Skip the stress: Elope at these inns
Those who want to sneak away to avoid the hassle of wedding planning and big expenses — or those who simply prefer an intimate ceremony with their beloved — are in luck. A number of hotels and inns in New England offer elopement packages that usually include an officiant or judge, and provide variations of romantic meals, flowers, cake, and deluxe accommodations. Some offer additional amenities such as massages, monogrammed robes, and wedding photo portraits — proof that you really tied the knot.
Manchester Village, Vt.
Surrounded by mountains that are picturesque in any season, the Kimpton Taconic Hotel offers an elopement package designed to eliminate the stress of wedding planning. “Escape to Elope” includes one night in a Junior Suite — with welcome cocktail and cheese plate on arrival — officiant and Vermont marriage license, seasonal florals, professional photography (with a flash drive of hi-resolution images), champagne toast, and a personalized cake for two. After the ceremony, enjoy a three-course farm-to-table candlelit dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, The Copper Grouse. The basic package also offers turndown service with chocolates, breakfast in bed (with 2 p.m. late checkout), and plush monogrammed robes. For a full weekend getaway, elopers can add experiences such as couples massage, sunrise yoga, “Walk in the Woods” photography excursion, custom-drawn bath with bubbles and bubbly, private glass-blowing sessions, craft cocktail lesson, live painting of nuptials, and — in winter — a sleigh ride. Ceremony locations may be on-site or within a five-mile radius of the hotel. Must be booked seven days prior to wedding date. Rates from $2,000. 877-699-3331, www.taconichotel.com
The scent of the sea fills the air in Rockland where an intimate ceremony can be scheduled at the Berry Manor Inn. Once a stately home for one of Rockland’s most prominent merchants, this Victorian B&B offers an all-inclusive Maine elopement package that arranges every detail, including the officiate, flowers (bridal bouquet and matching boutonniere for the groom; or two bouquets or two boutonnieres), two-tiered cake, two witnesses (required by Maine law), and a professional photographer who will take 50-75 photos, delivered the following day on CD. The inn offers various on-site locations for the ceremony, including a rose garden, stately grand staircase, sun room with wedding arbor, or at a nearby waterfront location. After the ceremony, a taxi will whisk you, with a $100 voucher for an intimate dinner for two, to your choice of participating local restaurants. On returning to your luxury king room — with fireplace and whirlpool tub — turndown service with chocolate-dipped strawberries, rose petals, and champagne awaits. The two-night package also includes daily multicourse private breakfasts. The couple must visit the town office in person to apply for the marriage license. More license information is available on the inn’s website. Seasonal rates: $1,460-$1,760. 800-774-5692, www.berrymanorinn.com
Located on tree-lined Old Main Street in this historic Colonial-era town, the Deerfield Inn offers two all-inclusive elopement packages. The first features the basics: one night accommodation (in a suite when available), breakfast in restaurant or in bed, choice of chocolate-covered strawberries or cheese plate in room upon arrival, use of the Beehive Parlor or gardens for ceremony, Justice of the Peace services, boutonniere and bridal posy, sparkling wine toast at dinner, a $50 gift card to in-house restaurant Champy’s, celebratory cake of your choice, and two plush robes to take home. The second, a two-night package, offers most of the above, and ups the experience with a dozen long-stemmed roses and a cheese platter awaiting your arrival, a bottle of champagne to be enjoyed in your room or at dinner, a half-hour couples massage, and additional evening sweets delivered to your room after dinner. Add-ons for both packages include one-hour photography services (from $250) and massage upgrades. Package One: $1,250; Package Two: $2,000. 413-774-5587, www.deerfieldinn.com
West Chesterfield, N.H.
Escape to New Hampshire for your private nuptials at the Chesterfield Inn, a luxury bed and breakfast in a renovated farmhouse. Set at the top of a winding road, the 10-acre property overlooks the scenic Connecticut River Valley near the border of Vermont. The elopement package is an add-on to the price of the room of your choice, from a fireplace room with a whirlpool and private deck ($319 per night) to a standard king room ($149 per night). The room price includes full cooked-to-
order breakfast with the option of having it served in bed. The elopement package provides a bridal bouquet, small wedding cake, sparkling wine for the toast, a three-course dinner for two in the candlelit dining room, and Justice of the Peace fee. $700. 603-256-3211, www.chesterfieldinn.com
For a classic — and affordable — New England coastal ceremony, head to the marina district in the quaint village of Niantic. With colorful gardens and views of hundreds of boats docked just outside its doors, the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina offers a picture-perfect Elopement Package as an add-on to its seasonally priced rooms (from $220). The two-night package allows use of the inn grounds for the ceremony, and includes a platter of fruit, cheese, and chocolate to welcome your arrival, chilled bottle of champagne, and two etched keepsake glasses, a $75 gift certificate for a romantic dinner at a local restaurant, and a $50 gift certificate for a future visit to the hotel. While a Justice of the Peace is not included in the package, the hotel can provide the names and numbers of contacts, as can the nearby East Lyme Town Hall where you can apply for a marriage license. Elopement package: $190. 860-739-0331, www.innharborhill.com