We start the ceremony by lining up the bridesmaids (and groomsmen if they are walking down the aisle together) in the tasting room. The bride would be the last in line and, if applicable, the grandparents would be first. Your guests would be seated on the lawn and your officiant, the groom, and the groomsmen would enter from the back of the building to the ceremony area in a line.
For the group in the tasting room, I suggest taking the left side of the fountain when walking down the aisle from the tasting room for the best visual for the photographer and the guests. Each person sits in their designated seat, then the bridesmaids walk to their positions opposite the groomsmen and the bride to the alter. After the ceremony, all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, bride, groom, and parents all exit down the aisle to the tasting room. The photographer will then take the group to the back lawns for pictures. Often this is when family photos begin. The officiant will announce that the family members should walk the path the guys took to enter. Everyone meets for pictures in the back lawn and all of the friends get to enjoy social hour in the tasting room and the front patio. Earlier in the day, the caterer comes in with their staff to set up the ceremony chairs and the reception tables. The caterers set the tables with everything needed for the reception (silverware, plates -if applicable, glassware, table numbers, etc.) but place them in an area off to the side- see layout below. After the ceremony, the staged tables get relocated by catering staff to the lawn area where the ceremony took place or they could be positioned to surround the patio area in preparation for dinner and toasts. The ceremony chairs then get placed around each table. This is the best option because it eliminates the need to extend social hour to 2 hours for setting up tables from scratch. For the tables to be moved, waters filled, and reception ready to be seated you should plan for about an hour. During this time your guests will be enjoying social hour in the tasting room and on the front patio and inside the tasting room.
It looks really nice to incorporate some tables onto each side of the ceremony patio area to make the flow of the reception better from the concrete to the grass. See layout below for suggested final set-up. I suggest setting up a welcome table on the patio or under the tree (see diagram below) for non-alcoholic beverages and a gift table nearby as guests arrive. The gift table can then to put to another use after the ceremony. The gifts would need to be locked away in someone’s car after the ceremony to be safe.
The cake can be placed on top of a wine barrel for beautiful display either outside or in the tasting room. We have one barrel that’s quite rustic looking, so if you want a nice sanded and varnished barrel I’d add one to the rental order. I suggest using our glass top for the barrel as the cake is way easier to cut for the ceremonial cutting when it’s lifted out of the barrel. That way there’s also a spot to put your cutting set for display as well inside the tasting room. Feel free to use one of the 6ft rectangle banquet tables as a great second option.
The ceremony area transitions nicely into the reception area with the sweetheart or head table directly where the bride and groom took their vows. Or you can place the tables closer to the dancing by having them surround the patio with the sweetheart table up against the tree as pictured in the first layout. The DJ is very portable; they have a very small set-up usually and set up speakers out of the way. They set up typically in one of the spots where the “X” is placed on the layout above. There is electricity behind each pillar and they are all on separate circuits, so there is plenty of power. They will need to move their set-up or bring a second set-up for after dinner and toasts for dancing in the tasting room after dinner.
Dinner can either be plated, family style, or buffet. For buffet, below in the diagram is how I suggest setting it up. Pre-ceremony photos and post-ceremony photos can both be done in the vineyards, upstairs, the bridal suite, both back lawn areas, in the pool area, or other locations around the property. These can start any time after 8am when you have access to the bridal suite and upstairs groomsmen area. They typically last the full hour after the ceremony.
The grand entrance of the bridal party typically happens from the tasting room and back down the aisle. Some couples choose to just do an entrance for themselves and others skip it altogether. After toasts and dinner service, the party moves for dancing into the tasting room or the barrel room. You could also potentially hold your whole reception inside the barrel room, see last photos for this option. Below is the tasting room transitioned for dancing:
The rest of the reception plays out from here then the caterer breaks everything down and cleans up. VSJ staff will be pouring wine and beer from the tasting room or barrel room all evening. If you’d like photos in the barrel room, I am happy to unlock it for you. You can find a second set of restrooms for your guests in this building. There are double doors that open to the parking lot that allow the guests access to this additional set of restrooms without gaining entry into the barrel room. To see the barrel room, go to this link: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=awXEJvFdcZr&mls=1 Here is an example of dancing-only held in the barrel room (they rented a dance floor for aesthetics, but that's not necessary since the floor is concrete):
Or you can hold your reception and dancing in the barrel room, this option is wonderful when the weather is not great. The barrel room comfortably fits 160 seated guests with overflow option just outside of the large wood doors.
