Outdoor Weddings

Vineyard worries

We go to a very small vineyard everytime we go visit my fiancee's family. We've always talked about getting marreid there, but now that we're actually looking into it seriously, I'm panicing! Its an hour and a half outside of Dallas where we live, and its in a tiny tiny town. Its gorgeous and FREE ( yes... FREE!) When I contacted the owners about the possibility of a wedding in the vineyard, they said they had never done one, and were interested in allowing us to use the property. We are responsible for all set up/take down, they simply asked that we buy wine for the reception from them (obviously). They even offered to allow us to use their home.
Thats the part that makes me nervous, they're being so kind and open with their home and business with us, i feel guilty about basically taking over thier home and business for an entire day. we would have to keep all the food in their house since there is no other refigeration. I also feel bad for possiby asking guests to drive 1.5 hours away from civilization for a 4 hour event (several guests are coming from out of state).

Is a FREE venue worth the headache and hassle?

Re: Vineyard worries

  • personally, i wouldn't use these people's property without some type of compensation.  anyway, im going to play devil's advocate here:

    at the least, i wouldn't do anything without wedding insurance.  since this is more than just a venue and you're involving someone's home, id make sure you were covered on that end.  also, considering that they've never had a wedding on the property, i doubt they are even aware of how much of an inconvenience it could become for them to host the wedding, not to mention all the time and effort involved.  if they aren't prepared for that, it could be disastrous.  are there permits of some sort necessary to throw an event like this out there?  beyond that, are you really willing to test drive an untested wedding venue? how close are the nearest hotels, etc. for guests to stay?  also, id have a contingency plan (shuttle, etc.) for guests to get to wherever it is that they need to go at the end of the night.  Winery wedding 1.5 hours outside of a major city + drunk guests could turn into a not so good situation.  
  • If the venue is what you want, think outside the box.  The money you would have spent on a venue could be used to provide transportation for your guests and alternative food service.  You may want to sit with the owners again and talk about liability and their goals as well.  It's possible they have motivations and are willing to provide you the site for free to get the exposure.  Consider food that needs little or no refridgeration or on site prep.  I love the idea of having a wedding in an out of the way place and your guests may enjoy it as well.  Good Luck.

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