There’s something so special about getting married in Vermont. From the colorful fall foliage to the serene snow of winter or the lush green landscape in the spring and summer, the Green Mountain State is an ideal place to wed at any time of year. And with so many places to get married in Vermont, you’ll have a plethora of venues to choose from. Whether you grew up or live in the area, or are hosting a destination wedding in Vermont, it’s important to do your research before starting to plan your special day.
To help you on your wedding planning journey, here’s a guide to getting married in Vermont.
One of the first steps of planning a wedding is to set your budget. In Vermont, the average couple spends $12,500 on their venue and catering, which comprises about half of the budget, according to the WeddingWire Cost Guide.
When getting married in Vermont, you’ll also want to be smart about setting your wedding date. While Vermont isn’t necessarily known for crowds and heavy traffic, there are certain events that make the Green Mountain State a bit busier than usual. Some of these include the Vermont Maple Festival in late April, the January winter festivals in towns like Stowe, Bennington, and Brattleboro, and the Vermont Wine & Harvest Festilval in September. During these and other peak weekends, hotels may fill up quickly, which is important to know if many of your guests will need accommodations.
Getting There and Getting Around
If you’re getting married in Vermont and hosting out-of-town guests, there are a few ways they can travel to the state. Air travelers can fly into one of several airports in the state, the largest of which is Burlington International Airport. Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport is another option, as is nearby Albany International Airport, which is near the New York-Vermont border. Train service via Amtrak is available for guests who live in the Northeast.
Once your guests arrive to the Green Mountain State, they’ll likely want to rent a car to get around—unless your wedding is taking place at a hotel or resort where your guests are also staying. There isn’t a wide network of public transportation in Vermont, so having a car at the ready will give your guests access to the many attractions in the area during their downtime. For the wedding itself, consider hiring transportation to shuttle your guests to and from your event—it’s ideal for both convenience and safety.
Vermont experiences all four seasons, from its warm, quite humid summers to freezing winters covered in a blanket of snow. July is the hottest (and wettest!) month, with an average temperature of 81 degrees, and January is the coldest with an average temperature of 27 degrees. It’s no wonder that fall is the most popular season for getting married in Vermont, as autumn features mild temperatures and somewhat lower precipitation. While winter can be a lovely time to wed in Vermont (particularly at some of the area ski resorts), it’s considered the off-season because dangerous blizzards are a possibility. If you’re planning a cold-weather wedding in Vermont, be sure you have a Plan B just in case.
Whether you’re looking for a rustic space or a more classic location, there are many Vermont wedding venues for every style and budget. Check out some of the most popular places to get married in Vermont:
If you’re dreaming of a rustic barn wedding, Vermont is just the place. You’ll find a variety of barn wedding venues in Vermont featuring gorgeous scenery and a laid-back feel that your guests will love.
Check out barn wedding venues in Vermont »
While Vermont is perhaps best known for its mountainous landscape, there is also a vibrant nautical scene on Lake Champlain. There are several Vermont wedding venues near the water, from classic event spaces and inns to yachts.
Check out Vermont wedding venues on Lake Champlain »
If a classic ballroom isn’t your cup of tea, there are lots of unique places to get married in Vermont, including an alpaca farm, a summer camp, a beach…even a cannabis farm.
Check out unique Vermont wedding venues »
Those getting married in Vermont should learn about the legal requirements to wed in the Green Mountain State well in advance of their big day. If you live in Vermont, you must apply for a marriage license with the clerk in your town of residence. Those who are from out-of-state may apply for a marriage license at any town clerk’s office in the state. Those who are or over the age of 18 must bring valid forms of identification and the required $45 fee in order to receive your marriage license (the law does not require a blood test). According to Vermont law, there is no waiting period and your marriage license is valid for 60 days, so you’ll need to have a justice of the peace or an ordained officiant perform your wedding ceremony during this time period. After the ceremony, your officiant will fil out and sign your license so it becomes your official marriage certificate.
Those getting married at one of Vermont’s many ski resorts, inns, or hotels have it easy—their guests can likely stay on premises. However, if you’re getting married elsewhere, you’ll likely want to book at least one room block at a nearby hotel. It’s ideal to book room blocks at multiple hotels at a variety of price points, but depending on your wedding’s location, that might not be possible. The key to choose guest accommodations in a location that’s convenient to your venue so that guests can easily get there and back.
Things to Do in Vermont
Whether your guests are into outdoor adventures or indoor pursuits, there are a variety of activities and attractions in the Green Mountain State. If you’re getting married in Vermont, we recommend providing your out-of-town guests with a list of your favorite activities so that they’ll have lots of options during their downtime. Here are a few of our favorite Vermont attractions:
- Outdoor Sports
The Green Mountain State is chock full of ski mountains and resorts where your guests can enjoy a wide variety of activities from skiing to snowboarding, tubing, sleigh rides, and more. Even in the warmer months, ski mountains offer fun attractions, including mountain coasters, golfing, zip lining, and much more.
- Brewery Tours
If your loved ones enjoy kicking back with a beer or two, there are numerous breweries in Vermont, many of which offer tours and tastings.
- Ben & Jerry’s Factory
Located in Waterbury, the famed ice cream factory offers tours that are fun for all ages. There’s also an ice cream shop on premises as well as a gift shop for all of sweet-themed souvenirs.
- Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home
History buffs will enjoy exploring the Manchester home of Abraham Lincoln’s eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln. This Georgian Revival mansion features gorgeous gardens, and tours are available to learn about the history behind this stunning home.
- Manchester Designer Outlets
Wedding guests who are shopping enthusiasts may want to bring an extra suitcase. These outlet shops feature designer duds, homewares, accessories, and more at not-to-be-missed discounts.
- Leaf Peeping
It’s no wonder that fall is one of the busiest times of year to visit Vermont. There are numerous driving tours and hiking trails where you can view some truly spectacular foliage. A few of our favorite locations for leaf peeing include the Mad River Valley, Manchester, and Stowe.