If I had one day left to live I like to think I’d spend it touring wineries with my loved ones. Exploring wineries and new wine regions inevitably always form part of our holidays. And it goes without saying that I love drinking the stuff. So when my man-friend and I decided to get hitched, I couldn’t imagine a more fitting venue for our nuptials than an old grape-drying shed in McLaren Vale.
If you share my passion for fermented grape juice, or you’re drawn to the beauty and romance of a vineyard, these are my suggestions for how to create a gorgeous winery wedding.
Choose a venue that looks like you’re in a wine region
This might seem obvious, but I’m surprised how many function spaces at wineries look like they’re in an urban hotel. Choose a venue that either looks out onto vines or is surrounded by wine barrels, such as the barrel room or cellar. If you can’t find a winery that works for your reception, opt for a restaurant or bar that fits the bill, or find a barn, shed or other suitable space and arrange caterers or food trucks. Aim to have your ceremony and reception at the one venue, or within walking distance.
Say your vows amidst the vines
Select a picturesque spot in a vineyard large enough to accommodate your guests during the ceremony. Make rustic wooden signs to direct your guests through the rows. Consider hiring a roving musician or two to provide a musical accompaniment while your guests stroll into the vines and then back to the winery or restaurant for the reception.
Host a wine tasting
Make the wines you’re serving available for guests to taste as they would at a winery tasting. You could have the tastings running between the ceremony and reception, or during the reception. If the venue can’t spare a staff member to guide your guests through the tasting, set up a self-service tasting station with the wines arranged by varietal, a stack of glasses and copies of the tasting notes for each of the wines.
Celebrate local wines
Offer a selection of wines from the winery hosting the event or sourced from the local area. Extol the provenance and proximity of your tipples by including the location or distance from the vineyards on the tasting notes, or make signs to place around the venue indicating where the grapes were grown.
Match your music to the setting
A jazz or folk band is the perfect accompaniment to a winery wedding. Before the band starts, hire an acoustic musician to play a few sets. Check out the array of local talent available on CrowdPleaser.
Theme your winery wedding invites
Use the bottom of a wine glass to stamp, or creatively spill or drop wine on your invitations or envelopes to set the scene for your impending celebration.