Perhaps it’s the beauty of the white snowcapped mountains or the twinkling lights dancing in the wind under our starry skies, but there is just something MAGICAL about Southern Vermont when it is blanketed in snow. As Valentine’s Day draws near, there is no better place to experience and celebrate romance than in Manchester, Vermont. It’s hard not to fall in love – or decide to spend your life with someone – when the stage is set.
With this time of year being known as “Engagement Season”, many couples are just beginning to plan their future nuptials and celebrations. Natural beauty, rich history, and our welcoming community is what makes Manchester, and the surrounding area, a top destination for engagements, wedding celebrations, elopements, and other special life events any time of year! With stunning landscape and inspiring scenery our destination is second to none and will create the perfect backdrop for your special life event. Plus, Vermont’s all-inclusive, welcoming community makes every guest feel like they’ve always belonged. You might not know that Vermont was the first state to pass legislation recognizing same-sex civil unions in April 2000. Three months later, the first same-sex couple in the U.S. joined together, right here in Southern Vermont! And since 2009, the State has been legally recognizing and celebrating same-sex marriages.
The Manchester area boasts incredibly unique venues from boutique hotels to turn-of-the-century mansions to classic barns. Being such a popular destination for weddings and events, our area has some of the most talented professionals at your fingertips ready to help you prepare for the special day or weekend. From planners to floral designers, bakers, and caterers, to photographers and musicians… we’ve got the best of the best to help make your celebration extraordinary and memorable.
Whether you are looking for an intimate getaway for two, a small dinner party, a large lavish destination wedding, or a themed event, Manchester, VT is waiting to host you and your guests.
Check out our various one-of-a-kind venues below!
Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC). Let SVAC turn your special event into a work of art in one of its three unique spaces on 103 acres filled with forest, field, and sculpture parks. The historic Yester House (built in 1917 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places) is home to 10 distinct galleries, a library/meeting room filled with original art, outdoor patio seating, and grand vistas of the Taconic Mountain range.
Looking for something with a more modern vibe? Choose the Wilson Museum with its wide lobby, dramatic central staircase, vaulted gallery ceilings, and contemporary art exhibitions. The Arkell Pavilion is a 400-seat performing arts pavilion with a state-of-the-art light and sound system, a large stage, and a glass-enclosed atrium with bar facilities. Since exclusive catering is provided by curATE Café, a 68-seat glass-enclosed on-site restaurant, you and your guests will experience food and beverages that showcase Vermont’s abundance of local products celebrating local farms and producers.
Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, located in historic Manchester Village, offers a historic and majestic backdrop for your dream event. You and your guests will have an authentic Vermont experience, which begins with you walking through The Lincoln Family Home to your wedding ceremony, in their historic formal garden. Look out to the Taconic Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east, with stunning views of rolling fields and the famed Battenkill River Valley 300 feet below.
Your guests will be treated to beautifully prepared fresh local food, exclusively catered by Pangaea Restaurant. Some ingredients may have even been grown at Hildene Farm. Something old and something new is a wedding tradition at Hildene.
The new Lincoln Hall is slated to open in late Spring/early Summer of 2024. It is a spectacular four-season 14,000SF assembly space that will accommodate weddings and special events throughout the entire year.
Kimpton Taconic Hotel is inspired by New England’s grand inns of the 19th & 20th Centuries. This stunning location features 86 accommodations complemented by warm and welcoming indoor and outdoor spaces designed for gatherings. The Taconic features flexible event space with an indoor ballroom, outdoor covered terrace, and event lawn. The hotel takes pride in delivering restaurant-quality cuisine for its catered events, no matter how intimate or grand. Elevated bar offerings compliment farm-to-fork cuisine, incorporating classic cocktails, artisanal spirits, and a wide selection of Vermont craft beers.
Equinox Golf Resort and Spa. Whatever your special celebration vision is, Equinox can bring it to life. Nestled in the idyllic Green Mountains, The Equinox provides a stunning backdrop for your dream wedding and the perfect balance between historic charm and modern amenities. Whether you’re hosting a lavish banquet for 200 or an intimate gathering for your nearest and dearest, their team will ensure that it exceeds your expectations. Their team of wedding experts will meet your every need with grace and professionalism always focused on helping you make memories, not “to-do” lists. The Equinox Golf Resort and Spa is where dreams do come true.
The Wilburton Destination Resort is an elegant historic estate in Manchester Village with a 1902 mansion, rolling lawns, gardens, and fabulous views – the perfect location for a destination country wedding. The Wilburton can accommodate 200+ guests for a wedding reception and up to 130 overnight guests on its 30-acre hilltop and nearby mansion. There is room to roam, surrounded by thrilling mountain views and art to inspire your creativity. The resort will help you plan a full weekend of activities for your family and friends to enjoy together, including rehearsal dinner, bonfires, brunch, farm tours, and hikes. Enjoy the sparkling pool, tennis, and lawn games – right on property!
