If you’re thinking about holding a destination wedding, you need look no farther than the lovely wineries and vineyards that dot the Washington DC metropolitan region. The backdrop, with its verdant vines, rolling hills, and classic, rustic or modern architecture can’t be beat. But what about the catering?
Most wineries allow and encourage outside caterers for parties and wedding receptions. They are not equipped to handle large catering events on their own. This gives you the freedom to select your own winery wedding caterer…like Maison Culinaire!
1. Check with the winery of your choice to ensure they allow outside catering. You’ll find that the majority do.
2. Ask if the winery has a preferred or exclusive vendor list. Although a winery may allow outside catering, the venue may limit you to using wedding caterers with which they have established relationships. If you have a particular caterer in mind, ask if that caterer will be allowed.
3. Choose a caterer experienced in winery weddings. Ask your caterer if they have experience with vineyard weddings and inquire about their recommendations for making your day special. There may be special requirements needed, especially if the reception needs to be tented or is in a particularly rustic location where items like generators might be needed.
4. See if the winery you choose provides catering and food preparation areas. If it doesn’t, be sure to let your caterer know. Maison Culinaire is a pro at winery weddings and can provide a remote kitchen if needed.
5. Ask your wedding caterer if they can provide tables, chairs, lighting, sound, décor, and all the extras needed for vineyard wedding catering. This cuts down on the number of companies you need to hire individually.
6. Download the free Maison Culinaire “3 Secrets to Unforgettable Wedding Catering” guide.
*Bonus: Wine at a Winery Wedding Checklist!
1. Check the winery or vineyard’s alcohol policy. Many want you to purchase their wines, of course. And some require a minimum purchase.
2. Check liquor license policies. A winery may be allowed to serve wine, but not liquor. Your wedding caterer can check licensing requirements and obtain appropriate licenses.
3. Decide when you want to serve wine, and how much. Wine can be provided for the cocktail hour only, with wine purchases available for dinner service, for example. To keep wine consumption in check, you can ask the servers to offer three-ounce servings instead of filling the glass to the top, or set a wine budget limit. The winery will track the number of bottled served up to the wine limit.
4. Ask for a volume discount. You may get better pricing on the wine.
5. Require that any leftover bottles from your wine purchase be the property of the bride and groom. No sense paying for wine that’s left behind! This is a great opportunity for the newlyweds to begin their own wine cellar or use those extra bottles as bridal party gifts.
6. Select different grades of wine for different groups. You can select fewer bottles of the winery’s high-end wines for the bride and groom or bridal party, and a moderately-priced wine for general service.
7. Decide whether you want a champagne toast!
8. Check to see whether the winery is required to provide servers for alcohol, or whether the caterer will be handling that part of the service.
Let Maison Culinaire Cater Your Winery Wedding
While most wineries offer spectacular locations, most also work with local caterers, like Maison Culinaire to provide catering services for parties and receptions. If you’re planning a winery wedding, contact Maison Culinaire for a free quote. We can provide winery wedding catering in all styles, from rustic to a formal seated meal served with French service!
Visit the Weddings page on our website for more information and a gallery of spectacular wedding photos!