With distilleries becoming more and more of a tourist destination, happy couples are flocking to begin their marriages at the birthplaces of their favorite spirits.
I’m currently planning my own wedding. And since my fiancee and I are both boozehounds, we’ve come to learn a lot about what to look for in a venue that produces our favorite spirits, wines, and brews. There are certain questions you may not have thought to ask but every venue has guidelines they expect you to follow– even if it is your big day. For instance:
What’s their booze policy?
It’s a distillery, you say. Of course they’re going to have a liberal booze policy! Wrong. Most breweries, distilleries, and wineries only want you to use their booze. So if you have a special homebrew you want to use for a toast, or your mom only drinks red wine and you’re getting married at a brewery that only serves beer, it may not even be allowed on the premises. Make sure you know the ins-and-outs and what to expect so no one is surprised on the day of.
What can we decorate?
Now, Jim Beam’s rustic, southern flavor may be just what you’re looking for for your wedding. But if you want to keep that smokey flavor to your bourbon and have an elegant Parisan affair for the wedding itself, you’re going to have to do a lot of decorating.
Some places we’ve looked at have had a, “Do whatever you want!” policy– so long as you remember to clean up after yourself. But others insist that their decor is already enough– and they might provide you with a choice of tablecloth colors, but that’s it! If you’re hands-on and DIY like me, you’ll want a little more control. Make sure you know what you’re allowed to put your hands all over before you put down your nonrefundable deposit.
Bonus: make sure you know what time/days ahead of schedule you can come in to decorate!
What’s the weather going to be like?
If you’re just visiting the Bourbon Belt for your wedding and you’re not from the area, you may be surprised to learn that the weather can change at the drop of a hat. Make sure you can get a good guess at what the weather’ll be like the day of your event. Of course, even distilleries can’t control the weather. So make sure you have a back-up plan if the ceremony or reception (or both!) take place outside.
Can I get that in writing?
Liquor people are good folk, so you’re probably not going to get screwed over. Still, sometimes mistakes and miscommunication happen. If your initial contact says you can have candles on premises but then later rescinds, it could be because policies have changed or someone was misinformed. If something is super important to you, get it in writing so you have proof that it was promised.
Distilleries, breweries, and wineries make for great wedding venues. With these questions, you’ll be sure to get the experience you want.