If you and your spouse-to-be are wine lovers, hosting a wine tasting-themed wedding reception may be something you can both agree on. Inspired by elegant wineries in charming vineyards, the event will have both a sophisticated-yet-casual feel.
Wine-inspired wedding receptions are ideal if you don't live near a winery and don't have the budget to host a destination event. Instead of going to a vineyard, you'll be able to bring it to you via the right event space, decorations and food and beverage selections.
You can give several different types of event venues an intimate winery feel, including both indoor and outdoor locations. For small receptions, a friend's or family member's backyard may be perfect, while you can also make a reception hall work if you have a large guest list.
Here are some tips and tricks for planning a wine tasting-themed wedding reception:
1. Venue Set-Up
After you've chosen a venue to celebrate your big day in, you'll need to decide how to set it up to emulate the look and feel of a winery. The most important item will be a long bar or table where you can display the wines for guests to taste. A high-top cocktail bar, which you can rent from an event management company, will give the space the most authentic feel.
As another idea, you can place several different types of wine bottles at each guest table, and have them sample the varietals during appetizers or dinner, depending on what food selections you'll be serving.
Whether you have a small or large venue, arrange individual chair groupings where guests can easily mix and mingle. Place small table by each chair or loveseat to hold wine glasses and/or snacks.
Once you've worked out the furniture logistics, it's time to plan the wine-inspired decor. Cover tables with deep purple-colored cloths, and secure white napkins with rings featuring silver or gold grape designs.
As simple-yet-elegant table centerpieces, fill empty wine bottles featuring interesting labels with handfuls of fresh flowers. You can make lengthwise slits in wine bottle corks and use them to mark guests' place settings.
When it comes to lighting elements, consider rustic wrought iron lanterns or chandeliers for a realistic wine-tasting room feel.
3. Food and Beverage Service
If you don't want to place bottles on the dinner tables, you can allow guests to taste the different wines during a cocktail hour prior to the meal. For smaller weddings, consider skipping the large dinner and just serving a selection of gourmet meats, cheeses and crackers, as well as fresh fruit such as grapes and sliced apples and pears.