Weddings and vineyards are a match made in heaven. Let’s be honest: if you’re a francophile, you already have the ethereal vision planned perfectly in your head: grape clusters dangling from raveled vines, dotted hillsides reminiscent of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, cobblestone streets, piazza lights, and (of course) endless barrels of wine. But here’s the reality: the aesthetic of a French vineyard wedding is inevitably romantic, but it’s the setting and the decor that’s truly going to bring your special day to life. Luckily, the Kuotes put together our top tips for achieving the provincial paradise your heart (and style) desires.
Know What You’re Working With
Several vineyards are used to doubling as wedding venues and will have access to event equipment (like microphones, extension cords, speakers, tents, etc.), but if your venue is not a full-service vineyard, be prepared to rent all of those necessities from a vendor—even electricity! Also, remember that most vineyard venues have fully functional wineries, so during the harvesting season of your region (usually August), there may be some commotion (large trucks, grape picking, and… unwelcome smells). Talk with your planner or your venue contact to make sure the vineyard will have the look you want on your wedding date.
Relish Rustic Decor
If you haven’t already, shop our French Vineyard Wedding Lookbook, and you’ll find a tailored list of the furniture and decor you need for the perfect vineyard wedding. Top wooden, family-style tables, like our Linley 14-person trestle dining table, with cream or burlap table runners, rattan chargers and khaki napkins, and align your tables with oval-back, oak wood linen chairs. For the centerpiece, take our Sienna vase and overflow it with grapes and lush flowers and then surround the base with Spanish moss. Stand tall, vintage candlesticks in the corners of your courtyard for light, or if you have a canopied tent, hang lanterns lit with slow-burning candles from the ceiling or exposed beams. Place planters or urns in corners and against side walls and fill them with lavender and wildflower like Queen Anne’s lace for a lavish countryside garden feel. Then, take a step back and relish in the rustic decor. So dreamy!
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Consider Your Palette
One of the best ways to decide on a vineyard wedding palette is to pull from your surroundings, so a buttery yellow, gold, and plum palette. If you want a more Tuscan read, opt for colors like apricot, orange, copper, and mix them with celadon green. But the most important part of establishing your palette is to consider the season. For a vineyard wedding, the season greatly impacts your palette. Do you want the vines to be green and full of grapes? Then set the date for early summer. But if you prefer burnt oranges, reds, and yellows (ultra-rustic), late September or October may be the best time for you. During the winter, the vines will be brown and dormant and sometimes even snow-covered! Make sure to do research on your venue’s region and choose the season that works best with your vision. The good news is: All seasons can make for beautiful wedding photos. You just have to know what you’re going for.
A Flavorful Favor
Although it may seem like the obvious choice, nothing closes the perfect French vineyard wedding like sending your guests home with a bottle of specialty wine or a fancy cork stopper from the vineyard’s wine shop. We’ve taken the time to list out a few other favors with a rustic charm that’ll have your guests remembering the day for years to come. Check them out below!
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Get the Florals Right
The great thing about choosing a vineyard wedding venue is that the colors are natural, so you truly have the creative freedom to choose a flower arrangement that is right for you and your style. Sunflowers, lavenders, and pink or cream-colored roses are obvious vineyard favorites, but definitely incorporate your favorite flower to make your day unique to you. A French vineyard wedding is also one of the few wedding themes where simple, unstructured floral arrangements up the ambiance. Consider adding some not-quite-blossomed white tulips or wildflowers from the local countryside. Another floral idea is to nix the table linens to expose the natural grain in a wood table for your dining experience.