Hey, hey, hey! Are you planning a destination wedding in Upstate New York? Are you having a hard time finding the right venue for your style or personalities? You’re not alone. According to The Knot, 48% of couples in a 2016 survey said that having a reception venue with a scenic backdrop was their top priority. And if you are planning a destination wedding in Upstate New York, you have a plethora of options. When I checked, there were 986 wedding venues on The Knot in Upstate New York alone. That doesn’t include Manhattan or Long Island! That’s a lot of choices!
Lucky for you, it’s my job to scour the state (and interwebs) in search of unique or beautiful locales to say “I do.” From industrial to minimalist, from glamping to eco-conscious, there’s something for everyone. Below is my 2019 list of the most intriguing wedding venues in Upstate New York. I would love to help you plan your destination wedding at any of these properties.
Built in 1982, the Woodhouse Lodge is a modern escape for Manhattanites in the Catskills. Its owners have updated it with a minimalist alpine meets mid-century modern vibe. With only 10 guest rooms, this property is able to give guests their utmost attention and care. From intimate to elaborate, you will love your wedding experience at this property. Photo Credit: The Woodhouse Lodge | Visit this venue
Looking for a blank canvas to make your wedding vision come to life? Basilica Hudson is great for couples who want a raw, industrial space for their wedding. Owned and operated by artists, the mixed-use space hosts a range of events. It transitions from concerts on one night to bohemian-inspired weddings overnight. From moody and edgy to whimsical and colorful, this space can do it all for your destination wedding in Upstate New York. Photo Credit: Kiera Lemonis Photography | Visit this venue
Dreaming of an outdoor wedding without the hassle of a tent and worrying about the weather? The Pavilion at Gather Greene is perfect for your destination wedding in Upstate New York. Supported by perfectly designed walls, guests inside the pavilion enjoy unobstructed views of the Berkshire Mountains. Inside, the space offers endless configurations thanks to zero columns. What more could you ask for? This beautiful space is waiting to for us to customize it for your modern, artful wedding. Photo Credit: Chellise Michael | Visit this venue
In the heart of the Catskills, the Stonewall Estate makes a dreamy location for your wedding. With 30 acres to call your own, you can play lawn games, host bonfires, and explore to your heart’s content. My favorite part is the airy, natural-wood colored 7,500 sq. ft. barn. No old barns with bad lighting, here. The barn also comes with RH chandeliers, string lights, and custom tables, and chairs. It sounds pretty perfect to me! Photo Credit: Stonewall Estate | Visit this venue
Looking to host a laid-back yet stunning gathering complete with English-inspired gardens? M & D Farm is the answer. Built in the late 1940’s, the barn is a large raw open space with clean lines ready for your creativity. My favorite feature is the open courtyard – perfect for al fresco dining under the stars. Whether your destination wedding style is glamorous or a little relaxed, a visit to M & D Farm is worth it. Photo Credit: Nicole Nero | Visit this venue
Retreat from your hectic life at Cedar Lakes Estate. This property offers both indoor and outdoor event venues. Its breathtaking vistas offer tree-lined lakes, rolling green hills, and stunning mountains. Only 70 miles from New York City, the property hosts a select number of weddings each year. A unique element of the property is their farm-to-table experience. The staff plant its gardens to produce menus designed for each season’s events. Amazing! Whether your wedding requires grandeur or intimacy, this property will make it unforgettable. Photo Credit: Lauren Fair Photography | Visit this venue
Gratitude & Grace is a rustic country barn and Victorian house situated near Ithaca, NY. Built in the 1870s, both the barn and house host weddings for couples marrying in the Finger Lakes. The coolest part? The former drummer of “Blue Oyster Cult” owns the property. He has put together a “house band” with some of the most talented local musicians. And they can be available to play for your wedding! Photo Credit: Thompson Photography Group | Visit this venue
The Inns of Aurora is by far one of the most beautiful properties in the Finger Lakes as it overlooks Cayuga Lake. This Finger Lakes venue is actually a collection of luxurious historic inns. Guests mingle along the water’s edge while the sun sets over the lake. It’s no surprise it’s touted by BRIDES as the “perfect place for a weekend wedding.” I couldn’t think of a more a beautiful setting for your destination wedding in Upstate New York. Can you? Photo Credit: Mary Dougherty | Visit this venue
Set in a former shoe factory, Good Luck’s industrial feel lends itself to any style of wedding. With an always changing menu and a stellar craft cocktail program, is a favorite among locals. And with the rise of restaurant weddings, its popularity will continue to grow. Also, I have some more exciting news about the restaurant, but that will come at a later date. Stay tuned! Photo Credit: Mary Dougherty | Visit this venue
UPDATE MAY 2019: Good Luck just opened a beautiful event venue right next door! It’s called Jackrabbit Club and it is every couple’s dream if they’re looking for a modern space that marries industrial lines with Scandinavian minimalism. Let’s plan a wedding (or engagement party, or rehearsal dinner, or shower!) there, please? Learn more about the space HERE.
In 2010, the original home to Geneva Forge, became home to weddings and special events alike. My favorite features are the original hardwood floors, whitewashed columns, and wooden trusses. They give the space a clean, blank canvas ready for customization. If you are looking for something edgier and adventuresome, definitely visit this venue. While you’re there, print your wedding invitations during one of their letterpress classes. I definitely couldn’t pass up a chance to print my invitations on a historic letterpress. Photo Credit: The Cracker Factory | Visit this venue
Overlooking beautiful Keuka Lakes, Crispin Hill boasts spectacular views from its Crispin Barn. The Crispin Hill Farm House was built over 100 years ago. But it has been completely remodeled and features a modern chef’s kitchen and can sleep up to 14. This makes it the perfect home base for your destination wedding Upstate New York. Want good food with your view? The Executive Chef is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. #legit Photo Credit: Alexandra Elise Photography | Visit this venue
It is no surprise Green Wedding Shoes named Homestead Blessings Barn a top barn venue. The property is rustic yet elegant. It comprises a restored 1860s dairy barn with an adjoining stone patio. The surrounding forest makes an elegant backdrop for your destination wedding. Situated in the Southern Tier, you and your guests will have a memorable experience at this venue. Photo Credit: Homestead Blessing Barn | Visit this venue
New York is a beautiful state with countless options for your destination wedding. This list is definitely not all-encompassing. There are so many venues and only me to cover them. But I love discovering destinations, old and new. It can seem daunting to find something that fits your exact specifications. But I have no doubt you will find something here. And if you’re still looking after this post, sign up HERE to get access to my Upstate New York Wedding Venue Resource Guide. It contains over 60 venues that call the Empire State its home – complete with capacities! I’d love to work with you at any one of these venues, so don’t be a stranger and reach out! But this spreadsheet is only available once a year. It will come down on JANUARY 31ST and won’t be available again until 2020. So sign up to get access HERE.
Here are my top venues within 2.5 hours of New York City: The Woodhouse Lodge, Basilica Hudson, Gather Green, Stonewall Estate, M & D Farm, and Cedar Lakes Estate. If you’re looking closer to Rochester, these venues are under 2 hours driving distance: Gratitude & Grace, The Inns of Aurora, Restaurant Good Luck, The Cracker Factory, Crispin Hill, and Homestead Blessings Barn.
Get me that spreadsheet NOW!