Many couples choose Cape Cod for their wedding because they want to have their feet in the sand when they get married, or at least have their ceremony outside at one of the many picturesque locations around the Cape. Although weather is always a factor when you have an outdoor ceremony, the risk is completely worth it when you end up with that perfect, sunny Cape Cod day. Below I list some great locations to consider if you are planning to get married outside on the Cape, as well as how to plan the proper rain plan.
Beaches - Public vs Private
When planning a beach wedding, you need to first figure if the beach you are looking at using is public or private. If you have a house on the water, or are renting a house on the water for your event, the beach is most likely private, which makes a beach ceremony very easy for you. The only restrictions you may have to consider is if the beach is part of an association and that the association has rules on beach ceremonies. Most likely you are free to use the beach without issue.
For public beaches it can be a bit trickier. You will have to reach out to the town and get their regulations on beach ceremonies. Each town is different, but most have a small fee to use the beach and also require that any set-up and break-down happens within an hour before and after the ceremony. Depending on your time of day and time of year, you will also have to consider the parking for your guests. If it is before 5 p.m. your guests would have to pay for parking or be shuttled in. After 5 p.m. there would be no parking fee and there would typically be less people on the beach. Lots of things to consider!
Jonathan Young Windmill, Orleans
There are many windmills on the Cape - Brewster, Eastham, Chatham, Sandwich - but there is one in Orleans on the water, very close to the Orleans Inn, that is a beautiful location for a seaside wedding. Check with the town on wedding ceremony regulations.
Chatham Bars Inn, Boat House
There are many reception locations on the Cape that also offer outdoor ceremony locations as a part of the package and for smaller weddings, I would have to say that the Boat House at the Chatham Bars Inn takes the cake for me. This is one of my most favorite locations on the Cape to have a ceremony. The view is amazing, you can be in the sand or on the lawn with the same great view. And if your wedding is small enough, your back up would be inside the Boat House with the same beautiful view!
Actually located in West Falmouth, Bourne Farm is a beautiful location for those brides looking for an outdoor ceremony and reception without being on the beach. There are many locations on the farm for your ceremony as well - under a large tree, with a view of the pond and more.
The biggest plan that you need to have in place for an outdoor ceremony is a back-up plan (or two!) in case of rain, wind, hurricanes, or whatever nasty thing Mother Nature could throw your way. Usually it is pretty easy to put this plan in place - either you have a reception tent you can go under or you can schedule to have a tent put up if the weather forecast is not looking good, or your reception venue will have an indoor option for you. Yes, typically the back-up is not nearly as perfect as your number one choice, but without one you will lose your mind!
Last week we were featured on Style Me Pretty! I was so excited to find out in February that Judy & Ben's wedding was going to be featured, but I was not sure when we would see it. So on March 27th we got our first official Style Me Pretty post! You can see it here - the photos and details of this wedding were amazing!
Thanks to Judy for her great DIY ideas, it made her day very easy to execute so that she did not have to worry about a thing. They were able to relax and enjoy knowing that all of their details were being executed behind the scenes.
Big shout out to Mandee who helped me that day. We have since sworn off hanging any cafe lighting! We will leave that one to the pros, especially in August!
I am so excited for all of my weddings this year, especially because they are truly taking me all over the Cape! So I thought I would take a minute to highlight all of these beautiful locations on Cape Cod to have your wedding and maybe you will see me there this Spring, Summer or Fall! Of course there are many other locations on the Cape that I do not mention here, but this gives you a small sampling of the locations I have been and may stem some ideas for you!
Located in Harwich, this beautiful resort sits on Pleasant Bay and is a wonderful location for your event. Especially if you love the lower Cape.
Located in Brewster, this resort has many different options for your wedding from a mansion ballroom to a poolside pavilion and smaller venues on their golf course and their mansion. Great for a large wedding or a small rehearsal dinner!
Cape Cod Museum of Art
Located in Dennis, this art museum is perfect for weddings under 100ppl. With a 2 beautiful gardens for ceremony and cocktail hour and 2 large rooms with local art on the walls, this location is fun, different and a great location for those not set on a beach feel.
Located in Falmouth, this resort was recently renovated and is located right on the beach! If you want to get married with your feet in the sand, it is an option at the SeaCrest.
Wellfleet Preservation Hall
Located in Wellfleet, this newly renovated and restored facility was formerly the town's Catholic Church. With two spacious halls (one with a stage), beautifully landscaped grounds and garden, it is a great location for intimate gatherings to larger private functions.
