Cape & Islands weddings: Twenty amazing local venues + more!
Cape Cod Life / May 2017 / Art & Entertainment, Food & Dining, Home, Garden & Design, People & Businesses, Recreation & Activities
Writer: Matthew J. Gill
If wedding bells are in your future, and you’re looking to save the date and then celebrate, flip through the following pages in our special 2017 wedding section. We’ve designed the section to be engaging, inspirational, and informative—and we think you’re going to enjoy it.
To begin, Maggie Corcoran Seitz shares a firsthand account of her wedding at Brewster’s Ocean Edge Resort last summer. Maggie and her husband, Eric, each spent a lot of time on Cape Cod growing up, enjoying many fun summers with their families. For their wedding, the couple dreamed of marrying on the Cape and celebrating their big day with a party—and all of their many family members.
Next, we feature seven fantastic venues on Cape Cod, the Islands, and the South Coast that can offer couples the wedding of their dreams. From The Rye Tavern in Plymouth, to the Woods Hole Golf Club, to The Wauwinet on Nantucket, these resorts and establishments are stunning and serene—and they’re great spots for a celebration.
Finally, we highlight 12 additional “venues” that can make your wedding truly one of a kind. Ever thought of saying “I do” on the grounds of Truro Vineyards? How about getting hitched aboard the Cape Cod Central Railroad? Or setting out on your life’s next chapter, under sail, aboard The Black Dog Tall Ships? Intrigued? Read on. —Matthew J. Gill
Couple’s wedding at Ocean Edge was a celebration of loved ones, friendship, and food!
Seven local venues offer couples the wedding of their dreams
Twelve more Cape & Islands venues that can make your wedding truly one of a kind
Additional online content featuring more Cape & Islands venues
Seven local venues offer couples the wedding of their dreams
South Shore wedding venue
Rye Tavern: Toast your next chapter at the Rye Tavern
Nestled within Plymouth’s attractive Pinehills village, the Rye Tavern offers couples an authentic rustic experience for weddings and rehearsal dinners. The tavern, originally built in 1792 as the Cornish Tavern, is laden with history—John Adams once visited—and embodies old New England charm with its original exposed beams, wood flooring and brick fireplaces. To event director Molly Kivi, the Rye offers guests a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
“Because we’re in an intimate setting down a dirt road and in a historical building, everybody feels like they’re at home,” Kivi says. For weddings, she notes that the intimate nature of the tavern, which is sited on one acre of land, allows couples to fully enjoy their experience with family and friends. “Not only can people enjoy a wedding in the middle of the woods,” she says, “but there’s also an added sense of peacefulness here. It’s beautiful to see kids running around near the gardens and all of the flowers.”
The vegetable gardens on the property, along with seasonally fresh, locally sourced produce, provide a true farm-to-table culinary experience. Some of the tavern’s most popular dinner offerings include Hanger Steak with Herb Marmalade, Braised Bacon Potatoes, Grilled Cauliflower and Roasted Jalapeño Butter, and Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Caramelized Carrot Potato Cake. Kivi says the Rye is also known for its specialty cocktails, like the “Pre-Prohibition Old Fashioned” made with Pikesville rye whiskey. “Couples can rely on the fact that their food and drinks are going to be absolutely phenomenal,” Kivi says.
For wedding receptions, which are held on the lawn and can be tented, the Rye can accommodate up to 130 guests. Attendees can warm themselves by the heated outdoor bar and the patio fire pit. Ceremonies are also held outdoors, either in front of the tavern with the rye field across the street as a backdrop, or adjacent to the gardens.
Rye Tavern • 517 Old Sandwich Road, Plymouth • 508-591-7515 • ryetavern.com
Upper Cape wedding venue
Woods Hole Golf Club: Something old, something new: Woods Hole Golf Club hosts weddings, too!
What’s old is new again at the Woods Hole Golf Club. After five years of planning and rebuilding, the private club opened the doors to its new and improved clubhouse in 2016, having rebuilt the 1921 structure into a first-rate gathering place for today’s members and guests.
“If you looked at an Adirondack chair and said, ‘I want to build a house around that,’ that’s what we accomplished here,” says general manager Michael Lawrence. “We took the simplicity of the Adirondack chair, a symbol of relaxation, and built a club that represents that but still has a lot of class.”
