Um, we thought it was pretty obvious– the reason to get married at a winery is…wine? Lots of it. Maybe even an unlimited amount. And if through some crazy and tragic circumstance they run out, you can run wildly and desperately into the vineyard where you will have no problem performing a miracle by taking it upon yourself to stomp those grapes into wine. Ok, let’s come out of this wine-soaked frenzied fantasy and back into reality (we mean seriously, stomping grapes would render your wedding dress Forever Purple or have the tux rental place sending you many bewildered yet valid questions and a bill. Probably no bueno either way).
Please forgive that and allow us to pull ourselves back together and digress. A winery is an excellent idea for a wedding venue. Besides the obvious reason, there are a number of other really great reasons why a winery might have you saying “I do” love this idea. Here are 7 to be exact.
1. Good food, killer wine
Ok, so maybe the prospect of an entire building dedicated to wine caused us to excitedly get ahead of ourselves in starting to talk about this point right off the bat, but whether you’re practically a (self-proclaimed) sommelier or you’re more of a casual sipper, it’s definitely a valid reason to have your wedding at a winery. The fact is, at a winery you are less likely to be subjected to (and subject your guests to) the same bland wedding food every non-descript, clone venue cranks out. Many wineries are proud to serve farm-to-table foods, fresh high-quality ingredients that creative chefs turn into above the ordinary appetizers and meals.
Of course, you’re going to get great wine, that’s their specialty! But to be fair, not all palates are the same. Whether you can do it on location or buy a from different wineries online, you have the advantage of doing your own tasting beforehand to determine which winery suits your tastes.
2. Fantastic idea for a destination wedding
You’re totally, rapturously in love with the idea of a destination wedding, but the thought of, not just planning a wedding, but planning wedding in a foreign country is enough to make you run screaming to the nearest courthouse to elope. Don’t let social media influencers convince you that in order to have a real, Insta-worthy destination wedding that it has to be in some exotic locale (which they don’t tell you involved a strenuous hike through a steam sauna-esque rain forest to get to or that cute jungle animal perched on their shoulder pooped down the back of their pristine dress) that, let’s be real here, not one person (including you and your soon-to-be) can afford to fly to let alone afford to stay at.
A domestic flight into wine country most definitely counts as a destination wedding—a wonderful and realistic one. Whether you want to head to some of the best-known wine country locales around the states like Napa, Sonoma, and Calistoga in California or the Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York (or really anywhere in between) you have lots of incredible options. What exactly makes these and other wineries great for destination weddings? We’ll discuss the reasons in the points to follow.
3. Wineries make for ah-mazing photo locations.
Steams of golden rays burst through the canopy of verdant leaves, bathing everything in an angelic light. Majestic mountains stand proudly in the background, a serene lake reflects sunlight, a wooded glade provides the perfectly contrasted backdrop. No, it’s not an album of the best NatGeo photos ever taken or the beginning of a Twilight movie, these are your wedding photos, baby!
Generally located in a natural setting, wineries provide ample backdrops for your photos (and guest photos)—before, during, and after the ceremony. You may even have the option of different scenery right on the same property, taking pics in the vineyard, around the venue itself, and other scenic settings with all the variety nature has to offer in that area. There is plenty of beauty everywhere you look.
And don’t even get us started on the all that natural light! It will make for higher quality photos that accentuate the loveliness of the surroundings and enhances the loveliness of you (and you thought it wasn’t possible!) The photos will look pretty freakin’ awesome on your social media feed, too (not that that’s the most important thing but you won’t, you can’t, let that snake Braylynn, your college frenemy and roommate, outdo you when it comes to wedding pics. You’re gonna win this one, damn it).
4. Chill yet elegant atmosphere all rolled into one.
Aside from your recent Braylynn tirade, you’re tooootally chill and relaxed. But you also have an elegant and classy side. Of course, you want your wedding to look totally gorgeous, but you also don’t want it to feel so stuffy that everyone suddenly has the overwhelming urge to wear a monocle and talk about colonial furniture.
But if you’re looking for a venue that blends it all together into a chic and relaxed elegance that perfectly sums up your vibe, wineries are a good fit. Most venues can’t offer you both styles, but many wineries offer a beautiful and modern rustic charm that makes you feel perfectly at ease wearing your high top sneakers under your ball gown wedding dress or tux pants.
As added benefit, many wineries have an understated charm to them, making them a semi-blank canvas with the option of adding your personal touch and truly making the look your own.
5. Indoor/Outdoor options.
You’re definitely not alone if you dream of holding your wedding outside, walking down the aisle on a soft carpet of green grass under bluebird skies and wispy clouds while the background scenery perfectly frames you and your new husband/wife as you pledge your vows to one another. But as anyone who has planned an outdoor wedding can tell you, gambling on the weather is a real crapshoot and even in the best times of the year, Mother Nature can be a real beast.
But you don’t put away that vision of the golden sun giving you an ethereal glow as you say “I do’ just yet. Wineries are a great choice because they often have both options. Plan for outdoors but have an indoor back up just in case nature isn’t feeling cooperative (doesn’t that attention hog Nature know it’s your day?). Or hold the ceremony outside and as the day cools into nighttime, hold your reception indoors. Some wineries even have reception spaces that span both indoors and outdoors. Options! It’s great to have ‘em.
6. The ease of having everything in one location.
Anytime you can streamline your wedding planning and make it less stressful—that’s a huge win right there. Many wineries aren’t new to the wedding scene and they know what you need to make everything just right. They are often large enough to hold everything on site from rooms to get ready into the ceremony to cocktail hour to bridal party suites to reception.
Many even have guest rooms onsite so you and guests can stay before and after the wedding day without the hassle of having to drag your tired butt around using GPS to find your hotel. In wineries with overnight guest rooms, you and guests will be able to skip a generic hotel in favor of a unique building surrounded by the kind of scenery you want to wake up to.
Granted, not all wineries have guest accommodations onsite. But wine country locales don’t leave their visitors out in the cold. As frequently visited areas used to accommodating wine-cationers, these areas hold some truly amazing hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc.
Areas around wineries are excellent for guests who want to make a vacation out of it, and the romantic allure of wine country is the perfect place to honeymoon.
7. Your entertainment can kick ass all night long with no one to complain or peek in.
In most traditional wedding venues, you walk out of your reception room to hit the bathroom and a cacophony of DJ noise assaults your ears. You not only hear your own DJ, but you can hear everyone else’s party happening as well. Or you may have that stray nosy guest from another wedding creeping on your reception as your guests go in and out of the doors.
Wineries are typically a one event at a time place. There are no competing parties or DJs or nosy guests from other events. You can crank up your party to the next level without worrying about anyone else. In more rustic locations where power could be a problem for a DJ or more “plugged in” type bands, a brass band or marching band can do the job without needing a watt of electricity.
While we are talking about live music, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that having a winery venue to yourself means that you can easily take advantage of a band who offers wedding marches (also sometimes known as second line parades) either from the ceremony to the reception, during the party to get everyone out of their seats and into a party frame of mind, or after the reception the band can march you and your new spouse out in style.
Earlier we cited California and New York as states with incredible wine countries, but that list is by no means comprehensive. Though there are many others, you can also check out wineries in beautiful destinations in Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Texas just to name a few.
There are plenty of reasons why wineries are a great choice for your wedding (did we mention partying in an entire building/location dedicated to wine?). From their elegant charm and stunning scenery to food and drink to having the place (and the wine!) to yourself, wineries can help you have an outstanding event that is far from ordinary (take that, Braylynn!).