From the Berkshires, White and Green Mountains to the shores of Cape Cod, Marblehead and Niantic, the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) members offer the ideal venues for micro weddings and elopements. Last week we examined all the great options in New Hampshire and Maine for small weddings. This week, we’ll go over great options in the rest of DINE country.
The trend had been moving toward smaller weddings prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic. People were seeking nuptials that didn’t rival the cost of an expensive car or down payment on a house. The Distinctive Inns of New England have been offering the ideal affordable wedding option for years. Now, as weddings are forced to be smaller, DINE innkeepers have these smaller weddings down pat with great packages, protocols and menus set and ready.
Of course, with limitations on events, each of these inns must follow state mandated guidelines for gathering sizes, travel restrictions, masks and social distancing. These guidelines will be spelled out for brides and grooms carefully by the wedding venues and their coordinators in each of these states.
Let’s start on Cape Cod. The Captain’s House Inn hosts multiple small weddings in their beautiful gardens and on the patio. Offering not only the ideal place for a wedding, elopement or vow renewal the Cape is also a popular honeymoon choice, and the Captain’s House Inn’s romantic guest rooms filled with amenities mean that this is also an ideal choice for honeymoons too. The Captain’s House Inn’s elopement/vow renewal package comes complete with plenty of amenities including the Justice of the Peace and a complimentary room upgrade. Best of all, it starts at $650 in addition to your two or more night stay (pricing as of Aug 21, 2020).
The Harbor Light Inn in historic Marblehead, MA is another great choice for elopements and micro weddings. Whether it’s poolside or in the elegant parlor, here’s another choice for weddings in this harborside town. If your wedding is a little bigger, the Harbor Light Inn is also the ideal lodging choice for the whole wedding party. With everything from queen rooms to apartments, there’s room for the whole wedding party and extended family too.
In the Berkshires, the Gateways Inn & Restaurant offers wedding packages starting with elopements for two starting at $1500 (as of Aug 21, 2020). Looking for a little larger celebration? The Gateways Inn & Restaurant offers packages for micro weddings with 25 guests and also 50 guests. All packages include a wedding toast, the wedding cake and a two-night stay in the best available room for the bride and groom. Year-round this venue offers plenty of choices for picture-worthy weddings, including a perfect stairway for the bride to make a dramatic entrance!
Another ideal Berkshires wedding location is found at the historic Deerfield Inn. Here’s one inn offering everything from a romantic elopement package also starting at $1500 (as of Aug 21, 2020) to weddings of up to 150 people. The Terrace, the inn’s main space for weddings and larger receptions, offers French doors that open to a patio with a tented lawn and gardens. Couples have used this adaptable space for everything from elegant ceremonies to casual barbecues. For small weddings, the inn’s own Champney’s Restaurant can accommodate up to 50 guests. The dining room offers a formal dining experience with the comfort you’d expect from a historic inn. Then, for more intimate gatherings of 20 people or less, the historic beehive parlor is ideal for cocktail-style receptions and the option of setting up a private dining table. There’s plenty of guest rooms here for the whole wedding party too.
Many an elopement and tiny wedding has taken place at in front of one of the fireplaces at the Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, VT. Yet, this inn really specializes in what comes afterward. The Rabbit Hill Inn’s three and five night honeymoon packages are extremely popular, offering everything from couples massages and roses to robes to take home. Of course, no experience at the Rabbit Hill Inn is complete without a candlelight dinner, which is included in their honeymoon packages too. If you’re attending a Northeast Kingdom wedding, the Rabbit Hill Inn is the perfect place to stay. You’ll combine a memorable day for the bride and groom with an unforgettable getaway for you two.
Perhaps one of the most popular Vermont wedding venues is the Grafton Inn in Grafton, VT. A larger inn, their facilities offer something for every sized wedding. Prior to the pandemic, the Grafton Inn was able to host much larger weddings. State mandated restrictions for gatherings now mean they specialize in Vermont elopements and micro weddings of up to thirty people. Choose from a number of settings from indoors to out on the patio or pond. In addition, there’s plenty of room to house the whole wedding party and your guests for these smaller events too, making it the perfect Vermont destination wedding choice too. If your wedding plans are years away, inquire about larger ceremonies and receptions too.
On the Connecticut Shore
Waterview weddings make for beautiful photos, and the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic, CT offers a scenic setting for your elopements and tiny Connecticut weddings. Their Wedding Celebration Package includes everything you need for the picture-perfect elopement including the private use of harborside gazebo and dining area, a bottle of chilled champagne for the couple and two commemorative champagne flutes. In addition enjoy couples cotton robes and slippers, a fruit, cheese and chocolate platter delivered to your room and a $100 return certificate for a future visit at the Inn at Harbor Hill. Add all these add-on’s to your two or more night stay (not included in the package) at this marina-side inn for just $400 (as of Aug 21, 2020).
All of the 11 Distinctive Inns of New England make ideal honeymoon headquarters too. 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
Top photo: Courtesy of Grafton Inn, Grafton, VT