Barns and Beyond: Rustic Wedding Ideas in New England
New England does barns, farms and beautiful views better than almost anyone, so it follows naturally that New England is a wonderful destination for a rustic wedding. Whether you’d like to say your vows in an antique barn, underneath cool pines or on a hillside, we’ve found a few New England rustic wedding venues that have everything you need for a naturally elegant day.
A Rustic Wedding meets Waterfront Elegance in Maine
On the shore of Sebago Lake, the cool pine forest and lake views at Migis Lodge are a spectacular setting for a rustic wedding in Maine. The lodge started life as a rustic retreat called “National Camps” in 1916; nowadays, it’s an elegant hideaway where private cottages and a homey Main Lodge are connected to a sandy beach and tennis courts by beautiful wooded paths. At Migis, it’s a rare place that doesn’t come with a lake view, and the wedding venue is no different. Brides walk down a green grassy aisle, after making an entrance in a vintage Chris Craft motorboat, to say their vows with the lake and mountains beyond for a backdrop.
While the bride and groom boat off into the sunset, guests nosh hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, and after dinner, warm up at a bonfire on the front terrace. Once thoroughly exhausted, everyone settles into cottages with fireplaces, handmade quilts and porches overlooking the lake. Resort facilities — from kayaks and motorboats to tennis and fitness classes — are at the disposal of guests and a New England Lobster Bake is an option for the rehearsal dinner or the day after.
A Bright New Hampshire Barn Wedding
Once a working farm in the hills of the White Mountains, the Christmas Farm Inn in Jackson, NH, has the personal touches and homey feel of a country inn with the amenities of a modern resort. While mountain views, an award-winning chef and an on-site spa (with hair and make-up services) are all points in its favor, the real star of a rustic wedding here is the antique barn. Original timber frames and a large fieldstone fireplace date to the 18th century, while high ceilings give an open, airy quality that is hard to replicate in many barn weddings.
The antique barn is a rustic ceremony and reception venue in winter and summer, while in the summer months there is plenty of space to say your vows in the inn’s award-winning floral gardens. Larger receptions can held on the front lawn, in a spacious, tented venue. Guests staying at the Christmas Farm Inn have a number of lodging options spread throughout the rambling property, from inn rooms to suites to private cottages.
Far and Away Views on a Vermont Farm
Imagine walking down the aisle toward “one of the most breathtaking hilltop views in Vermont” (so says Vermont Life), and you’ve got a picture of an outdoor wedding at the Inn at Mountain View Farm. In Vermont’s romantic-sounding Northeast Kingdom, the inn rests on a 440-acre historic farm with miles of hiking trails and a farm animal sanctuary. If you’re after a feeling of true separation from the rest of the world, then a wedding here fits the bill.
The Inn’s distinctive red Morgan Horse Barn has wide open doors, which the hills beyond peek through. Inside, the newly renovated barn is an open reception space for up to 200 guests — perfect if you’re planning a larger Vermont barn wedding. Some of the horse stalls are still intact, and creative planners can use them to make intimate dining nooks or cozy seating areas. Photo credits: Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake (first and second); Jasper & Ivy Photography at the Christmas Farm Inn (third & fourth); Rajan Chawla at the Inn at Mountain View Farm.