Get Some Air
Sixteen farms, vineyards, and other outdoor spaces for hosting your summer wedding.
Barberry Hill Farm
This working farm plays host frequently to Connecticut’s popular foodie feasts Dinners at the Farm, so the venue is well-oiled when it comes to special events. The same team of culinary whizzes is happy to extend its services for reception dinners and will source dozens of fruits and vegetables straight from the property’s fields. Cocktail hour is usually held alongside the cultivated wildflower and vegetable fields, and a tent (not included in the rental fee) is used for welcoming guests for dinner and dancing at the end of the rustic, gravel driveway. The farm accommodates up to 300 partygoers, with total costs (including the site rental fee of $1,800 to $2,500) starting at $15,000 to $30,000. 353 Boston Post Rd., Madison, Conn.; 203-245-2373; barberryhillfarm.com.
Blooming Hill Farm
A sort of homespun version of the more popular Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Blooming Hill Farm, in the heart of the Hudson Valley, is a much-lauded family-run operation, whose produce is favored by culinary heavyweights such as Mario Batali and David Chang. Shelley Boris, a former manager and cheese buyer at the original Dean & Deluca, runs the kitchen for all special events and has a creative way with the season’s bounty: She utilizes quirky summer crops, such as purple carrots, candy-striped beets, and pink radishes. Couples tend to get hitched by the lazy brook behind the main farm stand and hang around the wood-burning pizza oven and bar for cocktail hour. Then the party typically moves to a sit-down dinner in a tent that holds up to 125 guests (an adjacent, quaint 500-square-foot farm stand doubles as the dance floor). Site rentals range from $1,500 to $2,000. 1251 Route 208, Blooming Grove, N.Y.; 845-424-8204; bloominghillfarm.net.
Cedar Lakes Estate
In the 1920s, this 500-acre site, located 70 miles from Manhattan, was used as a summer camp for inner-city youth. Today, couples typically rent out the entire property and make a weekend of it—from Friday-night rehearsal dinner through Sunday brunch—swimming, zip-lining, and relaxing in between the festivities. Following a ceremony on the mountaintop, cocktail hour is typically on the patio overlooking its lake, with dinner by candlelight in the barn, and a farewell brunch in the poolside cabana the next day. There’s a terrific, all-inclusive gourmet catering option, so all meals are taken care of, and accommodations are quite flexible: thirteen luxury cottages for 26 to 30 guests and “camper” cabins that can sleep up to 500. 1 Team USA Way, Port Jervis, N.Y.; 551-427-5979; cedarlakesestate.com.
Driftwood Farms—a sprawling 140-acre seaside sanctuary at the tip of Long Island’s North Fork—exudes a blend of Montauk-meets-Martha’s-Vineyard relaxed sophistication. Its windswept lawns frame a quarter mile of private beachfront access to the Long Island Sound, providing an unobstructed infinity-view backdrop unlike anywhere else on the island. There’s a stunning 600-foot bluff—the perfect spot to tent a reception for up to 150. But it’s critical to keep in mind that the weather here tends to be fickle, so couples may also consider the upscale barn space as an alternative. Husband and wife owners, Steven and Gretchen Mezynieski, connect you with the reputable vendors they use exclusively, such as up-and-comers Creative Courses Catering, run by Ryan Flatley and Samy Sabil of the acclaimed North Fork Table & Inn. 35675 Main Rd., Orient Point, N.Y.; 631-323-8069; driftwoodfarms.com.
Katchkie is the type of Hudson Valley farm that every city dweller swoons over: It’s beautifully manicured, meticulously maintained, and teeming with choice organic vegetables. Special events are Katchkie’s forte—its parent company is catering giant Great Performances (see “Season Liberally,” page 116)—and it can go all-out for receptions hosting 150 to 200 guests. Following cocktail hour in a pavilion overlooking a pond, guests make their way to the field’s center for a tented dinner. The three-course meal, frequently arranged as plated appetizer and first course with a buffet-dinner spread, is farm-to-table nirvana. Tasty options include mini eggplant-parmesan tarts with homemade tomato sauce and hand-pulled mozzarella, and local ocean sea bass with roasted-mushroom-and-zucchini salad. Site rental cost is $2,500. 34 Fischer Rd. Ext., Kinderhook, N.Y.; 212-727-2424; katchkiefarm.com.