Valley is hands-down one of the best places to get engaged. First of all the valley is so gorgeous and romantic. Napa has some of the worlds best food & wine, which are perfect for celebrating when your partner says yes!"
- Alexander Rubin, Photographer