There are no traffic lights, fast food chains or neon signs. What you will find in this tranquil spot, located 30 miles south of Cape Cod, are stretches of pristine beaches, unpretentious cottages and dramatic lighthouses. It's the perfect destination for a beachy wedding.
Nantucket Harbor, filled with sailboats, kayaks and fishing boats, is the centerpiece of this old whaling port and makes a lovely setting for a ceremony. Consider the 52-room White Elephant , a Quaker-style, gray-shingled hotel, where you can exchange "I dos" on the beach, then have your reception catered by the hotel's exceptional surf-and-turf restaurant, the Brant Point Grill. Parties of 50 people or less are held on a wooden deck overlooking the harbor, and you can ask to have a raw bar set up for the cocktail hour. Dinner can be steak, Nantucket lobster or cedar planked Atlantic salmon, grilled to smoky perfection. For a large affair (up to 250 guests), you can rent the entire hotel and celebrate in a tent on the lawn, which is beautifully landscaped with seasonal flowers, such as hydrangeas. Since the inn is yours for the weekend, you can also host a clambake rehearsal dinner, served up with the house drink—a version of the Cosmopolitan made with locally grown cranberries. For more information, visit whiteelephanthotel.com.
Looking for a more secluded affair? Rent a private home for your wedding. The seven-room Lily Pond Estate , represented by Time & Place Homes, comes complete with a 24-hour concierge who can serve as your wedding-day assistant. Set on one-and-a-half acres, the antique-filled, gray-shingled mansion has a state-of-the-art kitchen, so you can bring in any caterer you like. Plan a reception for 100 guests by the croquet pitch, or serve cocktails around the flagstone-edged pool. Afterward, retire to the guest house, which is included in the cost of the rental. For more information, visit timeandplace.com.
Couples who long to tie the knot afloat should consider booking the 14-passenger Endeavor, a 31-foot traditional Friendship Sloop sailboat accented with teak and brass fittings. The boat cruises at a gentle pace, so that passengers can comfortably watch the ceremony. After the service, propose a toast as the boat sails around Brant Point Lighthouse and into Nantucket Sound. For more information, visit endeavorsailing.com.