With a grand center staircase that beckons visitors to ascend, two separate dining wings with their own porches, an elegant arrival court that moonlights as a wedding ceremony space, and commanding views of the golf course and Buzzards Bay, the large clubhouse achieves modesty with its casual atmosphere. Further, it was designed to accommodate both club members and special events. “You can say we’re not in the wedding business, we’re in the member business,” Lawrence says. “But we want all of our guests to feel like members when they’re here and enjoy the same experience.”
To celebrate a wedding at the club, a club member must first sponsor a couple, and Lawrence says that his staff can help with this process. Receptions are held on the second floor and can accommodate up to 125 guests. The subtle décor, including nautical paintings, and an adjoining porch with heating and air conditioning, makes for an intimate, cozy environment that doesn’t feel like a ballroom.
“We refer to this clubhouse as ‘the new icon,’” Lawrence says. “We believe the whole experience here—the building, the view, the locally sourced food, and the arrival that establishes a sense of place—is the new standard for private clubs and venues for the next 50 years on Cape Cod.”
Woods Hole Golf Club • 130 Quissett Avenue, Woods Hole • 508-540-1899 • woodsholegolfclub.com
Mid Cape wedding venue
Cape Codder Resort & Spa: Weddings, restaurants, and a one-of-a-kind water park
For the ultimate wedding experience, brides- and grooms-to-be, as well as their families and friends, can enjoy all that the Cape Codder Resort & Spa has to offer. From the 30,000-square-foot water park and full-service Beach Plum Spa, to live entertainment and three onsite restaurants, the Hyannis resort offers a luxurious retreat for guests and a customizable, year-round wedding experience for couples.
“We can do anything couples want,” says Deb Catania, vice president of Catania Hospitality Group, which owns the resort. “We have a lot of flexibility, and we want to make their wedding fit their vision of their big day.”
To begin, couples can choose to have their ceremony at the Cape Codder—whether indoors in one of four function rooms, or outdoors in the new Garden Terrace, surrounded by hydrangeas and roses. “When you’re in the terrace, you feel like you’ve been transported somewhere else,” says Catania, who adds that the space can also be used to host rehearsal dinners and cocktail hours for up to 200 guests. Resort staff can even coordinate a beach ceremony to be held nearby, providing transportation to and from the Cape Codder. Prior to the ceremony, the staff at the Beach Plum Spa is available to help brides and their bridal parties look and feel their best.
For receptions, couples can dine and dance in the grand ballroom or in one of the resort’s smaller function rooms. Whether they’re looking for a casual clambake or an elegant meal featuring filet mignon or lobster, Catania says the resort’s executive chefs can create a culinary experience tailored to any couple’s taste. After the reception, guests can enjoy a nightcap at the resort’s Grand Cru Wine Bar & Grill.
Whereas some hotels offer limited guest rooms for weddings, the Cape Codder can reserve a block from its 260 rooms for any size wedding party. For newlyweds, Catania recommends the Presidential Suite, a one-bedroom suite that opens into the courtyard and features a dining room, sauna and Jacuzzi.
Cape Codder Resort & Spa • 1225 Iyannough Road, Hyannis • 508-771-3000 • capecodderresort.com
Lower Cape wedding venue
The Crosby Mansion: Save the date—and say ‘I do’ at the historic Crosby estate
If the walls of the Crosby Mansion could talk, oh, the tales they might tell. Albert Crosby, a wealthy medicinal alcohol distiller from Brewster, built the three-story, 35-room manor overlooking Cape Cod Bay in 1888 to please his second wife, Matilda. A Burlesque queen, Matilda was 21 years Albert’s junior and a socialite who loved to entertain. Her summer soirees held in the European-inspired mansion were attended by the likes of Mark Twain, Prince Albert of Wales, and silent screen stars including John Barrymore and Lillian Gish.
It may be fitting, then, that a residence created as a romantic gesture is now utilized as a wedding venue. “It’s like having your own private palace for your special day,” says Brian Locke, the property’s manager. “That’s the beauty of the mansion. People appreciate that it’s not the same old wedding experience here.”
