New Hampshire’s White Mountains exemplify an iconic New England scene: grand resorts set against a rugged, granite backdrop. Couples who embrace this high-low dichotomy can kick off a wedding weekend by hiking the White Mountain National Forest (603-528-8721, fs.fed.us/r9/white) or skiing Loon or Cannon mountains (603-745-8111, loonmtn.com; 603-823-7771, cannonmt.com)—before swapping their Patagonias for silk gowns and tuxedos (after a deep tissue massage at a local spa, of course).
Many of the area’s sprawling old hotels—complete with swimming pools, ballrooms, and interconnected suites—haven’t survived Americans’ changing tastes, but one exception is the Mount Washington Resort (603-278-1000, mountwashingtonresort.com), which recently underwent a -multimillion-dollar redo. It now offers posh accommodations, a new spa big enough to host the whole wedding party, wide porches, and unbeatable views of the Presidential Range. The just-as-regal Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa also caters to all-inclusive affairs with its ballrooms, terraces, and promenades (603-837-2100, mountainviewgrand.com). The more intimate Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa has rooms overlooking Mt. Washington, plus exceptional food, hot tubs, and proximity to the quaint village of Jackson (603-383-4242, innatthornhill.com).
Thanks to the region’s unpredictable weather, a nature show will undoubtedly augment your celebration. One memorable wedding a few years back began on a 60-degree Friday in October; on Sunday morning, guests stepped out into three feet of snow. Hopefully, they had prebooked brunch at The Birches at Whitney’s Inn (603-383-8916, whitneysinn.com)—its luxe ski lodge atmosphere (think fireplaces and snowshoe sconces) makes for a perfect last morning of low-key White Mountains hospitality.
– Rachel Levitt