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May 2008 Wedding in the Hudson Valley

Hello Chowhounders:

I’m looking for a site for a small wedding (50 or so guests) in May and would like to have it somewhere near the city (up to an hour or so drive), preferably along the Hudson. We don’t want to hire a caterer, so would ideally find a B&B that could feed us (well) and offer some accommodations.

We looked at Monteverde at Old Stone Manor and while the grounds were lovely and the food was delicious (if a bit on the fussy side), it was too large and too costly for us (a $6k site fee for starters). They were also piping in frightful "smooth" jazz—and we were told that we couldn’t have our own music or dancing unless we rented the whole place for a mere $25k.

Anyhow, what we’re looking for is, in short:
Good food
A cozy setting and site for the ceremony
Hudson Valley location
A place that can accommodate 50 guests and not lose us in the shuffle
Decent accommodations should guests want to stay over (but we don’t have to have this piece if the other things are in place)

My fiancé and I are both writers and artists and we’re looking for something more funky and less cookie cutter than most weddings.

I’ve scouted out a few places that might work and am wondering if anyone would be able to give me their two cents on the below—or let me know if we’ve overlooked some place that might be good for us:

Bird and Bottle (Garrison)
I keep reading wildly positive and wildly negative things about this place. What’s the skinny?

The Inn at Stone Ridge

Plumbush Inn

Mohonk Mountain House
Would our small wedding be swallowed up there by all the other things going on or to do they make the place feel sufficiently private for small weddings? How’s the food?

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
This place sounds pricey and idyllic in terms of food (though no accommodations) and I’m waiting to hear what the site fee is.

Any help/wisdom you could offer would be much appreciated!

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  1. cobbler, I went to a wonderful wedding last year that was held at Il Barilotto (hotels are close by on Route 9 in Fishkill) and the bride chose a smashing oldies band who come from the Catskills.

    I can find out the name of the band if this appeals to you.

    The food was outstanding.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dolores

      Thanks--We have a friend who's a DJ so I think we're okay for music. But thanks for the offer!

    2. cobbler, I attended a small wedding at Blue Hill at Stone Barns back in July. It was indeed pricey, but the atmosphere was so unique and intimate, and the food was TO DIE FOR. Everyone moaned with pleasure throughout the entire several-course meal. The food experience tied all of us guests together, and we had a fantastic time. The bride and groom were married outdoors overlooking the farm, and after the cocktail hour (also outdoors) we were led to a private room for dinner. It was so lovely and I HIGHLY recommend it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HateCooking

        Thanks for the endorsement; it sounds like a great place. Unfortunately, I called them yesterday and they're booked through December 2008. But anyone looking for info for then should know that they don't charge a crazy site fee: it's $1,500 for site and that includes chairs and set up, which makes it more reasonable (in that way) than other places with lesser food. Good news for people who are planning further ahead than we are!

        n.b. While they were nice over email, when I called the woman was a bit abrupt. I told her the date we were looking for in my first correspondence and she didn't indicate that they didn't have availability until I called which was a waste of time for both of us.

      2. we got married at plumbush back in '98 and were very happy with the experience. it was reasonably priced, an adorable, intimate setting and the food was excellent. i understand there are new owners so i can't speak to any changes made.

        1 Reply
        1. re: blaze

          Thanks for the endorsement. I'll keep it on the list.

        2. Hi Cobbler -

          Been to weddings (or bar/bat mitzvahs) at all the above with the exception of Bird and Bottle (in fact, never heard of it, to be honest)

          In order of our most favorite (as guests of the party)

          1. Blue Hill -- the service with perfect, as was the food, the atmopshere and the over all experience, but that should be expected.
          2. Monteverde -- great food and service, lovely atmosphere, but a notch below Blue Hill.
          3. Inn at Stone Ridge, ok, nothing memorable.
          4. Mohonk Mountain House - nothing memorable, once again.
          5. Plumbush Inn -- no! no! no! The food was not that great. I just vaguely remember some really salty lobster stuffed in a soggy tart shell and "cold" hot apps -- we had to stop at a Diner on the way home!

          Did you also look at Crabtree, or Harvest on Hudson (if you are more into the view)? We've been to some great events there.

          If you are not the cookie cutter type, then I would def go with Blue Hill!

