One of the challenges of staging a barn wedding, or a farm wedding, is arranging all the services and rentals you’ll require for your event. At Red Maple Vineyard in West Park, couples can stage their celebration with all the conveniences of a catering hall built right into a working farm site. And what a site it is, with sweeping views across the Hudson River and surprising details that make for unforgettable wedding imagery.
The venue is conveniently located along Route 9W between the New Paltz and Kingston exits of the New York State Thruway. It stands on the site of a former winery which chefs Gary and Liz Stone, alumni of the Culinary Institute of America, purchased several years ago. The Stones are also the owners of Corner Stone Catering in Rye, New York, where they operate a retail store and are also the exclusive wedding caterers at the nearby Wainwright House. In Red Maple Vineyard, however, they saw an opportunity not only to cater food for events, but to host them and to provide all the ingredients right on site.
Shaleen Stone — who oversees the day to day operations of Red Maple Vineyard, along with the assistance of wedding coordinator Michelle Marmo, hostess Liz Lieberman, and property manager Michael Foertsch — led us on a tour of the property starting with “The Secret Garden”. This is where couples often pose for their wedding day portraits, nestled in the vineyard where grapes from the old winery still grow and will eventually be enjoyed as Red Maple Vineyard wines during wedding receptions.
Nearby are the gardens where fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs are grown for most of the food served during Red Maple events. “Whatever we don’t grow here we source from our local farmers, and that’s something that very important to us,” says Shaleen.
Our tour takes us up a steep hill known as Deer Ridge where most ceremonies are normally held. From up here, you can see clear across the Hudson River to the hills of Dutchess County on the other side.
Up on top there is a canopy which couples can decorate to their hearts’ content, and Red Maple will make sure there is seating here on your wedding day.
Down below is an excellent view of the main building and its permanent tent (we’ll get to both in a minute), as well as the farm and the gardens.
Coming back from Deer Ridge, we head to the Main House where wedding reception action takes place. This building is an artfully renovated 1800’s cow barn which wows you with its size and decor the instant you step through the door.
The interior has several areas which we’ll describe one by one, starting with the entrance area which your guests will likely see first. Inside there is a grand piano, sofas, a buffet table, barrels, and old wagons, as well as chandeliers personally crafted by Shaleen and her mom, Liz. The area serves as a lounge area for cocktail hours, or a place to stay comfortably dry during inclement weather.
There are also stairways here leading up to overhanging balconies and additional lounge space on the upper floor.
The upstairs lounge area is an interesting blend of architectural details and furnishings, with an arched ceiling and stained glass windows. You get the impression that you’ve arrived at a sort of knight’s hall, and there’s even a sweetheart table at one end where brides and grooms can play king and queen.
Directly below this lounge area is Red Maple’s bar and tavern area, which has a completely different feel — more like a carriage house where you can easily imagine the groom and his posse leaning back for some brandy and smokes.
If the guys have the bar area, then the ladies can claim the snazzy getting ready room which looks like a vintage barber shop. This room is positioned in an out of the way portion of the entry area from which brides can make a surprise appearance.
Now it’s time to head outside to the reception tent which is attached to the main house. The tent is a seasonally permanent fixture from May to November, so there is no need for couples to rent one just for the day. Shaleen informs us that there are future plans to replace the tent with a sturdy wooden pavilion (and we’ll update this page when they do).
The tent has at one end a multi-purpose lounge area which can be used for bands, or for ceremonies in the event of rain. The enclosure is 28-feet in the center and its sidewalls measure 10-feet. It has built in uplighting and also a cooling system great for very hot summer events.
Our tour comes to an end at one of our favorite areas of the venue: the Stone Ruins, located directly beside the tent and the main house, which makes you think of Tuscany or Middle Earth even. A perfect spot for dreamy bride and groom photos.
The ruins have several distinct areas, one of them designed for after-parties around a fire pit. There is also a small, primitive bar composed of a wooden plank and two barrels which stand off to one corner, awaiting refreshments, s’mores ingredients, and whatever else you can imagine.
Finally, Red Maple Vineyard produces a number of favors all grown and produced on the property. You can send your guests home with maple syrup, jams, and hot sauce as seen below.
Shaleen Stone informs us that Red Maple Vineyard is currently booking out a year in advance. As of this writing, 2018 is fully booked and inquiries are already rolling in for 2019.
Red Maple Vineyard weddings include full dinners with seasonal menus, which can be customized to meet certain dietary needs. Also included are wedding cakes, a top shelf bar, all furnishings, cutlery, china, glassware, and any color solid linens to match your theme. For an additional price, there are extras that can be added on, such as lounge furniture and a beer canoe.
As you can see, Red Maple Vineyard is a very large venue with much to offer. But bigger than the venue itself is the Stone family’s passion for healthy local foods. “We’re looking into creating educational programs for kids in our region and partnering with local schools, hopefully to get young people excited about the benefits of locally sourced food,” Shaleen tells us.
We look forward to hearing about Red Maple’s future projects, in the world of weddings and in our community.
Imagining your wedding or event at Red Maple Vineyard?
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Learn more about Red Maple Vineyard visit https://www.redmaplevineyard.com/.
To discuss your Red Maple Vineyard wedding with Duetimage Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers, call (845) 905‑6323 or visit: http://www.duetimage.com/contact.