I am so excited to share my favorite Finger Lakes wedding venues with you all today. The Finger Lakes is one of my favorite regions in Upstate New York as a wedding planner and it's been a special place for me. My interns have no idea how lucky they are to be able to grow up in such a special place.
Before we were engaged, my boyfriend (now husband) had grand plans to propose to me at his family’s annual 4th of July picnic on Canandaigua Lake. He grew up going to this picnic every summer, which was attended by 75-90 of his extended family. He had the ring in his pocket and planned to take me out in this tiny rowboat and propose to me. Then, we could celebrate with the whole family when we got back. He was so nervous the ring would fall out during the annual egg toss competition! As fate would have it, his cousin got engaged right before the picnic and was showing off her engagement ring to everyone. He didn’t want to steal her thunder (what a sweetie, right?), so he decided not to propose to me that day.
(He ended up proposing to me after dinner at our favorite restaurant while on a moonlit walk at the Jefferson Memorial, which was only fitting since we were there 8 years to the day when we first met. But anyway . . . .)
I share this story because if you’re reading this, the Finger Lakes area is probably special to you. That’s why you want to get married here. Either you grew up spending your summers on the water, you went to school in the area, or you grew up elsewhere but it reminds you of something special. Most people that get married in the Finger Lakes choose the destination because it means something to them.
Photo Credit: Laura Rose Weddings
Finger Lakes Wedding Venues
In today’s blog post, I’m going to give you a roundup of the most beautiful places to get married in the Finger Lakes. Right now, you may be looking for a Finger Lakes wedding venue that captures the beauty and essence of the area. But you have questions. You don’t know which venue to get married in. If that’s you, you’re in the right place. You’re probably asking yourself:
- What venues in the Finger Lakes have a view?
- Which Finger Lakes wedding venues are right on the water?
- What are the best outdoor Finger Lakes wedding venues?
- What are the most stylish wedding venues in the Finger Lakes?
In case you need more assurance, let me repeat myself. I cannot agree with you more. The Finger Lakes is one of the best places to get married. In this blog post, I’m sharing with you all my favorite places as a Finger Lakes wedding planner that my couples choose over and over.
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The Lake House on Canandaigua (Canandaigua, NY)
First up is the Lake House on Canandaigua. Perched at the top of Canandaigua Lake, this gorgeous and completely re-built property is the epitome of an elegant Finger Lakes wedding. Their outdoor ceremony overlooks the water. Their event venue just steps away. It’s ideal for Finger Lakes destination weddings with over 125 sleeping rooms. Including water view suites! Dreamy.
The Lake House on Canandaigua lake complex boasts two on-site restaurants for easy dining for your guests. On top of that, you will find a wellness spa, and docks for 40 slips. If you’re feeling “extra,” you can take a seaplane that departs from the Hudson River in Manhattan and land right at the “docksteps” of The Lake House. Talk about a wow factor.
I have 2 weddings there this summer and I can’t wait. They’re going to be absolutely stunning! This is truly one of the most beautiful Finger Lakes wedding venues. It's definitely an unrivaled outdoor ceremony space in the Finger Lakes. If you are planning a Finger Lakes wedding, definitely get in touch here. | Visit the Lake House on Canandaigua
Photo Credit: The Lake House on Canandaigua
You can learn more about this property in my full venue report: Luxury Finger Lakes Wedding Resort Wedding at The Lake House on Canandaigua
Inns of Aurora (Aurora, NY)
Country Living named the Inns of Aurora “America’s best-kept secret.” I cannot agree more. The Inns of Aurora is by far one of the most beautiful properties in the Finger Lakes. It sits on the eastern shores of Cayuga Lake. As well, this Finger Lakes wedding venue is actually a collection of luxurious historic inns. Each one is incredibly charming and very unique.
Can you picture it? Your guests mingle along the water’s edge while the sun sets over the lake. It’s spectacular and breathtaking. So it's no surprise it’s touted by BRIDES as the “perfect place for a weekend wedding.”
Most ceremonies take place along the water under a tent. If you prefer to have a church ceremony, there’s a local Catholic church almost next door to the Inn. The wedding reception takes place on a stone patio under a beautiful white tent at the Aurora Inn with views looking over Cayuga Lake. It’s one of my favorite wedding venues with a lake view in the Finger Lakes, so I encourage you to add it to your list! | Visit the Inns of Aurora.
Photo Credit: Laura Rose Weddings.
You can learn more about this property in my Venue Report: Finger Lakes Wedding Goals at the Inns of Aurora
Geneva on the Lake (Geneva, NY)
If you’re looking for something European inspired with beautiful gardens, views of the water, and an estate vibe, check out Geneva on the Lake. The property was originally built in 1910. Its Italian Renaissance architecture was inspired by Villa Lancellotti in Frascati, Italy dating from 1592.
Couples who want an outdoor wedding ceremony are happy to hear that the property comes with a seasonal wedding tent that remains on the property for the duration of the weekend. The outdoor tent can seat up to 150 guests – larger than the average wedding size.