Couples often hold their wedding ceremony on the well-manicured front lawn. “With the mansion in the backdrop, it’s quite an impressive sight,” says Locke. All of the rooms on the mansion’s first floor are available for receptions, and Locke encourages couples to decorate the rooms—which include the grand foyer, inspired by a room the Crosbys visited at Buckingham Palace, and a parlor fashioned after one at the Palace of Versailles—however they choose. During cocktail hour, volunteer docents give tours of the second floor, which features guest bedrooms and the master bedroom. “This gives guests something fun to do for the hour while the bride and groom are taking photos,” Locke says. (The mansion doesn’t currently offer overnight stays, as these rooms are being renovated.)
For sit-down dinners, the function room can accommodate up to 100 guests, but if a couple wishes just to serve heavy hors d’oeuvres, that amount can increase to 150. Dinner can also be served al fresco on the lawn. To cap off the evening, guests often head down to nearby Crosby Beach to watch the sun set.
The Crosby Mansion • 163 Crosby Lane, Brewster • 508-896-1744 • crosbymansion.com
Outer Cape wedding venue
Chequessett Yacht & Country Club: Enjoy friends, family, and the beauty of Wellfleet
The natural beauty of Wellfleet literally envelops the Chequessett Yacht & Country Club. And like its surroundings, the Chequessett gives off an unassuming vibe, with its laid-back atmosphere and well-off-the-beaten-path location. This semi-private waterfront club, which offers golf, tennis and sailing on 105 acres abutting the Cape Cod National Seashore, is ideal, events director Tia Scalcione says, for couples looking for a quintessential Cape Cod wedding experience.
“On the Outer Cape, there tends to be more of a connection to nature and having space to breathe,” Scalcione says. “That goes along with our philosophy here. We offer a casual environment for guests to take in the amazing natural beauty.”
Couples can immerse themselves in the all-natural surroundings with an intimate ceremony on the club’s private beach, which overlooks Wellfleet Harbor and Great Island. Just steps away, the party often moves to the boathouse, where guests can enjoy a cocktail hour and appetizers. The boathouse’s fairy-lit, barn-board interior makes for a romantic spot for both ceremonies and receptions, with room for up to 100 guests.
For larger weddings, the reception can be held just a short golf cart ride from the beach at the clubhouse. Built in the 1930s, the clubhouse features original wood beams and can accommodate parties of 175. Nearby, the 1,800-square-foot tented deck overlooking the ninth fairway is a perfect perch to watch the sun set. Guests can then return to the boathouse for dancing—or to watch the moon rise over the water.
In the planning phase, the club’s staff works with couples to customize their big day, helping them choose local vendors from a preferred list. Scalcione says she encourages couples to embrace the club’s simplicity. “I can’t overstate the casualness of this place on a day as high-key as your wedding,” she says. “To be in a setting that is so peaceful and grounded, that adds to the experience and brings a level of comfort.”
Chequessett Yacht & Country Club • 680 Chequessett Neck Road • 508-349-3704 • cycc.net
Martha’s Vineyard wedding venue
Winnetu Oceanside Resort: Celebrate your love in Vineyard luxury
Picture this: A wedding party arrives at a dreamy beach ceremony in a 1932 open-air Double Model A wooden bus. With toes in the sand, the couple exchanges vows while surrounded by loved ones, windswept dunes, and the glistening Atlantic. Just a few feet away, a reception is to be held on the grounds of a luxurious resort.
This is just one way couples can celebrate their wedding at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort on Martha’s Vineyard. Whether the ceremony is held inside the hotel, or outdoors on the expansive lawn, large outdoor deck, or on the miles of beach that surround the property on the south of the island, the Winnetu offers several idyllic options for couples saying “I do.”
“When people think of an island, they think of having fun, but they also think of the water and the beach and the beauty, and I think we uniquely offer that,” says Mark Snider, who co-owns the resort with his wife, Gwenn. “We’re a full resort, so it’s a true getaway,” Snider adds. “We have all of the accommodations: food and beverage, children’s programs, pools and tennis. Everything is on site, so it’s easy to have that destination fantasy wedding.”
When couples choose the Winnetu, they receive personalized wedding planning services from the resort team, who will coordinate the ceremony and reception, and even a clambake-style rehearsal dinner. The resort also offers antique vehicle rides, a water taxi cruise into Edgartown, and concierge services to help guests plan island activities during their stay.
“Most couples plan an entire weekend around their wedding,” says Rachel Dodson, the hotel’s wedding and events manager. With 70 hotel guest rooms as well as 65 rental homes on the property, wedding guests all have the option of staying at the resort. “Everyone,” Dodson says, “can enjoy the amenities at the resort for the entire wedding weekend—and spend the whole weekend together.”
