(credit: Meadowood)

Planning for a wedding ceremony will be one of the most memorable tasks a couple will experience. Fortunately, the North Bay boasts several elegant hotels specializing in weddings, especially in the romantic Napa Valley, sprinkled with world-renown restaurants and top-shelf wineries. Whether the special event requires huge outdoor terraces for hundreds of guests or a more intimate setting with a handful of friends and family, the California Wine Country can be the perfect location for an unforgettable celebration. The following are five of the best wedding hotels in the North Bay, not surprisingly all within the enchanting Napa Valley.

Calistoga Ranch
580 Lommel Road
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 531-4790

Located within the upper Napa Valley community of Calistoga, this luxury hotel has been rated as one of the world’s best resorts by several respected national publications. The 157-acre Calistoga Ranch has consistently been ranked among the best from sources like Condé Nast, Travel+Leisure and U.S. News & World Report and lauded magazines like Brides, The Knot and Weddings. Calistoga Ranch has a breathtaking setting for a wedding ceremony amid a cluster of woods overlooking the resort’s private lake, secluded cottages and its unique Wine Cave. Also rated California’s top hotel by U.S. News & World News Report, weddings may be arranged by the resort’s wedding specialists. A current event package is an all-inclusive Elopement Package, featuring an officiant, photographer, hair and makeup for the bridge, two-tiered wedding cake and sparkling Napa Valley wine.

Meritage Resort and Spa
875 Bordeaux Way
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 251-1900

One of the Napa Valley’s top boutique resorts, the Meritage Resort and Spa offers the Wine Country’s largest wedding facilities. Located just south of Napa, the luxury resort features the Napa Valley’s only private wedding chapel, a captivating Estate Entertainment Cave and an assortment of other wedding venues. While the Lady of the Grapes Chapel is perfect for an intimate wedding ceremony, accommodating up to 65 guests, the Piazza Lawn, Vineyard Deck and Estate Cave can all accommodate larger parties of up to 200 guests. All-inclusive amenities for wedding packages include chairs and tables, cocktail rounds, cake table, sample food tasting, classic wooden parquet dance floor and a bridal suite for the wedding night.

Milliken Creek Inn and Spa
1815 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 255-1197

Noted as one of America’s Top 50 Best Hotels by Condé Nast, Milliken Creek Inn and Spa can be the idyllic setting for an extravagant wedding ceremony. With just 12 guest rooms, this five-star luxury resort along a tributary of the Napa River might also be a welcome departure from the other larger and more glorified hotel properties of the Napa Valley. Milliken Creek Inn and Spa offers three wedding packages, Elopement, Intimate Wedding and Takeover, with each arranged in a pristine garden setting amid gorgeous oak trees and the Milliken Creek watershed. Among the the amenities offered in weddings packages are two nights’ accommodations in each of the inn’s rooms, a couples aromatic massage, pre-event evening with wine and hors d’oeuvres and wedding ceremony with officiant.

Solage Calistoga
755 Silverado Trail
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 266-7531

With a Michelin-starred culinary team to host the reception, Solage is unquestionably one of the best choices for a wedding in the North Bay. Another gem among the impressive array of high-end luxury resorts in the California Wine Country, Solage offers a number of lavish wedding venues, including the 3,500-square foot Solstice, graced by vaulted ceilings and two outdoor terraces to accommodate up to 230 guests and the gloriously landscaped 3,700-foot Solstice Event Lawn for up to 400 guests. In addition to ceremonies offered on the property, other wedding packages are proposals, elopements, morning-after brunch and honeymoons. Meals at any special event are prepared by culinary experts from Solage’s Michelin-starred Solbar restaurant, led by Executive Chef Brandon Sharp, who previously was Sous Chef at Gary Danko, another Michelin-starred restaurant and widely considered one of the finest restaurants in San Francisco.

Villagio Inn and Spa
6481 Washington St.
Yountville, CA  94599
(707) 944-8877

Tucked away in the historic town of Yountville, Villagio Inn and Spa is a family-owned luxury boutique, just a few minutes’ walk from one of the world’s most celebrated restaurants. Located on the historic Vintage Estate, the Tuscan-inspired resort features the 16,000-square-foot Pavilion at the Vintage Estate, a California-style garden event space that can accommodate up to 700 guests for a reception and 400 guests for formal plated reception-style events. Other venues include the Historic Barrel Room, a former wine cellar of the historic 19th century Groezinger Winery, once one of the largest wineries in California. The building that housed the winery is on the National Register of Historic Places and now operates as the popular V Marketplace, a complex of upscale stores and eateries. Close by is the French Laundry, consistently mentioned as one of the world’s top restaurants.

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.