Destination: Fun!

Need a place to get hitched? Scenery, ambiance, and adventure come with the territory at these New England spots.


new england wedding venues

BARN RAISING: Elevating the “rustic” theme at Gedney Farm; Photograph by Eric Limon.

Nearly two centuries ago, when malodorous city streets sent Bostonians and New Yorkers scurrying for the hills every summer, the moneyed crowd decamped to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. Rural hamlets like Lenox and Stockbridge were the upper echelon of vacation destinations; literati like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, and Herman Melville all came and left behind a legacy of art and cultural offerings. Today, the area remains deeply rooted in its past, and only recently has begun ambling toward modernity. (Cell reception is spotty at best, and most villages still work with dial-up.) While the landscape retains a rural mien, the quality and number of restaurants and accommodations have surged, giving brides both visual splendor and first-class amenities.

new england wedding venues

Blantyre’s ivy-covered exterior.

Those who want a little opulence with their “I do”s have plenty of options, like the five-star Blantyre (413-637-3556,, a “country house” with luxurious extras like soaking tubs, his-and-hers bathrooms, and a 19,000-bottle wine cellar. But while the Berkshires used to be a playground for the wealthy, some of the best wedding venues in the area are now the simplest. True to its founders’ spartan lifestyle, the Hancock Shaker Village sets a fuss-free tone; laid-back brides love getting married in its round stone barn (413-443-0188, Likewise, the vibe at Gedney Farm is decidedly pastoral (413-229-3131,

new england wedding venues

The old stone barn at Hancock Shaker Village.

For couples who choose to hold outdoor weddings, the Berkshires has plenty of great lawns to go around. And the area caters well to a mix of personalities: Outdoor types can send their guests up Monument Mountain (413-298-3239, or kayaking on the Housatonic River. Foodie pairs can set up cheese tastings at Rubiners in Great Barrington (413-528-0488), roam the county’s farmers’ markets, or book a few tables at Bizen for some of New England’s best sushi (413-528-4343). Art lovers will enjoy Mass MoCA (413-662-2111,—the largest contemporary-art space in the country—the Clark Art Institute (413-458-2303,, and the Norman Rockwell Museum (413-298-4100, Surrounded by all this culture, newlyweds might decide to stay in the Hills forever.

– Sascha de Gersdorff