Planning a Wedding

A winery can be a beautiful place tocelebrate your special day. Here’s what tokeep in mind before booking your venue:

Climate: Temperatures in inlandwine areas can vary greatly, reaching over100 degrees on summer days and thenbecoming chilly in the evenings. If you’replanning an outdoor wedding, check outthe venue for shade during the daytime,and ask your winery to provide spaceheaters for the evening. Don’t forget toremind guests to dress appropriately.

Space requirements: Some wineriesare large and can accommodate anynumber of guests, but many are smalland have a limited capacity. Have ageneral idea of how many people will beattending your wedding before you booka venue.

Extra rentals: Many wineries haveonly one restroom, located in the tastingroom, and may require you to rentadditional toilets for your event. Mostportable toilets these days are very niceand the winery can refer you to a goodvendor. Parking may also be an issue.Some wineries ask that you hire a parkingservice to valet the cars to a specifiedparking area.

Event timing: Ultimately, a winery’sbusiness is about the tasting room. Asa result, some wineries only allow youto marry after their tasting room closes.Others allow you to have your weddingat any time during the day but leave theirtasting room open. Have a general idea ofwhat time you would like your weddingto occur. If it is a day event, ask yourselfif you mind that visiting wine-tasters thatmight be looking in on your event.

Special liquor requirements: Mostwineries do not have a hard-liquorlicense, so if you are looking to servealcohol at your wedding, be preparedfor wine and beer only. Generally, youhave to buy a certain number of casesfrom the winery to serve at the event.An exception may be champagne. If thewinery does not produce it, they willlikely let you bring it in from anothersource. Many wineries also allow beer,but check on the requirements for bottlesversus kegs.

Open flame: Wineries are highly susceptibleto fire. If your dream is to havea romantic reception lit only by candles,make sure to ask if the winery allowsopen flames.