Frequently Asked Questions


Is Caret Cellars available on my preferred date? 

Caret Cellars is a new wedding venue and has availability in 2024 and 2025. 

Is the location convenient? 

Caret Cellars is about an hour northeast of Richmond, 40 miles southeast of Fredericksburg, and 70 miles north of Hampton Roads. The venue is about 20 minutes from Tappahannock. Our Community Partners page lists nearby fun activities, restaurants and accommodations. Stay the weekend or spend a week, the Northern Neck/Essex County is steeped in history and blossoming with natural beauty; it's a perfect wedding destination. It offers couples and guests easy access to shopping, historic sites, golf courses, antique shops and outdoor activities, including boating, fishing and hiking. 

What is the guest capacity? 

Caret Cellars can accommodate 40 guests, including the couple.  It is ADA compliant.

Do you host more than one wedding per day?

We host one wedding per day. 

What does the space look like? 

Caret Cellars is a beautiful vineyard nestled among farmland in Essex County, VA.  The two-story Italian-style winery has a wraparound porch. The first floor features the tasting room with large arched windows and a fireplace.  For the DIY bride, Caret Cellars is a blank space you can transform into an elegant wedding venue.  The second floor currently is under construction. It will become a space where brides and besties can get ready for the wedding and the couple can spend the night.  

What happens if the weather is unfavorable for an outside wedding cermony? 

We will move everything inside!

Does the venue have noise restrictions? 

The DJ must not play music louder than 95 dB as measured by our decibel meter. Caret Cellars has bluetooth speakers, if you choose to use your playlist instead of a DJ. 

Who is the main point of contact?

The main point of contact is our event manager, Carolyn Berry.

Do you have liability insurance?

Yes; Caret Cellars carries liability insurance.  However, we require the couple to provide evidence of a $1 million general liability insurance policy. The certificate of insurance must be on file with us 30 days prior to the wedding and name Caret Cellars, Weddings at Caret Cellars and Carolyn Berry as additionally insured. We also require a waiver of subrogation. The policy must cover the entire contract time. The insurance is available through your renter's or homeowner's insurance policy, or you may contact Indemn, which specializes in wedding insurance:

Visit this link to read an article about insurance:

Do you require cancellation insurance?

Yes; Caret Cellars requires cancellation insurance.  Lightening might strike the venue during a thunderstorm and you lose electricity; a groundhog might chew the electrical cord powering the water pump and the venue has no water; or your partner might decide marriage is not in his or her future. Regardless, life happens and sometimes couples must cancel their weddings. As explained elsewhere, we are not able to refund your money.

Cancellation insurance is similar to trip insurance and not expensive. The insurance will allow you to recoup most, if not all, of your money when life interferes with your plans. An insurance policy is a small purchase to ensure your can recoup your investment. We urge you to contact Indemn, which specializes in wedding insurance:

What is your smoking policy? 

Caret Cellars is a no smoking/no vaping venue, including outside and in the parking area. If we find smoking debris on the ground, the venue will charge the couple $10 per item and deduct the fee from the security deposit. 

Are pets allowed to attend weddings?

Well trained pets always are welcome at the winery. However, they must remain on nonretractable leashes and under the owner's complete control at all times. Please notify us in advance if pets will attend your wedding. 

Are children allowed to attend weddings?

Well-behaved children always are welcome to the winery. Keep in mind every child one year old and older counts toward the total guest count. Parent ALWAYS must supervise their children. This means toddlers and young children must be within arm's reach of a parent; older children must remain in close proximity. Parents must monitor their children's behaviors and not allow them to run inside the building or through the vineyard. It is important to remember child friendly does not mean child safe or child proof. 


May I use my own vendors? 

Although we have a well-vetted list of preferred vendors whom we trust and who are fmiliar with our venue, we enjoy meeting new vendors! 

When will I receive your list of preferred vendors? 

Once we have received your initial retainer fee, we will give you our list of preferred vendors. 


What is your alcohol policy? 

We include wine with all our packages. If you want additional wine, you must purchase all wine you serve at your wedding from Caret Cellars. 

Do you have a liquor license? 

Caret Cellars has a wine license only. If you want to serve beer or signature cocktails, you must obtain a banquet license from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. The application takes on average 7 to 10 days to process and costs $55. To learn more, visit <>.

May we bring our own alcohol?

If you purchase a banquet license from the ABC Authority, you may purchase your own beer and liquor. You must delivery it the day before your wedding. 

Do you require a security guard?

We require an off-duty deputy to provide security services if a couple serves beer and liquor at their wedding.


How do payments work? 

