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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?
http://www.thebirdandbottleinn.com/

The Inn at Stone Ridge
http://www.innatstoneridge.com/

Plumbush Inn
http://www.plumbushinn.net/Weddings.htm

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?
http://www.mohonk.com/

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.
http://www.bluehillstonebarns.com/

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.