According to a survey conducted by TheKnot, a leading digital wedding brand, in 2017, the average cost of a wedding was $33,391, with high spenders spending an average of $105,130 on their wedding day. Considering this is the cost of a mid to high range car or a down-payment on a house, it’s no wonder that today’s younger generations are seeking alternative and more affordable wedding arrangements and venues, plus simply smaller nuptial options. This is where Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) have come to the rescue. Offering everything from elopements to micro-wedding packages, all 11 of the Distinctive Inns of New England have become top choices for those seeking a much more affordable and intimate route for their weddings. From the Berkshires to the White mountains and from the lakeshores to the seashore, DINE inns offer the personalized service, romantic setting and affordable budget that more and more brides and grooms are seeking.
In a world plagued with concern for larger gatherings, the traditional larger wedding has had to cancel throughout 2020 and beyond. Smaller gatherings are becoming much more acceptable in a time of concern for Covid, and with states limiting the size of gatherings, weddings have had to go “tiny” too.
Let’s be sure we understand the difference between an elopement and a micro-wedding. The elopement tends toward less planning, less details and definitely less people – often just the bride and groom and one or two witnesses getting married with a toast and possibly a cake for two afterward. The arrangements are scaled back, but still intimate and ideal for those seeking a more minimal wedding. A micro-wedding preserves many of the traditions of a conventional wedding, with more people, a small reception, a cake, photographs, flowers and more – yet still under 25 people.
DINE inns all offer ideal wedding venues. Some focus on smaller elopements, vow renewals and commitment ceremonies, other venues have facilities to offer a larger celebration. All DINE inns must follow state-mandated limits on social gatherings making a smaller wedding a necessity.
In Kennebunkport, the Inn at English Meadows offers beautiful gardens and a large yard for elopements, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies and other small celebrations in the summer and fall. Common areas offer intimate settings in colder months once they are re-opened after being limited for the pandemic. Coming to Kennebunkport for a larger wedding? Stay here and enjoy contemporary styling and a sumptuous breakfast each morning.
In Camden, the Camden Maine Stay Inn specializes in personalized wedding experiences, like wedding vow renewals. It’s also the ideal inn to book for the wedding party if you’re holding a larger wedding at popular outdoor places like the Camden Amphitheater – an easy stroll from the inn, or attending a wedding in Midcoast Maine.
Both Camden and Kennebunkport offer harborside and seaside settings, eclectic shops and great restaurants to enjoy during the honeymoon afterward.
The Manor on Golden Pond, overlooking Squam Lake in Holderness has been the site for many beautiful wedding ceremonies. Their wedding packages range from an Elopement for Two package starting at $1700 to the Wedding on a Sunday Afternoon package for the bride and groom and 25 guests starting at $5350 (Aug 2020 prices – subject to change). Download their wedding guide for a range of tiny to micro wedding packages, and plan on the wedding party staying too.
Weddings at the Chesterfield Inn range from elopements and tiny weddings to larger wedding celebrations for up to 60 people. Choose from an outdoor setting on the blue stone terrace surrounded by gardens to a fireside ceremony in inclement weather. Book the whole inn and enjoy a destination wedding here too. Click here to access the information form to start the planning.
New Hampshire offers everything from mountains to lakes, fabulous state parks and amazing year-round recreation for outdoor lovers. Plan to stay on for the honeymoon and each night return to these inns for multi-course dinners too.
We’ll explore more affordable wedding, elopement, vow renewal and micro-wedding options at the rest of the DINE inns in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont in the next blog posting. In the meantime, any of the Distinctive Inns of New England make ideal choices for romantic honeymoons. You’ll find rooms with candlelit whirlpool tubs, private fireplaces, fabulous linens, and a sumptuous breakfast to start the day. Don’t forget to book direct when you plan your stay.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic