Wedding planners Francie Dorman and Britt Cole of 42 North are known for putting together beautiful weddings that reflect New England’s storied style and sensibility. For those planning on tying the knot in the East Coast area, below, Dorman and Cole give us a peek into a few of their favorite wedding venues from the Berkshires, along the coast of Maine, all the way up to the islands off Massachusetts, along with a few ideas for guest activities to keep everyone entertained during one memorable wedding weekend.
Recently renovated in 2012, this property perfectly exemplifies Maine with endless rustic luxury. Part of a protected land trust, The Barn at Flanagan Farm is perfect for intimate gatherings—the barn and renovated farmhouse sit on over 60 acres of lush, green pasture. Inside, the gentleman’s hayloft opens to the bluestone patio just around the corner from the former chicken coop, which was recently re-fashioned into a modern bar.
Escaping on a Mini-Maine getaway? Organize an afternoon excursion to charming Portland and indulge in the local craft brew scene at Rising Tide Brewing before heading into town for some shopping or even a whale watching expedition (a crowd pleaser). Make sure to stop at Portland Hunt & Alpine Club for a post-afternoon cocktail and charcuterie.
This Renaissance palazzo on 22-secluded acres is magical, with endless areas for celebrating during a wedding weekend. This full-serviced property means guests won’t need to leave to feel entertained and highly cared for. Aside from the stunning terrace and grounds, Wheatleigh’s on-site tennis court, luxurious spa, and pool give guests endless possibilities for a weekend getaway.
Dubbed the Grey Lady of the Sea by sailors, Nantucket is one of the most charming areas of New England, that is reached by ferry. The Wauwinet exemplifies all that is beautiful about the island, with wildflowers brimming at every edge of the five-star property. With sweeping views of the Atlantic ocean, this property is perfect for golden-hour celebrations on the beach.
Exploring ACK? The island is brimming with antique shops, clam shacks, and charming B&B’s—one of our favorites is the newly redesigned Greydon House, which is a chic stay fit for even the most discerning guest. Rent a Jeep and explore the pristine beaches of Great Point on the northern tip of the island; or charter the Wauwinet’s own 1947 Woody for a tour of the quaint seaside village of Siasconset, located just a few miles from the hotel (champagne in hand).
Settled along the coast in northern Maine sits the most charming escape in Newagen Seaside Inn— breathtaking views and salty air included. Couples and guests have exclusive use of the property during the weekend, and over 20 acres of oceanfront fun like an alfresco lobster bake welcome dinner, rowboat excursions during the day, or even a friendly game of candlepin bowling in their billiards room.
If you have dreams of Great Gatsby-inspired Old World elegance, look no further than Rosecliff. With its French baroque revival architecture and manicured grounds, this property is steeped in history and elegance, surrounded by the coastal charm of Newport, RI.
Have an extra day? Enjoy an early-morning walk along the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk, tour the meticulously preserved mansions and enjoy a cocktail at Spiced Peak inside the historic Chanler hotel.
The Crane Estate will always have a special place in my heart since I was married here! The 165-acre National Historic Landmark, in all its grandeur and grace, has been the setting for many 42 North weddings in the past. Each time, we try to rethink how we can creatively use the hidden corners of the property to reveal it to guests in a new way. It features stunning Italian gardens adorned with limestone sculptures, a Stuart-style mansion by world-renowned architect David Adler, and sweeping water views of the Ipswich River—this venue is simply a treasure.
Marianmade Farm resembles a slice of Provence in New England. From their scenic waterfront for outdoor ceremonies to the enchanting timber frame Lavender Drying House for dinner and dancing, this is the perfect spot for an intimate and memorable celebration. With exclusive access from Thursday through Sunday, couples can host a festive welcome party, rehearsal, wedding celebration, and next-day brunch entirely on this distinctive property and in complete privacy.
Nestled in the rolling hills of The Berkshires lies Chesterwood; the country home, studio, and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), the creator of the Minute Man and Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial. Inside the studio, walls are lined with unique sculptures, paintings, and artistic renderings from the artist himself, which instantly transport visitors to another era. We love the hidden garden for an intimate outdoor ceremony.
Embracing the great outdoors? Organize an afternoon trip to the Berkshire Botanical Gardens or the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. Or pack a picnic and catch some music at Tanglewood in Lenox, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
For an intimate and rustic, yet luxurious wedding weekend amongst Mother Nature, Hidden Pond is Maine’s best kept secret. Relax in their enchanting treehouse spa, overlooking acres of the birch forest below. The entire property is exclusively available to your and your guests during the weekend, with enough flexibility to design a truly custom celebration.
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, and one of our favorite spots to host a distinctive black tie affair. The venue hosts very few private weddings, so being a part of a celebration in this museum is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. (Couples or their family must be members of the Director’s Circle to host an event.) The breathtaking glass-encased Shapiro Family Courtyard is a spectacular space for guests to dine and dance amongst American artist Dale Chihuly’s spectacular Lime Green Icicle Tower.
Excited to soak up the city life? Arrange a classic brasserie brunch at The Mandarin Oriental, explore boutique shopping along the cobblestone Charles Street in Beacon Hill, and enjoy a private sunset cruise around the serene Harbor on the Schooner Adirondack III via Classic Harbor Line.