Three Stunning North Shore Wedding Venues
Quaint fishing towns, pastoral fields, and historical architecture create excitement for hosting a wedding in this seaside locale.
THAT FARM LIFE
Briar Barn Inn
Head count Up to 100 seated
Price Starting at $10,000, plus drink
You’ve been in go mode since the planning began. It’s time to unwind in a bucolic country setting as your hard work culminates in the perfect celebration. Set on four acres of winding paths and landscaped gardens, the Briar Barn Inn, in Rowley, is old-New-England serenity at its finest. The white, 3,150-square-foot post-and-beam barn made its debut in April and is full of rustic charm (think: hardwood floors, farm tables, and black double-ring chandeliers softened with garlands of flowers and twinkle lights). Couples enjoy festive decorations throughout the barn for nuptials during December, while warm-weather ceremonies take place on the nearby lawn. For the feast, chef Ben Lightbody develops farm-fresh dishes with ingredients from local suppliers, including Alprilla Farm in Essex and Gloucester’s Halibut Jack. The icing on the cake, though? The inn, complete with a silo-entry, offers 30 comfy guest rooms and a holistic spa—a welcome sight after a whirlwind celebration.
HERS AND HISTORY
Ledger Restaurant & Bar
Head count Up to 60 seated (Macomber Room); up to 150 seated (restaurant buyout)
Price Starting at $55 per person for dinner
Nothing brings people together quite like a wedding. Where better to throw one than a historical meeting space? The Macomber Room at Ledger Restaurant & Bar hosted Salem’s public assemblies more than two centuries ago. While your affair will clearly be more romantic, you’ll be steeped in New England’s past as you toast your future. Yesteryear’s eight-foot windows and exposed beams complement a modern-day bar and Sonos sound system. For larger fetes, count on a restaurant buyout (complete with a cozy patio) to add character to your celebration. A former Salem Savings Bank, the eatery—where chef Daniel Gursha serves up customized family-style or plated entrées such as smoked turkey with cranberries—wrote the book on vintage décor, utilizing original teller windows, safety deposit boxes, and old ledgers to create its unique ambiance.
ROMANCING THE STONE
Head count Up to 400 seated
Price Starting at $1,500, plus food and drink
Solidify your love in one of the country’s first concrete buildings. Opened in 1912 as the Peabody Theater, this historical North Shore space is now Olio—a modern, industrial venue debuted in April 2019 by mother-daughter duo Sarah Narcus (a local event planner) and Ellen Basch. The original architecture remains for a truly inspiring wedding site. “Olio” is another word for “variety show,” and your love story takes center stage within the wide-open 6,000 square feet, complete with oversize windows, exposed ductwork and beams, hardwood floors, and lofted 50-foot ceilings. Get as theatrical as you want—lush florals creeping up cool slabs; huge light displays illuminating the loft-style room; cozy couches for lounging aprés-vows. Bonus: Olio’s list of preferred vendors is loaded with top industry pros, so stressing about the details is history.
Make group reservations aboard 7 Seas Whale Watch’s high-speed Privateer IV for a safari from Gloucester’s coast to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Enjoy oceans of photo ops of humpback and sperm whales, sunfish, sharks, and dolphins while an onboard naturalist narrates the sights.
Exposed brick dresses up the Chianti and Sinatra rooms at Burlington-based Osteria Nino, where you can tuck into heaping dishes of veal piccata, rigatoni Bolognese, tiramisu, and other Italian staples. Now that’s amore.
Mirroring the city’s lively atmosphere and mood, the colorful Hotel Salem sits inside a former high-end retail space in Salem’s center. The quirky ’50s and ’60s details pay homage to its stylish history throughout the 44 bright rooms, suites, and budget-friendly micro-rooms, and Salem’s only rooftop bar.
Nothing whispers “dreamy fairy-tale wedding” like a cloud of cotton candy from Le Petit Pouf. Boxford resident Corinne Gregory spins organic sugar, flavoring (hello, champagne and rose), and plant-derived dyes into sweet treats served from a little cart. Adorned with confetti sprinkles, gold sparkles, and Pop Rocks, they’re heavenly.
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