Frequently asked questions: Do you have a maximum guest count for your facility? Yes, we are able to accommodate 200 guests. Is there anywhere to stay overnight at the Villa? We allow the farm house to be rented overnight for $500/night or the going rate on airbnb.com. Here is a link to our listing. Can we bring outside beer, wine, and champagne to the wedding? Beer and bubbly-Yes. We do not allow kegs, but bottles or cans are fine. Please plan to drop them off before your rehearsal the day before the wedding. We will put them in rolling ice bins that we have on-site and put them on ice when the ice is delivered. Ice is typically ordered through the caterer or through Paso Robles Ice Company. Either way is great! I suggest about 300 pounds on average. We allow outside champagne to be brought on site with no corkage fee, but we do ask that you purchase VSJ wines for our bartenders to serve to your guests during the wedding. We offer 30% off wines purchased for the wedding and we will store them here at the winery for you until your wedding day. Does VSJ provide Ice? No, but there are several options to get ice to the venue easily. Can we get married in front of the tree facing the opposite direction as pictured? Yes. There will likely be cars from the parking lot in your photos, but it is a very pretty ceremony spot that way as well. Security will help make sure no late arrival guests drive up the driveway during the ceremony. Is the tasting room large enough for all of my guests to dance? Yes, the dance area is over 1000 square feet and will be plenty of space for up to 200 guests. We dim or turn off all the lights and it creates a very fun atmosphere out of the elements. We can leave all three doors open if desired, or close them. Your guests will love the dance area being indoors! Is there enough parking for my number of guests? With 2 large parking lots, we have never run out of parking. Can we use the black tables in the tasting room? Yes, couples often transition their guest book to one and use the other for plated appetizers during social hour. These tables can be cleared off and accessible starting at 5pm. Can we provide transportation for our guests? Many couples choose to provide transportation; I have included many options on the preferred vendors list. There is no issue with big buses getting in and out of our facility. Here is a link to the vendors list. Can guests leave their cars overnight? Yes. We are not liable for any personal belongings or the car itself, but they are welcome to leave it here overnight. We’d rather that than have anyone drive intoxicated. They will need to be aware that they will not be able to pick up the car until after 10am the following day. Do we have to choose from the preferred vendors list? The preferred vendors list includes great local vendors. You are not required to choose from this list, but most of these vendors are already familiar with our site and they do great work! Can we get married on the lower lawn with the reception all set-up on the upper lawn? Yes, but doing so is a little bit risky because it’s lower than the upper lawn and all of the water flows there. It is often a bit damp and spongy. If you’d like this option, please notify me well in advance so I can change the watering schedule and try to maintain a relatively dry lower lawn. What happens if it rains? The best option if it rains is to use the barrel room for your reception and dancing. You could also putting a tent on the lower lawn if you'd like. You could potentially still have the ceremony on the upper lawn by providing umbrellas to your guests or the ceremony could also be held in the barrel room. Can we have a second bar outside? You may use our beautiful portable bars for no additional charge. We staff one bar (in the tasting room) free of charge. We will serve your pre-purchased wine and beer from this bar. Due to limited staff, we ask that you arrange extra bartenders for any additional outside bar/s through your caterer. How many weddings/events do you have per weekend? We limit our weddings and private events to only one per weekend. That way we ensure that you get the best service possible. No mixed up rental orders or linen colors, just your wedding that weekend. Can we provide childcare on-site after the ceremony (or before)? After the bride and bridesmaids are finished getting ready in the farmhouse, it can be converted to a babysitting area if desired. This is a great way to have an adults-only reception without forcing out of town guests to find a sitter. There is a great local vendor who offers childcare professionals, they are called Savvy Sitters http://www.savvysitters-slocounty.com/ When can we access the grooms lounge upstairs and the farmhouse bridal suite? These areas will also be accessible for family/bridal photos and getting ready starting at 8am. Here is the tour of the upstairs terrace (labeled “Clubhouse” on the link) http://www.circlepix.com/tour/blaze/?tourId=2672783&_seoAddress=Villa-San-Juliette-Winery--6835-Cross-Canyons-Rd-San-Miguel-CA#.Wk7gl_lVhBd The pool house restroom will still be available for the guys to use as well as the barrel room restrooms for changing if needed. Here is a link to the virtual tour of the farmhouse bridal area https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=VBJh3UFn2DN When can decorating start? The ceremony and reception areas can start being set-up and decorated as early as 10am on the day of the wedding. The front patio will still be used for tasting room lunch service, so that can’t be touched until 2:30pm please. The tasting room will be offering wine tasting to the public until 4:45pm, so this cannot be decorated until 5pm. Our staff is happy to help place décor during the ceremony in preparation for social hour. What’s the next step in the booking process? Email me for a contract and please include your preferred date, first and last name of both the bride and groom, phone numbers, and email addresses for both and I will send you a contract. You’ll need to print out the contract, fill in the other details (if you do not have a coordinator yet, just put TBD), and mail or drop it off in person to our tasting room manager, Tracy. My email is