The Old Gray Barn, tucked into a hillside overlooking the pristine meadows of the Mettowee Valley, has the ideal Vermont rustic charm. It is located just 3 miles from the Dorset Village Green and 9 miles from the town center of Manchester. It is a truly special place in an area of natural beauty, fit for the most luxurious or relaxed of celebrations. The 2-story barn features exposed rough-hewn beams and rustic light fixtures, a viewing balcony perfect for cocktail hours and after-dinner lounging, a bride’s room, large sliding barn doors that open to a wood deck, and various lawn spaces ideal for extending the celebration outdoors. The picture-perfect backdrop ensures that you can transform The Old Gray Barn into the wedding you’ve always dreamed of having.
WHERE TO STAY
Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, engagement party, bachelorX festivities, elopement, or a special family event, Manchester, VT offers lodging accommodations to fit every need, every budget, and every life event. With over 800 rooms in the Manchester area ranging from luxury resorts, boutique hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, and Inns, to modern motels, you are sure to find that special place that will make you and your guests’ time in the Manchester area, the most relaxing and memorable.
Find yourself in a home away from home at the Inn at Manchester and the four beautiful acres it resides on. The location provides visitors with in-town convenience in a lush, country atmosphere. Twenty-one thoughtfully appointed guest rooms (including 12 suites) span three floors of the Main House, Carriage House, and Celebration Barn.
Offering two beautiful home rental options, Vermont Vacation Rentals is perfect for families or friends to enjoy plenty of time together without giving up the peace of secluded quarters. They are located only 2 miles from downtown Manchester, nestled on 3.8 acres of private, rolling fields. Check out their directory to see all they have to offer!
And if you are looking for romance, we recently had two local inns named “Top 20 Romantic Getaways in New England” by Cosmopolitan – Seesaw’s Lodge and The Barnstead Inn!
Check out our complete list of area options here – “STAY“
REHEARSAL DINNERS/ WELCOME RECEPTIONS/ FAREWELL BRUNCHES
Many of the venues, mentioned earlier in this blog, are wonderful options for any and/or all of your ancillary events, but if you are looking to experience even more of what the Manchester, VT area has to offer, the options are almost endless. With over 30 local restaurants, bars, and cafes, you will find the perfect setting to host your rehearsal dinner, welcome reception, or farewell brunch.
In town, Social House is great for parties and gatherings. Enjoy sharing options and family-style Mediterranean-style dishes at this chic Manchester restaurant. This place is great for lovers of seafood as their menu changes with what is currently market-fresh. You’ll find plenty of room between two private rooms, and seasonal outdoor seating, and if preferred, they also have off-site catering options.
The Raven’s Den Steakhouse and Taproom caters to a variety of tastes: from tender and juicy Black Angus steaks to classic seafood dishes to the salad bar stocked with seasonal produce, handcrafted dressings, Vermont cheeses, and freshly baked bread; there is something for everyone. Enjoy an upscale meal in the dining room, a custom cocktail in front of the stone fireplace, or a grass-fed burger in the tavern. Plus, you’ll love their seasonal outdoor seating with beautiful Vermont views!
Union Underground is a cozy Gastro Pub with Vermont vibes in a rustic, industrial atmosphere – all underground in the heart of Manchester Center. Known for its great food and drinks, as well as frequent live music and events, Union Underground is a great place to relax and grab a bite. Savor fresh cuisine with ingredients provided by local farms, and a variety of drafts on tap from breweries around the area. A unique experience not to miss!
Within a 15-minute drive North or East of downtown Manchester you will discover two unique destinations that are ready to be the hosts of your next special event or party. Barrows House Inn and Restaurant, in Dorset, has an incredible staff of creative culinary professionals that are ready to meet your every need! Thinking of planning a party, wedding reception, or any fun event? You don’t have to leave your home or lift a finger! Their event planning team, along with their Chefs, are prepared to menu plan, travel to the venue of your choice, and provide full service and incredible meals.
A destination built on century-old tradition, Seesaw’s Lodge, in Peru, VT has been celebrating special occasions and making memories for their guests for decades. With upscale dining at their restaurant, Johnny Seesaw’s, and breathtaking views, it is a unique event venue located at the foot of Bromley Mountain, nestled in the Green Mountains. Seesaw’s has always been a place to hoist a glass, reflect on where we have been, and gather with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate the moment. Specializing in rehearsal dinners, welcome receptions, and intimate weddings, let the team take care of the details for your event.
Check out a complete list of area options here: “TASTE”.
Need help keeping yourselves and your guests busy in between planned events? Manchester, VT, is a destination that offers a wide variety of must-do activities and adventures! Experience world-class shopping at many of our Manchester Designer Outlets or local boutiques where you will discover locally crafted Vermont products or the perfect gift or that item you might have left home. The shopping opportunities are endless including grabbing some great books at Northshire Bookstore.
Check out a complete list of area options here: “SHOP”
Tour year-round historical sites, or pop into Pastime Pinball for an afternoon arcade. Visit one of Southern Vermont’s best Art galleries, the Southern Vermont Arts Center or take a stroll downtown and stop in at one of our unique art/artisan galleries, like Tilting at Windmills Gallery, Helmholz Art Gallery, or Epoch Artisan Gallery. Of course, being in Vermont would not be complete without experiencing the great outdoors. Nestled in between the Taconic and Green Mountains, Manchester, VT is a four-season outdoor recreation mecca. No matter the season, a unique outdoor adventure awaits you and your guests.
Check out a complete list of area experiences here: “EXPERIENCE”