It’s difficult to say what time of year Vermont is most beautiful; its natural beauty transcends the seasons. Pastoral vistas are set against the Green Mountains, which turn bright with fall foliage and then settle beneath a peaceful blanket of snow come winter. The valleys are dotted with red barns and white farmhouses, and above the trees an occasional white steeple climbs skyward. No matter when you choose to wed, Vermont’s quaint architecture, breathtaking scenery and pristine wilderness are sure to delight you and your wedding guests.
Vermont boasts a variety of accommodations and venues perfect for bucolic, barn-and-mason-jar style nuptials, indulgent weekend packages at luxury resorts and everything in between. Lorin Holmes of Vermontweddings.com, the state’s largest online directory of wedding resources, advises that if you expect a large group and wish to have everyone in the same area, a resort or spa, such as The Equinox or Topnotch Resort & Spa, is likely the best choice.
On the other hand, “if you are set on a rustic barn wedding, then some or all of your guests may have to stay at another location. If that is the case, think about offering a shuttle on the night of the reception to make it easiest for your guests.” Venues like Sleepy Hollow’s curious, 17-sided barn provides a relaxed setting that nods to Vermont’s agrarian heritage. While many barns are not heated, and therefore closed in winter, The Barn at The Mountain Top Inn & Resort offers the best of both worlds: sleigh rides, hot cocoa and other wintertime wonders, plus a winterized space for ceremony and reception.
For the adventure-loving couple that embraces Vermont’s mountaineering spirit, most ski resorts host events throughout all four seasons. At Jay Peak Resort’s newly constructed, ski on/off accommodations, couples can easily hit the slopes with their families before the ceremony. Further south, Sugarbush has “unique on-mountain ceremony options where guests ride up the chair lift for a ceremony on our ski slopes,” says Andrea Cheney, group sales manager for Sugarbush Resort. In summer, their Gate House Base Lodge is transformed into a reception venue for up to 250 guests. For entertainment, the mountain’s Summer Adventure Center offers lift-served mountain biking, golfing, and a zip line, bungee trampoline and bounce house (for those really energetic kids, big and small).
If an intimate wedding at a secluded farmhouse inn is more your speed, consider the Red Clover Inn & Restaurant near Killington, whose farm-to-table cuisine is some of the best in the state. And while you’re thinking about food, direct foodie guests towards Vermont’s best gourmet operations with a welcome basket containing information about the Vermont Cheese Trail (vtcheese.com) and guided brewery tours (vermontbrewers.com), a sampling of maple candies and a travel-size bar of Elmore Mountain Farm’s all-natural goat’s milk soap. As Holmes points out, “most guests will consider your wedding weekend a mini vacation for themselves.” What better place to take a trip than Vermont?
Written by Caroline Goddard
Published in Southern New England Wedding Destination 2013 edition.
Cozy up in any of these lovely Vermont accommodations
WEST MOUNTAIN INN
144 River Rd., Arlington