5 Best Places to Get Married in the Hudson Valley
Getting hitched in unique locations is all the rage with brides and grooms these days. From an elaborately designed theatrical tent to a snow-capped mountain top, here are five of the Valley’s most unusual wedding locales
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The bridal bouquet gets a sky-high toss during a reception held at the Circa 1799 barn
Photograph by Matthew Williams
Best Place to Get Married in 2012: The Circa 1799 Barn
Paul Spencer is in love with his old Dutch barn in Ancramdale. Madly in love. “I have the privilege to have a cathedral in my backyard,” he says. “We don’t realize quite how unique our Dutch heritage is. This is a medieval structure; it very much shares the same DNA with the medieval cathedrals of Europe.”
Luckily for Spencer, quite a few brides and grooms seem to be in love with his barn, too. And even better, they are willing to fork over a cool $10,000 for the privilege of declaring their own love beneath the historic planks of wood. “The weddings were kind of accidental,” says Spencer, whose amusing tale of finding this structure (part of what he calls “his barn-sized mid-life crisis”), disassembling it, and moving it to his property can be found on the barn’s Web site.
Currently, Spencer is limiting weddings to four a year (the barn is booked through 2012). “It’s a lot of work,” he says, noting that he gets involved in each celebration and has to make sure that everything is working properly, that tents are set up in the right place, etc. This copywriter-turned-barn-geek also provides referrals for caterers, tent suppliers, port-a-potty companies, and other vendors.
Revelers enjoy the roomy dance floor inside the working barn (note the hay bales stacked up in the rafters)
Photograph by Susan Baker
Spencer says that most people opt to have the ceremony outside the barn; since the space only holds about 100 diners, many people also rent a tent that they pitch out back. While all types of brides and grooms have gotten hitched on his property, Spencer notes that professionals in their early 30s make up the typical couple. “It seems like everybody is from Brooklyn,” he notes. And the fact that his barn is located within two hours of Manhattan is — of course — a plus.
Getting married in a barn is “a vision that a lot of people just have in their head — I’m not sure where they got it,” he says. “At one wedding, I was out picking up horse manure with a fork and I can hear these two old Jewish couples — they’re unsteadily walking across the grass — and one of them was saying, ‘Why would somebody get married in a place like this?’ And the other one replies, ‘I guess its the thing with the kids now.’ They obviously saw no logic in it. But this has been going on for a while now.” • http://circa1799.com; firstname.lastname@example.org