Monday, June 6, 2011

My Classic Tranquil Country Lakefront Destination Wedding

I just returned from an annual business trip at The Otesaga in Cooperstown, NY. On Saturday night a wedding was held in one of the ballrooms and it got me to thinking… here’s a way to solve the Jersey/NYC wedding location debate: choose neither and have a destination wedding to upstate New York!

Michael loves the idea of a getting married on an island, but we didn’t think it would work for many of our guests, so we didn’t really pursue it. However, this place is within driving distance, so I spent my working weekend viewing it from a bridal perspective.

The biggest draw is the setting. The hotel is situated on the base of beautiful Lake Otsego. No other buildings are in sight- just the glimmerglass lake surrounded by rolling hills densely covered in trees.

Located in the village of Cooperstown, NY, in the historic ‘Glimmer Glass’ section- a lovely little town. Nearby is both a farmer’s museum and another museum featuring the New York State Historical Society’s collections; an opera house and theatre festival; and the Empire State Carousel (housed in it’s own little Carousel House!), plus the cutest little sheep farm. And, of course, the Baseball Hall of Fame. The hotel, a Top 50 golf resort open since 1909, has tennis courts, a pool, and the top-rated Leatherstocking golf course. (God I sound like a catalogue!) Cooperstown is deep in the country- the rolling hills and farms of upstate New York.

The hotel itself is gorgeous and has a shabby chic vibe (without the shabby part). Each room has a painted chandelier and a view of either the great lawn or the lake. The food is great, it has multiple bars, and the staff is amazing. Maybe I’ve been in NYC too long, but I cannot get over how friendly everyone is!

They brought this to me for my birthday!

The ballrooms are grand but with a country feel to them- striped chairs, flower patterned curtains, lattice covered windows. It gives the stately mansion a cozy vibe.

Cocktail hour can be held in one of the club rooms but the best choice is on the veranda. There are two ballrooms, on one of which can be split into two smaller rooms or opened up to fit well over 200 people. Lodging includes meals- their breakfast buffet is legendary. Our dinner menus are always great- every year I come back from the trip a few pounds heavier!

And there’s also the option of a winter wedding- the resort is usually closed between Thanksgiving and March, but will reopen just for weddings in the colder months- so you have the entire place to yourself, plus I’m sure the rates would be a steal.

I like the idea of being somewhere completely ‘other’- it’s not the shore, it’s not the city. If we do the summer time, our sports loving guests will have lots of options, and I think everyone would enjoy the beautiful, tranquil setting. It is a good 4-5 hour drive, though, and the hotel rooms aren’t cheap (although I haven’t gotten the wedding discounted room rate yet), so the question is, is this too much to ask of our guests? It’s almost guaranteed that many people will not be able to make the trip.

This is for real!

One thing I can be sure of, they would be wonderful to work with, since I already know the whole staff well- they’re great people. The manager already started telling me about extras you can add, like a fire pit and a s’mores station (!!!). They can set up a tent out on the lawn, or croquet or bocce ball. Plus, decorating would be so fun- this is the kind of place you can do cute, crafty DIY projects for, or just pretty flowers. No high-falutin concepts needed!

Okay, this is just a thought, so don’t go freaking out if you’re probably going to be a wedding guest and hate the idea of travelling- this is a long shot. In the meantime, enjoy the view!

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