Winery Weddings Perfect for Small Guest Lists

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

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3 Comments  |  Filed Under: Outdoor Weddings, Small Wedding Ideas, Wedding Planning

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  1. Posted by Wiens Family Cellars on January 6th, 2010 at 5:11pm

    Beautiful pictures! I love how the couple really took advantage of the winery setting with their menu selections paired with wine. Southern California also has a number of vineyards perfect for weddings.
  2. Posted by DIANE ORYALL on November 18th, 2010 at 6:23pm

    Hosting a party up to 40 guests for my parents 50th Anniversary. I would like to have a DJ or Band for dancing. Maybe for dinner or appetizer platters and drinks. This venue will need to be indoors and most of the guests will be 70+ in age.

    Thank You,
    Diane Oryall
  3. Posted by ruth on August 28th, 2013 at 10:36pm

    I am trying to plan my wedding and am literally going insane! I am getting married on September 21, 2013 and am in desperate need of a ceremony plus reception package.
    I am having a small amount of guests (14 ppl) so I don't want to spend thousands of dollars.

    I am trying the DIY, but I just can't find a place in Southern California that offers a civil ceremony, photographer, reception location with music, decorations and food under 1,000.

    I thought I found the perfect place which had everything I am looking for, but they are located in San Antonio, TX...

    I have already picked out my floral arrangements, and the cake.

    I have a plan B, which is having our wedding at a courthouse. I would really prefer to have it at another location, indoor or outdoor.
    If all else fails, I could really use some advice on a place where we can at least have a memorable reception.

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