Wine Country Weddings
A Guide to Wine Country Weddings in the USA
Why Have a Wine Country Wedding?
The United States is now the largest wine consuming country in the world. Consider this. It is not difficult to appreciate the growing interested in wine country wedding venues across America. Brides are crafting new traditions around these spectacular vistas. Imagine having a wedding ceremony between vineyard rows and holding the reception in a wine cave, on a patio terrace, or across a broad lawn.
I wrote two stories prior to the Pandemic on Wine Country weddings for Signature Bride Magazine and PrimeWomen Magazine: “The Prime Woman’s Guide to Wine Country Weddings.” The wine country wedding research was one of the most joyful projects I have completed in my journalism career. I covered several wineries in California, Oregon, Texas, New York State, and Virginia.
Whether you or your family are planning a wedding in the Spring or Summer of 2022 or not, I think you’ll also enjoy the vista’s and Do’s and Don’ts of this article. See below to download the full article.
Do’s and Don’ts for a Winery/Vineyard Wedding
1. Do ask the winery about any restrictions for the venue: hours for outside receptions (noise might be an issue in the countryside), traffic and parking guidelines, and fireworks restrictions. Ask about Covid restrictions.
2. Do ask about any restrictions on bringing in other wine and food other than the recommended caterers.
3. Do ask if they have any preferred caterers, wedding planners, florists, transportation, bakeries, hair/makeup designers, entertainment (bands, DJ’s, etc.), photography, lodging, house rentals, officiants, and videographers. The wineries often suggest a list of their preferred regional vendors.
4. Do enjoy the spectacular setting you have chosen!
1. Don’t forget to ask if the wineries/vineyards only allow weddings in the hours after the tasting rooms are closed.
2. Don't bring in banned wine or food. Ask the venue to give you their guidelines. Most want you to only use their wine, but might allow caterers to bring other drinks.
3. Don’t expect that all wineries can host weddings. For instance, only four wineries (who were grandfathered-in) in Napa Valley can host an actual wedding. Many, however, can do rehearsal dinners or bridal breakfasts.
Tips for Incorporating the Wine/Vineyard Theme
1. New Unity Tradition – A Wine Blending vs. Unity Candle has become a new tradition. Bride and Groom each pour a wine varietal to make the perfect blend (into a decanter, of course.)
2. Barrels - Barrel top, high tables are often festive. Barrel flower arrangements made of barrel rings shaped like hearts can adorn caves and tables and serve as aisle markers.
3. Corks – Corks with a slit in the top can hold place cards and be arranged into signs like “Bar” or “Gift Table,” or worked into flower arrangements.
4. Greenery and herbs – wineries often plant mustard, lavender, and other herbs around the vineyards. Take advantage of these natural flora and utilize these natural touches in bouquets, table arrangements, and place settings.
5. Grapes – Grapes are everywhere and should have a place in your wedding as a cake topper or featured in table arrangements.
6. Empty wine bottles – Empty bottles are perfect for table markers and for posting seating charts. Number empty bottles representing your future anniversaries into which guest can place advice and well-wishes.
7. Wine Gifts for wedding guests – Many wineries can make a special label for their wines inscribed with your name and wedding date. Single bottle wood boxes could also be customized with your name. Don’t forget to purchase an extra five bottles to open for each of your weeding anniversaries: 1, 2, 5, 10, and 15th.
8. Welcome bags for wedding guests- The thoughtful couple will make sure the selected base hotel presents a gift bag to guests. Please include necessities like a wine country map, water for hydration, sunscreen, a list of things to do and see, and wine country snacks.
9. Hot Air Balloons and Pyrotechnics Finale – Want to make a huge parting impression? Why don’t you escape at the end of the reception in a hot air balloon or set off a light show? Check fire codes and airspace regulations.
10. A Wine-Tasting Dinner – Plan to place several wine glasses per place setting at your winery reception for a wine-tasting dinner. Guests appreciate sampling the winery’s portfolio. Have a wine and food pairing menu matching each course with a wine. Note: sampling wine does require planning for a little more wine per person as some will be discarded. See guidelines for ordering wine: Signature Bride article: Weddings and Wine A Fine Marriage.
Read the Full Article
Click “Read Now” and the .pdf article will downloaded. Thank you to Substack for adding this new .pdf download feature.
Cheers to a 2022 Spring or Summer Wedding!
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