Lower Cape Cod
Less crowded than Martha’s Vineyard and more relaxed than Nantucket, Cape Cod is an unparalleled spot for a casual-chic beach wedding. With nearly 600 miles of coastline and dozens of camera-ready seaside towns, the curving Massachusetts peninsula is arguably New England at its best. Couples looking for the quintessential Cape nuptials—those set near summer homes with wraparound porches, sandy paths lined with beach plum roses, and pedestrian-friendly villages—should follow Route 6 down to the towns of Chatham, Harwich, Brewster, and Orleans.
Yes, the area is home to gigantic estates and manicured golf courses, but it’s still unfussy enough to welcome barefoot brides. Of the beachfront options, the Chatham Bars Inn is the grandest (508-945-0096, chathambarsinn.com). The 200-plus-room resort offers various spots to get hitched, from a quarter-mile-long private beach to a formal main dining room to the open-air Beach House Grill. Also in Chatham, the 84-year-old Wequassett Resort & Golf Club (508-432-5400, wequassett.com), a 22-building luxury retreat, hosts ceremonies on its tidy Pleasant Bay–facing lawn. Many a wedding party has been known to trade its finery for flip-flops and sidle up to the bar at the Chatham Squire for postreception reveling (508-945-0942, thesquire.com).
The vibe is just as cool in Brewster, where the early 1900s Nickerson Mansion at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club sits atop a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay (508-896-9000, oceanedge.com). The hotel has a new wedding-worthy 5,000-square-foot ballroom, as well as a rooftop terrace for cocktail parties.
Finally, if you’re not the resort type, there are plenty of private ceremony spaces to be rented. Indeed, it’s common to see brides and grooms departing by boat from the Wychmere Harbor Club (508-432-1000, wychmereharbor.com), one of the Cape’s oldest private clubs, in Harwich Port.
– Julie Suratt