Great Wedding Reception Venues on the East Coast
The East Coast is as beautiful as it is diverse, spanning from the top of Maine to the tip of Florida. Covering plenty of ground in both the North and the South, it's a popular region to get married in. Whether you're a native to the area, have family nearby, or just love to visit a certain spot along the Atlantic, an East Coast wedding may be right for you.
With its thick forests, sprawling shorelines, mountain ranges, and famous cities, the East appeals to nearly every sort of vision, be it rustic, modern, classic, or a mix. For a warm, intimate wedding, check out the one of the many East Coast barns. For something elegant and oceanside, consider tying the knot at a seaside resort. There are cool hotels for contemporary couples, museums and gardens with cultural appeal, and older venues with plenty of history—see, we told you, diverse! No matter the size of your nuptial affair or the type of wedding you hope to have, the East Coast has plenty to offer when it comes to gorgeous event spaces.
Interested in planning an eastern celebration in one of the coastline's 15 states? Ahead, some of our favorite options, from real weddings and the pages of our magazine. Click through for a list of top places to book for your wedding reception and cocktail hour.
Mayflower Inn & Spa, Washington, Connecticut
Couples dreaming of a picture-perfect garden wedding should look no further than the Mayflower Inn & Spa, located in the town of Washington, Connecticut. Set on 58-acres of woodland and perfectly manicured gardens, this Auberge Resorts Collection property is less than a two-hour drive from New York City and features a built-in Sperry Tent situated on the great lawn. The outdoor tented reception area can accomodate up to 150 guests seated and up to 300 standing.
The Inn at Perry Cabin, St. Michaels, Maryland
The Inn at Perry Cabin sits on the Chesapeake Bay, so coastal charm is a given. Indoor spaces are available to couples, as are the acres of gorgeous gardens. Guests can also lodge at the hotel, making planning even easier. Do you recognize this famous facade? It was a filming location for Wedding Crashers.
DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Gurney's Star Island, Montauk, New York
Looking for a waterfront venue that's driving distance from New York City? Consider Gurney's Star Island Resort & Marina. The indoor-outdoor venue, situated on Lake Montauk, is a great choice for city couples who want to host an intimate, nautical celebration. If you prefer the beach (and have a larger guest list), explore Star Island's sister property, Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa.
Overlook Barn, Banner Elk, North Carolina
The Overlook Barn is a rustic venue that was renovated specifically with weddings in mind. For an outdoor reception, use Mary's Meadow, where the mountain backdrop can't be beat.
Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, Maine
For a woodsy wedding, try Hidden Pond. The window-lined Event Barn has open ceilings and enough space for 80 wedding guests.
Handsome Hollow, Long Eddy, New York
Handsome Hollow is a 93-acre property with trails, springs, blueberry fields, and more. The barn was first built over 200 years ago, and has since been beautifully remodeled.
Sassafras Fork Farm, Rougemont, North Carolina
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, New York
Storm King, a Hudson Valley sculpture park, is just an hour from New York City. Striking exhibitions and a pastoral landscape give the space its beauty.
Riverside on the Potomac, Leesburg, Virginia
Cliff House, Cape Neddick, Maine
Cliff House's grounds overlook the Atlantic Ocean, so breathtaking views are a given. For cocktail hour, try the Cape Neddick Salon, which includes an outdoor terrace. Then move into the Atlantic Ballroom for a reception with views of the water.
Ram's Head Inn, Shelter Island, New York
Head to beautiful Shelter Island and tie the knot at the Ram's Head Inn. With its own private beach, a waterfront gazebo, a large front lawn, and, of course, the inn itself, there's plenty of room to spread out. The venue prides itself on its beauty and seclusion, so you can be sure your wedding will take place far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Vinegar Hill Music Theatre, Arundel, Maine
Vinegar Hill is intimate and historic, and typically hosts local musical talent. Book the barn, which has wrought-iron chandeliers, or use the patio area, which has its own hand-built bar.
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts
Meridian House, Washington, D.C.
Some consider the Meridian House the best example of French architecture in the United States. It sits beside a grove of linden trees and cocktail hour-worthy gardens, and the spaces inside are both elegant and refined—perfect for a formal wedding.
Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Key Largo, Florida
Book Playa Largo's ballroom for Keys-style glamour—it has panoramic views and courtyards, too. There's also a pool terrace, beachfront areas, and tree-filled lawns for outdoor weddings.
Newagen Seaside Inn, Southport, Maine
Marry your partner right on the water at Newagen Seaside Inn. After tying the knot outdoors with Boothbay Harbor as your backdrop, take your reception to the oceanfront restaurant, where the views never cease. Guests can also stay on the property, which simplifies planning for accommodations.
Crooked River, Hiltons, Virginia
Receptions at Crooked River are held at the historic Ohio Grist Mill. The structure, which was built in the early 1800s, is warmly lit and offers a rustic ambiance.
