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Choosing The Right Vermont Venue

White Rocks Inn, Photo by Letter10 Creative

Probably one of the single most important decisions to make regarding your wedding, after the actual date, would be what venue to host it at. For those that have day-dreamed about their wedding day, and already started planning it pre-engagement, this may be an easy task - but for most it is a difficult decision. Often guest count and budget come into play when narrowing down the options, but also the type of venue is an important factor to consider. Vermont has many different styles of venues and locations to choose from and the number of choices can be overwhelming.

If you live in Vermont, starting with venues close by can be an obvious place to start. However, don't let distance discourage you from venturing out beyond your 'burb. Many venues offer on-site accommodations which can be well worth the cost as it eliminates the need for other expenses, such as transportation, and all of your guests can stay at the same place allowing the party to extend later into the night and the entire weekend. Plus you have the added benefit of discovering a new part of Vermont and avoiding having your wedding at the same venue as all of your friends.

Echo Lake Aquarium, Photo by Rodeo & Co.

With so many venues to pick from, it can be hard to decide, but there are some basic factors that should go into your decision:

YOUR GUESTS - How many guests you plan on inviting is a huge consideration as most venues have a maximum amount of guests allowed. Try to estimate a general head count before you start looking into venues to avoid falling in love with a place that ends up being too small. Also, how many out of town guests you have should be a consideration. Having your wedding at a venue that offers accommodations, or that there is plenty of nearby accommodations, will help make traveling to your wedding that much easier for the out-of-towners.

BUDGET - This is a pretty big factor and will seal the deal on what venue you ultimately go with. If you have a smaller budget then think about the price range before you go looking at venues. You don't want to tour a location and fall in love with it if there is no way it can fit your budget. Consider venues that offer packages, that include catering, bar service, and sometimes even flowers. These can often be a great value over hiring separate vendors for each service. Overall, thought, most venues are willing to work with you to figure out a way to make your budget work.

THEME/AMBIANCE - Are you pretty traditional and like classic style weddings? Or do you want to showcase the beautiful state of Vermont and it's natural landscape? Think about your personalities and what fits you when looking at venues. Are you outdoorsy and love to hike, ski, or snowboard? Maybe a wedding on the mountain would be perfect for you. But if you are the opposite of a nature lover and prefer glitz and glamour, then perhaps a traditional ballroom would be more fitting. Read on for more detailed descriptions on the styles of wedding venues here in Vermont.

Here are the four main categories of Vermont Wedding Venues:

The Old Lantern

The Vermont Barn wedding has been very popular for the past many years and continues to be a strong contender. With charming, rustic architecture, often overlooking idyllic mountains and fields, what's not to love? If you are wishing for a wedding that says 'Vermont!', complete with mason jar centerpieces and burlap bunting banners, then this would be a perfect fit for you.
Vermont Bride's Favorite Barn Venues: The Old Lantern, White Rocks Inn, Parkmont Farm, The Arlington Inn, Sleepy Hollow Inn, Mountain Top Inn & Resort, The Inn at Willow Pond

The Essex Resort and Spa

If crystal chandeliers, dupioni silk covered chairs, parquet dance floors, and black tie elegance get your heart racing, then perhaps a more traditional venue would work for you. Ballrooms tend to be able to accommodate a much larger guest count, so if your guest list is topping 200 or more, then you should definitely consider this option. They are available for any season and most traditional venues have on-site accommodations, meaning your party-goers won't have to go far to get to their room. Resorts and Hotels typically include on-site catering as well as an on-staff wedding planner to help keep track of all the details.
Vermont Bride's Favorite Traditional Venues: Sunset Ballroom, Sheraton Hotel Burlington, Hampton Inn Burlington, Capitol Plaza Hotel, Jay Peak ResortStowe Mountain Resort, Essex Resort and Spa, Burlington Country Club, Basin Harbor Club and Resort, Catamount Country Club, The Abbey, Echo Lake Aquarium

The Mountain Top Inn & Resort, Photo by Lovebuzzphoto

There is nothing more majestic than the Green Mountains towering high above you. Whether it's summer, fall, or winter - the mountains offer a beautiful scene to behold. Whether you are avid skiers, hikers, or just want a breathtaking backdrop, a venue in a mountain setting is the perfect way to wow your guests. For a fall wedding the mountain foliage will provide amazing photo opportunities, while in the winter the pure, serene snow offers the opportunity to cozy up by the fire with a warm cup of cocoa after a horse-drawn sleigh ride.
Vermont Bride's Favorite Mountain Venues: Jay Peak Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, The Ponds at Bolton ValleySleepy Hollow InnMountain Top Inn & Resort,

The Arlington Inn

For those seeking a more intimate affair, perhaps even an elopement, a small, cozy Bed and Breakfast might be just the thing. Charming old houses and manors that have been re-discovered as an escape from the hustle and bustle of life, they are the perfect place for a small gathering of your closest friends and family. Hidden away from all the lights of the city, if privacy is something you are looking for then look no further than one of Vermont's Inns. These venues also typically offer on-site catering and, of course, accommodations, and many have special wedding-for-two packages.
Vermont Bride's Favorite Inns: Brandon Inn, Tourterelle Inn, Wilburton Inn, An Affair By The Lake, Middlebury Inn, White Rocks InnParkmont FarmThe Arlington InnSleepy Hollow InnMountain Top Inn & ResortThe Inn at Willow Pond

Of course this only scratches the surface on what Vermont wedding venues have to offer. Each has it's own unique details and ambiance that can only be experienced with an in-person visit. Try to narrow down your choices to three or four and then take the time to tour the property and talk with the event manager. Ask lots of questions and, of course, remember to have fun! Your wedding day should be a magical and enjoyable experience and that starts with choosing the right venue that fits you perfectly.