WeddingFilter: Beach rentals in Massachusetts?
August 28, 2011 5:31 PM   Subscribe

We're getting married! Hooray! Now, we just need to find a place to have the wedding... help us rent the waterfront venue of our dreams!

We live in the Boston area and want to get married in Massachusetts. Our ideal venue is a lake house or beach house where we could have our ceremony on the water, and have friends and family stay in the house... however, it looks like our dreams of a small wedding have been sacrificed for our dreams of having all our friends and family with us, so we're probably going to have 100+ people at the ceremony. In our ideal world, we would want to rent a large beach house for a week (and hang out there before the wedding with our parents and close friends) and rent a couple houses on the same block for just the wedding weekend -- then, on the night of the wedding, we could offer floor/couch/crash space for most of the guests who stay late or don't have a ride home.

We've been looking at places on vacation house rental websites, but most of these are houses privately owned by individuals, so they don't fit as many people as we'd like to have -- plus, a lot of the people we've talked to via this route have had rules like "no sleeping on couches or sleeping bags in the house!" or "your wedding ceremony guests can't go in the house!", which is really off-putting and not at all in keeping with the relaxed style we'd like to have. But I'm not sure if these kinds of restrictions are inevitable or if there's another route we could go to find more flexible places -- maybe there are more commercially-managed places rather than these owner-operated type beach houses, but we don't know where to look for something like that.

We're open to any suggestions of either particular places or ways to go about looking for a place -- either fitting this description or a new idea in the same theme. We've also considered renting cabins at a campground or renting a summer camp facility out-of-season, but we're not sure how to start researching that, so if anyone has experience with anything like this or can provide links to potential places, that would be awesome!

More snowflake details:

- Our top priorities: waterfront, accommodating ~100 people for the ceremony, crash space for a double-digit number of people on the night of the wedding, relaxed atmosphere

- We haven't set a date, but our general window is July-October 2012. We are definitely willing to let the choice of venue dictate our date within that timeframe if needed.

- Guests will range from kids/babies to old people, with about half the guests in their mid-twenties.

- We'd like to keep this within a short drive of Boston if possible, so our Boston friends who do have a DD can drive home after if they want, but that's not a dealbreaker.

- Similarly, if possible we'd like something where there's a lot of flexibility about catering, liquor, etc. and we could partly self-cater, but again not a dealbreaker.

- We're fairly committed to getting married in Massachusetts, partly because of our support for marriage equality, but we would consider other places.

- It should be reasonably close to hotels where our extended families plus the overflow from our friends can stay, though we'd like to offer bed/couch/floor space to as many of our friends as possible, since travel and lodging would be a significant expense for many of them.

- Fortunately, thanks to our families, money is not a huge issue here, so we're open to looking at stuff in a variety of price ranges!
posted by anotherthink to Travel & Transportation around Massachusetts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not on the beach, but friends of mine are getting married at the Seven Hills Inn in Lenox, which can accommodate 175 guests. I can report back after the wedding if you like (memail me) - it sure looks pretty.
posted by rtha at 5:41 PM on August 28, 2011

Try cyberrental.

check out this place.
posted by beccaj at 6:05 PM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I tried this. Exactly. I encountered a lot of houses that wanted us to put port-a-potties on the premises, or outwardly said no to big events like that citing liabilities and insurance reasons.

We ended up getting exactly what we wanted in Florida.
posted by jerseygirl at 6:29 PM on August 28, 2011

I was interested in this kind of a thing too but had to abandon the idea. Jerseygirl has it--the problem is primarily that the sanitary systems of these picturesque beach houses will be completely overloaded if 100 guests use them throughout the day. They just aren't designed for that level of usage and would most likely back up (into the yard if you're lucky, or the house if you're not). Believe it or not, there is a market for really upscale Port-a-potties and a fancy event rentals place can probably help you out there, if that would solve your house problems...
posted by Jemstar at 9:06 AM on August 29, 2011

This might or might not be a new idea in the same theme, but we got married, with a similarly sized wedding party, on The Odyssey. Glad to go over some of the pros via me-mail.
posted by troywestfield at 10:32 AM on August 30, 2011

Update, much belatedly: we ended up reserving Camp Kiwanee on the South Shore. The plan is for our friends to stay in the camping cabins and to have the ceremony at their lodge.
posted by anotherthink at 12:18 PM on March 28, 2012

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