The Marker Waterfront Resort, Key West, Florida
The Marker Waterfront Resort is especially charming thanks to its Old Town architecture. Use the wraparound veranda for your cocktail hour, then migrate to the Harbor House Ballroom for dinner and dancing.
The Hartford Club, Hartford, Connecticut
The Hartford Club is the oldest private social club in the area. Built in the 1800s, it's paneled in dark wood and embellished with grand fireplaces, original chandeliers, and a gilded ceiling.
The Bowery Hotel, New York, New York
The effortlessly cool vibes of the downtown Bowery Hotel will undoubtedly rub off on any and all celebrations held here. The vintage-y second floor, with its large private terrace, has hosted album-release parties and swanky benefits. Coming up: your killer reception.
St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, Florida
At the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, choose from a giant glass conservatory, Spanish-style gardens, or a classic ballroom with 22-foot-high ceilings for your event. Before the festivities begin, your guests can wander around admiring all the artwork.
Wainright House, Rye, New York
Francophiles, listen up! There's a little bit of France just 40 minutes north of New York City. Wainwright House, modeled after a stately French chateau, is a tres chic wedding location with vistas across Milton Harbor to the Marshlands Conservancy.
Metropolitan Building, Long Island City, New York
Originally built as an electrical-parts factory, the Metropolitan Building was converted to an event venue in 1980. It's a highly customizable space with a wide range of rooms, including a piano bar lounge, a lofty expanse with 14-foot ceilings, and a mirrored salon.
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York
Riverside Yacht Club, Riverside, Connecticut
New York Academy of Sciences, New York, New York
Located in downtown Manhattan, the New York Academy of Sciences offers a 40th-floor event space with breathtaking views of the New York City skyline. Perfect for a green wedding, this is a gold-certified LEED building.
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, Connecticut
Smack on the banks of the Lieutenant River, the Florence Griswold Museum can be yours for either an indoor celebration amid the galleries or an outside gathering on the Adrian P. Moore Garden Terrace overlooking the glassy water.
Blue Hill, Pocantico Hills, New York
For food that's a standout, not an afterthought, hold your bash at Blue Hill, a restaurant that uses only the freshest ingredients grown or raised on neighboring farms.
Castle Hill Resort & Spa, Ludlow, Vermont
Charming only begins to describe the boutique Castle Hill Resort & Spa in the ski town of Ludlow. Whether you want a tented fete in the fresh mountain air or an elegant affair in a formal dining room, they've got you covered.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York
At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, choose your reception location from the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, Cranford Rose Garden, or Osborne Garden, which has wisteria-wrapped pergolas that just scream "ceremony marker."
Location 05, New York, New York
Located in Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood, Location 05 is a collection of six loft spaces; some are furnished with artful, neutral pieces, while others are totally bare presenting a clean slate so you can let your imagination run wild.
Picnic House, Brooklyn, New York
The brick-and-glass Picnic House, originally built in 1927, overlooks the lawns of Prospect Park, an oasis in urban Brooklyn.
Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring, Maryland
At Brookside Gardens, summertime will see you outside surrounded by buds, blossoms, and blooms, while in wintertime you'll be snug as a bug in the conservatory or the reception hall, which has panoramic garden views.
Oheka Castle, Huntington, New York
Originally the country's second-largest private residence, the Oheka Castle is now known for its manicured gardens, opulent rooms, and mouthwatering catering.
Winvian, Litchfield, Connecticut
The grounds are as beautiful as the buildings at the Winvian, a rustic getaway in the Litchfield Hills, the lowermost section of the Berkshire Mountains.
Sunset Beach Hotel, Shelter Island, New York
Hotelier Andre Balazs's carefree Sunset Beach Inn has a French restaurant right on the sand that was made for jovial revelers. If you're planning to wed during the summer, Andre Balazs' own wine, Sunset Beach Rose, simply must be your drink of choice.
Pond Pavilion of the Equinox Resort, Manchester, Vermont
The Equinox Resort seems to have everything: a golf course, a gorgeous spa, expansive grounds, and even a historic house that was once the home of Abraham Lincoln's granddaughter. The celebration sites are just as impressive: three ballrooms, a variety of gardens (which aren't garden variety), and a pond-fronting pavilion.
Lauxmont Farms, Wrightsville, Pennsylvania
Fronting a river, the 1,400-acre Lauxmont Farms lets couples choose from gardens (both sunken and Japanese), rolling pastures, a domed rotunda, and a cobblestone courtyard for their sure-to-be-scenic vows.
The Foundry, Long Island City, New York
All brick, iron, and glass, the 19th-century Foundry has been spruced up, yet it still retains its cool industrial feel with several rooms plus a courtyard and terrace.
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