With about 5,500 weddings annually in Vermont, it's no question that the Green Mountain state is a sought after wedding destination. One of the top locations for a beautiful Vermont wedding is the Mad River Valley, which encompasses the towns Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield, and Warren, including the Sugarbush and Mad River Glen resorts. Kim Donahue of The Inn at The Round Barn Farm explains,
The Mad River Valley is an ideal place for weddings. The authenticity, charm, and natural beauty embrace you and when you're here, and it's easy to understand how welcoming and special this Valley is. And everything you need is just down the street! Delicious food, exciting activities, and people who really want your day to be special in every season!
This unique community has so much to offer a couple looking to say "I do" in the mountains, and we're here to help give you some of the best activities to sprinkle into your summer wedding weekend itinerary!
Starting your weekend wedding celebration on Thursday will allow more time with friends and family as well as affording you the time to take part in some memory making activities. For example, throwing a casual Welcome Party to kick off the weekend with those closest to you...
Welcome Party at Lareau Farm: This "Historic Dairy Farm" is perfect for your welcome party, with seating for 80 people and catering by American Flatbread. Yes, the famous American Flatbread at the original location where the first was created. Menu items are made on the woodfire grill and ovens, offering your guests a unique and delicious dining experience. Lareau Farm is a fantastic place in any season, with grassy fields to play soccer and frisbee in the summertime, and hearths to sit by in the fall and winter. They recently renovated their farm barn to provide even more options for your gathering.
As people start to arrive for your rehearsal dinner we suggest scheduling several daytime activities so your guests can experience all the Mad River has to offer!
Experience the Valley on Horseback: The experienced team at the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm in Waitsfield will match you and your guests with a horse and go at your pace so you can fully experience quaint trails of Mad River Valley. Whatever the level of experience this unique experience is bound to be remembered by all.
Valley Arts: If you are planning an August wedding in the Mad River Valley, then you are in luck in the art department! Home to the Vermont Festival of the Arts, August is jam-packed with art exhibits, activities, and events. Check out the Vermont Festival of the Arts for the detailed schedule.
Lunch at The Warren Store: Meet back up with the rest of your group on Main Street in Warren for a picnic lunch by the brook at The Warren Store. The Warren Store is famous for its fresh ingredients and house bakery items including bread, cookies, tarts and their amazing whoopie pies! Thirsty from the trail ride? The Warren Store has a great supply of local brews including The Alchemist's Heady Topper, Sip of Sunshine from Lawson's Finest Liquids and more. We love the store's upstairs, filled with gifts, clothes, accessories, home decor and toys - this is a great shop for your guests to find unique treasures to bring home from Vermont. If your group wants to experience more in the Valley, order The Warren Store's boxed lunches ahead of time and then head over to the Warren Falls or The Lareau Swimming Hole for a picnic lunch and dip.
Afternoon Adventure with Clearwater Sports: Plan an adventure with Clearwater Sports by having a guided river tour, tubing the Mad River, paddleboard yoga or even plan a total custom tour. These guided tours are an ideal way to see the sites of the Mad River without getting lost and missing the Wedding Rehearsal!
Mad River Valley Rehearsal Dinner Options
There are varied and unique locations to host your rehearsal dinner in Mad River Valley. Here are a few suggestions:
The Bundy Modern: a must-see for anyone who is looking for the most unique venue in the woods! This mid-century art gallery is set on a plateau in the forest with a man-made pond on 30 acres adorned with modern sculptures. With the caterer of your choosing, this gallery is a gorgeous backdrop for an exclusive private party within the lush mountainside.
The Hyde Away Inn: A laid-back establishment that has it all...restaurant, lodging, and tavern with a great bar plus outdoor seating, pool table, swing set for the kids, and even a giant Jenga game. A favorite spot for both locals and out-of-towners, The Hyde Away is a comfortable and fun place for your rehearsal dinner. The Hyde Away offers a variety of accommodations with ten room options.
