Daria Culver Events has had the opportunity to plan events and celebrations in many different locations along the East Coast. One of our favorite locations is Greenvale Vineyards, just 5 miles outside of Newport, Rhode Island, overlooking the beautiful Sakonnet River.
Greenvale is an ideal location for an East Coast vineyard event because of all it has to offer, from its close proximity to downtown Newport to the variety of choices you have for event sites on Greenvale’s picturesque vineyards to the pastoral views to the Sakonnet River.
Below are few tips on planning a celebration at Greenvale:
1. Location, Location, Location. Having an outdoor event means you need a tent. It’s important to schedule a walk-through with a reputable tent company that is familiar with the grounds. This meeting will help determine a plan for both rain or shine scenarios.
For example, Scenario A: Perfect Weather – Ceremony in the Chardonnay vines, cocktail hour in the tasting room and blue stone terrace, reception under tent in the Pinot Gris vines.
Scenario B: Rain or Cool Weather – Ceremony in the tasting room and terrace, cocktail hour under a tent on the old cow barn foundation, reception under a tent in Pinot Gris vines.
2. Style. Leverage the elegant natural scenery at Greenvale and save on décor—no need to “gild the lily” here, as they say, since there is so much eye-candy all around. You can incorporate Greenvale’s vintage wine barrels, raw wood, vine clippings and other available materials. Talk to the staff about other ways to enhance the romantic vineyard style of Greenvale.
3. Historic Charm. Greenvale’s stable, now used as a tasting room, was built in 1863 (it’s listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places!). You can use this space for all or part of your event. It’s been carefully restored so that most of the original structure is still in place (the original horse stalls are still part of the office space in the back!). The hardwood walls and floors give the space a warm, rustic feel while the cathedral ceiling creates an openness and sense of grandeur.
4. Photos. There are various unique and beautiful backdrops for your event photos all around Greenvale—from the breathtaking slope down to the Sakonnet River to the vineyard’s two Scottish Highland steer! In the springtime there are colorful forsythia, rhododendron, and azalea bushes in bloom. And certainly the ripe grapes in the late summer and fall make a striking backdrop to your photos. Ideally your photographer is familiar with all of Greenvale’s special spots, but with so much scenery to choose from it would be easy for anyone to snap a prize-winning photo.
5. Set the Menu. Greenvale has a selection of recommended caterers who are familiar with the grounds, which is important for a smooth event. While having great food is a priority, it is also just as important to choose a caterer who has a knowledgeable and experienced staff. The caterer will be “running the show” leading up to and on the day of your event. Talk to your caterer about Greenvale’s various serving locations—for example, the covered stone terrace by the barn would be a perfect place for cocktail hour.
6. Transportation and Valet Service are also something to keep in mind. Even if the majority of your guests are from the area, you will most likely need to provide transportation for your out-of-town guests. Having parking attendants at Greenvale is extremely helpful. They can help manage guests who have brought their own cars as well as the buses and trolley.
My personal favorite is the trolley—unique, classy, and charming.
Overall, Greenvale represents the ideal balance between a gorgeous vineyard setting on the water and close proximity to Newport, which is important for hotels and guest activities.