Are you a wine lover? Are you looking for that perfect wedding venue that seems to have it all - vineyards, gorgeous buildings and lush grounds, and is located within driving distance of Charlotte? If so, let me tell you a little about Childress Vineyards. Owned by Richard Childress, this vineyard features 72 acres of vineyards and produces more than 30 different wines including Classic house blends, premium varietals, a sparkling wine, dessert wines, Reserves, Signature Reserves and Muscadine wines.
Along with a full working vineyard that includes tours and tastings and an award winning restaurant "Bistro," Childress Vineyards is also the perfect site for your corporate or social event. With it's Italian Renaissance styled winery and spacious banquet facilities, it can be host to your event whether it's two guests or 300.
Today I sat down with wedding coordinator, Amy Parrish, to learn a little more about Childress Vineyards.
I know that Childress Vineyards is a working winery. What made you decide to go into the wedding business?
One look at this place and you can see why! It’s too beautiful not to offer to couples for their special dayJ. We are a winery first and an event venue second, but we have found through the years that the two pair perfectly together.
What are some of the hurdles that come with running both a vineyard and a wedding venue that couples may not know about?
Not as many as you would think! Probably the biggest hurdle is the fact that we are open to the general public until 5pm, which prevents us from hosting weddings prior to 6pm on any given day. In a general sense, we always have to be mindful when working and scheduling events as much of what we do has to mesh well with the day-to-day business of our Tasting Room, Bistro and winemaking facilities.
What sets Childress Vineyards apart from other venues?
It has to be the scenery and uniqueness of knowing that this is a working winery.
What is your favorite area of the venue?
It's definitely the Terrace. The view from here is simply stunning, especially at sunset.
How many weddings do you have in a weekend/month?
We can host as many as three weddings in one weekend with weddings taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as we only host one wedding per day. Typically throughout spring, summer, and fall we average 6-9 weddings per month.
What is your favorite part about the weddings?
Getting to know my clients, their families and friends. When you spend several months planning together, you tend to build some pretty strong bonds with folks. This not only allows us to exceed their expectations day-of, but also it also helps us to continue that relationship after the big day has passed!
Do you have a favorite fun story?
That’s a tough question! There have been so many great memories over the years here at Childress. But honestly, the first thing that came to mind is all the times we have dried ceremony chairs at the winery. Maybe it sounds silly, but to me it really shows dedication to the cause. The staff here are such good sports… I’m sure they wouldn’t consider this to be a “fun story” at all J. I am an avid believer in Plan A, NOT Plan B. There have been countless times where we have dried hundreds of ceremony chairs more than 3 times before the wedding begins. We’ve also moved lawn furniture and placed out ceremony chairs IN the rain because we just know in the bottom of our outdoor-ceremony-lovin’ hearts that right around the corner there’s some sunshine coming.
What different packages do you offer your couples?
Currently we offer two smaller reception packages – one for 30 and less guests and another for 50 and less guests. These reception packages correspond with our Barrel Cave and Barrel Room rental options at the winery. Receptions with guest counts of 51-300 receive a full privacy rental of the Main Floor of the winery and outside grounds. Ceremony packages are also available inclusive of chairs, dressing areas, all set up/tear down, and a Plan B option in case of inclement weather.
How long in advance do you typically start working with a bride?
Typically, we start 6-10 months prior.
Do you provide someone dedicated to the couple on the day of the event to help them?
The event staff at the winery takes care of all set up, tear down, and food/beverage service. Day-of we are responsible for assisting with vendors and placing out all tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces, place cards, favors, programs, guest book, photos, etc.
What size wedding is typical for you?
125 is a very average guest count at the winery.
What trends do you see with the current brides?
Last year seemed to be more neutral colors and pale hues; this year seems more bold and bright! We also are seeing a lot of mismatch this year and I am loving it.
If you could tell the brides one thing about your business, what would it be?
We really strive to under promise and over deliver in any way possible! If there is something we can do to make someone’s special day a little more beautiful, memorable, special… we will do our best to make it happen!
Finally, at Childress Vineyards, you host events other than weddings. What other events do you have at Childress Vineyards?
Pretty much anything! Birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, retirement celebrations, rehearsal dinners, corporate meetings, fundraisers, etc.
I hope you have enjoyed our discussion with Childress Vineyards today. Want to know more about them and how they can help you with your event, be sure to follow her on social media:
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