by Brittany Jasnoff | January 12, 2016 3:34 am
Every October, the hills of Berkshire County erupt in a symphony of red, orange, and yellow, casting the region in a warm glow. It’s this scenery—coupled with the unrivaled collection of festive barns, Gilded Age mansions, and plush inns and resorts—that make a Berkshires wedding unforgettable. “There’s just something magical about these rolling hills, these storybook forests,” says planner Tara Consolati, who runs the Berkshire Wedding Collective, a consortium of local vendors. “Every nook and cranny of our region is steeped in history and culture.” Take, for example, North Adams’ Mass MoCA, a 19th-century factory complex turned contemporary-art museum. Want to tie the knot in front of a 114-foot-long Clifford Ross photograph? Or perhaps a maze of Sol LeWitt murals? The building’s rotating exhibition galleries are your oyster.
If it’s nature you want on display, recite your vows in the gardens of Hancock Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark complete with cocktail-hour hayrides and a showstopping round stone barn that can be transformed for weddings. Or simply spend the whole weekend savoring the great outdoors: The new Lake House Guest Cottages of the Berkshires can host your reception and all of your friends and family, with four cottages that sleep up to 35. The property’s centerpiece is the 4,000-square-foot lodge, which overlooks Pontoosuc Lake and boasts a stone-framed patio for ceremonies and a covered wraparound deck with a fireplace. Because rain or shine, a Berkshires tableau is always showstopping.
1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, 413-662-2111, massmoca.org.
HEAD COUNT: 200-plus
PRICE: Starting at $5,500 (plus membership fee)
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield, 413-443-0188, hancockshakervillage.org.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 200
PRICE: Starting at $5,000 (for event tent)
The Lake House Guest Cottages of the Berkshires
636 S. Main St., Lanesborough, 413-446-1423, berkshirelakehouse.com.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 175
PRICE: Starting at $12,400 (for a two-night buyout)
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Tara Consolati, Tara Consolati Creative
• • •
Round up your guys and gals for some prewedding pampering at the Cranwell, a castlelike resort in Lenox with a 35,000-square-foot spa and fitness facility and an 18-hole, par-69 golf course.
Vintage meets modern at downtown Pittsfield’s new Hotel on North, where chic starburst fixtures, an old-school birdcage elevator, and plenty of locally made furniture are on display.
Give your bridal party the presidential treatment with a meal at the Kemble Inn’s Table Six, where chef Ron Reda—who served as kitchen supervisor in the Clinton White House—serves up elevated comfort food (pork tenderloin with bacon-and-onion-roasted Brussels sprouts; seared scallops with sage polenta) in two elegant dining rooms and on the veranda.
Caterer Heirloom Fire lights up receptions with mouthwatering mains like Hudson Valley duck and whole-roasted heritage pig with grilled peaches, all cooked over an open flame.
Toast friends and family with six-packs of bottled G & Ts from Berkshire Mountain Distillers (pictured), which crafts small-batch gin, vodka, rum, and bourbon in its Great Barrington facility. Or give guests a taste of the area with Berkshire Treats gift baskets, packed with locally made biscotti, chocolate, coffee, and more.
Consider the Mini-Moon
Designed to look like a 16th-century Florentine palazzo, Lenox’s Wheatleigh (pictured above) is fit for royalty: Its two-story Aviary suite boasts a glass-enclosed staircase and private covered terrace. When you’re not tucking into cured king salmon and hot foie gras in the hotel’s five-star dining room, stop by Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar, a romantic Mediterranean spot that skews local and organic.
Burn off the calories with a hike to Bash Bish Falls (pictured above), the Bay State’s highest single-drop waterfall, or flex your creative muscles with a summertime concert on the lawn at Tanglewood (pictured below).
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