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Nov 14, 2012 06:01 AM

Wedding Venue w/ great food Where Guests Can Stay Over?

Hi, we are young professionals, recently engaged and looking for a wedding venue maybe 1-2 hours from Boston where the guests would be able to stay on the property.
Any venues along the MA north/south shores would be greatly appreciated as well

I'd like a place where our family and friends could go and make a weekend of it--preferably never having to leave the property.

-Obviously, great food is a must

- We're probably looking at around a 150-guest wedding, it is likely that not all guests would stay over.

-Any venues on the Maine/NH seacoast would be appreciated

Thank you in advance for the help, you guys are the best.

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  1. Congrats on the upcoming wedding. My wife and I got married this past spring, and were looking for something very similar - +/- 2 hrs from Boston, good food, room for 150-200 guests so most people could make a weekend of it. One of the biggest challenges was finding a venue that could accommodate a party of that size - many of the charming NE inns max out well-below that level.

    We decided on Hawk Inn in Plymouth, VT, and overall were very happy with our choice. The food was very good by wedding buffet standards, and we held a welcome BBQ on Friday with a roast pig from an outside vendor (Squeals on Wheels), which was exceptional. There is plenty for guests to do on site during the day (hiking, pool, lake, biking, etc), but it is also close enough to Boston so that people who really don't want to stay can make it home. The on-site staff was very accommodating, but you do have to recognize that you're in VT, so plans may seem a bit less organized than Type-A city-folk might expect. Still, the staff pulled everything together very well in the end, and we had a great weekend.

    1. This is a variant on what you are seeking, but my wife and I got married at Bittersweet Farm in Westport. I don't think it could handle 150, and is a daytime wedding place, but for lodging, we had everyone stay at the Hotel Providence in Providence, RI. That way, in the evening, people could congregate in the bar, or head out - its right in the midst of a lot of downtown Providence options. And being Providence, there is an airport (or two - its not super far from Logan as well), which was good for my family.

      We did our family dinner (ilo a rehearsal dinner) in a private room at Gracie's nearby the night before and enjoyed a very good tasting menu.

      I'll have to check with the wife - there was one other place we looked, I think in the Berkshires, that was basicall a summer-campish place that did weddings. There was some cabin lodging and a big old house with rooms as well. Pretty rustic, if I recall, but there were daytime activities like swimming.

      One challenge - you better be dang sure of your attendance counts, especially if you are sizing the facility based on most of your quests staying. One hates to pay $$ for empty rooms - and a wedding that size, you'll have some people not RSVP or flake out - especially if they live locally and have the option of heading home. In the end, you may have to commit to a facility far in advance of when you can expect a solid estimate of guests committed to staying over. And if you are having people make a weekend out of it, plan for how to deal with the children - parents can't leave kids for multiple nights. And some facilities are going to hit you with 2 night minimums..

      3 Replies
      1. re: grant.cook

        We loved our wedding at the Ocean View Inn in Gloucester on Bass Rocks. It was over 10 yrs ago so not sure how it is now, but its been around a long time and i know of others who loved it too. I just dont know if they handle that many people. We were on the restaurant side which is small, but they have another building. Its an old fashioned inn, the food was great and beautiful, price was good and loved taking pics on the rocks overlooking the ocean. You would prob have to do a tasting and tour to see how it is now.

        1. re: chompie

          I had also posted a long blurb on this place just after the poster asked the question but CH deleted it. Beautiful views, really good brunch and located close to things to do. The wedding guests took up both buildings and it was a great time.

          1. re: catsmeow

            I went to a bridal luncheon at the Ocean View Inn this spring. It's a lovely spot, the food was acceptable, nothing exceptional.

      2. don't know if this has occurred to you, but you could do like friends of ours who rented a big oceanfront house for a week in Annisquam,Gloucester. But you would need to bring in a caterer,tent etc.

        In Northern coastal Maine, the Blue Hill Inn might be able to help. She is an awesomely positive inn keeper. There is also an bluff-sitting historic estate in Blue Hill that is rented out for this type of situation. Next to Bar Harbor, is another potential spot- the Claremont, an1890 Inn w/ a killer view- in SW Harbor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          The Claremont is lovely, with a nice big restaurant (and a killer bar right down on the water). And they have some of the most amazing croquet courts i have ever seen.. lots to do. But Acadia is a haul. I am not sure how many the Claremont sleeps, but they do own a lot of nearby homes that can stuff people in..

          If you do go there, there's a place right in SW (the main intersection) that serves amazing blueberry pie. And the nearby lobster pound (like a 3 min walk from the Claremont) is a go-to for shore food..