Courtesy of Windham Hill Inn
Admit it: you want your wedding to be the only one happening at your venue, especially if you're hosting a destination wedding—no randoms wandering through the reception dinner or unfortunate looking hotel guests showing up in the ceremony photos.
Well, if you're envisioning "charming New England countryside," then southern Vermont's Windham Hill Inn is your spot: you can have this ultrasecluded retreat all to yourselves. Surrounded by so-picturesque-it-hurts views of woodlands and rolling hills, there's a frog pond, a pool, tennis courts, hiking trails, and a historic main house and converted barn—both elegantly furnished with antiques and locally-crafted furniture—that sleep up to 46 guests. During a recent visit, I found it easy to picture a couple making the place their own for the weekend, with their closest friends and family members relaxing in the homey parlors and lounges on the first floor of the main house, or wandering around the beautifully landscaped gardens (think lush lawns and flower beds filled with vibrant flowers).
Here's the wedding low down: The inn usually hosts a casual rehearsal dinner on Friday night, followed by an afternoon ceremony in the garden the next day. A formal seated dinner for 80 can be held under a tent off the barn's terrace, and the great room on the lower level of the barn can be used for dancing (which can continue into the early hours of the morning if you want, since there's no one around to disturb). Smaller weddings of up to 40 guests can take place in the main house's cozy dining room. As for the food, expect the best of local fare, like in-house hickory smoked duck breast and garden leek, potato and Grafton cheddar tarts, prepared for you by gourmet chefs.
And get this— if you spend at least $25K, you also get a free honeymoon at one of the inn's sister properties, the Mykonos Grace or Santorini Grace hotels in Greece (includes four nights' accommodation, airport transfers, daily champagne breakfast, and dinner with local wines). How's that for a deal? —Lauren Matthews, editor, brides.com
Check out other lovely venues in Vermont, by clicking here.