The Sea View
Located in Dennis, is a function hall location right across from the beach and in great vicinity to resorts for your guests. The Sea View has a beautiful outdoor ceremony reception, a really fun bar for cocktail hour and a great space for dinner and dancing.
Located in North Falmouth, is a great outdoor venue if you are looking for a tented reception. With a large pond, a small barn and a great lawn for any size tent, this location is picture perfect!
Located in Mashpee, is right on the water! A great way to feel like you are on the beach and almost having a tented event, without having the concern about weather.
Chatham Bars Inn
Located in Chatham, is not only my old stomping grounds, but has wedding venues for those looking for a modern beach feel at the Beach House Grill or Boat House, to a vintage feel in their grand Main Dining Room. Ceremonies in the sand with a beautiful ocean view!
I am also doing a couple of at home weddings off Cape this year as well!
I sure do love having a summer filled with weddings at Chatham Bars Inn - it is so nice to work with familiar faces like Clarissa Davis and Chef Cole again!
This time though I was with a new couple, Adare and Patrick. I worked very closely with Adare and her mom Teal throughout the planning process and they had a lot of details that needed attention - from mason jars and paper straws for the signature drinks to a beautiful tray of sea glass for the escort cards. The day was perfect - just missing out on a nasty hurricane that weekend - with a church ceremony at Holy Redeemer in Chatham and reception following at the Beach House Grill.
The photography was done by Amy Dykens - which you will see featured in the next issue of Southern New England Weddings!! - the flowers were done by Patrice Milley and the linen overlays provided by Rentals Unlimited. A band drove up from and back from New York City that evening to play for them and an exit with sparklers and an ice cream truck ended the evening of fun and dancing! I cannot wait to see the photos in the magazine - this was a truly elegant and beautiful event!
Working with Judy & Ben was so much fun! I knew that when I first met them in my office at the beginning of the year that we were going to have fun when Judy pulled out her adorable mini idea book with fabulous travel inspired ideas in navy and pink!
The event was beautiful, with absolutely every aspect planned by the bride, all I had to do was execute her vision. From the cafe lights over the deck and pink candy bar to the luggage tag escort cards in suit cases and post card guest book, she did not miss a beat. If Judy was not a nurse I would be afraid she would steal my day job!
For vendors they worked with some new people that I was fortunate enough to get to work with for the first time. He photographer was Grace Kim, from Washington state if I remember correctly, and her hair and make-up was done by Charlotte Phinney from Boston. Her flowers were beautiful and done by The Tangled Web, a new florist from Pembroke who was great to work with as well! And the over all event was held at the Beach House Grill atChatham Bars Inn - my old stomping grounds!
Jana & Brooks were a fabulous couple looking to get married on Cape Cod in July with their closest friends and family - and one of my most favorite locations on the Cape for an intimate ceremony and reception is the Boat House at Chatham Bars Inn.
They had their ceremony on the edge of the sand on a beautiful clear day. Tom Davis was there to shoot photos (check out his photos here), Designers Touch provided the stunning flowers and Rentals Unlimited delivered all of the chairs and linens. They even rented a serpentine kids table with buckets we put together for each child attending. We also arranged the Chatham Bars Inn activities staff to come and take the kids on a scavenger hunt around the beach so the adults could enjoy their clam bake dinner.
Man do I love wedding season on Cape Cod! I just had my first wedding of the year last Friday at the Boat House at Chatham Bars Inn. It is hands down one of my favorite ceremony/reception locations on Cape Cod for under 50 people. Susan and John were such an awesome couple to work with too, which makes my job a lot easier! And it could not have been a better day for a wedding, even topped it off with the moon rising out over the water, unreal.
Now onto other weddings and filing my first away as a job well done. Next I am off to South Dartmouth for repeat business! Last year I did a wedding on July 25th in South Dartmouth for Sara and now I am going back to do her twin sister Lisa's wedding. Who would ever think that you could - or should - get repeat business in the wedding industry? I am so thankful that I get to work with their family again though, it makes for a long day, but is totally worth it.
The house is located at a beautiful location as well at their parents house at the very back of farm land. Just keeping my fingers crossed that the weather works to our advantage. They have a great band from Murray Hill Talent and are working with other great vendors from the Dartmouth area. Unfortunately not my Cape favorites, but excellent businesses that I will have the pleasure of working with for 2 years now. Some of them do work on the Cape from time to time so I may have to bring them back to the Cape with me!
Without a doubt I am extremely happy to be able to work with my awesome couples this year and I look forward to keeping you updated with my events as they roll out!!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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