Catskill Weddings: How To Sift Through The Options
New York’s Catskills have long been a destination for vacations and special events of all kinds, and they continue to be a top choice for weddings. The natural beauty of the region is one of the area’s biggest selling points, as the mountains, waterfalls, and greenery provide excellent backdrops for photos and memorable moments.
One of the great things about Catskill Weddings is that there are suitable venues for just about all styles and budgets. Because it has a long history as an area for recreation and relaxation, visitors can find things to do all year round, and accommodations can range from rustic to luxurious.
While these options mean that there is something for everyone, it can make the decisions for a wedding overwhelming! When you’ve decided that the Catskills is where you want to hold your event, some further planning will help make sure your special day is everything you dreamed it would be.
The Lavish Resort
If you’re looking to do as little as possible on the big day, you may want to look at one of the many resorts around the Catskills. Some of the area’s finest accommodations can be found with amenities like spa services and golf courses, which means that you and your guests can enjoy a bit of pampering with your celebrating. Resorts like Honor’s Haven (www.honorshaven.com) can help you plan out the ceremony and reception, while handling catering and staffing services internally. This means less for you to coordinate, and more for you to enjoy.
Plus, a resort wedding means that you may not have to plan as many activities for guests, particularly if some are traveling from out of town. When everyone can stay in the same place and find plenty of entertainment right at hand, you don’t need to worry about coordinating travel, and can just focus on having fun. That means Aunt Lori can get her massage while Uncle Steve plays 18-holes, and you don’t have to worry about a minute of it.
Another great thing about resort weddings? They can be tailored to events of all sizes, since you’ll typically have multiple options for ceremony and reception locations. That means even an intimate event can feel grand in the right setting.
The Quiet Inn
Smaller Inns can be a great alternative location for destination weddings, since they also allow for everyone to be in one place. Inns can often be found in remote areas overlooking beautiful scenery, and the charm of an antique property can add an air of sophistication to your event. That being said, you’ll be more limited in the amount of people you can comfortably fit in the inn depending on the size of your wedding, so you want to be sure that smaller inns are closely located to other accommodations.
Inn weddings are ideal in the summer and warmer months, since most events held at these locations tend to take advantage of the outdoors space and views. Depending on the size of the property, you may be able to use in-house catering options, but it’s likely that a wedding at an inn will require more hands-on work by you or your wedding planner.
In recent years it has become popular for couples to return their guests to childhood by holding their weddings at campgrounds. There are a number of active camps in the area that rent out facilities, and there are also camp sites that have been converted into accommodations meant to host events.
A campground wedding can mean that your guests get to stay in casual quarters – often with bunk beds – and you can take advantage of other structures like cafeterias and gathering halls to hold special events. Plus, you and your guests can make full use of camp-related activities, which may take a load off how much activity planning you’ll need to do. It can be fun to set-up a “wedding camp” schedule with activities like sports, arts and crafts, and team games that will help make the event a memorable one.
The downside of campground weddings is that you may have some guests who aren’t as excited about the rustic lodgings. If your future mother-in-law isn’t one to get her hands dirty, she may not appreciate your sense of adventure. Similarly, weddings at campgrounds usually have to be as casual as possible, since you won’t have many modern conveniences to help with prep. Camps often have shared bathrooms with rudimentary fixtures, so think about whether all of your cousins will be able to blow dry their hair and put on their makeup, and don’t expect to have a black-tie event!
The Restaurant (or bar!)
Since the Catskills has so many areas with a range of accommodations, many people are choosing to host their main events at a restaurant or bar, to keep a casual atmosphere and still have the benefits of on-site catering and services. You can find everything from grand restaurants with top-rated chefs to local dive bars in the Catskills region, so simply focusing on one venue is possible for Catskill weddings of all sizes and budgets.
For New York locals, this can be an easy way to gather loved ones under one roof, but for those planning destination weddings, you’ll have to factor in a lot of other variables to your restaurant wedding. This might include location accommodations and negotiating group rates, coordinating travel for guests to and from events, and planning activities that visitors can partake in. It’s hard to ask guests to travel across the country and leave them to discover their own activities, and you certainly don’t want everyone to leave your wedding feeling bored.
Remember: there is no wrong answer
Any of these wedding types can result in an event you’ll never forget, and just being in the Catskills will have you and your guests feeling refreshed. Take the time to plan out what kind of event you want (and your budget), and you’ll find it easier to narrow down your options.