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Wine Country Weddings

by Judith Rivers-Moore

author of Beautiful Weddings & Events

The romantic vineyards regions have been a favorite setting and ambiance for years: truly a place to relax, enjoy the wines and fall in love with mother earth.  The blend of terrain is as varied and beautiful in California, Oregon or New York, as it is in hundreds of other excellent wine regions throughout the USA and the world including France, Germany, Italy and Australia or New Zealand.  We are a world of wines with excellent venues for hosting weddings and receptions amongst the vines, wineries, wine caves, barrel rooms, barns and private estates.

Out of thousands of wineries, only a precious few will do weddings. So consider adjacent bed and breakfasts, hotels and inns or restaurants overlooking the vineyards.

The beautiful vineyards are the perfect place to consider holding parties and romantic weddings.  From the organic produced vintners, boutique wineries and major corporate wineries you will find all styles of architecture within the wine regions.  The surroundings are breathtaking. Many venues limit their events to the idea of wine and food pairing, requesting you enjoy their vintage while on their properties.  The Champagne Region of France has the official privilege to call sparkling wines “champagne”.

Wineries in each country have different rules they are governed by.  In the USA, the wine tasting rooms must be closed with weddings occurring after 4:pm or 5:pm. No hard liquor served unless they are specifically licensed for this.  Most wineries rely on party rentals to set up their special events.  They want  you to utilize their “preferred vendor list” to hire your professional services.

It is best you find a web resource for the region to give you links to venues that do vineyard weddings to review.  I find typing on the search engine, the city/region + wine country weddings or vineyard weddings will bring up some great ideas.  Some venues ask that coordinators bring in the weddings, so a coordinator/planner can assist you for the region you are interested.  Location finding services and home rentals may reflect a good resource for this style wedding.  Many locations have an on-site manager, but this may not be a full time consultant to assist you from beginning to end with your plans.  

You will find rules governing the wineries.  Events ending at specific times because of noise ordinances, serving of any other type of hard liquor, additional insurances to use their properties, possibly putting up a tent  for space, many are in need of transporting your guests in and off the site, serving rules, and no wandering in the vines or picking their grapes.

It is best to begin eighteen months to two years in advance to find the location of your dreams.