Winnetu Oceanside Resort • 31 Dunes Road, Edgartown • 508-310-7823 (Rachel Dodson, wedding & events) • winnetu.com
Nantucket wedding venue
The Wauwinet: Nantucket’s enchanting oasis
Romance. Luxury. Fine dining. The Wauwinet on Nantucket may be the epitome of all of these. The all-inclusive beachfront inn, situated between Nantucket Bay and the Atlantic on the northeast of the island, is a picturesque retreat with its own restaurant, spa and two private beaches. Located nine miles from downtown, The Wauwinet is the perfect place, says general manager Eric Landt, to escape the hustle and bustle of the island while enjoying its beauty in a private setting.
“There’s no other place like The Wauwinet on the island,” Landt says. “The hotel offers the ultimate ambiance—a storybook romance.” Couples looking for that quintessential romantic experience on their big day need look no further than The Wauwinet, Landt says. From a beach ceremony, to a tented reception on the lawn, to a “goodbye brunch” the day after the wedding, the resort staff takes care of everything to make one’s wedding celebration complete. The resort’s award-winning restaurant, Topper’s, caters receptions and offers fresh local fare such as Retsyo Oysters on the half shell, which are cultivated just 300 yards away—not to mention an impressive selection of 1,450 wines.
For their wedding weekend, couples have the option of reserving the entire hotel, which includes 32 guest rooms as well as four stand-alone cottages. “You feel like you’re at a home away from home,” Landt says. “What an experience to be able to take over the whole hotel and have the entire staff cater to your wedding.”
To get the most out of their stay, couples can also take advantage of the hotel’s many free activities, such as lobstering, kayaking, participating in a cooking class, or taking an excursion to Great Point. For the ultimate in luxury, one can even book the Anchorage House, which comes with the complimentary use of a luxury BMW during one’s stay. “We just hand you the keys,” Landt says. “No strings attached.”
The Wauwinet • 120 Wauwinet Road, Nantucket • 508-228-0145 • wauwinet.com
Twelve more Cape & Islands venues that can make your wedding truly one of a kind
Independence Harbor: Glorious gardens, endless memories
One of Southern New England’s prized destinations for private wedding receptions and garden wedding ceremonies, Independence Harbor in lovely Assonet is a beautiful 20-acre private estate that can be reserved exclusively for weddings and banquets. Convenient to Boston, Providence and Cape Cod, the attractive venue features endless gardens, a stunning gazebo, and affordable elegance for gatherings of up to 250.
Independence Harbor • 10 Narrows Road, Assonet (a village of Freetown) • 508-644-2225 • Ihweddings.com
Bourne Farm: Rustic and romantic—and rentable
Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries, Inc., a nonprofit conservation organization, rents Bourne Farm for weddings, receptions and other special events. Located on more than 50 acres of fields, trails and woodlands overlooking Crocker Pond, the farm is an attractive natural setting that’s perfect for outdoor celebrations. Rental parties enjoy the use of the historic barn, which was built in 1775.
Bourne Farm • 6 North Falmouth Highway, North Falmouth • 508-548-8484 • saltpondsanctuaries.org
Cape Cod Central Railroad: All aboard for a wedding on the rails
The Cape Cod Central Railroad offers a one-of-a-kind wedding experience. Couples can begin their life’s journey together while riding in a private wedding train, which travels along and across the Cape Cod Canal with a scheduled stop to enjoy the sunset. The charter trains include a three-hour ride, a five-course meal, and a truly moving experience. Bonus: Ceremonies can be held on the train or along the canal.
Cape Cod Central Railroad • 252 Main Street, Hyannis • 888-797-7245 • capetrain.com
The Old Yarmouth Inn: History & romance on Route 6A
Talk about history and romance, The Old Yarmouth Inn has more than 300 years of experience hosting guests and delivering delicious food and timeless memories. Staff at the iconic restaurant can help couples plan their wedding, whether it’s an intimate gathering or a gala reception for up to 175. Outside, an attractive foot bridge connects to the Kelley Chapel next door.
