What better place could there be for a wedding than a winery? The winery wedding definition is, in short: a setting for some of the most magical wedding ceremonies. If you’re looking for a wedding venue that’s less than typical, a winery (or vineyard) may be the place for you.
If you’re in the winery business, and you haven’t opened up your property to weddings to increase your wine marketing, now may be the right time-it can even be an opportunity to sell wine by the glass. Whatever your reason is for looking into winery weddings, there’s plenty to learn before you start ringing the wedding bells. Let’s dive into it.
Vineyard Wedding Venues
We’ve talked before on the BinWise blog about the differences between vineyards and wineries. Sometimes they’re a shared property, sometimes they’re not. For the purpose of having a winery or vineyard wedding, that same fluctuating definition remains.
If a wedding is taking place in a vineyard, in the middle of the grapes, great care should be taken to protect the vines. If you’re looking to have your wedding at a vineyard, you may have a tricky time finding a vineyard willing to host you in that specific location. For vineyards, if you’re hosting weddings among the vines, the main thing you should do is have set rules and plans to keep your vines safe.
Winery Wedding Venues
Winery wedding venues are a bit easier to work with than specific vineyard wedding venues. For winery weddings, there’s a bouquet of options to choose from.
Of course, not every winery will host a wedding. That said, there are a lot more wineries than vineyards that you can find for your wedding.
Often, wineries prepare for events like picnics, music events, and birthday parties. Using that space for private parties and weddings is a natural next step for wineries.
If you own a winery, and you haven’t hosted a wedding before, there’s planning and coordinating with other businesses to take into account. Overall, however, hosting a wedding isn’t much of a step from hosting any other gathering.
5 Best Winery Wedding Venues
Finding a winery for your wedding is both joyful and exhausting. There are lots of wineries to choose from, and there’s the chance the winery you want won’t be able to host. To ease the workload a bit, we’ve put together the five best wineries in the US that are available to host weddings.
5. New Kent Winery’s Vineyard Estate
New Kent Winery’s Vineyard Estate in New Kent County, VA, is known for its structure around hosting weddings. Yes, it’s an active winery and vineyard. However, the spot is so well known for weddings that it’s just as synonymous with weddings as it is with wine.
4. Sassafras Springs Vineyard
Sassafras Springs Vineyard in Springdale, AR–known as northwest Arkansas’ number one winery–is equally adept at providing amazing wedding experiences. With a chapel on the grounds and other perfect wedding ceremony spots, the options are endless. The top choice is the Chapel Ruins, which is a complete church scene in the middle of the vineyard.
3. Juniata Valley Winery
Juniata Valley Winery in Mifflin, PA, is one of the best winery wedding venues on the East Coast. If you’re looking for a winery wedding that is both elegant and cozy as all get out, Juniata’s is the place.
2. BARRA of Mendocino Winery
BARRA of Mendocino Winery in Redwood Valley, CA, is an absolute must on this list. If you want a California winery wedding without the price tag of a Napa wedding, BARRA’s sprawling vineyards are the perfect spot.
1. Eola Hills Wine Cellars
Eola Hills Wine Cellars in Rickreall, OR, comes in at number one because there’s nothing as magical as a winery wedding in Oregon. The Eola Hills team specializes in weddings, so you can rest assured your wedding will be an absolute dream.
What to Wear to a Winery Wedding
If you’re invited to a winery wedding, you might be wondering if there’s a specific dress code for this type of wedding location. For the most part, the couple getting married will include a dress code on the invitation. If that isn’t the case, you have some options for choosing your outfit.
Your first option is reaching out to the couple or the wedding planner to find out the general dress code expectations. Odds are, they will have something in mind for you to base your clothing choices on.
If you’d rather not do that, or they don’t have any specifications, you can go with a dress code that matches the winery. If the wedding is hosted at a smaller winery, you can match with clothing that is semi-formal but nothing too intense. For a big winery, or a place steeped in history, you can lean towards something more formal.
Winery Wedding Invitations
If you’ve set the date, and you’re ready to have your winery wedding, there’s one step that really needs proper attention: winery wedding invitations. For the most part, wedding invitations are straightforward. The basic information they need is:
- The names of the couple
- The time and date
- Dress code specifications
- Any specifications outside of the norm
- An RSVP response space or link
Beyond that, the rest of the invitation is entirely up to you. That’s where you get to have some fun.
You can choose a design that fits the winery aesthetic, or you can do watercolor wine glasses (or other glassware) for a splash of color. If you’re into wordplay, you can mix in some wine puns. It’s your wedding; you can make it all about wine if you want to.
Winery Wedding Menus
When you’re planning a wedding, a lot of care goes into the menu. From the cake (perhaps a rum cake) or a whole dessert menu, to the appetizers, to the main course, there’s a lot to plan. That’s just as true for winery wedding menu types. That said, having your wedding at a winery gives you a bit more structure in your menu planning.
If the winery generally has food with tastings or even a food court-type space, you can base your menu on those dishes. If not, you can always stick with foods that pair well with the wine you’re serving (learn all about what wine pairs with salmon vs. what wine pairs with turkey and other meats). The sommelier or winemaker at the winery might be able to help choose those wine food pairing options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Winery Weddings
If you’ve planned or hosted a wedding, you know there’s more to it than all that. The intricacies of wedding planning are more than we could fit in one article. For these frequently asked questions, we’re sticking to questions on winery weddings.
If you’re having a winery wedding, there’s more you’ll want to know. There are also some factors you might be curious about.
Why Have a Wedding at a Winery?
There are many reasons you should have a wedding at a winery. A winery wedding gives you a beautiful setting, great wine, and some truly unique memories to make your wedding day that much more special.
Why Are There No Weddings in Napa?
This question is a bit of a confusing one. There are definitely wineries in Napa that allow weddings. However, there are plenty that aren’t allowed to host weddings, due to the Winery Definition Ordinance (WDO) of 1989.
The WDO set limits on events that could be hosted at wineries, in order to protect the land wineries are on. Now, the only wineries in Napa that can host weddings are ones that were grandfathered into the practice.
How Much is a Wedding in Napa?
Due to the limited number of wineries that are allowed to host weddings in Napa, the costs can be higher than usual. On average, a Napa wedding starts at around $13,000 to $18,000, and that’s just for basic costs (that’s basically your overhead expenses). If you want a winery wedding without a Napa price tag, remember that there are plenty of US wineries with more affordable wedding prices.
Winery Wedding Definition: Wine’s the Big Day?
For winery owners and wedding planners, fitting the winery wedding definition is something that involves plenty of planning. The payoff, however, is so worth it. When a winery wedding comes together, there’s something magical about the combination of love and wine. The only question left is, when’s the big day?