email@example.com. For the booking process we will need two checks. One post-dated for the wedding date for $1000 that doesn't get cashed unless there's damage to the facility and we need it to cover the deductible on the event insurance policy, the other is cashed right away and it's for half of the venue cost ($3750). I need those along with an original signed copy of this contract. Then you're booked! Everything can be dropped off to the tasting room manager or mailed directly to the winery: San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery Attn: Roxan 6385 Cross Canyons Rd San Miguel, CA 93451 Is security required? Yes. One security guard is required per 100 guests. If you have 199 guests you will only require one security person. This security person will help with guest parking, they will redirect late guests to enter through the exit gate to avoid cars driving up during your ceremony, and they will help to protect your $1000 security deposit by monitoring your guests around the statues, fountains, and pool areas of the facility. They stay out of the way and they do not interrupt the party in any way. Intoxication can lead to facility damage, so they are here to protect the venue and your interests. Is liability insurance required? We do require day-of liability insurance. There’s a great option where you can talk to a real person in CA! The website is covermyevents.com or https://www.facebook.com/covermyevents. They are competitively priced with wedsafe.com if you want to compare the two. The silver option listed below is all VSJ needs for your ceremony and reception, but if you need insurance for your rehearsal dinner location too, the gold or platinum coverage might be best for you. Fill in the box on the website with “San Miguel, CA” and select VSJ from the drop down menu. BASIC – $175 COVERAGE INCLUDES: • Up to 3 Days • $1 Million Each Occurrence Liability Limit • $2 Million General Aggregate Liability Limit • $5,000 Medical Expense • $1,000 Deductible • Host Liquor Liability • Additional Insured Please read the Terms & Conditions. Does VSJ have barrels I can use for décor? We have one rustic looking barrel for use. If you need more than that or prefer a prettier barrel, please add it to your rental order. How much wine should I buy? The average wedding guest consumes 3 glasses of wine per wedding. This averages in for beer-drinkers and non-drinkers. There are 4 glasses per bottle and 12 bottles per case, so the math would be something like this: 100 guests X 3= 300 divided by 4 glasses/bottle= 75 bottles divided by 12 bottles/case= 6.25 cases I suggest rounding up to the 7 cases just to be safe. The ratio of white to red wine will be determined by the weather for your date. If it’s on the cooler side then more reds, warmer side then go with more whites. When can the music start and when does it have to end? Pre-ceremony music can start as early as 4:45pm; reception music may play until 10pm. There is a county-wide noise ordinance that restricts us from allowing music to continue past 10pm. Is there an area for the bride to get ready on-site? Yes, we have a 2-bedroom house on premise to accommodate the bride, bridesmaids, and family getting ready. We also have an area for the groom and groomsmen to get changed on-site. May I extend my time to have a longer wedding? We are limited to the hours of 5:15pm until 10pm because our tasting room is open every weekend until 5pm. You cannot add time after the 10pm cut-off as that is county-mandated, but you may add an hour at the beginning if you'd like to make your start time 4:15pm rather than 5:15pm for an additional $1250. How many people does the space “comfortably” accommodate? The front lawn area can accommodate 200, the front patio around the fountain can comfortably seat 50, and the lower lawn can accommodate up to 200 guests. Do you provide rentals? We have many tables and chairs included and we offer our wine glasses free of charge as long as they are polished by your caterer at the end of the evening. Most couples find that it’s more cost-effective to rent wine glasses. We rent heaters for $50 each. Do you provide glassware, dishes, silverware, and linens? We do not provide dishes or silverware, but we do offer our wine glasses for use. They need to be returned to us cleaned and polished, so many couples find it more cost-effective to rent their own rather than hiring an extra staff member from the catering company to wash glasses. Do you require customers to use a specific list of vendors? No, however, vendors must be licensed and insured. Proof of insurance is required. We will provide you with our preferred vendors list if you need help selecting vendors. Do you have cooking facilities? The facility has a full catering kitchen available for use by a San Luis Obispo County licensed and insured caterer. The kitchen is equipped with two convection ovens, stove top, a commercial size refrigerator, a large freezer, a three-compartment sink, commercial dishwasher, and several feet of counter space. Do you provide your own catering? No on-site service is available. Outside caterers are welcome; they must be licensed and insured. All documentation will need to be provided to VSJ staff prior to the event date. What restrictions (if any) are there on decorations? All fire code regulations must be followed. We only allow flameless candles and no sparklers may be used. Nothing can be attached to facility walls or ceiling nor any framed photos or displays removed. Do you require additional portable restrooms for private events? We recommend renting restrooms for weddings and events over 200 guests, but we only require restroom rentals if the guest count is over 250 guests. Can we or our guests swim in the pool or fountain? No, this is dangerous and we do not allow anyone in the pool or the fountain. Is there handicap access and parking? Yes, each facility complies with current ADA requirements. Several handicap accessible spots are located near the front entrance. Do you offer valet parking? No, but you can arrange for this service through a local transportation company. Can we serve hard alcohol or mixed drinks for our wedding? No, we are limited by our liquor licensing to wine and beer only.