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A Warm Reception


Last Updated: 08/13/2013 4:02 pm

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Lefevre House: For the Anti-Bridezilla
Weddings can be stressful. In fact, they are stressful, and planning a full-blown affair may not be your cup of tea. This does not mean that anyone should be forced to be married in a downtrodden courthouse or by an Elvis impersonator. You can still have your proverbial wedding cake and eat it too. The staff at Lefevre House Bed and Breakfast will plan a delightfully personal day that you’ll not only remember, but can afford. Whether you’re eloping or gathering with your nearest and dearest, the beautiful guestrooms, full spa treatments, and gourmet dining at the Lefevre House will make for a memorable event that your bridesmaids will never hate you for. www.lefevrehouse.com

Full Moon Resort: For the Treehugger Who Knows How to Throw a Party
If exchanging vows on a hillside covered with wildflowers is your idea of a dream wedding, then Full Moon Resort is where you’ll want to host your reception. The resort, a forest preserve in the Catskills, is about as laid back as the couples it hosts when it comes to planning and can easily work with a family gathering or 200-plus guests. The rustic and remodeled barn has loads of character, and tents are a popular outdoor option. Full Moon specializes in weekend-long events, with plenty of choices for accommodations on its 100 acres. Couples who really want to get in touch with Mother Nature will love the yurt for their honeymoon suite. www.fullmoonresort.com

Cascade Mountain Winery: Cru with a View
Whether you’re an oenophile or simply love the idea of a wine-themed wedding, the Cascade Mountain Winery will cover all bases. Bill and Margaret Wetmore, along with their children, planted the vineyard in 1972 as a school project and started the winery five years later. The lush green rows of vineyards perched at the top of the Berkshire foothills makes for supremely distinct scenery. The wine bar not only guarantees good boozing but also adds extra character to what will already be a unique reception. (There also happens to be a simple art gallery on the property.) Bill says that most couple who host their reception here are “people who love the country. The wine is a major bonus.” He also mentions that they are not in a commercial zone like most restaurants and describes the setting as “rural splendor.” They can accommodate smaller receptions upstairs or the wine cellar downstairs. A group of any size can have a tented reception outdoors. You might feel sorry for that friend who gets married at the generic reception hall the weekend after you. www.cascademt.com

Locust Grove: He’s a History Buff and She Likes to Smell the Roses
Not only is the Locust Grove a national landmark, it also happens to be the former home of Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, who bough the Italianate villa designed by Alexander Jackson Davis and 100 acres of land surrounding it in 1847. Just think of the ultra-unique wedding themes you can run with here. (Ticker tape confetti instead of rice, perhaps?) This 19th-century country estate in Poughkeepsie offers a reception room that will comfortably accommodate 150 for dinner and dancing on the lovely herringbone-patterned oak floor. The French doors open to views of sensational gardens and landscaping that have been bringing students, tourists, gardeners, and history buffs for years. www.lgny.org

The Rhinecliff Hotel: If Antiques Aren’t Your Thing
The Rhinecliff Hotel gives couples a fresh option and a clean look for those who’d like a more modern affair. Its shiny new exterior sits just off the Rhinecliff Amtrak stop over the Hudson River with patios perfect for socializing (they’ll even provide ear plugs for the train noise). Though the hotel was renovated by James Chapman and his brother in 2008, it’s not to say that it doesn’t have a seedier past. The Rhinecliff may be a looker now, but not long ago the place was an eyesore down by the river that was once a boxcar hub for famous musicians. The rooms have been gutted and replaced with airy, yet minimalistic décor. Honeymooners usually opt for the suite offering the hotel’s signature simplistic décor, but it also features a private outdoor sundeck with corner whirlpool. The brothers pay homage to the past by keeping the original bar where you can host a casual reception or rehearsal dinner. Chapman’s own past, studded with stints hosting events at Cipriani and the famed Rainbow Room, make a nice résumé when it comes to throwing a wedding reception. www.therhinecliff.com

Laura Viggiano pauses for a picture with friends during her wedding at Full Moon Resort in Shandaken. - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • Laura Viggiano pauses for a picture with friends during her wedding at Full Moon Resort in Shandaken.


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