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Do you find yourself daydreaming about saying “I do” amidst verdant vineyards under a cerulean sky, the earthy scent of ripening grapes mingling with the celebratory clink of wine glasses? If this sounds like your ideal nuptials scenario, we’ve got the ultimate guide to plan your perfect destination wedding at a winery.

1. Selecting The Ideal Winery: A Blend of Beauty and Functionality

The first step in crafting your wine-infused wedding is selecting the perfect vineyard. Consider the region’s climate, the winery’s aesthetic, and the range of wines they produce. A Tuscan-inspired winery could lend an Old World charm, while a modern, sleek winery might provide a more contemporary feel.

Location is paramount too. Is it easily accessible, with adequate accommodation options for your guests nearby? Can it accommodate the size of your wedding comfortably? Does it have indoor options if the weather turns fickle? Whether it’s the rolling hills of Napa Valley, the scenic landscapes of Bordeaux, or the rustic charm of Australia’s Barossa Valley, the perfect winery should beautifully blend your preferences, the convenience of your guests, and of course, the allure of the local terroir.

The Vineyard at Seven Birches is located in Lincoln, NH at the RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain.  Imagine parking your car when you arrive, checking into a 5-star condo-resort, dining in the on-site restaurants, visiting the spa, the winery and the other resort amenities.  Then, host your ceremony in the vineyard, your reception in the grand ballroom and friends and family for a destination weekend with memories that last a lifetime.

2. Incorporating The Vineyard Theme: From Grapes to Glass

Planning a winery wedding is more than just a gorgeous backdrop; it’s about weaving the vineyard theme into your celebration. Consider save-the-dates and invitations designed like vintage wine labels, centerpieces featuring lush grapes and vines, or a guestbook made from wine corks.

Why not incorporate wine tasting as part of the reception, or host a pre-wedding winery tour? These immersive experiences not only entertain guests but also celebrate the vineyard’s unique offerings.

Your choice of wine should be a focal point too. Speak with the vineyard’s sommelier to pair wines with each course at your reception. A special touch could be a custom-labeled bottle of the vineyard’s signature blend for each guest as a wedding favor.

Your Seven Birches Winery wedding would be complete with your rehearsal dinner held in the club lounge, a private winery tour for your guests, and a custom wine made by you for your special day.  All of that is possible at Seven Birches Winery.

3. The Menu: A Feast for the Senses

When it comes to the reception menu, think local and seasonal. Collaborate with your caterer to create dishes that complement the winery’s offerings.

Whether it’s the delicate flavor of an oaked Chardonnay enhancing a creamy lobster bisque, or a bold Cabernet Sauvignon standing up to a succulent ribeye steak, pairing each course with the right wine can elevate the dining experience. Don’t forget to have your dessert paired with a luscious dessert wine for a fitting finale to the culinary journey.

At Seven Birches Winery, we work closely with the resort chef to provide you with a meal that meets the occasion.   Your custom wine, or a selection from the Seven Birches Winery menu, coupled with seasonal and local fare is what we do best.

4. Styling and Décor: Unleashing the Power of Nature

The beauty of a winery wedding is that nature is your primary stylist. Use the changing colors of the vine leaves to guide your color palette and decor. Incorporate barrels, grapevine wreaths, and rustic wine crates into your design scheme for an authentic touch.

At sunset, imagine dining under a canopy of twinkling lights, while during the day, the natural beauty of the vineyard should be your main highlight.

The Vineyard at Seven Birches is the perfect backdrop for your ceremony.  Then, move inside to the Grand Ballroom where the standard decor is in no way standard.

5. Event Logistics: Keeping the Wine Flowing Smoothly

Navigating the logistics of a destination wedding can be a tad overwhelming. A seasoned wedding planner with experience in vineyard weddings can be a godsend. They’ll know how to handle the nuances of a winery wedding, like obtaining the necessary permits, coordinating with local vendors, and ensuring the venue has the facilities to host a large event.

Another point to remember is the time of year. Harvest season may be the most visually stunning time for a winery wedding, but it’s also the busiest period for vineyards. If you’re dreaming of a harvest wedding, ensure you book well in advance and prepare for potential operational challenges like noise from machinery or limited access to certain areas.

Let our veteran staff assist you along the way with all of the planning, including setting up your overnight accomodations, providing managing the ceremony, selecting your menu, choosing your wine, and coordinating with your guests in the grand ballroom reception.

6. Entertainment: Setting the Mood

For entertainment, a live band or string quartet can set a delightful ambiance. If your chosen winery permits, a fireworks display over the vineyard could create a magical finale. However, make sure the sound system and acoustics are adequate for your needs; vineyards, being primarily open spaces, can present challenges in this regard.

Of course, we’ve got you covered.  We can provide sound systems at the ceremony site in the vineyard and the grand ballroom is fully equiped for all of your entertainment needs, including large screen TV’s to show some pictures of your engagement.

7. Capturing the Day: Savoring the Memories

Remember to hire a skilled wedding photographer who is experienced in outdoor and sunset photography. The undulating vineyard, rows of grapevines, and the stunning sky should be as much a part of your wedding album as the people present. Drone photography could also capture stunning overhead views of your ceremony and the surrounding landscape.

We have a full list of the best photographers, videographers, DJ’s, bands, florists etc. if you would like some assistance.  Seven Birches Winery and RiverWalk Resort staff can point you in the right direction.

8. Accommodation: Resting in Style

Ensure there are ample accommodation options for your guests nearby the winery. If the winery is located in a remote area, consider providing transportation to and from the venue. Another delightful touch could be reserving a batch of rooms or villas at a local inn or bed and breakfast. This could serve as a central gathering point for your guests and make coordination easier.

The RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain is, quite frankly, the nicest grand resort in the White Mountains.  What sets this resort apart is the incredible service, but we certainly think the large 2-bedroom condos, the incredible lagoon pool, onsite restaurants, spa and winery add to the effect.

9. Sustainable Choices: For Love of the Earth

With the growing trend of sustainable weddings, consider eco-friendly choices. You could use recycled paper for your invitations, locally sourced food and flowers, and minimal decor to reduce waste. After all, what better way to honor the earth than by getting married amidst the very vines that the soil nurtures?

We care deeply about the environment, so much so that we planted our lovely vineyard on an old reclaimed mill site.  Our winemaking process takes sustainability into consideration, the resort itself is energy efficient and our effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle is among the best around.

10. Legal Considerations: Crossing the T's and Dotting the I's

Lastly, familiarize yourself with the legal requirements of marrying in your chosen destination. Some countries have residency requirements or specific documentation needed for a legal ceremony. If it seems too complex, you could opt for a symbolic ceremony at the vineyard and handle the legal part in your hometown.

Getting married in NH is easy.  Simply contact the Lincoln, NH town hall to obtain your marriage license, then tie the knot within 90 days.

Remember, the key to a successful destination wedding is in the details. Communication is vital – ensure your guests are well-informed about the plan, dress code, transportation, and accommodation options.

Planning a winery wedding can be a thrilling journey, one that leads to a unique celebration reflecting your shared love – not just for each other, but for travel, nature, and of course, an exquisite glass of wine. As you stand amidst the vines, with the sun casting long shadows over your celebration and the air punctuated with laughter, clinking glasses, and shared toasts, you’ll realize that the perfect wedding isn’t just about the destination, but the journey too.

So here’s to uncorking romance and toasting to a lifetime of love and happiness at the heart of a vineyard – a unique and memorable setting for your nuptial celebration. Cheers!