The Mad River Barn: offers a modern rustic design for a comfortable atmosphere. The dining room can seat up to 84 guests. After the dinner, your guests can retreat to the pub and game room for cards, board games, shuffleboard, foosball, or air hockey. A great way to gear up for Saturday's festivities. The Mad River Barn has 18 rooms of different sizes and configurations including rooms, family suites, and a loft.
The Tucker Hill Inn: is in a secluded area surrounded by English stone and flower gardens located just off of Route 17 (Millbrook Brook Road) in Warren. Kevin and Patty Begin believe in land stewardship as their meals are made mostly from their own gardens and local farmers. The dining room can seat up to 50 guests. While the Pub at Tucker Hill Inn is a comfortable space for parties up to 35 with a gorgeous outdoor deck overlooking the gardens. The Tucker Hill Inn also has 17 rooms accommodating up to 45 guests.
Saturday: Morning Activities
Your schedule may be full Saturday morning with hair, makeup, family, and photos. This is a great time to suggest some local activities for your guests before the ceremony. An outing to the Waitsfield Farmers Market is not just a place to buy local vegetables. On the Mad River Green in Waitsfield, they will find Vermont made crafts, baked goods, prepared food, and live music. Some of our favorite vendors are Cosmic Cotton (you can't leave Vermont without some tie-dye), Reign Vermont (locally made handbags), and Red Hen Baking Company (bread and pastries). Be sure to walk over to the Mad River Green Shops for additional shopping including The Collection and Mad RIver Taste Place.
Saturday Morning Adventure
If strolling around the market is not for your more adventurous guests, we suggest a morning of mountain biking or golf - just make sure they have plenty of time to get ready before the ceremony!
Sugarbush Resort offers lift serve downhill biking with 28 trails across 18 miles. The Sugarbush rental shop rents gear including full suspension bikes, pads and helmets for those who did not bring their own. For mountain bikers looking for a more single track with less vertical, we suggest the wide machine built single track of Blueberry Lake Loop or the Enchanted Forest Lollipop Mountain Biking loop for more advanced riders. Find more information at Mad River Riders.
The Sugarbush Resort Golf Club's Robert Trent Jones, Sr. designed course is one of Vermont’s hidden gems. Tucked away in the high peaks of Vermont, the scenic vistas and tranquility of the Mad River Valley will take your breath away from tee to green. The pro shop is open daily from 7 AM-6 PM
After the Reception:
When the main event is over, the party doesn't have to end.
Have Mad River Taste Place curate the after party with local cheese, cured meats, bread, and chocolate. Check with your reception site to see if you can have a bonfire for added ambiance. Finish off the night with locally made beer, cider, wine, and coffee. Or simply amaze your guests when the Open Hearth Pizza mobile oven pulls up to fill their late night munchies.
Sunday: Farewell Brunch
Don't let your guests leave the Valley with empty bellies.
Rumble's Kitchen at the base of Sugarbush Resort is named in honor of Rumble, Sugarbush's Bernese Mountain Dog mascot who spent nearly nine years at the mountain, pursuing a life of adventure and camaraderie. Rumble's Kitchen is connected to Clay Brook at Lincoln Peak making it a perfectly seamless option for guests staying at the Resort. The restaurant has an amazing atmosphere with high domed wooden ceilings and terraced doors that open up to the base of the mountain. It is the perfect location for some guests to linger longer while other guests explore all the activities the mountain has to offer.
From your Dad to your 10-year old cousin, there are lots to do at Sugarbush Resort in the summer, including the following: golfing, downhill mountain biking, tennis, disc golf, zip lining and jumping on the bungee trampoline. We suggest taking a scenic ride on the Super Bravo chair lift to take a group photo before the final farewell.
It is time to say your goodbye to your guests and start a new chapter in your life! After everyone has gotten a taste of all the Mad River Valley has to offer, your wedding weekend is going to be one your friends and family will never forget!
Special thanks to the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce for the collaboration on this article! The Mad River Valley is dear to my heart because I call the Valley my second home in Vermont. It is filled with unique activities, incredible community members, and natural beauty all around to fill your heart too! I would also like to give special thanks to Brian Mohr of Ember Photography who consistently captures the beautiful spirit of The Mad River Valley in all of his photography!