Forget the Wedding Bell Blues: Local Venues Welcome Lovers

  • David Ginisi

Planning a wedding can be a nerve-wracking experience under the best of circumstances. But without a doubt, this has been an especially stressful year for couples preparing to walk down the aisle.

Normal wedding-plan concerns and glitches have been multiplied by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond traditional anxieties about menus, flowers and invitation lists, the shutdown of 2020 has overshadowed even the most basic of preparations: wedding venues from hotels to country clubs have been shuttered for months.

But a recent easing of restrictions has given new life to couples who are anxious to say, “I do!” in North Central Massachusetts. While it may require major changes in those perfectly-laid plans, beautiful, delightful, and picture-perfect weddings are still a possibility throughout the region.

In fact, despite the restrictions imposed by the state due to the pandemic, today’s “reimagined” wedding could develop into an idyllic day you’ll talk about for decades to come. With a spectacular setting and the joy of celebrating that life-changing moment, you probably won’t even miss the dance floor, the waiters passing trays of tasty hors d’oeuvres, or the ever-growing list of relatives, friends and colleagues.

Picture it: a rustic, wooden covered bridge; a quiet pond with dozens of ducks and swans gliding silently by; a toast with a glass of local wine (or even wine slushies!) served in a scenic vineyard; a post-nuptial Skyride to the top of a mountain, offering a breath-taking view across Massachusetts.

Yes, despite all the challenges the pandemic has forced upon everyone, it’s possible to have the wedding of your dreams, right here in North Central Massachusetts.

Here is a sampling of venues that are reading to make your dreams come true:

Hardwick Winery
. You can socially-distance to your delight on the 150 acres of this countryside winery, while enjoying a taste of the region, captured in a wine glass. 3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick. 413-967-7763.

The 1761 Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster is an intimate setting, offering a unique, serene atmosphere complete with flowing waterfalls. Safety rules are in place; call for details. 69 State Road East, Westminster. 978-874-5941.

The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. How’s this for a romantic setting — a covered bridge and a “sweetheart table” for the happy couple! All arrangements, of course, are based on Massachusetts Phase 3 Guidelines.  215 Great Rd., Shirley. 978-425-4311.

Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton. Tying the knot at the region’s most visible landmark will be a mountainside moment to remember. The deck is open for dining, and the Skyride can whisk you away to a spectacular vista. 499 Mountain Rd., Princeton. 978-464-2300.

Story by: Pat Gale