The Catskills, a mountain region in the southeast part of New York State, is an ideal wedding destination. The area is full of natural beauty; you can get married along a creek or in front of a waterfall, and mountain ranges give incredible vistas. Because of its proximity to New York City (it's around a two-hour drive), there are amazing chefs and hoteliers who call the region their home, too. Whether you're looking for a hipster hotel to a grand estate, the Catskills has something for you.
To help you plan your perfect Catskills wedding, we turned to Bethany Pickard, owner and lead planner for Modern Kicks, an event planning firm in the region. Weddings in the Catskills are all "beautifully different," she says. Still, there are some general rules. To get married here, she recommends having a budget of at least $800 to $1,000 a guest. While there are options for year-round weddings, she also suggests late May to early October as an ideal time to tie the knot in this region.
Meet the Expert
Bethany Pickard is the owner of Modern Kicks, an event planning company in the Catskills.
One of the greatest parts of the Catskills is how many beautiful, diverse venues there are. "The hotel venues in the Catskills are anything but ballrooms," explains Pickard. "Some require a tent, while others have a barn or other raw space that can be transformed for the wedding day. In addition, we have a large number of stand-alone barn spaces, estates, and reimagined historic properties to choose from."
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Here are some exceptional Catskills wedding venues for your big day.
Hayfield, located in Maplecrest, New York, has two renovated barns with beamed roofs and original floors that are over 200 years old. To add to the charm, the owners have built everything from scratch—from the dining tables to the benches guests sit on during the ceremony. "Hayfield is a special place that draws you in," says Pickard. "It overlooks a rolling field and forest, and gives you a feeling of being a million miles away."
Callicoon Hills is a historic resort with a lot to offer. You can have your ceremony in a secluded, wooded clearing along a river and your reception in a 4,000-square foot barn. Outside of your wedding, your guests can take advantage of the venue's hiking, swimming, and fire pits. "Callicoon Hills captures the fun spirit of the original Catskill resorts of the 19th century, but reimagined for today," adds Pickard.
Piaule opened in the summer of 2021. Located in Catskill, New York, the venue has minimalist architecture so the focus can be about the nature surrounding the property (the hotel warns on its website that you are likely to see deer, turkeys, chipmunks, porcupines, and the occasional bear!). The venue allows a few small weddings, and it's a special experience, explains Pickard: "If you're hosting an intimate wedding, Piaule is a must. The design is breathtaking and there is an overwhelming sense of calm and quiet there."
Handsome Hollow, located in the Catskill Mountains, has 93 acres of sprawling, lush meadows and rolling hills. The buildings are rustic chic, and one of the hardest decisions you will have is whether to stage your reception in the 18th-century Amish barn or the 100-year-old farmhouse. The venue feels like a private oasis, says Pickard. "It's tucked away in a quiet glen."
Hutton Brickyards opened in a former brick factory along the Hudson River. The structure of the old buildings remain, which gives this venue an industrial-chic vibe. This property is gigantic, and you can hold as big of a wedding as you want (one of the spaces fits 4,000 guests). The hotel will also arrange fun activities for all your guests including archery and lawn sports like croquet.
Urban Cowboy is a quirky lodge located on 68 acres of land. It's along the Esopus Creek, where many people come for fly fishing, and it boasts an Estonian sauna (that is also a speakeasy!), soaking tubs, and a swimming hole. The hotel has a vintage feel and rooms have hand-pained wallpaper, claw tubs, and pot belly stoves. You can have a wedding inside, in the retro restaurant, or outside on the lawn. If you want a more hipster vibe, this is your place.
Plattekill is a family-owned ski mountain in the western part of the Catskill Mountains. The resort hosts weddings where you and your guests can ride the chair lift and have a ceremony at the top of the mountain (with gorgeous views around you!). You'll have your reception in a retro lodge from the 1970s with wood-burning fireplaces and a wrap-around porch with perfectly placed Adirondack chairs.
A new, more formal option in the Catskills is The Eldred Preserve in Sullivan County. This venue has options for indoor and outdoor weddings. They also have a world-class chef, formal rooms with elegant décor, and a luxury boutique hotel where you can get ready before the ceremony and stay after your wedding. Plus, it's nestled into the Catskill Mountains so you'll have gorgeous scenery all around you. The Eldred Preserve can accommodate 30 to 100 guests, making it perfect for small or medium-sized affairs.
It may not be as new as other venues, but the Arnold House in Livingston Manor feels fresh, hip, and different. You can get married in the temperature-controlled greenhouse filled with exotic plants. Or you might opt for a party in the main inn where roaring fireplaces can light up the dance floor. The hotel has its own hiking trails, so you can have lots of space for a fun photoshoot on your big day.
The DeBruce is a world-class hotel with beautiful views overlooking the Willowemoc Valley. The venue has 600 acres of private land upon which you will find two mountains, a river, and several ponds. The small hotel—it only has 12 guest rooms—has perfected farm to table, growing many of its ingredients on its property. You'll also get impeccable service but with a laid-back atmosphere.