From sprawling lakes to rustic rivers, New England's gorgeous waterways are the perfect wedding backdrop.
Equinox Resort & Spa
Manchester Village, Vermont
Can’t decide between a waterfront or mountain-side celebration? At Equinox Resort & Spa, you can have both. Say “I do” outside the Pond Pavilion, a charming venue that offers serene water vistas and views of Vermont’s Green Mountains for up to 120 seated guests. It’s not all bucolic here, though: The 244-year-old hotel recently unveiled a multimillion-dollar makeover featuring 30 renovated town-houses—and with on-site amenities like the Land Rover Experience Driving School and a cushy spa (think: ultra-hydrating pedicures and white-clay body masks), you and your bridal party will definitely want to make a weekend out of it.
3567 Main St. (Rte. 7a), 800-362-4747, equinoxresort.com.
Photos courtesy of Equinox Resort & Spa
French’s Point Private Estate
Stockton Springs, Maine
Drive north, north, and even farther north until you reach this secluded coastal manse, located on a Penobscot Bay peninsula. With an organic garden, private beach, and acres of sweet roses, this is the locale for nature-loving couples. It’s also a versatile property, accommodating weddings both large and small (up to 300 and as few as 30 guests). For stunning big-day photos, take a romantic stroll down Bluff Path, which meanders along the shoreline. Just don’t spend too long kicking back in the Adirondack chairs—you do have a party to get to, after all.
Hersey Retreat Road, 207-567-3650, fpmaine.com.
Photos by Emilie Inc. Photography
Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
Ocean spray, salty air, flapping sails—it doesn’t get any more nautical than a summer wedding aboard a Liberty Tall Ship. Choose between two fabulous vessels: the Liberty Clipper, a 125-foot-tall schooner with room for 110 guests; and the Liberty Star, a sleek 67-foot-tall ship that can fit up to 39 revelers. Keep the seafaring theme going with menu options like a catered clambake, and photos of the bride and groom at the steering wheel. Of course, no reception would be complete without music, and both vessels can accommodate DJs and small bands to keep the floating party going after sunset. May we suggest boat shoes for boogying down?
67 Long Wharf, 617-742-0333, libertyfleet.com.
Photos by Steph Stevens Photography
Take in the wild, undulating landscape of Jetties Beach, and you’ll start to feel like you have the storied island of Nantucket all to yourself. Really, that isn’t too far-fetched: The beach’s vast, unblemished landscape can accommodate an unlimited number of guests, as well as a very long wedding aisle (perfect for your grand entrance). After taking in a mesmerizing ocean sunset during the ceremony, gather for cocktail hour and dinner in an elegant marquee tent right on the sand—or go more casual on the covered terrace of the laid-back Jetties restaurant, where up to 175 guests (140 seated) can be hosted. And if you’re looking for a truly beachy vibe, treat family and friends to the Jetties’ authentic New England clambake.
4 Bathing Beach Rd., 508-228-2279, thejetties.com.
Photos by Zofia & Co. Photography
New England Aquarium
Host an under-the-sea reception—sans flippers, of course—at this Boston institution. You and your guests will get face time with penguins and enjoy unlimited access to the aquarium’s main exhibit gallery, featuring a 200,000-gallon tank filled with sharks, sea turtles, and other creatures (the attraction is currently undergoing a top-to-bottom renovation that will be completed in early summer). When it’s time for dinner, tuck into sustainable seafood on the picturesque Harbor View Terrace, which can accommodate up to 300 for a seated dinner and 500 for a cocktail reception. And since the venue fee helps fund environmental education and research projects around the world, you’ll have even more to feel good about on your big day.
One Central Wharf, 617-973-5205, neaq.org.
Photos by Footprint Images
If your heart is set on a rustic wedding, look no further than Riverside Farm, which boasts a sprawling wonderland of hills and dells alongside the Tweed River. Host your event in the turn-of-the-century post-and-beam Red Barn (with room for 130 seated or 200 standing guests); the massive Stonewell Barn, attached to a covered bridge (with room for 200 or more guests); or the property’s 40-acre meadow, which can fit 500 guests and features a “Kissing Tree” that overlooks the Green Mountains. Adventurous revelers can enjoy day-after whitewater rafting or tubing trips, while landlubbers can take on the state’s famed cheese trail—Plymouth Artisan and Crowley cheesemakers are both nearby.
57 Tweed River Dr., 877-746-8822, riversidefarmweddings.com.
Photos by Cronin Hill Photography
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Situated on a private beach on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, the Wolfeboro Inn pulls out all the stops for celebrations. Start things off right by booking a private rehearsal-dinner cruise aboard the Winnipesaukee Belle, the resident 65-foot paddlewheel boat. The next day, hold your ceremony at the property’s lakeside gazebo, surrounded by blooming gardens in the shadow of the Belknap Mountains, before savoring contemporary fare from executive chef Hoke Wilson, a Rainbow Room alum, at your reception. Which, by the way, will be perfect in any of Wolfeboro’s three dramatic venues: the 1812 Room overlooking the water (up to 70 guests), the fireplace-adorned Winnipesaukee Ballroom (up to 155 guests), or a glamorous tent pitched on the manicured lawn (up to 220 guests).
90 N. Main St., 603-569-3016, wolfeboroinn.com.
Photos by Dreamlove Photography
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/12/wedding-reception-venues-by-water/