Each offers a taste of the simple life — and outstanding grown-on-property eats — with sophisticated touches to enhance your big-day celebration.
Farm Stay Inn at Blackbird Farm, Anderson Valley, California
Here in a postcard country setting, two hours north of San Francisco, Blackbird Farm, a nonprofit, sustainable estate, occupies a ridge near vineyards, hemmed with apple orchards and groves of ancient Redwoods. With organic plots, home to a variety of livestock (friendly donkeys, sheep, chickens and more), the farm welcomes students to its gardens, creamery and kitchen to learn harvesting techniques, cheese and jam making and fruit preserving. Marry surrounded by traditional farm buildings and a meadow full of roaming horses beside Highland Lake.
Or opt for a celebration in the rough-hewn equine barn, which features hardwood floors, exposed rafters and a redwood bar built from a fallen tree found on property. Stay the night in classic cabins, or at the farm’s dedicated, dressed-up Bridal Suite, complete with outdoor shower and jetted tub (weekend wedding packages start at $14,000 and include exclusive property use, set-up, clean-up for rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception, an on-site event manager and accommodations for the couple and up to 20 guests and breakfast; farmstayinn.com).
Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, The Hudson Valley, New York
New York state’s historic Hudson Valley has a storybook quality. It is an expanse of verdant farmland, replete with mooing cows, chubby pigs, red-painted sheds, glistening lakes and legendary gardens, all set just hours from the Big Apple. Wed at Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa, a pastoral, 75-acre spate of land, where you can gather your own eggs from heritage chickens, cavort with resident llamas or relax in the on-site spa.
With the Catskills in view, enjoy an al fresco welcome dinner on a sweeping terrace; or dine indoors in the characteristic inn. For the ceremony, take over the lawn adjacent to Swan Pond or huddle in the gazebo. Receptions in the rustic-chic barn won’t soon be forgotten, with menus featuring seasonal food from local farmers and Buttermilk’s own bounty.
Repose in the romantic Juniper Suite, a haven with replace, deck and whirlpool bath (wedding packages start at $7,000 for 10 guests and include ceremony site fees, an officiant and reception, two nights accommodations and breakfast and afternoon tea).
Contigo Ranch, Texas Hill Country
They say nearly everybody has a ranch in Texas. But Contigo Ranch is not your granddaddy’s barnyard. Owned by the Lone Star state’s esteemed Edgerton Family, this Hill Country slip of fertile land, a working cattle ranch located amid peach and pecan orchards, wedged between the state’s best wineries and just a holler from the antique stores of Fredericksburg, gives city slickers the opportunity to exchange vows with a Texas drawl.
Choose from three picture-perfect wedding ceremony sites: the noble Overlook on the Hill, The Grove of Oaks near Contigo’s Ranch Hall or beneath the undulating, umbrella branches of the ranch's 300-year-old oak tree, which anchors the rolling lawn. Do the Cotton Eyed Joe into the wee hours, stomping across The Ranch Hall's 3,400 square feet of entertainment space, a venue encompassed by a twinkling, light-festooned patio.
Opened to the public in June, Contigo Ranch, which includes a handful of comfortable overnight cabins, was refurbished by Austin's Design Hound group with cowpoke elegant touches. It’s farm sourced, Texas-style fare hails from Austin-based Contigo Catering, also part of the Edgerton family (wedding packages start at $6,300 for 150 people and include site fees, ceremony and reception set-up, clean-up and basic décor and an on-site, day-of event coordinator).
Legally Wedded: All three states require licenses to marry. They are available at city or town clerk of ces throughout each state. Applicants must appear in person with proof of age, and if applicable a divorce decree or death certi cate. New York and Texas have a waiting period of 24 and 72 hours, respectively. There is none in California. Licenses are valid for 90 days in California and Texas; 30 in New York.