The Old Yarmouth Inn • 223 Route 6A, Yarmouth Port • 508-362-9962 • oldyarmouthinn.com
Lighthouse Inn: Couples, it’s your time to shine
Looking for a venue for your wedding ceremony and/or reception that’s a stone’s throw from the ocean and quintessentially and unmistakably Cape Cod? Steer a course to the Lighthouse Inn. With breathtaking ocean views and a fascinating history—the inn’s light once was a functioning lighthouse—the inn is a magical seaside retreat reminiscent of a time gone by. Accommodates celebrations of up to 200 guests.
Lighthouse Inn • 1 Lighthouse Road, West Dennis • 508-398-2244 • lighthouseinn.com
Wychmere Beach Club: A century of elegance
Longwood Venues & Destinations’ luxury wedding and retreat venue, Wychmere Beach Club, blends classic Americana style with the discreet glamour for which Longwood is known. The club spans 20 pristine acres along Nantucket Sound, and features distinctly designed event rooms with vintage, nautical and oceanside themes. Whichever space couples choose, Wychmere’s staff will help to ensure the celebration is elegant, heartwarming, and unforgettable.
Wychmere Beach Club • 23 Snow Inn Road, Harwich Port • 508-432-1000 • wychmerebeachclub.com
Truro Vineyards: It’s a good year . . . for a wedding
Truro Vineyards hosts exquisite weddings in spring, summer and fall for up to 85 guests. Ceremonies are often held beneath a 200-year-old mulberry tree on the property, or on the stunning outdoor pavilion, which offers sparkling views of the vineyard’s grounds. Intimate rehearsal dinners and other receptions for up to 35 people can be held in the rustic Barrel Room. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Truro Vineyards • 11 Shore Road, North Truro • 508-487-6200 • trurovineyardsofcapecod.com
Harbor Lounge: This peerless venue has its own pier!
Harbor Lounge offers casual elegance for wedding celebrations, and for patrons simply enjoying cocktails and the sunset. Extending out onto East End Beach, the stylish venue is accessible from sand and from water, and via a cobblestone path from Commercial Street. Known for its brunch weddings, Harbor Lounge also boasts its own lengthy pier, a great spot for ceremonies, group photo shots, and harbor gazing sessions.
Harbor Lounge • 359 Commercial Street, Provincetown • 508-413-9527 • theharborlounge.com
Outermost Inn: An edge-of-the-world experience
Located on the cliffs of Aquinnah, near Gay Head Light and overlooking Vineyard Sound, Outermost Inn is a remarkable venue for weddings and other events. With seven guest rooms, an outdoor patio, and fine dining onsite, the inn is a remote retreat for bridal brunches, rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. Working with local vendors and wedding planners, the inn can host parties of any size—and the amazing sunsets are on the house.
Outermost Inn • 81 Lighthouse Road, Aquinnah • 508-645-3511 • outermostinn.com
The Black Dog Tall Ships: A ship-shape celebration
The schooners of the Black Dog Tall Ships—Shenandoah and Alabama—can be chartered for a spectacular wedding experience. The Martha’s Vineyard company, which partners with The Black Dog Tavern and Black Dog Wharf, matches superior customer service and preparation with first-class fleet maintenance and presentation. Charters can depart from and/or return to several ports including Vineyard Haven, Nantucket, Woods Hole and Boston.
The Black Dog Tall Ships • 20 Beach Street Ext., Vineyard Haven • 508-693-1699 • theblackdogtallships.com
Wade Cottages: Cottage stylin’ in Siasconset
Located in charming ‘Sconset village, the historic Wade Cottages offer spectacular waterfront vistas, direct access to the beach below, and a spacious lawn for wedding ceremonies and receptions of up to 150 guests. Weddings can be booked on select dates in May, June, September and October, and the wedding package includes one day’s use of the entire property and four nights’ accommodation in the Guest Cottage, which sleeps 14.
Wade Cottages • 35 Shell Street, Siasconset • 508-257-1464 • wadecottages.com
The Nantucket Whaling Museum: Whale of a party—guaranteed
In historic downtown Nantucket, the Whaling Museum offers the perfect mix of modern design, history and tradition. The museum space features an incredible 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, elegant art, and priceless artifacts. The venue also boasts an impressive two-level space once used as an oil and candle factory, and a rooftop deck with sightlines to the sea. Together, the spaces make for a fascinating venue for weddings and other private events.
The Nantucket Whaling Museum • 13 Broad Street, Nantucket • 508-228-1894 • nha.org
Check out more venues for your Cape Cod dream wedding!