winery weddings outdoor ceremony castoro cellars

Miles of rolling hills strung with lush green grapevines that are ripe with plump, sweet grapes. It’s no wonder that so many brides and grooms head to wine country to tie the knot. A vineyard is a gorgeous setting to say ‘I do.’

Whether you are looking for an outdoor ceremony amidst the vines, or an intimate wine themed reception indoors overlooking the vineyard, wineries are ideal small wedding venues for couples wanting to add the splendor of nature to their nuptials.

Wineries not only provide a picturesque setting, many are equipped to meet a couple’s wedding day needs from start to finish.

From coast to coast, there are thousands of wineries across North America – with California being the most abundant source.

Misty and Michael got married at Castoro Cellars, a winery on California’s Central Coast.

A small stone circle, amidst trees and grass in the vineyard served as the altar for the 60-guest vineyard wedding.

“Our ceremony began at 6:30 pm, an hour or so before sunset,” says Misty. “Seeing the hills beyond the winery at dusk amazed us.”

Instead of having the guests seated in rows, the wedding guests formed a circle around the couple.

Just after the ceremony, guests gathered in a grassy area in the vineyard where hors d’oeuvres were passed around butler-style. The bar and tasting room were also open at this time.

Finally, guests were seated for a “winemaker’s dinner.”

“We served a Mediterranean menu, family-style. Each course was brought to the table and passed around with everyone serving themselves. Also, a bottle of wine was introduced with each course and every table received a description of how that particular wine complemented the course,” says Misty. “The whole family-style service really sparked conversation.”

Misty says the wedding was even more beautiful than she imagined.

“Everyone was totally in tune with love, romance and friendship … I’ve never seen that achieved with a wedding of 300 – or even half that amount,” she says. “We planned the darn thing, and WE were impressed.”

Photo: Ceremony at Castoro Cellars