Classic Coordinates

By A. J. Downey | Boston Weddings |

Outdoor Opulence: Greenvale Vineyards

Porstmouth, Rhode Island
If your dream wedding is Napa in New England, be sure to check out Aquidneck Island’s Greenvale Vineyards, a family-run farm that bottles nearly 4,000 cases of estate-grown wine every year. The tent site is in the middle of all the grapey glory — more specifically, right between the pinot gris and Cayuga vines — and the tasting room, a gorgeously restored stable that seats up to 50 guests, is a memorable space for cocktail hours and rehearsal dinners. Greenvale always pours its white wines at events, but also offers a few red varietals, like cabernet franc and a Meritage blend. And since the venue is just five miles north of Newport, finding nearby accommodations for guests will be a cinch. >> 582 Wapping Rd, 401-847-3777, Photo by Zenobia Photography Studios.


Seaside Scenery: Wequassett Resort and Golf Club

Chatham, Massachusetts
A waterfront celebration — be it a relaxed clambake or seafood sit-down — is the classic choice for a New England wedding. So who does it justice? Chatham’s Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, for one. Couples can exchange vows on a lush croquet lawn overlooking sailboat-dotted Pleasant Bay, then stroll through English-style gardens to a canopied terrace for cocktail hour — and more amazing views. The terrace also works for a more-casual dinner; the nearby Grand Pavilion, meanwhile, hosts receptions complete with award-winning cuisine, magnificent chandeliers, and a wraparound farmer’s porch that catches salty breezes off the Atlantic. When it’s time to bid adieu, newlyweds can depart on a boat cruise for an unforgettable exit. >> Pleasant Bay, 508-432-5400, Photo courtesy of Wequassett Resort and Golf Club.

Artsy Charm: DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Lincoln, Massachusetts
Looking to make a bold statement with your venue? The contemporary setting at DeCordova should do the trick. For the most creative wedding day stills, stroll through the sculpture park and pose among some 65 interpretive pieces stationed across 35 acres. (A must-have shot is with the two 12-foot freestanding bronze hearts by artist Jim Dine.) Inside the museum’s ivy-covered brick walls is the ultramodern Dewey Gallery, perfect for dinner and dancing. The Rappaport Roof Terrace on the sixth floor offers guests a sweeping view of Flint’s Pond and the sculpture park, and is ideal for an al fresco ceremony or cocktail hour. >> 51 Sandy Pond Rd., 781-259-3661, Photo by Jo Cush.


Historical Sights: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum

Bristol, Rhode Island
When it comes to mansions, Newport gets all of the attention. But just 15 miles north is Blithewold, a century-old English Country–style manor on Narragansett Bay. The only thing more stately than the 45-room manse are the surrounding grounds: Picture-perfect backdrops include rose gardens, bamboo groves, and a 90-foot sequoia, just one of the 50 tree species on the property. Most ceremonies are conducted in the North Garden, framed by bubbling fountains and low stone walls; cocktail hour can be spent on covered porches or the terrace, where guests will be treated to glorious sunsets and — if you’re lucky — sailboat races. Receptions are usually held in the elegant white tent with views of the Great Lawn and the bay. >> 101 Ferry Rd., 401-253-2707, Photo by Snap Photography.


Grand Ambitions: The Fairmont Copley Plaza

Boston, Massachusetts
A breathtaking ballroom has been the fairy-tale setting for many a modern wedding. With multiple crystal chandeliers, 30-foot coffered ceilings, balconies, and gilded columns, the Grand Ballroom at the Fairmont Copley Plaza looks like it was transplanted from Versailles: Even with 450 guests the regal space has room for a large stage and dance floor. The royal treatment continues with customized menus, white-glove service, a first-rate downtown location, and 383 lavish guest rooms and suites. Looking for something a tad smaller? Fairmont’s three additional ballrooms, the Oval, St. James, and Venetian, are just as formal but more intimate in size. >> 138 St. James Ave., 617-267-5300, Photo by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.


Industrial Appeal: Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation

Waltham, Massachusetts
Nearly 200 years after its construction, America’s first modern factory still stands on the banks of the Charles River in Waltham — and it’s perfect for unique nuptials. There’s an industrial flavor to this 19th-century textile mill: 50-foot ceilings, arched windows, period-style lighting, and exposed-brick walls. Couples can wed just across the wooden footbridge in Landry Park, then invite guests to the museum’s main exhibit area to nosh on hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while enjoying a healthy dose of Americana (thanks to the displays of modern-age inventions like telephones and fire engines). Move upstairs to the Jackson Room for dinner, river views, and music courtesy of a baby grand piano, and you’ll understand why this diamond in the rough earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. >> 154 Moody St., 781-893-5410, Photo by Heather Parker.


Rustic Retreat: Round Barn Farm

Waitsfield, Vermont
When it comes to rural weddings, nothing can top the Vermont countryside’s rolling farmland. Tucked into the Mad River Valley is the majestic Round Barn Farm, home to 245 acres of meadows, mountains, fields, and ponds. Recite your vows in front of the weeping willows before moving to the heart of the property, a century-old former dairy barn that’s been fully restored to accommodate receptions for up to 200 guests. Bonus: Round Barn’s gourmet fare is made with produce from the organic gardens outside. >> 1661 E. Warren Rd., 802-496-2276, Photo by Round Barn Farm.


Gorgeous Gardens: Glen Magna Farms

Danvers, Massachusetts
The manicured grounds at Glen Magna Farms are such a verdant oasis that it’s hard to believe the 11-acre estate is less than a mile from major highways. The horticultural highlights: hundreds of heirloom roses, a wisteria-covered pergola that doubles as an altar, and a massive weeping beech tree on “Lover’s Lane” that provides a vast canopy for photo backdrops. Depending on the guest count, ceremonies and receptions can either be held on the lawn or inside the 19th-century Colonial mansion. Either way, you’ll enjoy access to the first floor’s veranda, parlor, and drawing and dining rooms. >> Ingersoll St., 978-774-9165, Photo by Wynne and Mintz Photography.


Bird’s-Eye Views: Taj Boston

Boston, Massachusetts
You’ll already feel on top of the world on the big day, but the glassed-in space on the 17th floor of the Taj Boston will take your wedding to even greater heights. This swanky spot atop the former Ritz-Carlton has hosted galas under the stars for decades, including private performances during the Big Band era. Nowadays, couples work with the Taj’s expert planners to transform the 3,400-square-foot room (open April through November) into something all their own. After taking in views of the Public Garden and Hub skyline, prepare yourself for even more fabulous city lights: This venue also makes honeymoon arrangements at select Taj hotels, from San Francisco to Dubai. >> 15 Arlington St., 617-536-5700, Photo by Taj Boston


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