One of the things that has always amazed us about the bridal business is the cost of getting married in New York City. A basic sit-down dinner can easily run $75 to $100 per guest.
Wow! Even a basic wedding cake runs $410 $6 Per slice. At those astronomical prices, no wonder New York brides are searching for alternatives. One of our readers called in this wonderful suggestion: The Inn at Saxton's River, near the town of Bratdeborough, Vermont, off Route 91. A wedding reception here runs about one-half to one-third of Manhattan prices, but the inn is just a four- to five-hour drive from the Big Apple.
Getting married in Vermont is rather easy. There is no blood test or waiting period—you don't even need an ID. The only restriction: out-of-state residents must get a license in the county in which they plan to marry. (Vermont residents must take out a license in. the town in which they live, but can marry anywhere in the state). The cost is very affordable: $16. For more information, call 802-254-454-1.
Best Time to Go
Perhaps the most scenic time to visit Vermont is the peak of the fall foliage season. This occurs in late September and usually runs into early October. The weather at this time is pleasant but cool, with daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s, while nighttime lows can dip into the 30s.
The summer is certainly another nice time to go, with temperatures in the comfortable 70s and low 80s (although the occasional heat wave with high humidity can make a visit less pleasant). Winters can be downright arctic, with temperatures at night dipping near zero.
Costs, Accommodations, and Getting Around
The Inn at Saxton's River is a hundred-year-old Victorian building that is extraordinarily beautiful, according to our reader. "Most rooms have private balconies and are impeccably decorated in Victorian style. Downstairs, there's a huge covered porch on one side. Inside, three rooms are available for weddings and receptions including a double parlor with fireplace, bay windows, and a grand piano. In another room is an antique Victorian pub bar. Outside, a dance floor area can be set up adjoining the garden (in the summer, of course). The home itself can accommodate eighty guests for a reception, perhaps more in the summer when you count the porch and garden areas.
The inn offers a full buffet reception with a choice of hors d'oeuvres, pasta stations, cheeses, quiche, and roast beef. The price, which includes dessert, runs an affordable $19.95 per guest. Add in 7 percent sales tax and 18 percent gratuity and the total tab is about $25 per person—that sure beats New York prices by a mile.
The Inn at Saxton's River has eighteen guest rooms, which range from $78 for a shared bath to $88 for a private bath. Our bride said she had to put up her guests at several other inns that dot the nearby countryside.
What Makes it Special
In the summer, Vermont offers numerous outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and more. You can also take a cruise on the nearby Connecticut River on the "Belle of Bratdeborough."
What's the number one tourist attraction in Vermont? Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream headquarters in northern Vermont, of course. Stop by and sample some "New York Super Fudge Chunk" for us.