From the ocean cliffs of Maine to the pristine beaches of Nantucket, these coastal destinations offer sand, surf, and idyllic “I do” backdrops.
By Julie Suratt
With its cobblestone streets, white picket fences, and gray-shingled homes accented by vibrant blue hydrangea, the Vineyard is charming without veering toward twee. Its folk are instantly warm and welcoming—the locale otherworldly. Although it’s a mere 45 minutes from the mainland, it feels decades removed. The Vineyard plays host to as many as 30 weddings every weekend throughout the summer. Is that reason enough to get married there? No, but it proves two things: There’s got to be something pretty special about the island to draw that many couples, and, more importantly, you need to book well in advance.
Accommodations: Harbor View Hotel & Resort, Edgartown, 508-627-7000, harborview.com
Rehearsal dinners: The Grange Hall, West Tisbury, 508-627-4440, mvpreservation.org; Black Dog Tall Ships, 508-693-1699, blackdogtallships.com
Ceremony spots: The Old Whaling Church, Edgartown, 508-627-4440, mvpreservation.org; on the beach (contact the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce for permit information, 508-693-0085, mvy.com)
Reception sites: Lambert’s Cove Inn, West Tisbury, 508-693-2298, lambertscoveinn.com; Beach Plum Inn, Menemsha, 508-645-9454, beachpluminn.com; Dr. Daniel Fisher House (see caption below)
After-party: Outerland, Edgartown, 508-693-1137, outerlandmv.com
Honeymoon night: Charlotte Inn, Edgartown, 508-627-4751
Band: Beetlebung Steel Band, 508-627-3786
Bridal boutique: Tulle, 508-687-9039, tullebride.com
Bridal party gifts: C. B. Stark, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, 888-227-8275, cbstark.com
Caterer: Fella Caters Catering, Clambakes & Event Design, 508-693-1572, fellacaters.com
Cake: Cakes by Liz, 508-696-8444, cakesbyliz.com
DJ: The Sound Choice, 508-693-3266
Florist: Flowers by Donaroma, 508-627-8366, donaromas.com
Hairstylist: Maggie’s Salon on Martha’s Vineyard, Vineyard Haven, 508-693-2875, maggiessalon.com
Makeup: Makeup Artistry by Patrice, Edgartown, 508-627-5755
Photographer: Nicole Friedler, 508-696-4890, friedlerphotography.com
Tent: Tilton Tents, 508-693-9173
Wedding planner: Lynne Buckmaster-Irwin, 508-696-7658, vineyardweddings.com
A weatherproof tent artfully transforms the yard at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House in the village of Edgartown. Built in 1840, the house is considered one of the finest examples of Federalist architecture on the island. Edgartown, 508-627-4440, mvpreservation.org.
To plan a destination wedding in Nantucket, go on to the next page…
By Julie Suratt
Photos by Claudia Kronenberg.
Tying the knot on tony Nantucket is not an inexpensive undertaking. Yet it’s hard to find a more idyllic spot to host a weekend wedding getaway. Your guests don’t need cars, and island life cultivates a camaraderie you don’t always find at city weddings. Although the high-speed ferries zip there in an hour, it still feels remote—especially during what locals call “shoulder season” (spring and fall). September on Nantucket is especially lovely: Days are warm, evenings are cool, flowers abound, and blue skies are endless.
Rehearsal dinners: Small groups: Company of the Cauldron, 508-228-4016, companyofthecauldron.com; Galley Beach restaurant, 508-228-9641. Large groups: Straight Wharf, 508-228-4499, straightwharfrestaurant.com
Ceremony spots: Brant Point lighthouse, 508-228-0388
Reception sites: The Jetties, 508-228-2279, thejettiesnantucket.com; the Wauwinet (see caption below); Whaling Museum, 508-228-1894, nha.org
Honeymoon: The White Elephant, 508-228-2500, whiteelephanthotel.com
Band: The Sultans of Swing, 508-627-3746, thesultansofswing.com
Cake: Lasting Impressions, 508-228-4545, jodiscakes.com
Caterer: Simply with Style Catering, 508-228-6248, simplywithstyle.com; A Taste of Nantucket, 508-228-9200, atasteofnantucket.com
Event/floral design: Soirée Floral, 508-257-6222, soireefloral.com
Favors: Cisco Brewers custom-labeled lager, 508-325-5929, ciscobrewers.com
DJ: DJ Fizzle, 508-558-2737, ackdj.com
Florist: Flowers on Chestnut, 508-228-6007, flowersonchestnut.com
Hair & makeup: Tresses & the Day Spa, 508-228-0024, nantucketspa.com
Photographer: Claudia Kronenberg, 508-228-1218, claudiak.com; Cary Hazlegrove, 508-257-9691, hazlegrove.com
Wedding planner: ACKtivities, 508-228-6648, acktivities.com
Photos from top: The Wauwinet’s 35 guest rooms, cottages, and grounds become a private retreat for just two wedding parties a year. 508-228-0145, wauwinet.co
m. Guests staying at the Boat Basin are literally on the water. 508-325-1499, thecottagesnantucket.com. Have your ceremony on the beach at Brant Point Lighthouse. A tent at the Wauwinet.
