Wedding Venues

These Three Historical Estates Are Perfect for Weddings

Chock-full of vintage charm, the region's most picturesque properties offer plenty of wedding-day potential.


Blithewold / Photo by Meredith Jane Photography

WATERFRONT WONDER

Blithewold
Bristol, Rhode Island
Head Count Up to 225 seated
Price Starting at $6,500, plus food and drink

You found each other in the sea of love. Now exchange vows with views of Narragansett Bay at Blithewold, a 33-acre estate in Bristol, Rhode Island. Available for celebrations from May to October, the garden-filled property was purchased by an aristocratic couple in the late 1800s. They named it “Blithewold,” which means “happy woodland” in Old English—and that’s still the perfect description today. Ceremonies take place in the North Garden as the sun sets to the sea, creating a colorful nature-made backdrop in the sky. Take photos on the lush grounds while guests enjoy cocktails inside the dreamy waterfront mansion or on the terrace. Next comes your reception on the Great Lawn, where white tablecloths and chic wooden chairs set the scene under Blithewold’s permanent tent. Need more ambiance? The venue makes sure all events are set aglow with sparkling lights—and of course, the tapestry of the stars on a clear night.

PREWEDDING ACTIVITY

Hop aboard the ferry in Bristol to reach Prudence, the third-largest island in Narragansett Bay. A quiet refuge for locals and fishermen, the remote oasis makes a great spot to picnic and soak up the Rhode Island sun.

Willowdale Estate / Photo by Zev Fisher

COTTAGE CHIC

Willowdale Estate
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Head Count Up to 125 seated (inside); up to 240 seated (outside)
Price Starting at $119 per person

If you’ve ever dreamed of saying “I do” at a fairy-tale-like venue, Willowdale Estate is your wish come true. Originally built in 1902 as a summer home for an affluent attorney, this Craftsman and Tudor Revival mansion in Topsfield was once considered a modest cottage by its owner. Today, the historical space is anything but. Whether you plan a lavish affair outside surrounded by nature, or inside among the mansion’s ornate décor and romantic gas fireplaces, Willowdale is sure to impress even the most discerning guests. In the warmer season, loved ones will marvel at the stonework on display in the ceremony-ready courtyard, dressed up with strands of twinkling lights. The cooler months don’t disappoint, either: Decked out with intricate wood carvings and a vintage chandelier, the house’s Great Room offers an idyllic setting for sipping bubbly and dancing.

UNIQUE VENDOR

With Gatsby-level quality, Timothy S. Hopkins Catering calls on bold flavors and local ingredients to elevate food menus for special events. The Essex-based company offers customized menus for every diet and lifestyle, specializing in creative dishes such as spring rolls with candied-ginger soy sauce and baked Gloucester cod.

Dell-Lea / Photo by Caitlin Page Photography

FOREST FANTASY

Dell-Lea
Chichester, New Hampshire
Head Count Up to 200 seated
Price Starting at $100 per person

For a nature-filled celebration set among the woods and meadows of New Hampshire, plan your celebration at Dell-Lea, in Chichester. Formerly the site of a centuries-old farm, the 236-acre estate teems with flora—to say nothing of the property’s impressive mountain vistas. Swap vows by the gazebo, then retreat to the 18th-century function hall. Complete with exposed posts and beams and a built-in dance floor, the rustic space offers plenty of room for seating but still feels quaint and private. Of course, the scenery at Dell-Lea is the real draw. With wedding dates up for grabs between May and November, each season offers different hues: green fields in summer, and cheerful red, orange, and yellow leaves in the glorious days of fall.

GUEST DIGS

A little over 20 minutes away in Concord, the 32-room Centennial Hotel welcomes guests with 19th-century architecture, modern furnishings, nightly turn-down service, and the on-site Granite Restaurant & Bar—a globally influenced fusion eatery that won Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence in 2019.

Dell-Lea / Photo by Caitlin Page Photography

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