Summer weddings always are beautiful. A wedding at a rustic, yet elegant, lakeside inn is no exception.
Loon Lodge Inn and Restaurant, located in Rangeley, Maine, on the shores of Rangeley Lake, provides a bucolic setting. The charming log building, set on 5.4 acres with a private beach, has eight guest rooms including a family suite. In addition, there’s the Pickford House with an additional four guest rooms. It boasts two restaurants with fine dining — the Dining Room and the more intimate Pickford Pub. Lovely views and sunsets, a great room with a fieldstone fireplace, comfortable furnishings, and plenty of rustic charm make this an ideal setting for weddings.
Loon Lodge Inn has an interesting history dating back to its origins as a family camp more than 100 years ago. Back then, there were a number of grand hotels along the shores of Rangeley Lake with a boardwalk along the shoreline for a stroll into the town of Rangeley. Families came from all over the Northeast to vacation there. Over the next 40 years or so, the property was sold several times to various families using it as a private home or family camp. It first opened for public dining and lodging in 1960, the same year Saddleback opened for skiing. In the ensuing decades, it changed ownership and names several more times. Many renovations were made during this period and, in the mid-1980s, it first became a wedding destination for couples seeking a small wedding venue.
In 2006, current owners Usha and Gawain Wood purchased the property, and it became the Loon Lodge Inn and Restaurant. They have brought the buildings and property back to their former glory with the creation of lovely gardens and stunning landscaping, in addition to improvements on the building itself. The addition of a wonderful room on the garden level is perfect for small weddings or gatherings. There are six rooms on the second floor, each with a private bath and gorgeous views of either the lake or the woods and surrounding mountains. On the first floor, two guest rooms, also with private bath, have a private entrance to the lawn and gardens as well as lovely lake and sunset views.
Loon Lodge’s summer wedding package offers complete banquet services for 175 guests in a wedding tent. In winter, the lodge can accommodate a smaller ceremony and reception of up to 30 guests. An event manager is on staff ready to assist with everything to make the couple’s day special, including vendors for flowers, cakes, photography and music.
Many resorts throughout ski country offer picturesque settings for both indoor and outdoor weddings for groups of any size. Ragged Mountain, in central New Hampshire, has several different venues for ceremonies and receptions from small to large. The Meadows, at the base of the mountain, has sweeping views of birches and pines with a lush green setting. It’s just a short distance from the Elmwood Lodge. With a bar, large stone fireplace, and a dance floor, this rustically charming post-and-beam building has seating for up to 200 guests and makes a truly exceptional setting for a reception. Just down the road, the historic New Hampshire Mountain Inn, with its verdant gardens, huge lawn and serene pond near a lovely ceremony site, offers yet another option for a couple’s special day. The inn itself has 11 guest rooms, spacious gathering areas, a pool and a tavern for family, friends or the wedding party to gather.
Mountain Top Resort, in Chittenden, Vt., is another resort offering multiple indoor and outdoor venues for ceremonies of any size. Options include The Knoll, a sweeping meadow with panoramic views; The Terrace, adjacent to the Main Lodge and providing meadow, lake and mountain views; The Beach, a secluded waterfront site on a crystal-clear lake; and The Loft, an indoor setting with a custom birch arbor and floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lake and mountains. There also are many other spots around the 700-acre resort, both indoor and outdoor, where a smaller wedding of up to 40 guests can be held. There are a variety of reception options available for both large and small weddings. The resort’s wedding coordinators are available to help folks find the perfect spot.
In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Whitney’s Inn in Jackson has been hosting guests since the 1930s. Located at the base of Black Mountain, the inn is situated on 12 acres, and the pastoral setting hosts 40 to 50 weddings a year. With three different ceremony sites and a choice of areas for cocktails, including the Birches Dining Room, the patio and the front lawn, couples will find just the right spot in this rustic setting. For authentic New England charm, the barn, a restored post-and-beam building originally built in 1842, offers three open levels for a reception with ample space for dining, dancing and drinking. Whitney’s capable and guest-oriented staff is there to help with every detail.
Joan Wallen can be reached at [email protected].