To start planning a destination wedding in York, Maine, go on to the next page…
By Jamie Bellavance
Photos by Patrick McNamara
Among the many awe-inspiring spots for ceremonies in York are the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse, the peak of Mt. Agamenticus, and the ocean cliffs at Hartley-Mason Reserve Seaside Park. York also boasts three beaches; Victorian B & Bs; and a cute downtown with decidedly non-chain shops, an old-fashioned soda fountain—even a zoo (perfect for wedding guests with kids). The summer is an especially popular season for York weddings, yet fall—when leaves are riotous and there’s a crisp tinge to the salty air—also woos many a bride.
Accommodations: York Harbor Inn, 800-343-3869, yorkharborinn.com
Rehearsal dinner: Foster’s Clambake, York Harbor, 207-363-3255, fostersclambake.com
Ceremony spots: Trinity Summer Chapel, York Harbor, 207-363-5095, stgeorgesyorkharbor.org
Reception sites: York Harbor Reading Room (see caption below); The Dock-
side Guest Quarters & Restaurant, York Harbor, 207-363-2868, docksidegq.com; York Harbor Inn, York Harbor, 800-343-3869, yorkharborinn.com
Honeymoon night: Chapman Cottage, York Harbor, 877-363-2059, chapman
Cocktail hour musicians: Lynne White McMahon, strings, 207-363-7403; Rob Spaulding, jazz piano, 207-967-0512
DJ: Fred Pappalardo Disc Jockeys, 207-363-4018, djfredp.com
Florist: Blooms Floral Artistry, 603-953-3881, bloomsfloralartistry.com
Hair & Makeup: Deborah LaPointe of Lastlooks, York Beach, 207-337-5363
Photographer: Patrick McNamara, 207-363-8474, mcnamaraphoto.com
Photos from top: Waves crash just below the deck of the York Harbor Reading Room, perched on ocean cliffs and surrounded by wild rose bushes. York Harbor, 207-363-2563 (summer), 207-363-2140 (winter), yorkharborreading.com. Shuttle your bridal party back and forth in an old-fashioned trolley. York Trolley Company, 207-748-3030, yorktrolley.com. When it’s time to cut into a ConfectionArt cake, there’s a collective gasp throughout the room, reports wedding photographer Patrick McNamara. “It’s as if you’re about to destroy a piece of art,” he says. ConfectionArt, 207-363-1440, confectionart.com.
Salt-water taffy from Goldenrod’s, a local old-fashioned soda fountain and penny candy shop, says “York” like Ghirardelli says “San Fran.” Wrap up these confections with ribbon for favors or leave a stash in guests’ hotel rooms.
The Goldenrod, 2 Railroad Ave., York Beach, 207-363-2621, thegoldenrod.com.
To plan a destination wedding in Bristol, Rhode Island, go on to the next page…
By Tamara Wieder
Blithewold photo by The Bristol Workshops in Photography
There’s more to Bristol than its proud billing as the most patriotic town in America. Think stately mansions, historic museums, quaint shops and restaurants, and stunning views of Narragansett Bay nearly everywhere you look (the perfect backdrop for photos). For couples looking to wed, Bristol offers the best of both worlds: small-town charm and proximity to larger tourist destinations nearby such as Newport and Providence—so there’s a dizzying array of options for guests, from sporting to lodging, culinary to cultural.
