As with many venues, the rental for your wedding space will end at 11:00PM. This is when your DJ will be asked to stop playing music, the bar will no longer serve drinks, and our staff will move in to begin cleaning up. So, you’ve got a few options on what you can do next.
If you and your spouse are looking forward to getting back to your Hotel or AirB&B to end the night but you know your friends and family will want to keep on celebrating on your behalf, you can recommend these local bars and restaurants for them. If there is no way you and your new spouse are going to head home when you know the party is going to continue on, you may want to make a plan to hit a few of these places.
The Vineyard at 12 Corners is located in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
This Livery is a microbrewery that is open until 1AM on Friday and Saturday nights. It has an industrial but homey atmosphere that encases some historical aspects of the building. This is a popular spot for local bands to play at and holds many entertainment based events. Be sure to check out their website (liverybrew.com) to see if there are any events happening that you would want to check out the weekend of your wedding. It also features an outdoor patio that is pet friendly!
Serves: Craft Beer, Pizza, Sandwiches, and Salads (Vegetarian options)
Open Until: 1AM Fri & Sat
Location: 190 5th St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
River’s Edge Bar and Grill
This dive bar is located right off the Paw Paw river, which directly connects to the St. Joseph river. They have affordable prices and will be a decent choice to curb those fried food and burger cravings. For warmer nights, they have an outdoor beer garden right on the river. It’s far from classy, but it’s a casual place to have a few more drinks and hangout.
Serves: Fried Foods, Burgers
Open Until: 2AM Fri & Sat
Location: 653 W Main St
Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Next to Benton Harbor, located along Lake Michigan, is St. Joseph. It is approximately a fifteen minute drive from the Vineyard at 12 Corners.
Silver Harbor Brewing Co.
This Brewing company is large enough in size where it could accommodate more of your guests comfortably. Along with beer, they also serve hard liquor and wine. It has a classy but industrial feel to it and has excellent food. The restaurant closes at 11PM but if you book a group event, they will stay open until 2AM. They have a seperate space called The Garden where you and your guests can have a comfortable and private party. To book their space, you’ll want to call them or fill out the form on their website.
Serves: Craft Beer, Large Variety of Foods (Good Vegetarian options)
Open Until: 2AM – If you book the space
Location: 721 Pleasant Street
Saint Joseph, MI 49085
Located in downtown, St. Joe, this live music focused club is a host to many local and up and coming artists of many genres including country, reggae, hard rock, and R&B. If you and your wedding party feel like hitting a small concert to keep on dancing, this is the place to be. Check the show schedule on their website (czars.com) to see what bands are playing on your wedding night. The night club almost has a retro vibe and there is table seating in addition to the dance floor.
Serves: Pizza, Nachos
Open Until: 2AM
Location: 505 Pleasant St
St. Joseph, MI 49085
This Restaurant and Cocktail House is located on – you guessed it – 221 Main St. in St. Joseph. They have a wide variety of whiskeys, wines, beer, and other liquors. They have excellent food – but the kitchen closes at 10pm, so the options will be limited. The pub section is a modern, clean and comfortable bar. It is a smaller and subdued area, so this would be the best choice for a smaller group of your wedding guests who are just looking to hang out together for a bit longer while winding down.
Serves: Seafood, Steak, Mac&Cheese, Sandwiches, Salads, and Desserts
Open Until: 2AM (Pub)
Location: 221 Main St.
St. Joseph, MI 49085
This local sports bar could be a fun way to spend the rest of the night if you’re feeling competitive. They offer pool, ping pong, darts, pinball, and club keno. They have cheap beer and affordably priced options all around. It is a very casual pub with friendly service. Can be a bit noisy, but this means your large group will fit right in. This link ( https://goo.gl/maps/ghA1oCbbzyp ) will show you some photos of the inside that will give you a better look at the space.
Serves: Traditional bar foods
Open Until: 2AM
Location: 1495, 1007 Main St.
St Joseph, MI 49085
Whether your ideal After Wedding Party would be a private event, a night of dancing, or a casual bar experience one of these locations (or a combination of a few!) will have you and your wedding guests covered.
Choosing an outdoor venue can add some extra anxiety when anticipating your upcoming wedding day. For those of you considering an outdoor wedding, you most likely already enjoy the spacious feel and the enchanting experience of having your reception in the setting sun. There are endless benefits to choosing an outdoor venue, but there is one primary con: you and your guests will be subject to the weather. So, is it worth the risk of getting rained on?
Marissa and Nathan – Christa Hitchcock Photography
When you get married, you’re sure that your love will last a lifetime. There’s only one thing that will last longer: the photos. Your wedding photos will look breathtaking when you choose an outdoor venue. With a vineyard wedding, you get an abundance of greenery as well as symmetry within the vines. This saves in travel time in the morning of your ceremony because you won’t have to go around looking for good photo opportunities in the area. This could also save on photography and videography costs as the majority of your photos will be onsite rather than multiple locations. The photos will also hold more nostalgic value if the most aesthetically pleasing backdrops are actually at your wedding venue. Whether you’re framing them to hang in the living room, sending them to your distant cousins who couldn’t make it, or posting to your Instagram; your outdoor wedding photos will be spectacular.
