The Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the smaller peaks to their south offer snowy vistas and great skiing during the winter. But when the slopes turn green, the scenery is lush and the vistas become colorful while remaining spectacular.
Ski resorts, with their diverse landscapes, many restaurants and indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, provide idyllic settings for a wedding, large or small. While some couples prefer tying the knot in their hometown and others seek a faraway destination, many like the idea of a country setting that is relatively easy for friends and family to access.
Ski resorts can fill the bill. Most resorts need to make use of their facilities year-round rather than letting them sit idle once the snow has gone. Adventure parks, concerts, festivals and fairs have taken over the summer resort scene. And weddings have as well. Many resorts, in addition to venues for the ceremony and reception, have on-site or nearby lodging to accommodate guests from farther away or those who prefer not to drive after a day or evening of celebrating.
Stowe Mountain Resort is one such area that offers a wide variety of options to meet different numbers and tastes. The Great Room & Patio at Spruce Camp Base Lodge is a prime choice for mid- to largesize weddings, as it can accommodate 100 to 300 or more guests. With its stunning architecture, a large stone fireplace in the full-service bar and lounge area and sliders to a stone patio facing the slopes of Spruce Peak, it provides a setting suitable for all phases of the celebration. The patio has a wood-burning fireplace and is an inviting place for a ceremony or cocktail reception. The Great Room is perfect for larger weddings and sit-down receptions. And it all comes with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
The Cliff House Restaurant sits at an elevation of 3,625 feet tucked into Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. A gondola ride brings guests up from the base to take in dramatic vistas of the Green Mountains and the Stowe Valley below. There’s an outdoor deck with striking views for the ceremony and/or cocktails, and the Cliff House itself can seat up to 75 guests, perfect for a more intimate party.
At the base of the Toll Road Trail, in the Toll Road Conference Center, the Mansfield Ballroom, with its vaulted cathedral ceiling, walls of windows and plenty of natural light, provides another wonderful venue with views for a wedding reception. Adjacent to the ballroom is the Terrace Garden, a more natural setting for those preferring an outdoor ceremony and reception. About halfway up the Toll Road is the Mountain Chapel. Ceremonies here are officiated by ordained and accredited ministers. Guests are able to access the chapel by car or on foot.
The Stowe area offers a wide assortment of lodging options both at the resort’s lodging properties, on the access road and in the village of Stowe. The resort’s friendly, knowledgeable staff places an emphasis on service and is exceptional about working with couples to plan their special day.
Spring through autumn, Pats Peak in Henniker, N.H., offers a perfect location for a mountain wedding. With its proximity to Boston and Manchester, guests coming from far away have easy access by air and car. Indoor and outdoor venues are available and can be combined, with an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception. The Sleigh Room and adjacent Sleigh Pub on the third floor of the Main Lodge boasts a gorgeous stone fireplace, with plenty of space for dining and dancing and seating, with views, for 200. In the Valley Lodge, the Valley Room also accommodates both dining and dancing, has large windows facing the views and a nice cocktail area. Both rooms are air conditioned. There are outdoor decks providing a picturesque backdrop and panoramic views for a ceremony or small reception. The area’s Summit Ceremony Skyride Package takes the wedding couple and guests by chairlift to the mountain’s summit for a spectacular outdoor ceremony amidst the panoramic background of the surrounding hills. “Pats Peak offers an elegant, rustic-style location for weddings along with scenic views of the mountain,” said Lori Rowell, Pats Peak director of marketing and sales.
The area prides itself on personalized service and custom tailoring your wedding to provide just what you want. An on-site wedding planner works closely with the couple to ensure every detail is attended to, any potential issues are resolved and everything functions perfectly on the big day. The sales and banquet staff work closely with the executive chef, and the impressive menu can be customized to suit the desires of the bride and groom. For overnight accommodations, the town of Henniker has the Colby Hill Inn, the Henniker Motel and several B&Bs. Within a 10- or 12-mile radius, there are a number of other choices of inns, motels and B&Bs.
Purity Spring Resort in Madison, N.H., might be an ideal place for couples looking for a natural setting for their special day, whether casual or elegant. Purity’s wedding coordinator has more than 25 years of experience assisting the bride and groom in planning the day of their dreams. Venues can range from the summit of King Pine Ski Area to the tranquil shores of Purity Lake. With several options for reception spaces, both indoors and out, parties ranging from 50 to 200 guests can be hosted. For overnight guests, the resort has accommodations ranging from small inns to individual cottages to a number of condominium units.
There are a multitude of wedding sites from which to choose throughout ski country. In New Hampshire, The Mountain Club on Loon, Mount Sunapee Resort, Whitney’s Inn at Black Mountain and the Mountain View Grand Resort are just a few of the many choices. Vermont has a myriad of choices, from large resorts like Sugarbush and Jay Peak offering numerous sites for the ceremony and reception to more intimate inns and hotels throughout the state.
Castle in the Clouds is a historic gem nestled high on the mountainside above Lake Winnipesaukee, with three beautiful locations on-site to host your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Built in 1914, this Arts and Crafts-style mountaintop estate features a heavenly framework that encompasses the art of living in harmony with nature.
Breathtaking gardens filled with bright flowers, lush pastures, exposed stone, sweeping views, and country fresh charm create the perfect setting for your wedding in the sky. Say “I do” in the oval garden of the historic Lucknow estate, enjoy cocktail hour on our outdoor terrace overlooking the lake, and dine and dance with a view in the window-filled Winnipesaukee room, or celebrate under your own tented space in our sprawling meadow. Wedding packages and services are tailored to your needs and creative design.
No matter your preference, there’s a perfect place for your wedding in the beautiful New England country.