With its storybook setting of village greens, white spired churches, and lush woodlands, the Litchfield Hills region of Connecticut could be considered the Platonic ideal of a rustic wedding locale. “You feel as though you’ve walked back in time,” says event planner and floral designer Sarah Worden, of Litchfield’s Sarah Worden Natural Design, “into a place…that’s defined by its history and the landscape.”
Take, for example, the Hangar at Candlelight Farms, in New Milford. For years, the hangar on the grounds housed the prop planes that still take off from a grass-strip airport adjacent to the property. Now that the space will be available for weddings beginning in May, the sky, quite literally, is the limit, from a dramatic landing by the bride on the helipad to a dance party near the runway.
Another oasis of tranquility and whimsy is Morris’ Winvian Farm, a 113-acre resort featuring stone walls, wildflower meadows, and vast lawns perfect for a tented reception. At the center of this fairy-tale playground stands the restored 19th-century Gordon Brown House, where revelers can dine on chef Chris Eddy’s farm-to-table cuisine before tripping the light fantastic all night long.
For those who prefer a more down-to-earth experience, there’s Morris’ South Farms, with its open pastures, gently rolling hills, and pink sunsets. But it’s the 20,000-square-foot White Barn, one-quarter of which was meticulously converted into an event space by cofounder Benjamin Paletsky, that sets the venue apart. Rustic and warm, it offers a blank canvas on which to create an experience all your own.
The Hangar at Candlelight Farms
214 Candlewood Mountain Rd., New Milford, CT, 860-210-0594, candlelightfarmsinn.com/the-hangar.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 140 seated
155 Alain White Rd., Morris, CT, 860-567-9600, winvian.com.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 500 (for tented events)
PRICE: Upon request
21 Higbie Rd., Morris, CT, 860-567-9847, southfarms.org.
HEAD COUNT: Up to 200
PRICE: Starting at $5,000
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Sarah Worden, Sarah Worden Natural Design
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Chop, stir, and trade gossip with your besties inside the homey kitchen at the Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm, which offers tasty classes in everything from Italian to Indian cuisine.
Situated on Salisbury’s village green, the White Hart (pictured) recently reopened to rave reviews thanks to its well-appointed rooms, some of which come with fireplaces and soaking tubs. The Mayflower Grace’s antique four-poster beds and 20,000-square-foot spa, meanwhile, blend old-school charm with new-world luxury.
The Litchfield Saltwater Grille serves up five customized courses paired with co-owner Brook Noel’s hand-selected wines. Noel’s favorite part: “how many couples return to celebrate their anniversary with us.”
The retrofitted AmandaBakes airstream trailer (pictured) serves up green-tea sugar cookies, sea-salt-caramel rocky-road brownies, and other tantalizing treats. And chilly days are no match for Torrington’s Tents Unlimited, which can truck in emergency propane heaters to keep guests cozy.
Naturally sweeten guests’ memories of your special day with small bottles of pure maple syrup from local favorite Brookside Farm, in Litchfield.
Consider the Mini-Moon
Nestled high up in the canopy, Winvian Farm’s fanciful Treehouse cottage offers such luxe amenities as a Jacuzzi and steam shower, two fireplaces, and endless privacy. Unwind with a couples’ massage at the resort’s spa (pictured); an antiques-hunting expedition in nearby Woodbury; or a romp around the White Memorial Conservation Center, a 4,000-acre arcadian enclave of unspoiled forest, ponds, and 35 miles of hiking trails. Finish the evening at the low-key Arethusa al Tavolo, the go-to place for epicurean-minded locals as well as peripatetic foodies. Among the reasons: a fresh-baked cookie and complimentary shot of milk (straight from the next-door dairy) for dessert.
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