          3 Replies
          1. re: RawTunaFan

            Sadly, we can't go with Blue Hill as they're all booked up till the end of the year. But I will look into Crabtree (Kittle House-yes?), which I'd not come across when looking, and Harvest on Hudson, which I've come across a few times.

            Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

            1. re: cobbler

              cobbler, search on Harvest. Unless I'm mistaken, the food reviews have 'not' been good.

              Crabtree is a good choice.

          2. If the wedding is small, I'd recommend the Iron Forge Inn in Bellavale. http://www.ironforgeinn.com. The food is to die for.

            No accomodations, but there are B&Bs nearby as well as Crystal Springs Resort just a few minutes over the border in NJ (where you can also have a wedding, but it's a better venue for larger weddings than smaller ones).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Avalondaughter

              Thanks for the suggestion--we'll check it out.

            2. I've heard good things about The LeFevre House in New Paltz. No personal experience - it's also a B&B and I think they have a website

              1 Reply
              1. My wife made us look at every palce in the tri state area!!. We had our reception at the Canyon Club in Armonk. Five minutes off 684.Its not on the water but it has beautiful grounds,beautiful banquet room and the food was great.It is surprisingly affordable for the area and you definetly get more than your money's worth. Martin Badinelli the manager was great.
                Here is the link

                1 Reply
                1. cobbler - have you taken a look at cold spring? there's the hudson house inn that is right on the water (will definitely accomodate 50) and i believe they have guest rooms as well. cathryn's tuscan grill is pretty good, great wine list - no beds but the pig hill in (or at least, that's what i think it's called) is a block down and quite charming. i personally really like the town of cold spring - antiques, art, small shops lining main street. and it's on a gorgeous part of the hudson river, complete with a train station stop.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pastrychick

                    We'll be looking at the Bird & Bottle, and will stop by Hudson House while we're there. Thanks for the suggestion.

                  2. Looking also at West Park Winery


                    Warwick Valley Winery

                    any insight?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: cobbler

                      If your going up that far. Check this palce out. It was very nice too

                      1. re: cobbler

                        I posted elsewhere about West Park - the food was not bad but the owner did not treat my wife well. I don't recommend.

                        1. re: Susanasusana

                          I'm about to book the west park winery for my wedding so if you could please elaborate or provide any detail I would really appreciate it!

                      2. Thanks, everyone. After loads of research and looking, we actually ended up booking a place in Saratoga Springs, The Mansion. It was cheaper than all the places in or near NYC, even with the inclusion of ten rooms, with brunch for guests and a two night stay!


                        1 Reply
                        1. Hi Cobbler,

                          Did you every find out the pricing & details for Saratoga Springs, Blue Hill Stone & Kettle House? I am interested. You can email me @ mariella430@yahoo.com. Monteverde seemed interesting but after your posting about music etc.. I think I will skip that place. I really like harvest on Fort pond in the Hamptons vs the their place in upstate NY. Its much more trendier and I love that its right on the water.

                          I look forward to hearing from you.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: elet

                            My Hudson Valley wedding was held this past April, at The Locust Tree (now sometimes called Stonehaus Tavern) in New Paltz. It was the best deal I found: amazing food, amazing service, flexible pricing and beautiful grounds. At less than 100$ per head including tax and tip and all the fees, it beat everything else by a landslide. The menu featured local, organic and small-scale producers. Highly recommend it!

                          2. I am looking for a Spring 2010 wedding venue in Hudson Valley / Westchester area so about 1 hr drive from NYC. ALso looking for a charming location w a nice view and good food. We are going to be ~ 60-70 ppl so lots of places are off the list because they have high minimums. Def not looking for the banquet/catering hall type of places.
                            Appreciate any help!!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: katzone3

                              I recently went to a wedding recently at Wainwright House in Rye. The ceremony took place there, right on the water. The view was UNREAL. So gorgeous. The cocktail hour food was just good. Nothing outstanding, but not bad by any means. They didn't have valet, which was a little odd. They made us park a ways away, while there were plenty of free spots up close. It's not like I was driving a run down piece of tin, either. I'd give it a look, though.

                              1. re: stefathena

                                We are considering wainwright house for a wedding. It is beautiful, but we're a little concerned about the food...it seems to be ok or good. For the price you hope for it to be delicious! Can anyone else give there thoughts about the food? How was cocktail hour? the entrees? Your help is greatly appreciated!