Some brides have a perfect vision of their wedding: a waterfront ceremony or cocktails overlooking a well-groomed golf course. Others don’t know what they want until they see it. Whichever category you claim, these country clubs and country settings from Rhode Island to Maine will inspire you as you ponder the perfect venue for your wedding reception or rehearsal dinner.
An expansive view of Cape Cod Bay, from the Cape Cod Canal to Provincetown, distinguishes weddings at White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts. “We have direct waterfront set on a 150-foot cliff,” says Function Director Jen Alman. “We also have award-winning gardens and a highly decorated executive chef.” May through October, dinner for up to 200 is held in a tent connected to the Bay Room for dancing. Winter weddings use the Cliff and Bay Rooms, also available for rehearsal dinners.
Wedding guests at Harbor Lights Marina and Country Club, located on Warwick Neck in Rhode Island, also enjoy a waterfront view, with ceremonies and tented receptions on the Seaside Terrace. The Grand Ballroom accommodates up to 300 guests. “Harbor Lights is coastal elegance at its finest – an unrivaled combination of natural beauty, panoramic vistas and modern facilities,” says Ilana Rubin, weddings and events administrator. “Our commitment is to create a truly unique and memorable celebration for you with breathtaking ambiance, delicious food, superb service and seamless execution. We take great pride in our ability to anticipate your needs and deliver the smallest of requests. If you can dream it, we can do it.”
Also in Warwick, Valley Country Club evokes turn-of-the-century character with stained glass windows and stone fireplaces in the Victorian Room. Cocktail hour on the upper and lower decks highlights views of the golf course, while an oversized dance floor in the ballroom, accommodating up to 275 guests, gets the party going. “The main bar is in the same room as the reception, which is popular with brides who want everyone in one room,” says Melodi Caruso, club events manager. “We’re known for our food, prepared by our amazing executive chef Terry Saccomagno.”
Local produce, some from their own vegetable, fruit and herb garden, enhance the reception menu at Zukas Hilltop Barn in Spencer, Massachusetts. Set amid 20 acres of rolling hills, Zukas Hilltop Barn promises beautiful photo opportunities. A bridal suite allows the newlyweds to stay on-site, and a day spa helps primp and pamper the wedding party. “Privacy is the biggest asset, though we’re still accessible,” says owner Lynn Zukas. “Attention to detail and simple elegance are our trademarks.”
Whispering Pines Conference Center on the W. Alton Jones Campus of the University of Rhode Island in West Greenwich offers laidback fun on 2,300 acres overlooking Lake Eisenhower. Four lodges house 32 guest rooms. Receptions are in the main lodge, with cocktail hour on the deck overlooking the lake. “It’s beautiful and secluded,” says Wedding Coordinator Lily Wilson. “We light a bonfire after the reception and bring out a s’mores basket. Guests can hang out as long as they like because they’re not bothering anyone. It’s very relaxed when everyone’s staying on-site, and guests have access to our canoes and hiking trails.”
Rustic elegance in the form of an authentic post and beam barn is the draw at The Links at Outlook in South Berwick, Maine. “Everyone falls in love with the structure,” says Jeff Maldonis, general manager. “We also get a lot of accolades for our customer service. We listen to bridal couples, find out what they want, and then coordinate that with great attention to detail. We’re an easy mini-destination, only 70 miles from Boston. We have an exceptional menu selection and welcome special requests.”
A vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams and expansive windows overlooking the golf course render The Pavilion at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts, warm and inviting for a wedding reception. A garden gazebo is available for outdoor ceremonies, and catering is by East Bay Grille of Plymouth.
At Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, couples can exchange vows on the Bayview Deck overlooking Narragansett Bay or in the picturesque garden gazebo. The ballroom and its two covered decks can host up to 450 guests, and the Narragansett Room accommodates 200. “We have an outstanding, long-term reputation for fine food and service,” says Assistant General Manager Carole Temple. “We’ve been doing this for 29 years at this location. The beautiful grounds and exclusive nature of a country club contribute to a beautiful wedding.”
Whatever the season, Independence Harbor in Assonet, Massachusetts, has idyllic settings for indoor fireside ceremonies or outdoor garden ceremonies. The gardens throughout this 20-acre, private estate are picture-perfect in bloom or covered with snow, and the staff at “The Harbor” is dedicated to customizing your wedding to your vision.
Willowbend in Mashpee, Massachusetts, brings Cape Cod ambiance to your wedding, from Shoestring Bay breezes and a cranberry bog backdrop to outdoor ceremonies by the 18th green. The airy and elegant main dining room hosts up to 275 people. The Stone Terrace, featuring an outdoor bar and built-in grill, is a relaxed and elegant space for cocktails and sunset views over the bog.
Story by Lenore Cullen Barnes