Cool wedding venue near Boston
July 26, 2009 5:32 AM   Subscribe

"Cool" wedding venue in New England?

My fiance, I learned last night, wants us to get married someplace "cool."

By "cool," I gather, he means something like a vineyard, a lodge in the woods, a big house by the sea, a nice yacht club by the sea. His vision isn't any clearer than that. He doesn't want some big function hall. Our friends are getting married at a lodge in the woods, with a space big enough for 175 people and enough hotel rooms for everyone to stay there. This suddenly sounded very appealing to him. The place needs to accomodate 175 people, and needs to be within 3 hours of Boston, and fairly nice (i.e. I don't want a camp). I suppose we'd consider Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket for something really awesome.

I've tried indiebride kvetch and some other sites. Nothing's jumping out at me. Any suggestions? Ever heard of/been to anyplace "cool"?
posted by semacd to Society & Culture (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I've been to a beautiful wedding at Castle Hill in Ipswich. I'm sure there's a million places like that.
posted by quodlibet at 5:48 AM on July 26, 2009

You can rent any number of old house estates. There's the Lyman House and Paine Estate in Waltham. Although these tend not to have any on-site lodging. ( The Lyman is bigger). There's Longfellow's Wayside Inn. Although it only has 10 rooms there are some nearby hotels. I attended a wedding on Children's Island off of Marblehead. There are no lodgings on the island, and the catering and guests will have to arrive by boat ( A ferry service). There's an open air chapel in the pines. It seems the coolest places do not have built in lodgings.
posted by Gungho at 6:02 AM on July 26, 2009

We had friends married at the Barns at Wesleyan Hills. It is a real barn that has been converted into a function hall type venue, but don't let that fool you! It was a really cool place.
posted by zizzle at 6:08 AM on July 26, 2009

Castle Hill was the place that I thought of first. More rustic and with great history is Nahluka in Brattleboro Vermont. No idea if it's available. That said, the place that seems to fit your bill with the exception of the distance is the Trapp Family Lodge [you know, Sound of Music and all of that]. Definitely cool/funky appeal. That said, I'm sure there are a ton of places like this that are significantly closer.
posted by jessamyn at 6:16 AM on July 26, 2009

If you want cool, you need to look at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Mass. Venues don't get much more interesting than that.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:28 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

The mansions in Newport do weddings. I also found out that the Boston Public Library does weddings in their beautiful inner courtyard, but I hear that because you also have to rent one of the adjacent buildings with it, the rental fee alone is around $14k. (Still, it'd be gorgeous)
posted by olinerd at 6:29 AM on July 26, 2009

The Red Barn at Hampshire College in Amherst MA is a lovely space with amazing views of gorgeous farmland.
posted by genmonster at 6:31 AM on July 26, 2009

Depending how Medieval you wanna get...Hammond Castle over in Gloucester?
posted by squasha at 6:41 AM on July 26, 2009

(really should have previewed after I went looking for their link...basically, what cerebus19 said.)
posted by squasha at 6:45 AM on July 26, 2009

Like olinerd, I was going to suggest you check out the mansions in Newport. While I was doing a little searching about them, I came across a couple of other interesting spots in RI. This mansion and arboretum looks gorgeous, as does this place.
posted by katie at 6:46 AM on July 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, guys! I'll check them out. Also, ever heard of anything good in the Lakes Region in NH?
posted by semacd at 7:18 AM on July 26, 2009

I think the Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, VT would do nicely.
posted by deCadmus at 7:23 AM on July 26, 2009

The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA maybe exactly what you want. 30 minutes from Boston, near Concord, with views of Walden Pond, and yes, they do weddings. There are a number of inns/motels within a 15 to 20 minute drive, but no onsite lodging.

Your only problem may be getting a date there, as they are usually pretty busy in summer months.
posted by paulsc at 7:38 AM on July 26, 2009

...a nice yacht club by the sea.

There's Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead. It's out on the neck, is not "on the sea," but faces the harbor with gorgeous views of the moored boats and "Old Town" behind.
posted by ericb at 8:07 AM on July 26, 2009

Also, ever heard of anything good in the Lakes Region in NH?

I've always liked The Inns at Mill Falls (Meredith, NH) on Lake Winnipesaukee. I'm attending a wedding there next month.
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on July 26, 2009

Also ... there's the historic Castle in the Clouds (Moultonborough, NH) overlooking the lake below.
posted by ericb at 8:13 AM on July 26, 2009

You can also rent the Prudential Center's Skywalk Observatory for private functions, if you'd like to get "above it all" in downtown Beantown.
posted by paulsc at 8:18 AM on July 26, 2009

Something that made my wedding great was that we stayed there for a couple nights with friends. We had a small wedding and the place only had 5 rooms so 10 people stayed with us for the weekend. Consider when looking having a place that you can stay with the wedding party and other close friends and family for the thurs/fri before the wedding. Instead of the blur couples sometimes say it is it was a night whole weekend chilling with friends.

We loved the people who ran it -- Hartman's Herb Farm in Barre, MA....I am pretty sure they could do something your size.

Here's some pics from the wedding.
posted by beccaj at 8:35 AM on July 26, 2009

I have no idea if they allow weddings, but the bluffs at Two Lights state park on Cape Elizabeth, Maine would be a pretty dramatic location. Especially if you time the ceremony to happen when the tide is coming in.
posted by usonian at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2009

It's really hard to top Rosecliff, one of the gilded-age mansions in Newport, RI. Plus there are a ton of nearby hotels, B&B's, venues for rehearsal dinners, nightlife and sightseeing nearby. As in walking-distance nearby.

Wherever you decide, if I were you, I'd plan an autumn wedding, second or third week in October. No tourist crowds, off-season discounts and the fall foliage will be at the height of its color.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:29 AM on July 26, 2009

If you're looking for something outdoorsy, there's the lovely Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH.
posted by platinum at 11:18 AM on July 26, 2009

Hammond Castle is wonderful, but it doesn't accomodate more than 100 inside (and that's being really cozy).
posted by canine epigram at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2009

the methuen memorial music hall ( is a *beautiful) building.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:21 PM on July 26, 2009

My cousin recently got married at York Beach in Maine which is within a couple of hours of Boston. There are a number of old school beachfront hotels there, like the Union Bluff, ones with real character, and on the beach at Short Sands there's an old school candlepin bowling, skeeball, pinball type arcade. She had her rehearsal dinner at a lobster pound, her ceremony on the beach and her reception in a fairly conventional banquet hall, but there would have been other options. It was casual and fun and interesting and made for a fantastic wedding weekend for all of the guests.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:13 PM on July 26, 2009

Pamet Harbor Yacht Club out in Truro on Cape Cod.
posted by nicwolff at 4:55 PM on July 26, 2009

The Museum of Science in Boston does weddings.
posted by Plutor at 6:22 PM on July 26, 2009

There are beautiful places around Boston! Some have been mentioned above, but in addition:
The JFK Library is by the water, has beautiful public spaces, and plenty of accommodation nearby.

I was at a beautiful wedding at the Nashoba Winery, although the space may be too small for you.
posted by darsh at 5:46 AM on July 27, 2009

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