Marissa and Nathan – Christa Hitchcock Photography
Alyssa and Ryan – https://www.helloimemmaquinn.com
Sarah and Ryan – 430 Studios
Considering the time of the year to hold your wedding will also affect your chances with the weather. First, weigh in your preferences. The wedding season for our Vineyard begins in May and ends in October. Spring weddings, on average, are lower in temperature and can have a higher chance of rain, but you have the excitement of the turn of the weather paired with the fresh buds and greenery. To be outdoors in the new approaching summer warmth is an almost magical feeling. For Summer weddings, you experience the heat. For some, this is perfect and the Summer fun can last all day. For others, spending the day in the heat can be exhausting. The sun waits until later to set and the temperature becomes perfect at your reception. With a wedding tent, your coordinator can leave all the tent sides open and your guests will stay comfortable in the midst of the vines. When Fall approaches, the temperature drops again and the leaves begin to change colors. Fall floral choices with the rich hues in the trees can be absolutely gorgeous and you escape the heat. The sides of the wedding tent can be closed at night with the heaters on and you’ll feel perfectly warm. The grapes are full and ripe and the sweet scent on the breeze from the winery beginning to make wine is delicious.
Molly and Ken – May 2016
Sarah and Ryan – 430 Studios – September 2017
Blue Line Photography – 2014
Regardless of the season you’re looking for, there is always a possibility of rain. Having a solid rain plan for your outdoor wedding venue is essential; your coordinator will help you with this. The good news is that in 2018, only two wedding ceremonies had to choose their rain plan with us. Instead of having your ceremony down in the orchard, it will be moved under the tent on the dance floor and you and your guests will be protected by the elements.
Providing guests with items to better cope with the elements can add a personal and caring touch to your outdoor reception. For the hot days we have seen mini, battery powered fans for guests to take as well as providing sunscreen and insect repellent on the bathroom sink. For colder nights, setting out matching throw blankets for guests to use on the lounge furniture or around the fire pit can be a nice idea. Having a bin of umbrellas for your guests to use is a good tip for any season.
Wedding Guests – Michael Koch Photography
Personally, I absolutely think having an outdoor wedding is worth the risk of some inclement weather. As long as you are prepared for the situation, the fresh breeze, beautiful scenery, and the seemingly endless space you’ll have to roam beats a ceiling and four walls any day.
Ahhhh – engagement season! We can feel the excitement of new fiances everywhere! We can also feel the slight bit of panic from all the couples hoping for a 2018 wedding and finding open dates hard to come by. But don’t despair – a Friday Wedding is your answer!
I could probably write a short novel on why I LOVE Friday weddings. I will spare you the super exciting read and just give you my top five reasons why you should consider a Friday date.
If you are just beginning the venue & vendor search, you are likely finding most Saturday dates in 2018 have been booked already. It’s crazy how fast dates fill up! So for many couples who just became engaged, snagging a Saturday in 2018 might not work out. If you don’t want to postpone the wedding for another year, make sure to ask your venue and vendors about Friday dates and you will likely get a larger open selection.
Not all venues and vendors have discounted pricing for “off” days – but many do, so be sure to ask! And another insider tip from a venue – ask about guest minimums for Fridays. Even if a venue has a minimum guest count for a Saturday, they may waive that minimum for a Friday (ahem…like we do!).
A Better Guest Experience
Almost every wedding we host is a “destination” wedding even if guests are only coming from 90 miles away so they likely don’t want to drive home after the wedding. If you host a Friday wedding, your guests then have all Saturday to relax (recover!) in our beautiful little corner of Michigan without having to worry about rushing home to get ready for work. Your guests can experience a mini-vacation without needing to spend a fortune to get away. Maybe some guests will need to take that Friday off work but who doesn’t want an excuse to take a day off to spend with friends & family!
More Down Time with Friends & Family
We see it all the time with Saturday weddings, all the last minute details, the rehearsal, the nerves on Friday. The wedding on Saturday. Your guests leave early Sunday morning to get back to the grind. This leaves you with very little quality time to spend with people who have travelled to celebrate with you. But with a Friday wedding, you have all day Saturday, after the rush of the wedding is over, to plan a relaxed cookout at a rental property, organize a leisurely wine tour, sprawl out on the sand and refuse to move for 4 hours….whatever activity you would enjoy. It’s a great way to let your loved ones know how much you appreciate their being with you on such a special day.
Now, this one could be all in my head (I have an obvious bias toward Friday weddings) but our friends at 1928 Planning Co. will back me up here….Friday weddings as a whole just feel different. There is a relaxed vibe from vendors and guests alike that is unique to an “off” day wedding. For us vendors, Friday is often the start of our weekend crazy-ness so we are fresh-faced and ready to go. For guests, they know they are about to begin an awesome weekend and are ready to let loose. We have been trained to love Fridays and this general emotion of TGIF is carried over into the wedding itself.
Of course, we love ALL weddings – but if you’re curious to know what Fridays are still available at The Vineyard, give me a call!
Photo Credits (in order of appearance)
Michael Koch Photo
Victoria Sprung Photography