How to Customize Your Event at a Winery
There are plenty of great reasons to host your next event at a winery. From holiday parties and birthdays to business retreats and reunions, the scenic backdrop paired with fun amenities like tasting rooms adds a unique twist.
But with non-traditional venue spaces, it can be hard to know if they are able to offer the same services as traditional venue spaces and just how much customization you are allowed to make the event your own.
Choose your event type
The most common events held at a winery are smaller company receptions of up to 50 people, standard wedding receptions, and larger holiday company parties since wineries are able to offer both scenic views as well as adult beverages built into the theme. Some wineries even offer wine tasting and tours that add a fun hands-on activity that you can incorporate into your event. Wineries also typically offer large open green-spaces that are perfect for car and bridal shows. Wineries are great options for unique event types such as yoga sessions and networking events so don’t shy away from a winery as a venue just because it’s not a traditional space.
Choose your seating
Though it may seem like a small detail, seating can drastically affect the look of an event — and the comfort of your guests. For seating customization, we recommend looking at what the venue offers, your guest count, temperature conditions (leather seating isn’t ideal for outdoors in the summer), and your budget to see what works for you. Seating will also depend on the type of event you’re throwing — high-top tables are great for cocktail hours or networking events, while tables and chairs are great for wedding receptions.
Choose your scenery
When it comes to the setting for a winery event, you’ve got a few options. You can concoct an outdoor setup, with or without a tent, by setting up tables and chairs by the vineyard for a picturesque backdrop. The downsides to this, however, are unpredictable conditions like weather, temperature, and bugs. If you’d prefer not to play the odds, most wineries have indoor options like a tasting room, an intimate cellar, covered patio space, or, in some cases, a wine bar or event an art gallery. One thing’s for sure: if you’re throwing an event outdoors, always have a backup plan in case a flash rainstorm hits.
Choose your food and drinks
Now comes the fun part: choosing what everyone will eat and drink. Cheese is an obvious choice for wine pairings, while crackers, crostinis, and other light carb bites will help keep all that vino from going to guests’ heads too quickly. For more formal corporate events or sit-down receptions, a full meal with several courses may need to be offered. That is when you would rely on outside catering while including a bar menu for those guests who may prefer drinks other than wine. If you’re hosting a more casual dinner party or birthday party, a food truck can be a fun way to feed guests.
Choose your decor and attractions
Decor for weddings and other special events, whether renting or buying, can be pricey. Luckily, many wineries, offer on-site decor options that include arbors, up-lighting, lanterns, wine barrels, a fire pit, umbrella tables, columns, and a variety of bars. Plus, just because your event is at a winery doesn’t mean tastings have to be the only activity on the docket — they can also offer tiki torches and lawn games to keep guests mingling and entertained long after sunset.
Editors Note: This post was originally published on the Gather blog.