Accommodations: Point Pleasant Inn, 800-503-0627, pointpleasantinn.com
Rehearsal dinner: DeWolf Tavern, 401-254-2005, dewolftavern.com
Ceremony/reception site: Blithewold Mansion (see caption below)
Honeymoon night: The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport, 866-793-5664, thechanler.com
Cake: The Cake Gallery, 401-254-1911, thecakegalleryri.net
Event design: Sayles Livingston, 401-653-9300, sayleslivingstonflowers.com
Florist: Stoneblossom Floral & Wedding Design (see caption below)
Hairstylist: New Leaf Hair Studio, 401-254-9333, newleafhairstudio.com
Lighting: Ormonde Productions, 401-453-6200, ormondeproductions.com
Photographer: Bristol Workshops in Photography, 401-253-2351, bristolworkshops.com
Videographer: Video Unlimited Productions, Cranston, 401-943-2299, newportwedding.com
Wedding planner: Excelebrations, 888-377-5731, excelebrations.com
Photos from top: It’s hard to find a more beautiful reception area than Blithewold, with its grand 19th-century mansion, lush gardens, elegant on-site tent, and 10-acre lawn sweeping down to the Narragansett Bay. Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, 401-253-2707, blithewold.org. When is a florist more than a florist? When the aforementioned florist–Stoneblossom–does your flowers and plays interior designer for your wedding, plus creates your invitations and puts together welcome bags for your guests. Stoneblossom Floral & Wedding Design, East Greenwich, 401-884-3220, stoneblossom.com.
Weddings are no passing fancy for Fine Catering by Russell Morin. They’ve been a family-owned business since 1911, when the owner’s grandfather, J.B. Morin, used to drop food in the lunch pails that jewelry workers in a nearby factory would lower from their windows.
Newport, 888-552-7822. morins.com.
To plan a destination wedding in Chatham, go on to the next page…
By Sascha de Gersdorff
Less bustling than Falmouth, prettier than Sandwich, and classier than P-town, Chatham sits on Cape Cod’s picture-perfect elbow. On the shore, the historic Chatham Lighthouse looks out over Nauset Beach, while inland, hedges shield weathered summer homes, and ponds are dotted with fishing boats. But it’s the stellar shops, eateries, and hotels that set Chatham apart from other Cape towns. Its main street is lined with white steepled churches, but those wanting a beach wedding should book the grande dame of Cape resorts, the Chatham Bars Inn.
Accommodations: Chatham Bars Inn (see caption below); Cranberry Inn, 508-945-9232, cranberryinn.com
Rehearsal dinners: Wequassett Resort & Golf Club, Chatham, 508-432-5400, wequassett.com
Ceremony spots: Chatham Bars Inn; First Congregational Church of Chatham, 508-945-0800, chathamcongregational.org
Reception sites: Beach House Grill at the Chatham Bars Inn
After-party: Chatham Squire, 508-945-1111, thesquire.com
Band: The Cape Cod Slackers, 508-362-8656, slackersatwork.net; White Heat Swing Orchestra, 617-354-7213, havetodance.com/whiteheat
Cake: Delicious Desserts, 508-540-3352, deliciousdesserts.net
DJ: DJ Danny Walsh, 508-394-5504, djdannywalsh.com
Florist: Clementine Florals, 508-413-2481, clementinefloralstudio.com; Le Jardin Blanc, 508-485-8445, lejardinblanc.com
Hairstylist: Bridal Hair Professionals, 508-430-1092; Christine Sweeney-Melton, 508-548-3015
Makeup: Lisa George, 508-790-7235, lisageorge.com
Photographers: Vince DeWitt, 508-432-2526, vincedewittphoto.com; Kristin Spencer, 401-617-5962, kristinspencer.com
Tent: Under Cover Tent, 800-439-8368, undercovertent.com
Photos from top: The sprawling Beach House Grill has polished wood floors and ceiling fans made from real sails. Its indoor-outdoor seating and prompt service set the scene for a seaside reception. Chatham Bars Inn, Shore Road, Chatham, 508-945-0096, chathambarsinn.com. Locals and tourists mix at the Squire, where many a wedding party has celebrated well into the night. There’s even a blue-tiled “dog bar” outside for Fido. Chatham Squire, 508-945-1111, the squire.com.
When wedding guests find Candy Manor treats in their welcome bags, the goodies don’t last long. We suggest the peanut butter fudge nuggets. Chatham Candy Manor, 508-945-0825, candymanor.com. Terms like “basketweave,” “pearls and scrolls,” and “Swiss dots” are par for the course at Delicious Desserts. The bakery offers more than three dozen types of wedding cakes—tiered, flat, colorful, jeweled—all of which are, well, delicious. Delicious Desserts, 508-540-3352, deliciousdesserts.net.