All retainer fees are due via wire transfer or certified check according to the schedule listed in your contract. Retainer fees are not refundable. Couples have seven days after signing their contracts to pay the first payment of their non-refundable retainer fee. If Caret Cellars does not receive the retainer fee by noon day seven, the contract is void and the date will be available to other couples. This 7-day period allows the couple to lock in the price and the date, yet prevents buyer's remorse.  The first payment is 50 percent of the fee. The balance is due 90 days before the wedding date. 

How do you handle a security deposit? 

Each contract requires a refundable security deposit, which will be returned in full within 30 days of the wedding provided the building and grounds have been left as they were before the wedding and the event does not violate policies explained elsewhere in the contracts. Caret Cellars reserves the right to charge for any damages, inappropriate behavior, or additional cleaning. Damage exceeding the amount of the security deposit must be paid within 30 days of the date notified or Caret Cellars will seek legal action. The security deposit is due 30 days before the wedding date.

What are your cancellation and postponement policies? 

Life happens. We get it. Couples cancel or postpone their weddings for any number of reasons, which is why we require each couple to purchase wedding cancellation insurance. It's similar to trip insurance and not expensive. The insurance will allow you to recoup most, if not all of your money when life interferes with your plans. Please keep in mind when you enter into a contract with Caret Cellars, your are reserving a particular date and space for your wedding. We host one wedding per day and may not be able to rebook your reserved date.  Therefore, we are unable to refund your retainer fee even in the event of illness or death. An insurance policy is a small purchase to ensure your can recoup your investment. 

If you cancel your wedding date, the bride, the groom and the person who is paying our fee must notify us in writing and complete a Cancellation and Mutual Release form. If you give us the completed form before your next retainer fee installment is due, you will not owe the remaining balance. Unless we receive a signed and dated form before the retainer fee payment due dates, the wedding party is responsible for paying the entire retainer fee in full.

If you postpone your wedding, you may reschedule your wedding to an available date up to 365 days after your reserved date. You may postpone your date one time. A second postponement or a date beyond 365 days will require a new contract at the then current fee. The bride, the groom and the person paying the fee must notify us in writing and complete a Postponement form. The retainer fee payment schedule due dates will remain in effect as stated in the contract. 

Inclusive Packages

What is included with the five-hour wedding and reception package?

Caret Cellars provides a wedding ceremony site, usually the vineyard, and a space for the couple to get ready - the second floor of the winery.  We provide basic table decor that includes greenery and faux florals. Guests ages 21 and older may toast the couple with wine. Please refer to the wedding packages page to see the specifics for each package.

Does the package include an officiant and a professional photographer?

No. We will provide you with names of officiants and photographers with whom we have working relationships. 

Other Policies

What are your miscellaneous policies? 

Thank you for asking! Everyone is welcome at the venues. We do not discriminate against any couple because of race, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation. 

All funds due to the venues must be paid via wire transfers or certified check. Retainer fees are non refundable.

We are not responsible for injuries, damages or losses that may occur during the events. 

The retainer fee covers the times stated on contracts.

The venues will provide trash cans and trash bags.

All guests and vendors must exit the venues according to the times listed on your contract.

A la carte clean-up services are available for $500.

No items may be delivered or brought to the venue outside the times listed in your contract.

The venue is not responsible for items left behind.

The venue must approve all decorations, displays and any items that will be tossed (e.g. flower girls/boys).

Nothing is to be attached to the walls.

Absolutely no open flame candles, sparklers, or other fire hazards are allowed. This includes cold sparklers.

Guests may celebrate the bride and groom's departure with bubbles or LED/fiber optic wands, tambourines, etc. We prohibit the release of butterflies, doves, balloons, etc. Birdseed, rice, sparklers, silly string, confetti and aerosol items also are not allowed. Using these items will result in the couple forfeiting their security deposit. 

The bridal couple must provide meals for the vendors and venue staff.

If a vehicle is left overnight, it must be moved by noon the next day, or it will be towed at the owner's expense.

Firearms and other weapons are NOT allowed on the property at any time. 

The venue reserves the right to take and use photographs and videos of the wedding and the reception for marketing purposes. Couples must tell their guests and their photographers. Your guests' presence acknowledges their permission to be photographed and their images used on our social media. 

Even though the person paying the bills often is not the bride or groom, the wedding is the marriage of the bride and groom. Therefore, in the event of any disagreement among the bride, the groom and the person paying the bills regarding any aspect of the ceremony or the reception, the bride has the final say. The person paying the bills has no say unless she is the bride.

These Frequently Asked Questions and answers are included in our contract and may change from time to time.