Laughter echoes, the wind blows softly, and the crisp mid-September air smells of autumn. The music starts. Guests smile, wipe away tears of joy and gasp excitedly. Chris Corley, in his gray tailored suit, beams with happiness. Amy Belzer has started walking down the aisle, the rustic mountain setting — peaks, pines, and meadows — as flawless as her traditional white gown. Amid a cultural boom in all things nuptial — from royal wedding frenzies to “The Bachelor” to “Bridezillas” — the Adirondack Coast has become a coveted destination for couples looking to get hitched. The area offers breathtaking views…
Laughter echoes, the wind blows softly, and the crisp mid-September air smells of autumn. The music starts. Guests smile, wipe away tears of joy and gasp excitedly. Chris Corley, in his gray tailored suit, beams with happiness. Amy Belzer has started walking down the aisle, the rustic mountain setting — peaks, pines, and meadows — as flawless as her traditional white gown.
Amid a cultural boom in all things nuptial — from royal wedding frenzies to “The Bachelor” to “Bridezillas” — the Adirondack Coast has become a coveted destination for couples looking to get hitched. The area offers breathtaking views of the Adirondack Mountains, where Chris and Amy’s ceremony took place, and of upstate New York’s hundreds of scenic waterways, with Lake Champlain serving as the crown jewel.
It’s little wonder the area is being discovered. The region offers any couple making that special lifetime commitment a natural, homey setting far enough for couples to get away but just a few-hour drive from the bustling East Coast metropolises.
Moreover, in a time of runaway bridal inflation, a North Country ceremony is a relative bargain averaging $4,419 less than the Northeast’s $30,429 regional average. With plenty of reasonably priced venues, Clinton County alone has generated $14 million annually in wedding-related activity, nesting nearly 600 weddings in 2012, according to The Wedding Report, a research company that tracks the wedding industry and its trends.
“The wedding industry plays a big part in the economy in the Adirondacks,” says Nicole Wren of Nicole Wren Designs, a wedding planning and design company located in the Hudson Valley.
The emergence of Adirondack Weddings, a homegrown regional magazine, signaled the region’s wedding growth. The magazine’s 2012 debut issue won Folio Magazine’s coveted Eddie Award. Kleigh Orzolek of Lake Placid’s Kleigh O. Studios says the area has seen an increase in weddings since the magazine launched. Adirondack Weddings features all the coveted venues, vendors, and resources the beautiful Adirondacks offers.
Just as the area provides venues for the big ceremony, it also accommodates pre-wedding festivities, receptions, and honeymoons. Here are just a few examples:
Point Au Rouche Lodge
The Adirondack Coast’s best-kept secret is celebrating its twentieth birthday this year. Sitting steps from Point Au Rouche State Park is an astonishing honeymoon destination. The Lodge offers eight stunning rooms with blazing fireplaces, some with Jacuzzi tubs, all perfect for romantic getaways.
Karan and Creston Billings have run the lodge for the past 10 years and have learned to blend business and pleasure. They welcome guests, who leave as friends. Their clientele not only come from New York but from Vermont and Canada too. Complete with a gazebo and a library with towering ceilings, the lodge creates a charming ambiance while promoting the natural surrounding beauty.
Valcour Conference Center
Sitting on Lake Champlain, Valcour Conference Center is an ideal wedding destination. With a boathouse and main house, Valcour hosts lakeside weddings all year round. Not only a charming wedding location, Valcour offers rooms with picturesque lake and mountain views.
Amazing Grace Winery
For a bride and groom looking for an intimate wedding, Amazing Grace is an exceptional family-owned winery nestled in Chazy. A cozy wedding location that fits 80 to 85 people, Amazing Grace also works for pre-wedding celebrations like bridal showers.
Amazing Grace was conceived out of a mutual love of wine and a couple searching for a fun retirement project. Their wine has even attracted people from Italy, France and Canada.
“My husband and I looked at it as a possible retirement business,” says Mary Fortin, one of the business owners. “We really enjoy wine, and I really enjoy making wine as well.” A wine that’s fine for a wedding cup.
Burlap and Beams
Burlap and Beams is a fairytale tucked deep in the Adirondack region. A truly unique and historic venue, Burlap and Beams was started two years ago by Terri Larson, a full-time teacher, who has kept the venue authentic.
An original nineteenth-century farmhouse and several barns transformed into a nuptial setting. “The old barn walls, beams, and natural beauty can not be duplicated or replaced,” Larson says.
Burlap and Beams was the perfect wedding destination for California couple Amy and Chris Corley, who stumbled upon the venue online. Continuing Burlap and Beams’ tradition, each couple leaves behind a piece of their wedding. Amy and Chris’ contribution: a cupcake stand that Amy’s grandfather made and some wooden signs.
Plattsburgh Memorial Chapel
Dedicated in 1933 and sitting on a historic site from the War of 1812, the Plattsburgh Memorial Chapel is a perfect place for couples profess their love. On the former Air Force Base, the chapel still has the original iron chandeliers made by the army blacksmith, and the chapel bell, which, installed in 1936, came from the battleship, USS O’Brien.
Written by Camille Daniels and Aisling Murphy
Photos by Natasha Courter and Aisling Murphy
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