When Genevieve and I first heard about plans to build Gervasi Vineyard, a vineyard and winery with a full-service restaurant in a historic barn in Canton, Ohio, we had no idea that the final product would be what it is today. As avid wine and food lovers, we jumped on the chance to check the place out once it opened. After walking around the property, it quickly became obvious that there was potential for Gervasi to become a world-class location for wedding ceremonies and receptions. As it turns out, they were two steps ahead of us because shortly after the restaurant opened, construction on the open-air pavilion began and savvy brides started planning their receptions there.
One of the first things that people often say when they drive onto the property and walk up to the main building is “This is in Ohio?” The Tuscan inspired architecture, landscaping, and interior decoration all make it very easy for visitors to lose themselves in the environment and just enjoy the surroundings. Along with the food and wine, of course. On several occasions this past summer, Genevieve and I have taken the kids to Gervasi for a relaxing afternoon on the grass near the lake, just behind the barn. The kids love running around on the grass, playing corn hole (it’s an Ohio thing) and botche ball while Genevieve and I relax on the Adirondack chairs by the water. There’s just something soothing about the setting which goes a long way in making it a fantastic place for a wedding.
One of the more recent additions to the Gervasi Vineyard property is The Villas; six four-room buildings providing overnight accommodations for the couple, their families, and possibly the bridal party. One huge advantage of reserving all four rooms in one of the Villas is that the bridal party now has full use of the beautiful common space in the middle of the Villa. This makes for a perfect spot for the bride and groom to get ready with their bridal parties and it provides a safe location for everyone to stash their belongings during the festivities. We have seen it work out very well where the groom, the groom’s family, and groomsmen all share one Villa, and the bride, the bride’s family, and the bridesmaids share another. That way, they each have separate but close getting ready spaces.
The Villa Grande
The Villa Grande is a Tuscan inspired event facility nestled near the back of the property with a 1920 square foot ballroom featuring stucco walls, carpeted floors, and rustic chandeliers. There is a large atrium area with soft seating, mezzanine, and a fireplace. There is also an outdoor partially covered veranda which connects the Villa Grande to the nearby Villas. Unlike the Pavillion, the Villa Grande is available year-round for receptions up to 120 guests with both indoor and outdoor spaces for ceremonies and cocktail hour. The Villa Grande also serves as a central hub and lobby for the nearby Villas.
Located right next to the Villa Grande and The Villas is The Conservatory; an elegant, beautifully made greenhouse that can accomodate smaller wedding ceremonies of up to 40 guests. Potted plants and lush greenery are maintained year-round and the Tuscan inspired construction materials and rustic wrought iron chandellier add to the ambience.
The Vineyard and Surrounding Grounds
The vineyard and the grounds around and nearby have provided a wealth of wedding day portrait options for us in the past. We have shot at Gervasi a number of times and I feel like we’ve never shot it the same way twice. The vines have matured and filled out in the last year or two and I think they will continue to look better and better as they develop. There is also a beautiful apple orchard that we have used in the past to great effect. All of these options have meant that we have never had to leave the property with the bridal party to get the variety and quality of wedding day portraits that we want to create for our clients.
Ceremonies at Gervasi
So far, all of the ceremonies that we have seen at Gervasi have taken place behind the pavilion near the lake. Some under the giant oak tree, and some by the stone arch. Both work equally well but the shade of the tree can be nice if you feel like the heat of the day will be working against you. It’s something that your guests might really appreciate. My favorite so far has to be the spiral aisle that Robert and Marie did for their ceremony under the oak tree.
Cocktail Hour and Receptions
To date, all of the wedding receptions that we have shot at Gervasi have taken place at the pavilion; an open-air structure near the lake. It’s a beautifully rustic setting with plenty of room for tables and an ample dance floor. Cocktail hour often takes place in the lawn near the pavilion which works out well for an easy flow from cocktail hour to reception.
If you would like to get even more detailed information such as menus and pricing, you can find a lot of it on Gervasi’s wedding planning website. If you talk to them, be sure to tell them we said hi!