For lodging, there are 29 guest rooms on the property. This makes the property perfect for a destination wedding. If you are getting married in the Finger Lakes, you will likely have out of town guests. There are several overflow properties in Geneva, giving your guests several options for lodging. This is where hiring a Finger Lakes wedding planner really comes in handy! | Visit Geneva on the Lake
Photo Credit: Laura Rose Weddings
You can learn more about this property and several more in my Venue Roundup: Top Intimate Destination Wedding Weekend Venues in Upstate NY
The North Farm (Geneva, NY)
Perched atop a hill overlooking Seneca Lake is The North Farm, a wedding complex complete with a ceremony space overlooking the lake, an historic barn with separate spaces for cocktails, dinner, and dancing, and a wedding suite for getting ready. The outdoor courtyard is magical for cocktails, while the upper level of the barn comes with a built-in stage, dance area, and lounge area that also acts as a ceremony back-up space in case of inclement weather.
A short drive from the town of Geneva and nestled among Finger Lakes wineries, you might easily miss it if you didn't know it was there. But this place is definitely worth considering for your outdoor Finger Lakes wedding. Guests never want to leave a wedding at The North Farm. Learn more about the property.
Photo Credit: Lyndsi Stoltzfus
The Cracker Factory (Geneva, NY)
If you’re looking for something a bit industrial and modern, I highly recommend The Cracker Factory just up the road in town. While the property itself doesn’t have a view of Seneca Lake, it has have other advantages. Its unique and flexible ceremony and reception space draws couples from all over.
In 2007, Miles and May Furniture Works moved into the original home of Geneva Forge. In 2010, it became home to weddings and special events alike. My favorite features are the original hardwood floors, whitewashed columns, and wooden trusses. Together, they give the venue a clean, blank canvas ready for customization.
If you’re looking for something edgier and adventuresome, definitely visit this venue. Learn more about the Cracker Factory
Photo Credit: Matt Schmachtenberg Photography
You can learn more about this property and several more in my Venue Roundup: 12 Most Intriguing Wedding Venues in Upstate New York
The Inn at Taughannock
Enjoy the experience of a lifetime when you stay at the Inn at Taughannock, a serene estate surrounded by the Taughannock Falls State Park. Their luxury boutique hotel overlooks Cayuga Lake.
Perched above Cayuga Lake along the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Trail is the Inn at Taughannock Falls. The property is located just 9 miles from Ithaca, New York. Surrounded by the Taughannock Falls State Park, the estate includes the Northeast's largest outdoor event venue overlooking the lake. The outer four buildings combine 23 vintage and modern guestrooms, suites, and a private lake house, all beautifully and tastefully updated. For a more opulent and stately vibe, guests may opt to stay inside the historic Victorian Inn.
My favorite feature of this property is the million-dollar renovation built into the side of the mountain that perches it over the sparkling waters of Cayuga lake. It’s truly one of the most unique outdoor spaces to get married in the Finger Lakes. If you want a unique Finger Lakes wedding venue (that WOWS your guests), look no further. | Visit the Inn at Taughannock
Photo credit: The Inn at Taughannock.
Overlooking beautiful Keuka Lake, Crispin Hill boasts spectacular views from its Crispin Barn. The Crispin Hill Farm House was built over 100 years ago. Since then, it has been completely remodeled. The property now features a modern chef’s kitchen and can sleep up to 14. Perfect for a micro wedding!
This makes it the perfect home base for your destination wedding in Upstate New York. Want good food with your view? Of course, you do. The Executive Chef is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. #legit.
On top of that, couples love the mountain-top view. Let's not forget the ease of using the Crispin Barn for their wedding reception. That's more appealing than having to build an outdoor tent. | Visit Crispin Hill
Photo Credit: Jenny Berliner Photography
Red Barn 20 at Windridge Estate
Going to school in Central New York led me to enjoy many visits and delicious dinners in Cazenovia, located on the southeast shore of Cazenovia Lake where Red Barn 20 at Windridge Estate is located.
Originally built in 1804, the Windridge Estate remains mostly intact from its original construction. Very charming.
The main homestead, Farmer Cottage, and outer barns have all been meticulously restored and offers guests a “glance into the timeless beauty of colonial New York architecture.”
The Red Barn and White Stone Barn have a timeless charm and, when combined, offer over 5,000 square feet of event space. The eighty hilltop acres look out onto Oneida and Cazenovia Lakes, sprawling hills, and 40-mile near panoramic picturesque views, providing your guests' stunning views of Chenango Valley. | Visit this venue.
Photo Credit: Laura Rose Wedding
Conclusion from a Finger Lakes Wedding Planner
Most of my couples coming to the Finger Lakes to get married don't live here year-round. Like I mentioned above, a lot of times this place has special meaning. If you are lucky enough to have experienced the magic of the Finger Lakes, you know what I mean. When it comes to planning your wedding in the Finger Lakes, choosing a wedding planner who knows the area is incredibly important. Even more so, if you aren't that familiar. As a wedding planner based in Rochester, New York, I have been so fortunate to plan weddings at many of the venues in the Finger Lakes (or at the very least had a tour!). My couples love my attention to detail, so nothing goes unnoticed! You can rest assured that even if you aren't here, I will take care of everything.
If you are looking at one of the incredible venues here (you can see there really is “something for everyone”), make sure to get in touch. I would love to learn more about what you are envisioning for your day!
In the meantime, make sure and pin this for later so you can come back! These are venues you don't want to forget.