With its green mountains, picturesque barns, quaint small towns, apple trees, maple syrup, cheese and craft beer, Vermont is everything you want a New England state to be. While most people consider a destination wedding in California or Mexico, there are plenty of other options. Why not opt for something a bit more off the beaten path like a small town all-American destination wedding in Vermont?
Late summer and early fall are the ideal times for a Vermont destination wedding. Woodstock, Vermont is the quintessential small town. It offers everything you need for a fun-filled destination wedding. Located just 2.5 hours from Boston's Logan Airport and New York's Albany Airport, Woodstock is a great destination for anyone living in the New England or New York areas.
Woodstock is full of shops, general stores and cafes. It is close to some great breweries, cheese farms and dozens of picturesque sightseeing spots, including those stunning barns and covered bridges that make Vermont so unique.
We have sampled the restaurants and explored the town and have put together what we think is the perfect destination wedding weekend itinerary in Woodstock, Vermont.
Here it is:
Day 1: Arrival
A wedding weekend should last for no less than three days. With this length of time, your guests will have plenty of chances to see the town, try local restaurants, and explore in addition to taking part in the wedding activities. Out-of-town guests will arrive in Albany or Boston and then make the 2.5 hour journey to Woodstock, Vermont by car.
You can welcome your guests with a basket filled with local goodies like Vermont beers, apples, fruit spreads and snacks. Then, your guests can begin checking into the town's best accommodations, the Woodstock Inn.
The Inn's front lawn is the perfect place to host a welcome reception once everyone is settled in. The stunning space is ideal for mixing and mingling. Guests who arrive late can take part in the party before they check in. For refreshments, you can serve local craft beer and cider and offer tapas-like snacks such as a cheese and charcuterie spread.
Woodstock has plenty of great restaurants. You can suggest a few or just let your guests explore for the evening on their own.
Day 2: Explore, Taste and See
On the first full day, you can organize a tour in and around Woodstock so that your guests have a chance to see why you love Vermont.
Start off the morning with a visit to Billings Farm and Museum. Here you can tour the farm, hang out with the resident goats and take a stroll through the museum. After Billings, your group can make a stop at Sugarbush Farm for a cheese and maple syrup tasting. There are several historic barns and covered bridges between these two farms.
After the farm tours, it's time to head to Long Trail Brewery for lunch and beer tasting. You can plan to dine on the picnic tables overlooking the river. This is the perfect opportunity to let your guests fill up on pub fare and amazing local beer. After eating, they can explore the river. After the picnic, it will be time to head back to Woodstock for the afternoon.
The late afternoon is a good time to have the wedding rehearsal. Once the practice is finished, you can head over to enjoy a rehearsal dinner at Simon Pearce. You can take over the patio area for the meal. It is a good ideal to plan for an early dinner. If you can do this, your guests can take advantage of the views and explore the shop and glass blowing studio before it gets dark. Simon Pearce can accommodate large and small groups, making it a great option for a rehearsal dinner.
After dinner, your party can head back to the Woodstock Inn. If your guests are not ready for bed, send them to the basement for an evening of video games, scrabble, checkers, skee-ball, and every other childhood game you can think of. The best part of the game room is that all the games are super sized!
Day 3: The Wedding Day at the Hewitt Hill Farm
Begin the day by letting your wedding guests have a little free time.
Arrange for your bridal party to head over early to spend the morning on the Hewitt Hill Farm while they prepare for the big day. You can hire a shuttle to take your guests between Woodstock and the farm. The drive only takes about 15 minutes.
Plan for a ceremony under the apple tree with views of the lake. When the "I dos" have been said, you can host a cocktail hour on the estate's patio. This can be followed by a dinner and reception in Hewett Hill's barn.
You can keep the Vermont theme going by serving fresh pressed apples, bourbon in copper mugs, local craft beer and cider. Another only-in-Vermont option is an open-fire barbecue with cooked-to-order meats and vegetables. You can even serve apple pie that has been baked over an open flame.
After dinner, you can dance the night away under the stars!
Where to stay
Woodstock Inn- 150 rooms
The Woodstock Inn is a boutique inn with all the amenities of a five star resort. It offers a state of the art athletic center, a golf course, indoor and outdoor event facilities and a full service day spa. Despite all these features, it somehow manages to feel small and quaint. The Inn also has two restaurants, Richard's Tavern and Red Rooster. In addition, there is the Fairway Grill, which opens seasonally.
Hewitt Hill Farm is located just 15 minutes from Downtown Woodstock in North Pomfret. Hewitt Hill is an exclusive-use farmhouse estate that has 11 bedrooms. In all, the property can host up to 28 guests. Hewitt Hill sits on over 100 acres of farmland. It features open lawn space, apple orchards, a lake and three barns.
Additional accommodations in Woodstock
506 on the River Inn
Jackson House Inn
Farmhouse at Robinson Farm
Where to eat
For lunch, a visit to the Simon Pearce factory is a must. Sit out on the enclosed patio overlooking the covered bridge and dam. Enjoy a sampling of local cheese and a signature cocktail. After lunch, stroll the shop, where you can buy everything from glassware to farmhouse pottery.
For beer lovers and farm-to-fork enthusiasts, Worthy Kitchen is THE place right now in Woodstock. Ask any local where to eat and the response will almost always be “Worthy Kitchen.” This restaurant has over 20 local craft beers on tap. The menu changes based on what is fresh. The options are posted daily on a chalkboard.
For a real tavern-style meal head to Richard's Tavern at the Woodstock Inn. The dark wood beams, low ceilings, large leather chairs, cozy wood bar, and dim lighting makes for a perfect casual-yet-intimate setting. While the hotel may advertise Richard's Tavern as "casual pub fare," you might find that "casual" is an understatement. We noshed on a delicious seafood stew, lobster Cobb salad and a swordfish appetizer. All these dishes were worthy of a five star restaurant.
What to do
Everywhere you turn in Vermont, you will see signs for cheese tasting. Here are a few of our favorite cheese farms near Woodstock, Vermont.
Brewery and distillery tours and tastings
While most of the breweries are about an hour north of Woodstock, the trip is well worth it.
Worthy Kitchen (restaurant with over 20 local beers on tap)
Billings Farm is a historic dairy farm and museum that will transport you back into time. Tour and explore the farm and spend time with the sheep, horses and other livestock.
Where to shop
General stores seem to be on every corner in Vermont. They are the best places to snag local goods like maple syrup, beer, moonshine, mustard, pickles, cheese and anything else made and packaged in Vermont.
A local market that has a great selection of local favorites.
If you have a love for beautiful things, especially pottery, then a stop at Farmhouse Pottery is a must.
Simon Pearce is the place to go for all things glass. Everything sold here is hand blown onsite.
Woodstock and the surrounding areas are perfect for a destination wedding weekend.
Have any local insight on Woodstock, Vermont or another similar wedding weekend destination? We want to hear about it!!