Vineyard Wedding Seasons
All girls have a recurring wedding dream that they’ve played over and over in their heads since early adulthood. For some it’s a warm sunny day with seagulls chattering and waves crashing against the beautiful coastal shore. Others envision an old, historic home with rustic shutters, squeaky wood floors and antique curtains. The brides that come to us have a different dream. They dream of sprawling vineyards with the aroma of grapes and wine softly billowing through the air. A vineyard wedding is absolutely timeless and will be the talk of guests for years to come.
No matter when you choose to have a vineyard wedding, it’s sure to be beautiful! The reason for this blog post is to show you the various seasons at the vineyard. Many people do not realize that grapevines feel and react to the seasons just like trees and other flowering plants. They are not evergreens.
Keep in mind my location though… I am in North Carolina (near Charlotte) so this is completely based off of our seasons. Other areas of the country will be similar but their seasonal timelines will vary.
So. Let’s dive right in and check out the changing seasons of a vineyard wedding in North Carolina!
Growing up right next to the vineyard, waking up to it each and every morning since I was 8 years old, I know their patterns pretty darn well. In our area of the state, we start feeling Spring-like temperatures around mid March BUT they are very scattered. We can be really warm one day and then back to almost freezing the next. None of our seasons are ever completely cut and dry where BOOM we are in the new season. They fight each other left and right.
Because of this ongoing power struggle, true Spring temperatures don’t take hold until well into April. Lucky for us, our grapevines are smart (most of the time!). They know that they should not come out of dormancy at the first sign of sunny, warm weather. And thank goodness for that! If they come out of dormancy too soon and start putting out buds, another cold snap could seriously damage their new growth and potentially even kill them altogether!
On average, we tend to find that our vines start putting out tiny leaves during the end of April and well into the first few weeks of May. Once May weather is really established, the vines are really starting to fill out and teeny tiny grape clusters can be spotted. Because of this, we find that May is a super popular month for a vineyard wedding.
The dog days of Summer. Never really understood that saying. Not even sure why I threw it in here. It’s all I could think of. 😛 Summer is truly a gorgeous time for a vineyard wedding. The vines are in complete full bloom with dark green leaves and large, fragrant grape clusters. Any time from July all the way through September, this is the look the vineyard will always have. If you are able to stand the heat during these months, it is absolutely awe inspiring. The best thing about Summer (to me) is that you are not chancing the color of the scenery to anything (other than maybe rain but that’s any time of the year).
So that brings us to Fall. When we think Fall we tend to see vibrant colors of orange and yellow and red, cooler temperatures, sweatshirts and boots and pumpkin spice. All of that is fine and dandy but if you’ve lived in the Piedmont of North Carolina for more than a day, you know that these days are fleeting. So let’s start with the good news. Grapevines turn amazing shades of yellow and orange just like your flowering trees. Our temperatures do get cooler, with some lovely 60 degree temps. Now for the bad news. The vines only have orange leaves for about two weeks and our temps are only 60 degrees for like 5 days and they’re completely random!
Remember when I said that the changing seasons fight each other? This is no exception! BUT! Summer is gone at this point. No where to be seen. The seasons that are fighting are Fall and Winter. Makes no sense but it’s just the way it is. Fall is a super, duper short season for us. Which is incredibly sad. If you want that idealistic 60 degree weather, you’re going to want a mid October wedding. If you want the beautiful, straight-out-of-a-picture-book orange vineyard leaves, you’re going to want a vineyard wedding within the first two weeks of November. Sorry, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles. But November means that your temperatures will be cold… so keep that in mind. But a Fall wedding is always gorgeous!
Last but not least is Winter. Brrrr Winter. Yes, North Carolina does get cold! Any time from mid November to February we are pretty darn cold. There may not be snow on the ground but temperatures don’t ever get much over 50, with some days hovering right around freezing. This is absolutely the least popular season for a vineyard wedding, and for good reason. Few people book an outdoor wedding hoping for cold weather and dormant vines. It just doesn’t happen. Am I saying that it can’t be pretty? No, I most certainly am not!
What I am saying is that you will not have the picturesque image you’ve seen in your mind. Things look dead during this time. I’ll never, ever forget a tour I was on years ago. I was showing a gentleman and his fiance around the property. It was a cold November day and they were looking at getting married in the Summer. Finally, after about an hour of us chatting and walking the property, the groom-to-be finally brought up the courage and just blurted out “I mean all of that sounds great but I’m just confused. What are all those dead sticks lined up out there?” I thought his fiance was going to die. “Those are grapevines you idiot! They are dormant!”
So the moral of the story – if you want green leaves (for certain!) you will need to pick a wedding date between mid May and mid October. If you want orange leaves, you will need to pick a wedding date between late October and the first two weekends in November. No matter your choice, you’re going to love your vineyard wedding!
Check out our vineyard wedding venue on Wedding Wire!