More couples are tiring of the usual hotel or banquet hall wedding receptions and starting to look outside the box at venues. One of the newest trends: distillery wedding receptions. Other than the obvious focus on the beverage portion of the event, distilleries offer some amazing ambiance and history for those who want a more intimate affair.

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Most distilleries are designed to give a nod to that speak easy, early twentieth century aesthetic: Dim lighting, brick walls, and aged barrels. Vintage style weddings are at the peak of their popularity, and for a couple who wants a more rustic look, a distillery reception can be a great event space. With an urban or industrial space, you are given a blank canvas. Depending on the building and its aesthetic, you can go vintage or ultra modern. Bring in modern white sectionals to go with the cement tasting bar, or conversely, hang twinkle lights against brick walls for a delicate and romantic feel.

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You can also go by the age old adage: Less is more. Play off of the building’s own unique charm. You can incorporate elements of the atmosphere into your table design and decor: wood, brick, glass, and metal. You may even get lucky and have a beautiful view of shiny copper stills. You can also bring in elements from nature to warm up the space and make it more romantic. Earthy textiles, flowers, and candles will warm and soften an industrial space. Your guests may be curious about the idea of a factory wedding, but will be blown away by your creativity. Imagine an intimate, romantic affair, complete with hardwood flooring, soft lighting, and, of course, custom craft cocktails.
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Another plus is that you are supporting local businesses – especially those in the agricultural tourism market. The inclusion of locally-sourced ingredients is fortunately making a big comeback in the food industry. For many smaller distilleries, this means going to local farms and businesses for their recipes. Distillery weddings can put the focus on good food, craft cocktails, and celebrating an intimate affair with friends and family. Journeyman Distillery (pictured below) in Three Oaks, MI uses locally-sourced, organic grains in their spirits; and serves small plates of farm- to-table foods – supporting other local Michigan businesses.

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There are a ton of out-of-the-box venues. A banquet hall may be just what you want. But if it doesn’t feel right, don’t get sucked into thinking there aren’t many other options. We’ll be exploring some of our favorites, one-by-one, in hopes that they will inspire you in your wedding planning.

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