A look at venues, classic and new
Because wedding parties can range in size from two to 300, wedding essential to know what’s new or what’s been added to an existing location, planners also need to know how to best use that space.
“I like to recommend locations that are flexible enough to hold more than one type of event,” wedding planner Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin, of Weddings on the Vineyard, said.
One new location for wedding events is State Road restaurant in West Tisbury, which opened last June. Co-owner Mary Kenworth says they can handle a rehearsal dinner or Sunday brunch for 60 people but some brides incorporate State Road into their weddings even if they don’t have an event there. The restaurant sells decadent chocolate bars named after Island towns, with a bit of each town’s history on the back. “Brides love them for gift bags,” Ms. Kenworth said. “I had one bride order 200 of them.”
The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust hosts weddings at their historic facilities in Edgartown, the Whaling Church and Dr. Daniel Fisher House, at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs, and at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Event coordinator Janet Heath says an antique gazebo was recently donated to the trust for the Fisher House. “It was built for the Peabody family’s home in Danvers in 1840, the same year the Fisher House was built,” she said.
Descendents of the Peabody family moved it to their Vineyard home but decided to give it to the trust. “It’s become the focal point for a new formal garden on the west lawn, with a fountain and brick walkway,” Ms. Heath said. The four-acre property accommodates groups of 250 on the lawn or smaller receptions of up to 50 in the historic home.
Greer Boyle, wedding coordinator for Atria restaurant in Edgartown, says the venue offers locations on three levels and can handle 150 guests inside or out. The front lawn can hold an arrival cocktail party, and they have their own tent for a reception on the back lawn.
Atria can accommodate a reception, rehearsal dinner or Sunday brunch in the entire first floor of the restaurant or in smaller private dining rooms that hold 25, 65 or 90. And the restaurant’s lower level houses the Brick Cellar Bar that could be the location for an after-wedding party for up to 100 guests.
A wedding in the gazebo at the Harbor View Hotel brings the Edgartown lighthouse into your photos without getting sand in your shoes. There is space for 100 seated guests on the porch plus the wedding party itself in the gazebo. Their back garden accommodates a reception of 250 people. Inside, the Edgartown Room, which opens onto the porch and offers harbor and lighthouse views, holds 110 guests.
“It used to be that people would just ask for the gazebo or the Edgartown Room, but wedding sizes seem so varied now,” director of catering Elizabeth Rothwell said. She says some smaller weddings have opted for the private room seating 20 within the newly renovated Water street dining room.
For something more intimate, the Stardust, the Harbor View’s six-passenger picnic boat, can hold the bride and groom, officiant, photographer and the captain. “We’re talking with a couple now where the entire wedding party is just them and their baby,” she said. “We’re going to cater a dinner in their hotel room.” The Harbor View offers 114 rooms and suites.
At the Lambert’s Cove Inn In West Tisbury, co-owner Scott Jones said, “An event can make a big circle around the property — starting in the formal wedding garden with the ceremony under the pergola, then flowing around the pool area for cocktails, and ending in our dining room that seats 75 or in a tent on the lawn for up to 300.” Lambert’s Cove is available just for events before or after the wedding, but for a ceremony, the wedding party is required to rent all of the inn’s 15 rooms.
With the Home Port restaurant now under the same ownership as neighbors Beach Plum and Menemsha inns, wedding parties never need to leave Chilmark. The two inns combined have 29 hotel rooms, 12 cottages and three homes.
The events can begin with a rehearsal dinner clambake or welcome party at the Home Port where the dining room holds 140 people. At the Menemsha Inn, there is room for 35 in the Tea House but the guest list could grow to 60 if the porch is included, or 200 in a tent on the lawn.
The Beach Plum Inn restaurant has seating for 80 but outdoors, where there are two patios, a gazebo and a croquet lawn, there’s room for up to 300 people for a tented reception. “The Beach Plum even has its own sliver of beach for a ceremony,” Doriana Klumick, assistant general manager and events coordinator said. “And there’s a fire pit for fixing s’mores at the end of the evening.”
The Beach Plum Inn has a new, two-story building called the Hay Loft with a master suite on the second floor and a living room on the first floor that can hold a small cocktail event. Ms. Klumick says groups can hold a Sunday brunch at any of the three venues.
Inn stays include passes to Lucy Vincent and Squibnocket beaches with transportation provided by the inn’s shuttle, so there’s no need for wedding guests to bring cars. That’s a very specific destination for a destination wedding.
[Originally published in the May 14, 2010 issue of the Vineyard Gazette's Wedding Planner; reviewed for updates in 2012.]