Get Hitched, Grey Lady Style

Nantucket in the Off Season

When the crowds thin after the busy summer season, you and your guests will really get to explore this preppy New England town that is (joyfully) devoid of such modern eyesores as traffic lights or chain restaurants.

It’s in the off-season that Nantucket finds its true magic. This wind-swept foggy island, located 30 nautical miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is steeped in history and nature at its purest. Picture miles and miles of sandy beaches, wooded moors and quaint gaslit cobblestoned streets dotted with the elaborate homes of the whaling captains of yore and you’ve got one romantic place to tie the knot.

Here’s our guide to hosting a destination wedding right out of the pages of the J.Crew catalog:

The Venue

The sophisticated White Elephant (50 Easton Street, Nantucket, 800-445-6574; has been an island landmark since the 1920s and is one of the chicest properties in town. Perched right along the harbor, plan to hold your ceremony on the resort’s lawn with the expanse of the harbor and its bobbing boats as a picturesque background to your exchange of vows. Or, book your wedding at one of the islands’ quaint and historic churches (there are at least a half-dozen downtown).

Afterwards, your guests can stroll along the cobblestones as they head back to the hotel for your reception. Cocktails, including a signature White Elephant cranberry cocktail, can be served on the lawn and are accompanied by a sampling of hors d’oeuvres and a local seafood raw bar. Your guests will then adjourn to dine al fresco under the awning-covered Terrace.

The wedding menus reflect the style of the resort’s Brant Point Grill – only the freshest of local ingredients and seafood and quality steaks are served. You and your wedding party will dance into the night with the lights of the harbor serving as ambient lighting.

The details

Book a wedding at the White Elephant and your package includes: 25 round trip Hy-Line Ferry tickets and discounted rates for your wedding guests (you’ll need to invite between 70 and 150 guests) throughout Nantucket Island Resorts properties. Facility fee $6,500. Ceremony fee, $1,500. A $15,000 food and beverage minimum applies.

5 Things to do while you’re ‘on-island’

  1. Tour Cisco Brewery. At one of Nantucket’s favorite destinations (it includes Cisco Brewery, Nantucket Vineyard and Triple Eight Distillery), your one-hour behind-the-scenes tour will include plenty of tastings along the way and you’ll walk away with a signature cup ($20). All of this tasting will likely rev up your appetite. Post tour, head right up the country road to Bartlett’s Farm, a gourmet food market, shop and the island’s oldest and largest working farm.
  2. Rent a bike. Nantucket boats over 25 miles of bike paths so join locals and visitors alike in a scenic tour of as many different beaches as you can fit in (Surfside offers dramatic waves most days and Madaket beaches are legendary for their sunsets).
  3. Dine out. his island may be small, but it boasts an extensive assortment of award-winning restaurants. Reserve a table for brunch at the Brick Bistro at Jared Coffin House, lunch at Corozon del Mar or Brotherhood of Thieves, and finish you night at 29 Fair housed in a beautiful, historic inn.
  4. Visit ‘Sconset. Invite the bridal party to join you on a quick bike (or cab ride) out to ‘Sconset, short for Siasconset, a Native American term that means ‘place of great bones,’ the island’s original fishing village. Take a walk down Broadway and gaze at the rose-covered cottages to get a true sense of how the fishermen once lived before the mid-19th century when Mainlanders, including Broadway actors, began summering here.
  5. Tour the Whaling Museum. No visit to Nantucket is complete without an afternoon spent at this museum, located in the heart of downtown. Don’t forget to see the museum’s restored 1847 candle factory, rooftop observation deck overlooking Nantucket harbor and the extensive collection of vintage scrimshaw and antique lighthouse baskets.

--Lambeth Hochwald

You might also like